At least a poem or a paragraph.

I read on that this is National Read a Book Day. Do they want us to read an entire book? I might be able to do that if it’s one I picked up at the library yesterday, Phineas L. MacGuire Gets Cooking, by Frances O’Roark Dowell. I think I need to read at least a book per year by this author, to keep me grounded in the reality of middle schoolers. I’ve been slipping, though, probably because there is a gap right now in the ages of my seventeen grandchildren. The youngest of the older bunch is sixteen, and the oldest of the younger bunch is ten. The ten-year-old does love science and cooking, and would probably enjoy Phineas, and it’s always fun for me to read a title or two from the latest book loves of the children.

In the past I have read books in Erin Hunter’s Warriors cat series with Pat, and shared the fun of the Magic Treehouse books with his younger brother. Some of you might remember when I listened to Dowell’s book Anybody Shining with Maggie, not long after her grandpa’s passing. That was a first time for both of us for that story, and it was just right.

This perfect booksharing experience happened again a couple of years later when I introduced Pippin’s children to the Finn Family Moomintroll. According to the recommended age it was too advanced for them, but I went with my tendency to give the children material they might have to stretch a bit to appreciate, and to read books that I personally love. That time I don’t think they had to stretch at all to find a lot of “fruit” that was very tasty, and all the more so for being enjoyed together.

I am running on slow speed today, having stayed up way too late laughing with old friends and giving them a garden tour. We ate pizza and talked about many books, and watched videos of my late husband singing. Then we sang together ourselves, old songs from our common repertoire, drawing from the traditions of Jesus-people and the oldest American folksingers. They brought me this book of poems by Wendell Berry.

So I had already thought it might be a good day for reading. 🙂


12 thoughts on “At least a poem or a paragraph.

  1. I have a Dowell book that she sent me back in the days when she was blogging! I remember loving the reality of it yet appreciating the wholesome nature of the decisions her teenage character could still take. I’ve been recommending her books recently to friends who are mums of teenage daughters and struggle to find books that are funny and engaging and real, but that also model behaviour that is counter-cultural but good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Any day is a good day for reading!! I hope you’ll enjoy the book of poems by Wendell Berry. Can I share one of my favourites?

    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am still in wonderment that you have seventeen grandchildren! And that the youngest of the older group is sixteen.
    As for National Read A Book Day…my daughter and I did begin a read aloud today about the yellow fever plague of 1793. Very Interesting, yet not as fun as your Phineas MacGuire book I would think.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree, any day is a good day for reading. I just finished reading Louise Penny’s latest Inspector Gamache novel, A Better Man. Enjoyed it very much. Just pulled a book from my shelf called Autumn, An anthology for the changing seasons, edited by Melissa Harrison. I think it will be perfect reading as our days slip into autumn. I keep hearing about Wendell Berry but have never read any of his books. The one you mention here looks like something I would enjoy. Our local shops never carry him, so I’ll have to get on Amazon and find something. The poem left in the comments by Marigold resonates with me very much.

    I’m glad you had some good time with dear old friends. It’s so good for the heart to spend time with people you care about and they care about you.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend, Gretchen.
    Brenda xox

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gretchen, I have difficulty picturing you “low on speed.” Seventeen grandchildren? And church activities, gardening, taking walks with your camera, reading and making notes, writing everyday.. . . Whew. I’m slow right now just thinking about your days.

    So that last image! It’s picture perfect for today’s post..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Along with a few other things – including grandchildren – reading is food for the soul. I have so enjoyed the selection of books you have presented for us as well as the thoughtful comments. This post has been food for my soul!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am always looking for books for my grandchildren. The eldest is 8, almost 9 and the next is 7 and they both read voraciously. I will be on the lookout for some of these books you’ve mentioned. Books mentioned on blogs have become some of my favourites to read. What a wealth there is in books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lorrie, blogs have also been a good source for me – so much so that my book habit is getting out of hand. I should concentrate on the children’s books, maybe, because at least with those I can take them to live at a different house 🙂


  8. My eight year old granddaughter is into the Magic Treehouse books. I’m always looking for chapter books for her at the thrift store. Sounds like a good evening with your friends. Definitely worth being a little tired the day after, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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