Sunday, January 27, 2013

{Project 101: Weekly Library Challenge} Week #2: Feeling A Little Frenchy!

Last week, I decided to start Project 101 in honor of the 101st birthday of our library, the County of Los Angeles Public Library. I will be writing about 2 books each week that we are currently reading. 1 book will be a library book that the boys are loving and the other will be a peek into what I am reading. Last week, it was Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama, which Wild Thing was really drawn to, and I had just finished a re-reading of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Now on to this week where my kid pick and adult pick are connected, loosely, by France. 

Wild Thing (my 3 year-old son) picked Madeline's Tea Party out at the library the last time he went with me. I was a bit surprised and almost told him to pick something else - thinking that a girl book about a tea party was not something that would interest him. Thankfully, I stopped myself. I realized that having him select a different book would do two things: 1) send the message to him that I do not think him capable of selecting a book for himself and 2) assert specific gender stereotypes on him and separate him from reading a book with a strong female lead as a character. Once home with the book, I was glad, again, that I had not suggested he choose another book because he loves the book and it has such a valuable message as Madeline goes and shares a piece of a cake with a boy even though he has ruined her party and acted like a major brat. She chooses kindness. She chooses empathy. These are traits I want my son to have. And, I am glad that he can relate and engage with a female character, just as much as a male character or as his beloved Thomas the Train or Lightning McQueen. (Plus, the book is set in Paris, so that allows for some discovery fun with our map -- which we both love).

As for me, what I have been reading also has a bit of a Parisian connection. I am almost finished with Julie and Julia. People tend to love or hate this book, and I understand how some people struggle with Julie Powell's writing style and tendency toward some crassness. However, as both a blogger and someone who loves to cook, I find many aspects of the book relate-able  and endearing. Plus, I like the snippets of Julia Child's life that are sprinkled in. I highly recommend A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS by Jennet Conant, which I read this summer, to anyone who is interested in Julia Child and in the intrigue of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, U.S. Intelligence Agency formed during World War II). Also, the backdrop of rebuilding at ground zero that is sprinkled throughout Julie and Julia is interesting as well. I must say, even though I love cooking and can commend the massive undertaking of Julie to cook her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, there has not been a French recipe yet discussed in the book that I am remotely interested in attempting -- they all seem too intimidating, especially since we have no dishwasher and many of the recipes seem to use several cooking vessels. Maybe when the boys are older...However, it has got me thinking of spending the year working my way through the ABCs of Montessori from Living Montessori Now...


Anyway, how about you? What is on your bedside table? What book has/have your child(ren) discovered at the library? Or, any weekly (or yearly) challenges tugging at your sleeve? Please comment, share, let me know. I am also looking for books to add to our library list and love hearing from readers - you can share in the comments or at The Good Long Road on Facebook. 

More books we love (with activities to go with them...)

4 Ways to Learn + Play
Fun w/Duck! Rabbit!
Storytelling Board



  1. I haven't read the book Julie and Julia but I have seen the film version, and I enjoyed that.

    Thanks so much for linking up :)

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

  2. I would love to see you work your way through the ABCs of Montessori!

    I need to read both Julia Child books, someday. I saw the movie from Julie's book.

    I'm reading and really enjoying "How Will You Measure Your Life" by Clayton Christensen. I recently finished "Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys" by Daniel Kindlon and Michael Thompson. All Boston-based authors - hmm... The kids' current favorite book is "Zero" by Kathryn Otoshi.

  3. I'm reading some John Grisham for fun myself. My school age son has discovered Matt Christopher's sports novels. The toddler loves Llama Llama Nighty Night, any train books, Bob the Builder Valentine's Day lift the flap, and his books about tractors.