Really Nowhere Near 50 Books!

Happy stupid new year, everybody!  It's supposed to be our first day back at school today, but we're keeping everyone home, waiting for the phone to ring, hoping that the idea of nine kids coming in to the hospital to be tested for strep throat is just as terrifying for the doctor as it is for us, and that she will just call in prescriptions for everybody.  Maybe just a giant vat of penicillin, which I will pour into the tub, and we can just swim around in it for a while. I wouldn't even mind t … [Read more...]

50 Books: What Kinkade was aiming for

First, a shameless plug:  order today with standard shipping from my CafePress store, and get a free shipping upgrade so your items will arrive by December 24.Doesn't your beloved wife deserve some Dignaroos?  Or won't you step up and protect her honor on her semi-annual Trip Outside the Home by furnishing her with this presumably finely-crafted aluminum Pants Pass?  Or some other ridiculous crap I threw together?Fine.Then let's retreat from crass materialism.  I hope everybody knows … [Read more...]

50 Books: the Ultimate Reading Accessory

Back to books tomorrow, but I couldn't resist adding in one non-book item:  Perhaps you have found yourself sitting in the waiting room of a doctor's office, and the wall-mounted TV is on, and you aren't quite up to answering the question, "Momeeeeee, what is a 'twanssexual wuv twiangle?'"Or you're sitting in a restaurant for your biennial date with your husband, waiting for your bloomin' onion to arrive, and you realize that your precious evening is being devoured by the eleven … [Read more...]

Seven to Ten Quick Takes: 50 Books: Guest Post: I like colons

Today's guest post is written by my ever-enthusiastic 13-year-old daughter, Dora (who was born and named approximately six months before Dora the Usurper Explorer made her irritating debut). Standard disclaimer:  I have read some, but not all of these books, neglectful mother, ideas have consequences, corrupting the youth, blah blah blah.  I have read Shooting Kabul and it was fine, and I loved The Star of Kazan -- thought it was really sweet and imaginative, and just altogether much more pl … [Read more...]

50 Books: Katherine Paterson

Back to the books!  Today's pick is a collection of very short stories for older elementary school kids to adults:Angels and Other Strangers:  Family Christmas Stories by Katherine PatersonThese stories all center around Christmas, and they all seem like they're going to cross the line and get maudlin . . . but they don't.  This is one of Paterson's earlier works, and she's clearly still gathering her powers; but even when she's not so subtle, she's great.  These are all sto … [Read more...]

50 Books: zip pop

Self-help books (from yesterday) always make me think of Walker Percy, and Walker Percy always makes me think of Tom Wolfe, and Tom Wolfe makes everyone think of The Bonfire of the Vanities , but have you ever readFrom Bauhaus to Our House ?  By Tom Wolfe?This slim volume (I love saying that) from 1981 tells the bizarre story of how we, the consumer, were quietly conned into accepting "grim and hideous" as the two main pillars of modern architecture -- not that pillars have any place in … [Read more...]

50 Books: Guest Post: Peace and Balance

Today's book picks are by my sister, Rosie Herreid, who recommends some very timely reads for Advent:*****Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart by Fr. Jacques PhilippeI felt noticeable more peaceful while I was reading this book.  At first glance it seems to offer the kind of cliche spiritual advice that is hard to take to heart, but it is actually full of extremely practical advice about breaking destructive mental habits.Fr. Philippe begins by … [Read more...]