Friday, March 1, 2019

February Favorites: From The Bone Wars To LOTS of Matches

Here's what we've been loving this month!


Hold my breath and knock on wood, but I have gotten both kids to join me in keeping their reading logs up to date!

Syd happily listens to anything that Chris Colfer narrates over and over again, and read LOADS of the Wings of Fire series this month, but somehow, I have no idea how, she also found her way to...

Michael Crichton?

I don't know. The first that I knew of it, she was raving to Matt about a book she was listening to about these two guys who were fighting over fossils and it was getting super crazy. My ears perked up at this and I interrupted with, "Wait. Are you reading about the Bone Wars?!?"

"Uh, yeah."

I couldn't wait to know who had written a history book that had so immersed my kid. "Who wrote it?" I asked her eagerly.

She checked her ipod. "Ummm.... Michael Crichton."

Friends, 'tis true!

I've got a paper copy on hold from the library for me.

Syd also read and adored this likely much more kid-appropriate book this month:

I think she learned the word "bittersweet" from this book, and from me as I was describing to her how I felt while reading one of the book's final scenes.

Here's what else Syd read this month:

Will, to my delight, got completely immersed this book last month:

I re-read it as soon as she was done with it, and we've since spent tons of happy hours gossiping about the Bennets and Mr. Darcy and how ridiculous they all are. They spend all their time gossiping and scheming, and it. Is. AWESOME. And every time Elizabeth and Darcy bicker, Will was all, "OMG, could they possibly flirt any harder?!?"

Naw, Girl. They could not.

Here's an interesting article about the Regency Period, because I know you were dying to understand the politics underpinning Austen's novel.

Will re-read this book this month--

--and it's one of my favorites, too! It's surprising and funny and the plot is quite sophisticated. If you ever read it, please Comment and let me know: Real, or all in the protagonist's head?

This one was another of Will's favorites:

I haven't read it yet, but she put it on my library shelf for me to read, so I will.

Here's what else Will read this month:

I didn't get as much reading done last month as I usually do, but there were still a few stand-outs.

I chose this book entirely because I realized that I don't know anything about Ada Lovelace. Before I was halfway through, I found myself OBSESSED with her, and with Lord Byron in a low-key way--if anyone can recommend a stellar biography for him, please do!

Ada Lovelace was freaking AMAZING, you guys! When her buddy, Charles Babbage, basically invented the computer in the Victorian age (not that he knew that was what he invented, which is the entire point of why Ada was so amazing), Ada, this super mathematical genius who never got to do cool math stuff, volunteered to translate an article about it. But then, in one of the appendices to the article, she was all, "Hey, y'all, if you ever wanted to tell this machine that doesn't even exist yet how to do this specific thing, this is how you'd do it," and then went on to write an entire computer program. The world's first computer program. For a completely theoretical computer that hadn't even been actually built yet.

After I finished the book, I also watched this great documentary on her--

--and here's the difference engine in all its glory:

One of my favorite things is how adorable it is with all its cogs and wheels. And every time somebody invented something, somebody would say, "Hey, you know what we should do? We should power it with a STEAM ENGINE!"

It's absolutely enchanting. I'm utterly charmed.

My other major favorite this month is this super spooky yet YA-appropriate graphic novel:

Will read this one, too, and we're anxiously waiting for the next volume.


Syd is the best at finding us super weird YouTube videos. She's currently obsessed with this one:

I don't even know.

We watched Venom for family movie night this week, and Syd was so interested in the abstract art that they show during the end credits that she tried searching for it, and instead sent us all down a looooong rabbit trail of watching artists create sophisticated, elaborate fan art pieces over time lapse:

At a Girl Scout cookie booth a couple of weeks ago, this guy came by with a weird Segway-looking skateboard, and Will and her friend were so fascinated with it that they peppered him with questions as he was packing away his groceries, putting on his helmet, and getting it set up. He was perfectly amiable and kindly answered all of their questions until he finally stepped onto this thing and absolutely flew out the door and down the sidewalk past the grocery store's picture window. He was going SO FAST!!!! We decided that he is easily the coolest guy in town and we are definitely his friends.

Will was so impressed that as soon as we got home she looked it up. It's a Onewheel, and it really IS that cool!

I don't know why we watched this. There's a lot of that kind of nonsense in our Recommended feed:

Goals for this month:

I'm going to sneak in some more learning about the Bone Wars, now that it's snagged Syd's interest.

Will needs a little more non-fiction in her diet. Any suggestions?

Now that cookie season is winding down, maybe *I* can get some more good books read, starting with the ones that Will has already recommended to me.

And... umm... I bought a giant multi-pack of matches... I don't want to say anything more about that.

P.S. Want to know more of our recommend stuff as we decide we love it? Follow along on my Craft Knife Facebook page!

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