After I wrote my review of Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy, I was bracing myself. I know that my own little corner of the internet is, shall we say, lightly traveled. But I also know that parenting and raising kids is just about the most controversial topic there is, even worse than religion and politics. I wandered into a Facebook group last weekend promoting breastfeeding, and after reading a few of the discussions, I'd be just as wary of saying "maybe formula's not that bad" in there as I would yelling "Allah sucks!" in downtown Riyadh.
I also know that stuff on parenting has a way of making the rounds, so I was braced for a slew of comments along the lines of "what do you know, wait until you have some of your own." But then the completely unexpected happened.
The author herself showed up to comment!
I confess that I saw the comment last night, but was having such a rotten time at work that I didn't want to open it. What if it was bad? Even though I really liked the book, what if I'd inadvertently said something mean and hurt her feelings? Everyone at work was already blaming me for things that weren't my fault, maybe it would be a bad time to face up to something that really was my fault. Finally, this morning I realized that the comment was coming from a woman who's also known as "America's Worst Mom" and has appeared on Fixed Noise...errr...Fix News...I mean FOX News. So I stopped being so neurotic and opened it.
It was very nice, and Lenore, if you're reading this, it meant a great deal to me that you took the time to come and read my blog. Your emails also mean a lot to me, especially since you liked my Mendelssohn joke! (A recent entry on Lenore's blog was about a middle-school teacher who lost his job for making a mildly off-color, off-hand remark. I related the off-color joke my music teacher told me at the same age, also how mature it made me feel that an adult felt that I could handle a joke with a dirty word in it.)
Non-depressing historical fiction (that doesn't suck) can be a tall order. If you're in the mood for a bit of a project, I'd check out either Mary, called Magdalene or Helen of Troy both by Margaret George. If not, Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas, is uplifting but has enough historical background in it to keep it from being mere fluff. When We Were Gods, by Colin Falconer, is all about Cleopatra and was very good too. Apologies for not being able to come up with anything a bit more modern, but all the ones I could remember that were set in more modern times were either a. depressing, b. crap, or c. depressing crap.
Thanks again for stopping by! Everyone should stop by Lenore's blog too. It's very interesting, and even a bit inspiring -- I, for one, am determined to become a foot soldier in the War on Halloween, and come up with something so spooky and fun for next year that the kids will still remember it when they're my age!