Thursday, October 3, 2019

September Favorites: Good Omens, Last Unicorns, and Practically on Pointe

September was a terrific month for reading! We found a great routine (just in time for Nutcracker rehearsals and seasonal ice skating lessons to mess it up in October...) and amongst the evening extracurriculars, built a lovely haven of sitting on the couch and reading and gossiping and listening to music a few nights a week.

The other nights were spent running around to those evening extracurriculars and then figuring out what people can eat for dinner past 9pm, but whatever. Take your haven wherever you can!

Here's the only book that I recognize from Will's Favorites in September--

--and she didn't even tell me that she was reading it so that I could talk about it to her endlessly and make her watch the cartoon with me and then probably want to do a bunch of unicorn-related craft projects, too.

Gee, I wonder why she didn't mention it?

Here are Will's other favorite books from September:

And here's the rest of what she read in September--keep an eye out, because of COURSE there's a Tom Swift in the list:

Will read SO MANY BOOKS in September! My goal for October is to see if I can interest her in some more non-fiction. Will's usual method of finding books is to choose a library department, systematically scan the shelves, and read everything that interests her on those shelves. She's done this twice with the children's and YA departments, once with Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Mystery, once with Graphic Novels, and she's currently on her third read-through of the children's department. So far, though, she's always skipped General Fiction and Non-Fiction because there's too much there that doesn't interest her, so the hunt is less fruitful and therefore less satisfying. If I can figure out a way for her to enjoy searching the library's online catalog and simply putting on hold what interest her, then I could open up two entirely new departments to her perusal!

I am nowhere near the prolific reader that Will is (at least, I'm not anymore; I for sure read as much as she did when I was her age!), but I kept up with my couple-of-books-a-week habit throughout September, my favorite of which is a book that I actually borrowed from Will:

I loved it as much as I hoped that I would! And as soon as Syd finishes the audiobook of it, I can show the kids the TV series, which I also loved, loved, LOVED.

Here's another book that I loved as much as I hoped I would:

The library actually bought this at my request, and let me read it first, and it is everything that I wanted. You guys, those geysers and hot springs are really, really dangerous! If you fall in and they don't find you right away, then what they'll be looking for later is not your body, but a slick of grease on top of the water and maybe your bones and clothes at the bottom, but if they don't find you for a while then they won't even find the bones and clothes because they'll have been covered in layers of mineral sludge and they'll never, ever find you.

Also, grizzly bears! Once, this photographer went missing and some rangers had to go out and search for him. They spotted a grizzly on the next ridge, and when they checked it out with their binoculars, the bear was in the act of eating a human leg. So they called into their bear expert and were all, "Hey, we're looking at a bear that's literally eating some guy right now. What do you want us to do?" And the expert was all, "Gee... hmm... SHOOT IT!" So they shot it, and that sucked because grizzlies are a vulnerable species and people are not and it's the people's job to stay away from grizzlies and not get eaten.

Okay, but then there was another time where some people are sleeping in a packed campground just outside of Yellowstone and all of a sudden, a grizzly bear just tears through somebody's tent and grabs a person and starts eating them. That person and everyone around them start hollering, and the bear runs off and the people start trying to do first-aid and calling the authorities. They're busy with that when all of a sudden someone starts hollering from a different part of the campground because the bear has torn into another tent and grabbed someone and started eating them! So the authorities arrive and they evacuate the entire campground, but much, much later they're all, "Hey, why didn't the people in that tent pack up their stuff?" So they go to investigate and they find a huge hole in the back of the tent, and further away, they find what's left of the person after the bear and her cubs had eaten their fill. They shot the mother bear and put the cubs in a zoo, and this story doesn't even have a moral because people are supposed to be confidently safe from bears all together in a crowded campground!

And then there's all the people who drowned in the lake, including a park ranger, and there were hikers who saw the ranger IN THE ACT OF DROWNING and were just like, "Huh," and didn't even bother to try to help him or call for help or EVEN CUT THEIR HIKE SHORT. They seriously finished their entire hiking trip and then told a park ranger what they'd seen something like the previous day, and the ranger was all, "WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL SOMEONE RIGHT AWAY WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ARE YOU?!?" Oh, and the ranger who drowned was, like, the most beloved ranger of them all, whose route was this lake, and the only reason why he was still out in that windy weather to get his canoe tipped over in the first place is that so many people had flagged him down from the shore to make him come over and answer their questions and he kept paddling over and doing it even though that wasn't supposed to be part of his job that he was running way, way behind schedule.

