A Week in the Books: Links I Loved the Week of 9/21/18
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As I type this, we’re having a Harry Potter movie marathon on a Thursday morning, due to a stomach bug that hit my daughter. So, the weekend ahead is a little up in the air, as these things sometimes spread like wildfire. Cross your fingers for us, and I hope you all are healthy! Just a few links to kick off your weekend:
Throw Your Children’s Art Away – The Atlantic
One of the things I struggle with most when it comes to keeping my home organized is the deluge of paper. I felt this even before kids, but it’s seriously out of control now. My decision-making can’t keep up with their art and schoolwork production–and though I eventually do it, I always feel a little guilty throwing things away. I love the perspective of viewing the pride and achievement as ephemeral–as is the nature of childhood itself:
There’s a moment when a child first presents you with their art, holding it out with the last split second of attention they can muster after completing it. That moment contains a burst of pride on both your parts, and a frisson of mutual love. But in the end, your pride lasts longer than the child’s does. Eventually, and soon, it must move on to another venture. Theirs always does, but yours lingers, heartstrings tugged.
Top 10 Real-Life Monsters in Fiction – The Guardian
This was a fascinating list to read, though I’m not sure I could actually stomach reading most of these books, knowing the “monsters” were real. I love a good fictionalization of real-life events–they tend to stick with me more than non-fiction, even when authors take liberties with dialogue and such.
Why I’m Struggling to Explain My Beauty Routine to My 4-Year-Old – The Washington Post
My normal “beauty routine” is extremely pared-down these days (working from home=leggings, ponytail, and no makeup), but I still feel this when my girls ask about the makeup and skincare products in the bathroom. How do you explain these things to your kids?
This Twitter Thread…
…is powerful, and perfectly describes why I find books like The Great Believers so important. Click through to read the whole thing–it’s worth it.
I overheard a young man on the train on the way home today, talking to another young man. Holding hands. In college, I guessed. About that age anyway. Much younger than I am.
— Tucker Shaw (@tucker_shaw) September 18, 2018
On the Blog
12 Novels About Aging and End of Life
Last Year: Top 10 Books on My Fall 2017 Reading List – I managed to read all but one of the books that were on my list!
I loved The Great Believers…so good! But, I have a funny relationship with books described as important…that automatically makes me think it’s something I “have” to read to understand some issue (usually political) and almost takes the joy out of it for me.
But, first and foremost to me, is that Great Believers is an engrossing story about characters I cared deeply about and about the issues they faced in their lives. The “important” part of the book felt organic to the characters’ stories and that’s why the book worked for me.
Ha–I totally get your gut rejection of something you “should” read. I actually think I have a similar reaction to things that some people deem “political” but that I feel are simply “human”–like The Great Believers. I think there are people who would feel like this book is pushing a political agenda, whereas I feel like it’s telling a human story that was rejected at the time, and then pretty quickly forgotten by the world at large. I think it’s in that sense that I would apply the word “important” to a book, but I realize that media and politics often uses it differently, so it can definitely be loaded. And I’m not one who likes to attach obligation to books 🙂 Thanks for bringing it up, because it’s something I hadn’t given much thought to before!