Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Book Friday Catch-Up Post

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my future children.
This isn’t a new thing for me. I’ve thought about these kids – who, at this stage, may not even come to pass – an awful lot in the last few years. Prior to these years, I was going to be one of those High Flying Career Women Who Had A Husband For Fun.
I can’t quite explain it, but suddenly that changed, and I – rather than dwelling on a fast-paced law career where I connected the dots somehow and became the PM of our illustrious nation – began thinking about the young little munchkins I would hopefully raise.
I’m not saying this has been thought through properly. I know there are many moments that I don’t want to consider, that my mind puts a big red cross over and then distracts me with flowers in the opposite direction. Lack of sleep, being responsible for cleaning someone else’s bodily fluids, dealing with someone as stubborn as myself but in a smaller, sugar-crazed form…
Never mind all that! (Somewhere in the future, Mother Tash wishes she could just ‘never mind all that’.)
So in my ideal world, Emmeline and Mella and Jason and Dominic (future husband please let me have my way?) will be lovely, obedient children (ha!) and will read (knowing my luck, also ha!).
And without further ado, the list of Books I Will Make My Children Read* **!
In no particular order, por supuesto, because I can never choose.

Harry Potter Series

Ideally, I’d like my children to develop a sound character. To learn that they can do many things, despite their age, and while they may not accomplish them first time round, they’ll get there in the end. That we do have choices in life, and that they do matter. That friendship and love is more important than anything in the world. As an interesting article pointed out, even the best of people still are flawed. That you can’t live life alone (as appealing as it seems sometimes) – community is needed to survive.
Charles Coulson said the following of Harry, Ron, Hermione – oh, and Hogwarts in general: “[they] develop courage, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice for one another. Not bad lessons in a self centred world.”
The characters operate out of love, on the whole. I want my kids to be learning that.
Also, these pictures sum up the main reasons why I’ll encourage my daughters to read this over Twilight. (Any copies of Twilight found in my home will be ceremonially burned in the backyard while I solemnly read from Reasoning With Vampires.)

The Bible

If I teach my children nothing else in life than that Jesus died for them, I count that as a life win. I very much hope that they learn this message – my gosh, it’s done heaps for me and still continues to every time I make a step in this world.

Pride and Prejudice

Yes, I’m a sucker for Mr Darcy. I don’t know if I’ll make my sons read this. I’ll certainly persuade them to as much as I can.
“Guys, Mr Darcy is suave. Suave, I say. Now, it’s probably not best to go insulting everything about the girl you’re interested in, only to follow it up with a proposal. That wasn’t a shining moment. But hey! He doesn’t have a wife in the attic! And that, dear sons of mine, is something you must never have either.”
“Why does everyone mention a lake scene?”
“I ask myself the same question every time I’m confronted with Colin Firth.”


I will get them to read this and swoon at the quality of writing. (Chances are I’ll be the only one swooning.)
“Just remember. Briony is a fool. A FOOL I SAY.”
“… yes, Mum… Mum put that pen down stop holding it in such a threatening way why are your eyes twitching?”

Pablo Neruda Completed Works
I hope that when I'm a successful author, I get an
author picture as cool as this one.
“This is your heritage. You must learn it, or else my Tata will come back and haunt us. I don’t want that, you don’t want that, so we read Neruda.”
“Is that the only reason?”
“Well, he’s amazing… but yes. I’m very frightened of his ghost.”

The House of the Scorpion

I’ve just looked over all the book posts I’ve done. How has this not made the list? Regardless, my kids need to read this book. It’s Mary Shelley for the youth of today. This coming Book Friday – I am reviewing this book, gosh darn it, even though it’s a few years old.
Right. Kids. Um.
 “There are clones, there are eejits, there are people and there are masses of technology living alongside masses of opium. Not only that, Opium is the country’s name. Oh yeah. That border between the US and Mexico? Extended to form a country whose primary export is – sing it with me – opium. And the US government promise they won’t haul in the higher powers to investigate, so long as Opium (or Matteo Alacran) takes care of the illegal immigrant problem. Which he does, by lobotomizing them, inserting a computer chip into their brains, and setting them to work on his farm. Eejits. Isn’t that awesome?”
“… where on earth do you find these books?”

Animal Farm

“We’re seriously reading a book about the Russian Revolution?”
“Yes. And you had better love it.”
“… but, Mum. I’m learning about this in history. It’s boring.”
“Hush. This has animals. See the difference?”

Taming of the Shrew

“This is Shakespeare’s best play. EVER.”
“Macbeth was way cooler. They cut off his head. And Lady Macbeth threw herself off a building.”
“G – guys, no. I get that it’s cool. But this is hilarious in all ways.”
“And then when they cut off his head they speared it on a stick and rode around his castle with it.”
“He does.”
“… Wait. How do you guys even know about Polanski? People my age aren’t supposed to know about Polanski!”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

[closes book] “What have we learned?”
“You can write a whole lot of messed up stuff when on drugs?”
“… well, yes. That’s a primary point. Don’t do drugs.”


“So remember House of the Scorpion and all that?”
“That one was cooler. Why did he even decide to make a person out of dead people?”
“He was an idiot wanting to play God… but mainly, he was an idiot.”
“What I want to know is why on earth he said no to the Monster about the ‘make me a woman and stat’ concept. I mean, all his family died because he said no. Who does that?”
“Like I said, man was an idiot.”

Looking for Alibrandi

“What’s the HSC?”
“A week spent in the nether regions of exam hell, essentially. Be glad you never have to do anything like that, ever.”

How I Live Now

“Isn’t Edmund her cousin?”
“He was.”
“Is it okay because they’re English and American?”
“I… don’t really know. You guys know that’s not the point to this book, right? It’s love conquers all and that no matter who you are, you can do stuff...”
“Seriously, Mum. The cousin thing is slightly more prominent than that. Also, Edmund’s an absolute wuss.”
“Things that cannot be denied…”

 * Chances are, my children will not listen to me.
 ** Regardless of this, I imagine us sitting in Neil Gaiman's library, quietly reading. For some reason we're also all wearing Hogwarts uniforms. I may be imagining a scene from Harry Potter... 

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