Apparently this lake is extra super deadly because it's unnaturally, unexpectedly cold, both from its elevation and because it's filled with run-off water from even higher up. You don't expect to immediately start dying of hypothermia when your canoe tips over, but that's exactly what happened.

And here's the rest of what I read in September!

I was pretty stoked with all the Rainbow Rowell, because I adore her and I can't believe that I missed these titles when they first came out, but that Bill Clinton/James Patterson book? The only reason I read it is that I went through a crazy obnoxious insomnia bout in September, one that lasted for weeks of me waking up for hours in the middle of the night every night, and it was the first thing that I saw on the Overdrive app when I logged in on my super-old nook that I live in fear of someday breaking because I adore it so much and you'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

Anyway, that book wasn't great. But Nutcracker Nation was fascinating!

Here's a new category of monthly favorites: podcasts! I'm the only one in the family who really loves podcasts, although Will can blow through the whole run of one if she likes it. She and I both listen to Welcome to Night Vale (AND we saw it live in September!), but I'm always looking for good recommendations. The recommendation to listen to the Joe Exotic season of Over My Dead Body came from a reddit forum, I think, but it was spot-on, and I'll be passing it along to Will to listen to as part of earning her Girl Scout Senior Voice for Animals badge. It's not too graphic overall, although there were probably three or four upsetting moments of animals in distress:

If you want the info but don't want to listen to people talking about sad animals, much of the same information is in this New York Magazine article.

My favorite category of favorites to record is the YouTube videos that we randomly find ourselves watching as a family. We don't do elaborate bedtime routines anymore, but most nights of the week, before Matt and I send the kids at least in the vague direction-ish of their beds, they'll chill in ours for a while and we'll take turns selecting YouTube videos that everyone has to watch. Here are some of my favorites:

Nobody in our family really cooks, but now we ALL crave pumpkin pie. And sweet potato pie. But nobody wants to make it...

Here are some cakes that we want to eat but not make, too!

Will has explained to us about dog dancing. It's amazing!

Drunk History is not appropriate viewing for children, but nevertheless Syd and I, especially, cannot get over being tickled by this particular episode. Every now and then we'll tell each other about our next greatest invention, a drink that combines wine, Red Bull, and cocaine, and then we'll laugh hysterically forever while everyone else gets annoyed with us.

Syd has been ecstatically anticipating her first pair of pointe shoes, which will likely happen sometime soon after Nutcracker season, and together we have watched many, many, MANY pointe shoe videos. This is her favorite so far:

I love how informative it is both about what the ballerina will experience and what the expert is looking for/at.

As for MY YouTube favorites... well, I do know all the secret search terms that one uses when looking for bootleg recordings of Broadway musicals!

P.S. Here's what we read prior to September!


Tina said...

First, the lists didn't show up, so I can't stalk what you read.

Second, have you watched the Holderness Family in YouTube? They crack us up.

I LOVE The Last Unicorn movie. I believe Emma has read the graphic novel, but I'm not sure about the novel.

Would Will be interested in reading about Wild Horse Annie? I read this book a few years ago and I liked it.

Now I need to read the Death in Yellowstone book.

For Podcasts- I just started listening to Hidden Brain, an NPR podcast and Factually with Adam Conover. Both of them are pretty interesting. If you're interested in learning about women that have or are serving in the military, Women of the Military by Amanda Huffman is interesting.

julie said...

Okay, I have added ALL OF THAT to my list! I'm thinking that Emma would like the Last Unicorn novel--I read it multiple times as a kid, but it's been so long that I don't remember anything about it, myself, but Will liked it. Thinking of it puts me in mind of other "animal" books that became cartoon movies: Bambi, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Watership Down. Will has loved all of those, too.

Tina said...

Some more animal books-turned-movie suggestions.
Water Horse
War Horse
Old Yeller
Where The Red Fern Grows

Have your girls read the Wrinkle in Time series? I LOVED them as a kid, but Emma hasn't read them yet and wants to before we watch the movie.