Super Chunk

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what I’m reading, and what I’m not reading

July 19th, 2007 · 1 Comment

In reverse order: although I feel I should be rereading the first six Harry Potter books in anticipation of The Big Day (and, let me tell you, the fragmentation of my reading time is going to be HARD — these kids were just two when the last book came out), I am not. I have determined to read HP7, then reread the series all in a swoop. I forgot to factor this into my knitting time.

I have The Omnivore’s Dilemma out of the library right now, and there’s a waiting list (so no renewals). I think it’s due in a week. I am never going to finish, but MAN this is a book that grabs you. The premise is that the author traces four meals from seed to table (or, in one case, to the car in which it’s eaten). I am just in the first section, which is about a fast-food meal, number two seed corn grown for the military-industrial complex, agribusiness, and factory farms. It’s rather a dramatic shriek of outrage at everything that’s broken in the American system of foods and farming. Of course, this author has a bias and a message — it’s possible it’s a little overblown — but it does seem to be reasonably factual, and I tend to lean in the direction of that message myself. So I’m thinking about smaller footprints and Actual Food and what I can do to change things in my own life. I’m not very good at telling people what to do, but I’m perfectly comfortable being an example. And then we watched An Inconvenient Truth last night, which is more of the same. (Holy crap, by the way.)

To return to Harry Potter for a moment: This yarn dyer (Abby, evidently — she was linked from a knitblog that I read, and she does lovely work from the pictures I’ve seen) mentions that she is apathetic about the whole phenomenon and lists a number of other fantasy options for middle-grade readers:

As far as young adult fantasy is concerned, I don’t feel Harry Potter has the oomph of a number of other books I read between ages, oh, 8-14. A partial list would include The Chronicles of Prydain, Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising series, Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, Earthsea, Pern, Aahz and Skeeve, or slews and slews of Alan Dean Foster books. And that’s not even getting into the science fiction side of things!

I haven’t read Alan Dean Foster or Aahz and Skeeve, but all the others are spot-on. I also liked the John Bellairs books, which trend toward horror, a LOT.  My nephew is reading Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, which I also enjoyed at his age — though they are quite a bit lighter than most of those listed above, not really Serious Fiction at all.  What else would you recommend to a youngish reader who enjoys HP and maybe doesn’t know where to go next?

Tags: daily · words

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Cat // Jul 20, 2007 at 8:19 am

    Nicholas has started something called the Edge chronicles, and he really likes them, but I haven’t read them. And Warriors, a series that stars a bunch of humanistic cats. The last one, I know, was called Dawn. He eats them, but that might also be due to his love of feline anything. And I remember when I was young, a series I think had something to do with shape shifters, where this whole tribe of people each had an animal they shifted into. It may have been by one of those Hickmans, Tracy perhaps? I haven’t had any luck finding them in present print.

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