Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hummingbirds! (and book recommendations)

After months of mentioning how much I love my hummingbird visitors, I finally managed to capture some decent pictures of them. Since Brett was here this weekend I borrowed his camera and snapped more than a few pictures of my feathered friends. Here are a few:

I also want to mention a few books that I read recently that I think are amazing. The first is The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant. You can read more about it here. Since I'm lazy, here is a summary of the book via Amazon (thanks, Amazon!): 
"The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery."
The best quote I have read to sum it up comes from Gail Hudson, one of the editors at Amazon, who writes, "Remembering women's earthy stories and passionate history is indeed the theme of this magnificent book. In fact, it's been said that The Red Tent is what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters, instead of her sons."

Bottom line: I love, love, love this book! I borrowed it from the church library last week, but I will definitely be borrowing it to add to my own collection. 

Another book in the same vein is The Witch of Cologne. Although this book, which was written by Tobsha Learner, lacks the same biblical backbone that The Red Tent has, it carries the same theme throughout: the mysteries surrounding women, their gifts, and their relationships. It also has some really neat references to old-school midwifery practices. And we all know I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. I'm still finishing this one. 
Finally, Brett and I visited this new book store that just opened near us. It carries old and new books, and is organized in such a way that it's easy to find what you're looking for. For anyone reading this that is familiar with the area, it's located next to Thai Pepper, at the intersection of Russell Parkway and Carl Vinsson. Brett found some nerdy Star Wars (maybe Star Trek??) books he was looking for, while I contributed to my stash of kids' books. I love books and the memories I associate with the first (or maybe millionth time) I've read each one. In fact, I think books are so important that I am collecting a considerable number of them with the intent of having a large "library" established by the time I have kids. I want my *future* children to be surrounded by amazing books- I can think of few things that are more important to the intellectual development of children than books. Some of the books I picked up yesterday:
- Where the Wild Things Are
- Three books about Laura Ingalls Wilder, including a picture book (not to be confused with the Little House series, which of course I already have)
- Little Grown-Ups
- I Like it When...

What's your favorite children's book?


Jenny said...

There are several I like, because they bring back happy childhood memories. Santaberry and the Snard (obscure), The Beast in the Bathtub, and Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen. My dad also read me Little Critter books all the time. They're cute. We have been stocking up on children's books too, even though Suzi will rip them to shreds and eat them right now. She loves board books, though.

Anonymous said...

One children's book which I often find myself thinking about is The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay. I'm always on the hunt for great children's books and have recently discovered Bayard and their series of StoryBoxBooks, AdventureBoxBooks and DiscoveryBoxBooks (which has a special focus on teeth!) They have work by acclaimed children's books illustrator Helen Oxenbury appearing in the Storybox series for September. In addition to this, they also have some great activities for rainy days:,, Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I don't normally comment on blogs but when you mentioned childrens books, I had to jump in the conversastion! I really love so many children's books. I do have a favorite author, Roald Dahl. Put to the test, he has entertained many third graders. For the past seven years I have read his books to my students and they have been so entertained by him. Most of my nonreaders really get inspired to read his books once I read one to them. Georges Marvelous Medicine and the Magic Finger are some of my favs...

Emily said...

Thanks, everyone, for all the suggestions. I will have to check them all out!