Monday, 26 January 2009
Congratulations to Neil.....and support your local library challenge
Hurray!!! The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman won the Newbery Award!! When I saw this, I gave a little jump of glee. Strangely enough, on the weekend I found myself wondering why Coraline made my list of best reads of 2008, and The Graveyard Book didn't. Coraline scared me. Plain and simple. It's a book for children, yes, but something about it is adult, it's for the child in all of us, who wanted to leave our families - run away - even if only for a moment or half a day - Coraline is about what the world is really like, that every child knows. Those button eyes still creep me out.
And yet, there is magic in The Graveyard Book. The longer I am away from it, the more I remember how he opens with that truly frightening scene, and how he makes life in the graveyard as poetic and haunting as it must be, if one were to live in a graveyard. I think I didn't like that he didn't get to keep his little friend, the only one who could see him, the girl. In my happy-ending world, they do stay friends! but it's a quibble, and doesn't detract from the overall beauty of the book. So, even though it's after the list, I'm officially adding The Graveyard Book to my list of best reads of 2008. Alongside Coraline. I really can hardly wait for my children to be old enough for me to read both books to them. Isn't it wonderful that a book about death, and life after death, and spirits, and love, can be a Newbery Award winner? A children's book award winner? Both Becky , and also here, and Chris also mention the Newbery Award winner.
This has been the coldest January we have had in several years. Once again most of the day we were barely above -20 c. Not until 4 did we get -14c. With our buses still being on strike - day 48 was today - my world has shrunk to the carpool from home to work and back, and then to the nearby tiny mall that houses a grocery store. I haven't been out of the house apart from work and groceries since we arrived Jan 5 from England. I'm beginning to feel like a pioneer wife in old days - as the snow fell deeper and deeper, the houses in the countryside would be shut off from the world and each other. So I'm very thankful for the electronic age, which keeps me connected to the world even if I can't really get out! I am considering getting a driving license, finally. I hate being unable to get out and go where I want to go. And I really hate the January cold. I like the sun, and warm temperatures. This is like a mini-version of hell! I can't get out for my daily walks because it's so cold, so now my clothes are getting tighter....
So I thought I'd talk about what I'm going to do when the buses come back - please let it be before April. How can we be the capital city of Canada and not be able to resolve a transit dispute? So among the many things I will be grateful for when the buses come back, before I get my driver's license (it will be a year before I can drive on my own anyway), is that I can go to the library. I've decided to join the library challenge, in part to ease up on my wallet, and to get back to reading books that I don't necessarily want to buy, especially mystery and fantasy series that I want to try first.
J. Kaye is hosting the 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge, go here to sign up. The rules are easy:
** The first is to read 12 books from your local library in 2009.
** The second is to read 25 books from your local library in 2009.
** The third is to read 50 books from your local library in 2009.
You decide which one of the three challenges is best for you.
Here are the guidelines:
1) You can join anytime as long as you don’t start reading your books prior to 2009.
2) This challenge is for 2009 only. The last day to have all your books read is December 31, 2009.
3) You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009.
I'm joining the second one, 25 books from my local library.
I don't have any library books out yet, so the list will be on my sidebar below the button for the challenge.
I love our library, and have spent many long afternoons just going from shelf to shelf, picking up books at random, or running in for a book on hold, or looking at the paperback shelves to see what was new. We have a decent library, with interesting books in different areas, so I find the coolest books to read! My children all had their library card before their first birthday. Our library allows adults to take out adult books on the children's cards!!! lol you know what this means, instead of my 25 books, I can take out more at once! and they can be renewed for up to three times straight, unless there is a request for it. Yes, I think the library is an excellent resource, and worthy to keep open. Let's hope the bus strike is over soon!!
I love this quote from Ursula Le Guin's essay, "Why are Americans Afraid of Dragons?":
What, then, are the uses of imagination?
You see, I think we have a terrible thing here: a hardworking, upright, responsible citizen, a full grown-up, educated person, who is afraid of dragons, and afraid of hobbits, and scared to death of fairies. It's funny, but it's also terrible. Something has gone very wrong. I don't know what to do about it but to try and give an honest answer to that person's question, even though he often asks it in an aggressive and contemptuous tone of voice. "What the good of it all?" he says. "Dragons and hobbits and little green men - what's the use of it?"
The truest answer, unfortunately, he won't even listen to. He won't hear it. The truest answer is, "The use of it is to give you pleasure and delight."
Isn't that a beautiful reason why we read? For pleasure and delight.
And a lovely explanation for why we treasure books so - they are our doorway to imagination.