vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
I have a son now.

This is mostly good. Except for the poop, puke, and pee. And the lack of language. And the lack of sleep. So maybe... it's good in a few years... And mostly potential today? Yes. That feels right.

But that's not what I'm posting about. I'm trying to find books to read to my boy - name of M - that weren't written in the 1920-1960 era. It can be picture books or chapter books; we read news to him, or textbooks, or essays, or the Wind in the Willows. He's quite young, so we've not gotten too fiddly about Age Appropriate Books.
 

I don't want my boy growing up to be locked into early 20th century norms
 Things like mom staying home. Things like boys and girls needing to fight. Things like everyone everywhere being white. Things like idolizing That Real Country Life. I grew up with that, and by and large I've had to break out of that. It's got its place, but it needs to be locates in the past where it belongs. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn aren't good to read anymore when too young, because black people were treated real bad. M doesn't need to absorb those prejudices before he can question the text.

M should be reading - or have read to - books where brown people are heros. Where girls are fierce fighters.  Where Mom works. Where urban life is fun and enjoyable.  We will hit the racist ruralist ideolgies soon enough, and that's something I hope we can work through in literature before we do in real life.


I don't want to build a baby activist - that's on M to choose - but I want his early books to reflect the world we live in - Seattle 2017. Or NYC. Or Boston. Or Portland, OR. Or San Francisco.

Book recommendations requested!
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
I am a low-brow entertainment reader. I do things like read Jim Butcher, buy barely-readable 60s sf/fantasy from the used bookstores, find Asminov to be vaguely poncy, and generally read ridiculous fiction. And love it. :-)

So I'm sick, which DEFINITELY MEANS that I get to read low-brow hijinks while I loaf around and cough. I have found out that Illona Andrews is a not-too-bad urban fantasy writer. Some might call it paranormal romance, but I wouldn't (yet?). It's less "romance" than, say, Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series. Which I have been known to enjoy as well.

Ha. I will read a book before bed. BECAUSE I CAN.
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
History buffs may find this interesting.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/150-years-of-misunderstanding-the-civil-war/277022/

Over the last year I've been reading more American history, particularly about the Colonial era and the Revolutionary era. I need to finish off my reads there and then I plan to move onto the Civil War.


I had an excellent US history course in my home school high school days, and I still feel that my understanding of pre-1900s US is tremendously lacking. It's not just the wars/presidents, it's the social forces that produced the wars/presidents. I think of history as a Great River, where things swell and die down nearly irrespective of a given human being (rare exceptions notwithstanding). And that's sort of my interest; the society and culture surrounding the timepoints. And I don't understand the antebellum US.

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