Friday, November 29, 2013
This children's novel is about becoming a better person and overcoming the obstacles in your life. It's also about friendship and the delight of keeping a secret among friends. While I feel I related to this novel much more when I was a child, I still appreciate the lessons in the book. It was especially timely as in one of my groups we have been talking lately about taking care of yourself and being your best self.
Little House in the Big Woods
Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery
Charlotte's Web - E. B. White
Monday, November 25, 2013
Regardless of where a person is in life, this is an educational read. Those in leadership position may learn how to best maneuver their charges into pliability. Those who aren't in leadership positions may find this an insightful tool in understanding those in leadership positions.
The Art of War - Sun Tzu
A Book of Five Rings - Miyamoto Musashi
Tao Te Ching - Lao Tsu
Friday, November 22, 2013
Children will be whisked away in the daily events of a time long ago, so different from the life they live now. And they will be enthralled with gentle and determined Sarah, Plain and Tall.
Little House in the Big Woods
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery
Monday, November 18, 2013
I've read many title of this type, but this is especially poignant. It challenges historical and religious perspectives. It challenges a person's personal actions and beliefs. I think for some readers this may be a difficult read because of the topics, but for many it may open their minds and hearts. Be prepared for a new way of thinking when embarking on this journey.
The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Friday, November 15, 2013
Don Quixote's wild imagination causes him to think that windmills are giants, inns are castles (which should gladly house and feed him without charge because of his occupation), and that ladies are all damsels in need of his help. At first people are merely annoyed by his fanciful adventures and some even give him a good thrashing when he doesn't act in accordance with modern convention. Even after these incidents, Don Quixote doesn't give up on his dream. His exploits only become worse, as he sets free prisoners who claim false imprisonment, attempts to set free his lady Dulcinea from enchantment (whom he sees in faces all around), and challenges peasants to battle who are minding their own business. At some point, word of this lunatic gets out and nobles decide to have their fun at the expense of the knight and his squire.
Reading the entire piece is a chore, but when viewed as a series of exploits it becomes more amusing. I'd recommend reading this in bits and pieces, rather than as a novel.
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William Goldman
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Adventures of Baron Manchausen
A Beautiful Mind
Monday, November 11, 2013
The part I enjoyed most about the story is how Sally and Gillian's issues as siblings are also reflected in the issues of Sally's daughters: Antonia and Kylie. Both sets of sisters manage to mend their relationships in different ways, but both are because of particularly traumatic incidents.
I'm not sure how I feel about the writing style. The point of view is third person omniscient, but more than anything it seems to meander than to give the reader an insightful view of what the characters are feeling. I think that sometimes the author doesn't know where to fit the bits about previous generations and she just puts them wherever she wants.
I think more people are familiar with the movie than the book, so I'm sure some are wondering how they compare. The characters are the same and the major plotline is the same, but other than that they are hardly identifiable. How things happen and for a large part what happens is completely different. I think fans of the movie may not like the book and vice versa; however, I like the book for it being more about family, but I like the movie for bringing in the community element.
Friday, November 8, 2013
|We all want to give our kids the best care in both quantity and quality, but are we really giving them what they need? Payne's approach to raising children is called extreme by some, but many have found his advice sound and truly life-changing for both parents and children.|
The first things he recommends is throwing out your kids toys. Why? The average American child has 150 toys. It's no wonder parents find toys strewn about the house and children are overwhelmed when asked to clean up their toys! How many of those toys do children really play with? How many have missing parts or are broken and just taking up space? You shouldn't throw all of your child's toys away, of course, but it's important to choose to keep toys that have staying power and can spark your child's imagination. This mom took her kids toys away and refuses to give them back. A year later she writes a follow-up explaining why it has improved her family's life.
It's easy to recognize when a child is physically sick by the signs of an aching stomach, a fever, or a hurting head; however, many of us don't know how to identify emotional sickness. Children who act out by throwing things, yelling, crying, or moping about may be overwhelmed or maybe understimulated. One parent relates how her teenage daughter was acting out on the whole family, so she asked her to take the weekend off from all of her extracurricular activities. Her daughter raged at being "grounded", but it turned out to be just what she needed. From then on she learned to take breaks herself. Another parent related how her young daughter had trouble going to sleep despite being physically active. It turned out she needed the addition of creative activity during the day, like drawing, to help ease her mind once bed time rolled around.
Payne suggests creating a routine, but with many households being extremely busy with both parents working or going to school, single parenting, or working multiple jobs it can be difficult. And that doesn't count the activities their children may be participating in. It's too busy for routine, isn't it? Payne explains that maybe you're too busy not to have a one. A rhythm, or routine, creates patterns that make things easier for everybody. Making Monday pasta day gives kids something to look forward to and keeps parents from having to stress out on what to cook. Taking a walk in the evening all together is a way to calm down before bed through exploration and conversation.
There are plenty more ideas on how to simplify a family's life within these pages. While not all of them may be for every family, they can certainly provide some ideas on how to adjust. This book isn't just for parents; these same ideas can be utilized by adults without children, as well. Simplifying your life may be just what you need to make life more enjoyable.
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children - Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman
Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) - Lenore Skenazy
The Myth of Choice: Personal Responsibility in a World of Limits - Kent Greenfield
Monday, November 4, 2013
Books in the Series:
Scary Stories Box Set: Scary Stories, More Scary Stories, and Scary Stories 3
More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
The Monkey's Paw and Other Tales of Mystery and Macabre - W.W. Jacobs
Ten Great Mysteries - Edgar Allen Poe
Friday, November 1, 2013
Even though it comes from a Christian perspective, Fischer also discusses traditions from other religions and cultures. This book encourages exploration through imagination, participation, and personal insight. Along with individual activities, she includes group activities, including recreational and ritual. While many of these are Judeo-Christian in nature, a reader or group could easily adapt it for their own group.
Whether an individual or a group, I think this book can make a difference in how readers view the world and the aging process.