Archive for November, 2009

Christmas Reading Challenge

So, I’ve decided my last challenge for 2009 will be the Christmas Reading Challenge at The True Book Addict. I signed up partly because I love Christmas! The other reason I signed is because my grandmother loaned me several Christmas books the last time I visited and I am determined to read them all and get them back to her in a timely manner. The challenge is simply to read one to three Christmas books between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. Pretty simple, no?

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The Sound of a Silver Horn

[openbook booknumber=”0449905888″]

[rating:4/5]

In popular mythology there are stories and legends aplenty about great heroes who go on quests and, after facing overwhelming odds, return home victorious. These heroes continue their stories throughout the ages, of men who face dragons, fight for what they believe in, and change the times they live in whether for the better or the worse. In The Sound of a Silver Horn a question is posed, why are there no such heroes for women? Why isn’t there a “female hero” to journey alone, to face great odds, to change things? Why, when asked to name such a woman, can we only name a few, and only a very small number of them real?

Women can be heroes as well, but their type of heroism is different from a man’s. Men’s quests are of the lone wolf variety, working in a vacuum, taking all the risk, and getting all the credit, accepting occasional outside help, but never working in tandem with anyone else, or willing to share the limelight for long. Women work in a collective, risk is taken but account for that risk is tempered with thoughts of the impact on others than herself, credit is shared, help accepted, and working in tandem with others is considered a strength, not a weakness. This book goes into those details of just what makes a female hero. She is not less then a male hero, merely differently empowered and goes about her quest in a different, but no less powerful or profound way.

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Man of the Family

[openbook booknumber=”0803281951″]

[rating:4/5]

The second book in Ralph Moody’s series about his childhood, starting with Little Britches, picks up where the first left off with Ralph now being eleven years old and becoming the “man of the family” in the wake of his father’s death.

While having a lot of the same strong messages and themes that Little Britches had, namely morality, hard work, honesty, and the meaning behind being a respectable man, this book took a much lighter tone even if it had a dark beginning. With the family’s main form of income gone his mother starts up a cookery route, and with the help of all the children they do odd jobs around town to help earn money to get by. Meanwhile Ralph’s mother refuses to let Ralph drop out of school no matter how tight that made things at home, he wanted to be the man of the family and earn money full time at a man’s wage, but instead he had to learn patience and to think of long term consequences to his actions. Good lessons for life.

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Women Unbound Challenge

A few days ago I decided to start participating in the Women Unbound challenge. A challenge where you are set the task of reading books about women’s studies, a certain number non-fiction, before November 30th of next year, 2010.

Since I’ve chosen my books and have started reading my first one, it’s now time to do the start of challenge meme. Just a few questions to set yourself up for what follows. Kind of a “you are here” on the map to see where you begin and hopefully, by the time I’m done, I’ll be able to look back and see where I’ve ended up.

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Little Britches

[openbook booknumber=”0803281781″]

[rating:4/5]

Ralph Moody, similar to the style of Laura Ingalls Wilder, wrote a series of books about his life dating back to 1906. His first book, Little Britches, starts when he is eight years old and his family moves from New Hampshire to Colorado to start life on a ranch out west. His father’s health isn’t so great, so fresh air and wide open spaces was what the doctor ordered. They arrive to find things not quite as they were lead to believe. But, through hard work and ingenuity they find a way to make things work, for a little while. Ralph never really knew his father before then, but with Ralph the closest thing to another man to rely on his father started working with him and teaching things he would need to know to grow up and “build a house of character”. Between these lessons, and some others he learns the hard way, Ralph grows and talks about his experiences out west at the turn of the century.

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