Monday, September 11, 2006

the book thing

I've seen this floating around for a bit, then Audrey didn't not tag me, and I've wondered whether or not I was going to ignore it. I tend sometimes to kind of forget books to some extent because I tend to speed through them fairly quickly. I do often reread books that stick in my mind though, so I end up getting it in the end it seems.

So on with the questions. It's all about books.

A book that changed my life:
Probably the best book in this category would be The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Yes it's funny and not to be taken at all seriously. It was one of the first books that I read that wasn't a western or a Hardy Boys book. I read it around the time I would have started driving meaning that I could get to library at my will and find more and more books that wouldn't usually have gotten through the parental filters. This book gave me an idea of scale in which we as humans weren't the center of the universe. The possibility that there could be so much more than I had ever imagine really opened my eyes to how small my own world was up to that point.

A book I would take on a desert island:
This one is a hard one because it's hard for me to just answer. I have too many questions, from how am I getting stuck on this island to would I know where this island is. I'd want to think of some book that would aid me in surviving on that island, but what book exists to tell you how to live on a dessert island? If I had to take a nonfiction book, I might pick a Mark Helprin. His work really transports me into the world of his characters. For this I might pick A Soldier in the Great War, though I've read it once, but I might find one I haven't read yet.

A book that made me laugh:
I have to revisit The Hitchhiker's Guide again. Having read certain books from the trilogy numerous times, and all of it mulitple times, I still laugh as I reread it every couple of years.

A book that made me cry:
It takes a good bit to get me to cry, the closest I get being a little chokey. I recently reread To Kill a Mockingbird. There are plenty of unhappy moments in this book, but Dill's reaction at the end of the trial kills me every time. His childlike inability to understand the evil that humans can do to each other is so sad. It also serves to illuminate in my own mind that I still don't understand the evil that we are all capable of.

A book that I wish had been written:
If only there had been some book back in the dark ages that highlighted to people that we are all the same, regardless of how we look or where we are from, we are all more alike than not. Too many of the horrors of human history seem to revolve all too often around perceived differences with no basis in reality.

A book that I wish had never been written:
I'm not sure what to think about this question. There are plenty of books that have led people to commit seriously vile actions, and too many of these books have been misused for these purposes. Their are likely books that have been used exactly as they were intended and have led people to do evil. I suppose if nothing else these books could give us an insight into evil.

A book I've been meaning to read:
Not really sure I have one. Generally, if I learn of a book that interests me I find a way to read it. I'm sure immediately after posting this, I'll think of the book that fits this question, but I really can't think of it.

I'm currently reading:
While at the library recently, I picked my usual armload of books from the kids section. We have several Chris Van Allsburg books as well as one written and illustrated by Tim Eagan, a writer suggested to us by a homeschooling friend. On the way to check out, I decided to grab a moment at the new releases, located about ten to twenty feet from the checkout desk. I immediately noticed a Neil Gaiman book. I'm not familiar with his work though I've long known of it. When I had comic book money I just never bothered with his stuff. I've known he's branched out from comics, and I've finally picked up one of his books, Anansi Boys. I've enjoyed it so far, but I'm only about three chapters in, so I haven't yet quite formed an opinion yet.

That's my list. I'm not personally comfortable with tagging others. I know it's done and is okay, but like wearing white shoes, I just can't get myself to do it. Don't ask why, 'cuz I don't know.

interesting reading on sleep and children

One of the Science Bloggers I find myself reading more often than many others has written some posts concerning sleep. This isn't a subject I'd ever really given a lot of thought, especially as he relates it to school performance as well as general safety issues. Read his blog posts that got me thinking here and here.

I won't even approach his scientific discussion beyond mentioning that humans go through phases in regards to their sleep, happening loosely around adolescence, teen (high school) years and then adulthood, around 30 years old, at which point we settle into our adult sleep patterns. From reading his posts, I would say I'm an owl in that I tend to fall asleep and wake up later. I'd always assumed this was due to jobs I'd chosen, but perhaps it's more that I chose jobs that corresponded with my basic circadian rhythm. Working in restaurants I've always felt that, in the end, it's the business that does the picking, but that's another post. In addition to owls there are also larks, people who tend to fall asleep and wake up earlier, and what he calls the median, self explanatory in meaning. I remember years of thinking that I didn't sleep because I would toss and turn in bed for hours before getting to sleep. I was also difficult to wake up in time for school.

I certainly believe that school starts too early. If I were creating a public school system, early mornings would certainly be out from the very beginning. I would say honestly that a part of our homeschooling decision was based on the timing in general of school, from the early mornings to the forced late nights. The early start certainly wasn't a huge factor in the decision, so perhaps it's more a huge residual benefit.