Friday, October 22, 2010

Karen by Marie Killilea

A few weeks ago I was talking to the lovely EK and somehow we got to talking about reading and the mail and whatnot and we ended the conversation by deciding to start sending packages of books or other fun things to each other. I started by sending her an ARC of Matched by Ally Condie. She reciprocated by sending me an old, slightly battered copy of Karen by Marie Killilea. And I'm already planning my next three packages to her and have decided this was pretty much the best idea ever. Getting a (mostly) unexpected package from a friend is enough to completely make your day.

Karen is an incredibly charming book. It's the true story of a little girl growing up with cerebral palsy in the 1940s when no one really knew what it was or what to do about it. When it became apparent that something was wrong with their baby girl, Marie and Jimmy Killilea were told to put her in an institution and forget about her as people with cerebral palsy "have no mentality."

The story of Karen's growth and development and her family's fierce loyalty and fight on behalf of those with cerebral palsy is so sweet. But what has really struck be about this book is how different the field of medicine has become over the past 60 years. After giving birth, Marie stays in the hospital for at least a week and spends most of that time away from her baby. Karen's doctor suspected she had cerebral palsy, possibly for a long period of time, but didn't tell her parents about it until they begged him to tell them why their almost year old daughter was still laying there like an infant. There have been so many little things that just boggle my mind and make me grateful to live when I do (and that I'm healthy and so are my children).

A lovely read, perfect for lounging on the couch and enjoying the cool, rainy days we had this week!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Third Quarter Books

I'm late on this but I am a little busy what with the 2 children and the packing and moving and whatnot. Also, my reading was so slow this quarter. I kept picking up books and then not finishing them because one kid needed this and then the other kid needed that so I couldn't ever get into a book. Jones in particular is at an age where he needs me pretty much constantly and there just isn't much time to do the extras. Oh well. Some day I will read again!

28. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
Looooove. I have to admit, though, that with the exception of the desserts, I don't think I'd eat any of the recipes she shared.

29. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
Some good stuff but overall eh.

30. The First Year of Homeschooling your Child by Linda Dobson
Good resource for when you're just starting out and have no idea where to begin.

31. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath*

32. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
I renewed it as many times as I could and almost threw in the towel. I'm not sure why I had such a hard time though.

33.Homeschooling: The Early Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 3- to 8-Year Old Child by Linda Dobson
Not quite as useful for me as her other book, but still a good starting place.

34. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman*
Put me to sleep. I have no idea what that was all about.

35. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Took me a while to get into but when it ended I was sad. I spent a long time thinking about all the different ways Francie's life could have gone.

36. Matched by Ally Condie
I was in need of something fluffy. This totally fit the bill.

37. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Good but could have been better.

Gave up on:

1. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Killed me.

2. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
The dead aunt made me want to stab something.