It’d be pretty easy to come up with ten more books…
Like the other lists, these do not necessarily represent my FAVORITE books, which might be reference books such as Top Pop Singles or The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, or the World Almanac. Pretty much off the top of my head:
The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They weren’t called the brothers grim for nothing.
Growing Up by Russell Baker (1982). I used to love to read Baker’s columns in the New York Times, and this book, which I have signed by the author, captures this wonderfully. Funny, though, I don’t remember WHERE I was when I got it signed.
I Spy: Message from Moscow novelization I read as a tween several times, and learned the phrase, “Hoist by his own petard.” Alas, do not have this book anymore. I Spy was a TV show in the mid-1960s starring Robert Culp and Bill Cosby.
In Critical Condition: The Crisis in America’s Health Care by Edward M. Kennedy (1972). Those who think that Obamacare is the best or worst thing to happen to health care seem to have short memories about inadequate insurance policies, selective availability, and the pain of pre-existing conditions. I mentioned that it was my near-death experience in 1979 that defined my feeling about the American way of health, but even earlier, it was more likely this book.
The Methodist Hymnal (1935). This was the black book that I grew up with, which a former girlfriend of mine still refers to as the “real” Methodist hymnal. Holy, Holy, Holy is the first hymn.
O Albany! by William Kennedy (1983). While I never really got into his novels, Kennedy’s non-fiction treatise on New York’s capital city is marvelously insightful, and a great read.
Play the Game: the Book of Sport, edited by Mitchell V. Charnley (1931). This was an anthology of sports stories from American Boy magazine from 1923 to 1931, stories which I read over and over. STILL have the book.
The Sweeter The Juice by Shirlee Taylor Haizlip (1994). I wrote about this HERE.
The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb by Eric H. F. Law (1993). This book is about multiculturalism, written shortly after the Los Angeles riots. My future wife and I attended a conference in Maryland to learn more about the author’s techniques. I think mutual invitation in meetings is definitely the way to go. The mutual invitation explained at length or in brief.
Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer (1977). I read this in 1978. REALLY helped me in dealing with a particular individual, maybe a bit heavy-handedly, but the book definitely made an impact on me at the time.
The assignment is actually a good exercise for the future learning, but it was introduced, essentially, as a punishment for cheating
This is what I think about The Daughter’s homework:
1) It’s often too much, in terms of time
2) It’s too often taught to these bizarre Common Core standards so that she might know the answers to the questions but doesn’t know how to show it the way THEY want her to
Yet: 3) I found it odd that she could earn a homework pass, for one subject, if she brought in ten returnable bottles and/or cans.
Generally speaking, she has three areas of homework: spelling (alphabetize words, put in sentences, take a word and make it an acrostic); math (doing geometry and algebra stuff I didn’t do until much later); and reading. She LIKES reading, a lot actually, has at least since the above picture was taken five or six years ago. We’ve literally had to take a flashlight away from her so she wouldn’t read under the covers.
But she HATES writing the reading responses because they are not “fair.” Her class used to just keep a reading log, but apparently, some other kids were writing down titles of books they actually didn’t read. So now everyone has to write a narrative about what they read. The assignment is actually a good exercise for future learning, but it was introduced, essentially, as a punishment for cheating, and she wasn’t cheating.
Thus, the bottles collected are always in lieu of the reading assignment. They are painfully easy to come by. After her soccer game one June afternoon, we collected from the top of the trash 17 returnables, almost all of them water bottles. Why people don’t take them home for the nickel apiece is beyond me.
Still, the collecting has been its own lesson, about people’s wasteful, polluting nature.
Our church, First Presbyterian Albany, hosted a work camp in the city the week leading to the 4th of July. Homes were repaired/painted throughout the city; 400+ youth and adults, from several states, including Hawaii, plus folks from Ontario, Canada, were hosted at Myers Middle School; 75+ First Pres folks volunteered to make it all happen. We received some media coverage, including one of the radio stations, WFLY present on opening day. Here’s the web link to the Times Union article. Plus nice coverage from a local public radio station.
Mark Evanier wrote about The Battle of the Network Stars, some cheesy TV competition c. 1977. What struck me is that I knew every actor and the associated show from CBS, all but one from ABC, but had serious trouble with the NBC stars. Even I knew of the actor, say, Jane Seymour, I had no idea what show she was representing.
Her favorite book is Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.
One evening when she had no homework, the Daughter complained, “I understand why you’re limiting me watching television. That’s all right! But reading?”
I was so pleased. I was only “limiting” her reading because she had to go to bed, and get up in the morning. In fact, because of my lax parenting, I had to wake her, as she had fallen asleep, reading some Roald Dahl tome.
Often, her bedroom door is closed in the morning, and I used to assume she was still sleeping. More often than not, though, she is lying in bed but reading a book. She was reading Laura Ingalls Wilder for a time and was recently going through Beverly Cleary. She had entered a poster contest at school – came in third place – and she indicated that her favorite book was Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. She seems to be over the fairy books that dominated her reading a year or two ago.
She took one of those standardized tests last year in third grade and she did better than 96% of people in her grade.