I usually start 4 or 5 books at a time and read them all in bits and pieces until I really get hooked, about half way through, and feel compelled to read that one until it’s finished. Now that I’m finishing up the last of a group, I’ve started accumulating some new ones. I picked up a few at the library today: Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker, and Widdershins by Charles de Lint. Both seem to combine a novel of manners with fantasy, two of my favorite genres. Also, a friend lent me The Chosen by Chaim Potok, and my mother  wants me to read The Help. Having a nice stack of books-in-waiting makes me feel like I just went on a shopping spree, or like someone gave me a plate full of cookies just for me, no sharing with the kids.

I am finishing up World War Z , An Oral History of the Zombie War, by Max Brooks. It reminds me of watching a ballet, say Swan Lake. When the lead dancers do their pas de deux, they are so graceful and expert that the dance looks effortless. Reading World War Z is like that. The story is involving and the writing relaxed, so you think ‘I can do that’, but in reality the author is so talented that he just made it look easy. Genius.

I’ve decided to start making my daughter’s junior high and high school reading lists. The idea came when a fellow homeschooling mom requested ideas for her daughters’ summer reading list. I remembered many great books that I enjoyed as a teen, but it took a few days of brainstorming. I’m familiar with classic American and British lit, but I would like to include literature representative of Eastern cultures as well as South American and African. Any ideas would be welcome. As soon as I have a working list, I can divide it by year/age and start looking for them at used book stores.

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