We had to read The Talent Code during the month of October at the Anna Porter Public Library Group Book. The author, Daniel Coyle, traveled all over the world to talent hotbeds: Russia for tennis, upstate New York for violin and other instruments, Brazil for soccer, Costa Rica for baseball.
The subtitle says, “Greatness is not born. It is grown. Here’s how.” So the whole book details how a small tennis club in Moscow can produce more Top 20 female tennis players than all the American tennis academies combined in the last decade. And how all these other places can produce the best violinists etc in the world. It turns out, they have similarities, the talent hotbeds. Continue reading
We had to read Joy in the Morning by P. G. Wodehouse during the month of November at the local group book I attend. I did not enjoy the book, but I read it anyway. I made the most of it, let’s put it this way.
My conscience would prick me if I did not, because when I commit to something, I follow through. Plus I think it is a good challenge to put up with a book until you finish it. It’s like dealing with a relative you don’t like but whom you must see around now and then. It’s good for your character. Continue reading
Prayer for the Day is a devotional published by BBC Radio 4 in several formats. I bought the Kindle version and have been enjoying it for almost a month. It has 365 daily devotionals, so you can plan on having this for the whole year.
Of course, nothing stops you from reading several daily devotionals in one sitting. Sometimes I do that with my devotionals – I run ahead. But if I am reading several things for my “daily bread,” then I just read one page a day from this devotional.
One of the 32 classic novels in Western literature recommended by Susan Wise Bauer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written by Mark Twain, the father of all good things in American belles lettres. I was surprised Huck Finn was picked over Tom Sawyer, but I guess I am still learning the subtleties of why one novel is considered more important than another.
Huck Finn is on the run – that’s the main theme of the novel. The quintessential American quest for freedom is exemplified in his running away from his alcoholic, abusive father, from the religious lady who tried to adopt him and make him into a Christian, and from the rest of the people who mean well, but are doing him more harm than good.
This was the third and last book I read by Erma Bombeck. It was better than the first two but I don’t know if it’s because she is growing on me or because she actually got better in this book. It’s all a blur by now but I know I don’t want to read any more of her titles.
In this book, she mocks self-help books. I guess the self-help movement was taking flight in the 70s and 80s when she wrote and all these people in her life were trying to help her by suggesting this title and that title. Continue reading
Of all the books I have been reading from Focus on the Family, this one brought me to tears several times. Oh, and I promised myself to be tough and just “get the principles!” I knew what Dr. Dobson was trying to do. He was being Oprah – making me cry about raising a little girl. And I was determined not to let him.
But he got me anyway. Once I read the poem about the hope chest song, I lost it. But there is so much more to this book than just sentimental ideas and feel-good little poems to move a tired mom from bitterness to sweetness again.
Dr. Dobson shares not just research findings on raising daughters, but also simplified brain facts. The brain of a girl is different from the brain of a boy. Sorry, feministas of the world, we are simply different from the guys. Different does not mean inferior or weaker. Different means different. Continue reading
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis have inspired me and the children in many ways. I will attempt to cover several in this blog post but there will be more points coming, as I will write about each volume in a separate post.
The first volume of this masterpiece is titled The Magician’s Nephew. The language, the long sentences, the descriptions, i.e. the beautiful prose of C.S. Lewis, represent the first reason why any homeschool should put Narnia on their reading list. Continue reading
The title of my book this week was “O scurtă istorie ilustrată a românilor” written by Nicolae Djuvara, who is almost 100 years old. I picked up this book when I was in Romania in April. To be clear, it is in Romanian.
Just in case you are interested in reading it, this Romanian title has been translated into English and French. The English title is “A Brief Illustrated History of Romanians” and Amazon sells it, of course. Well, I should say that is the literal translation of the Romanian title. I see they chose “A Concise History of Romania” for the official title of the English version, translated and published in Canada.
Djuvara is a historian with many book titles to his name, so I can only assume that this English translation is the same as the Romanian title I read. If you are not confused yet, read on.
Nurtured by Love was written by Shinichi Suzuki when he was in his 80s. His wife, Waltraud, translated it into English. The subtitle is “The Classic Approach to Talent Education.” If your child is taking music lessons from a Suzuki-certified teacher, you will probably be required to read this book as a Suzuki parent.
Suzuki’s idea about learning an instrument has to do with fluency in one’s native language. Just as Japanese children become fluent in Japanese and master complicated dialects by the age of four or five, American children become fluent in English, their native language, and master the accent of the area in which they were raised. It works the same way for an instrument. Continue reading
One Amazing Thing was the book of the month of August at our book club. Its author, Chitra Divakaruni (say that three times fast!), teaches Creative Writing at the University of Houson. Her 18 novels have received awards and been translated into 29 languages. Two have been made into movies.
I read this book in three days and I could probably have read it in one if I were not a mom with responsibilities. What a great story about the human condition! Continue reading