Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


the pleasure of shared books

A book invites us into another world. Here are some worlds I traveled to this summer with family and friends.

My daughter and I LOVED The Glass Castle a memoir by Jeannette Walls, so we eagerly opened her second book, Half Broke Horses, where Walls highlights the life of her grandmother and mother. Though interesting, it didn't sparkle like her first title.

My husband devoured Borrowed Time, a mystery by Robert Goddard. I then did the same. I will be hunting down more Goddard mysteries—great characters, and very suspenseful.

A friend gave me The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. This was my favorite read of the summer. I love the intertwining of two distinct stories and voices. The writing is eloquent. This book makes me savor life.

Another friend passed along Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. I did NOT particularly care for this one. Fortunately, my friend felt the same way.

I'm in the middle of Black Swan Green by David Mitchell. My husband raved about this one, as he has about other titles by this author. Subtle.

In each case, the opportunity to discuss, praise or critique the book, heightened the pleasure of reading.

In addition, I read nonfiction—research for projects in development. Mainly this summer, I was immersed in creating art, burning the candle at both ends, skipping the vacation my husband and daughter enjoyed to meet my due date. Two weeks before that date, I was told the book was being postponed a list. I have not even looked at the art since. Labor Day is behind me now, so it's time to put my anger and disappointment behind me, and finish it up so I can move forward on other projects.

As Diane noted in an earlier post, she attended my family program at the Norton Simon Museum. It was wonderful to make the acquaintance of another spud. Here is a candid picture of the two of us.


Stephanie said...

How fun you guys got to meet up. the hedgehog book sounds lovely, I'm going to look for that. I loved "Half-Broke Horses", and actually read that before her first one.

Lauren said...

THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG was one of my favorite books last year! I could easily re-read it.
Ouch, Christy, I still feel the sting of that list change. I am so sorry-- but you are right, it is time to take advantage of the opportunities Fall offers. If I had a glass of wine, I would toast to you and all the incredible art and stories you have yet to create!
Wish I could have joined you at the Norton-Simon!

Christy said...

I'm sure Stephanie would join us with a glass of wine. Anyone else? Here's to Fall and all us spuds!

Edie said...

I will definitely join you in a glass of wine and a toast to all you (and all of our potatoes) still have to create! Thanks for this list, Christy. I'll definitely be looking for The Elegance of the Hedgehog--the title alone has drawn me in.

john said...

What a great picture of the two of you.
A toast to all on the transition to fall.
Amazing how that old school schedule is so deeply embedded.

David LaRochelle said...

I'll raise my glass of Pepsi in the toast to all us spuds (I never did develop a taste for wine or beer)! I'm sorry to hear of your delayed book, Christy, but I hope you'll find some small solace in being able to finish up the art without any rush, and be far ahead of the (new) deadline.

P.S. If you haven't been to showandtellme.tumblr.com yet, by all means check it out. Christy has some beautiful recycled works of art there. And I'd encourage all children's authors and illustrators to make their own submission of what interests them when they're not creating books. It has become one of my favorite sites.

Mark said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Christy. I agree that discussing a book with someone else greatly enhances our enjoyment, not to mention giving us a deeper understanding of what we like (or don't like) about a particular title.