Metafictional madness, snarky reimagined classics, time-traveling historians, lots of classic mysteries, and more new books to start the New Year.
Lots of spring break movies, a new citizen science project, better-late-than-never obituaries for women, and more stuff we like.
Book or movie? With so many Christie adaptations and books to choose from, we’ve rounded up the cinematic cream of the crop and the stories that give the most mystery mileage.
The summer issue is coming together, and—as usual!—I think it's kind of awesome.
around the web
Love this: How historians can become activists
A really excellent guide to what makes a great children’s science book
Relevant to my interests: Behind the scenes at the National Spelling Bee
I bet anyone who read this piece about spies and knitting could have guessed that it would end up in my favorite links
on the blog: I’m talking about our (mostly successful) first year homeschooling high school
also on the blog: We tried doing the Book Deal of the Day on the blog, but people seemed pretty split on whether they liked it, so we are keeping all the book deals on the book deal page.
Suzanne is giving me a major inferiority complex with her Library Chicken success lately. I have been making a dent in my graphic novel/comics reading list because I’m working on a round-up for the summer issue. Highlights so far: Berlin (about the politics and problems of Weimar Berlin in the years leading up to the Nazis), Hark a Vagrant (thank you, Suzanne, for introducing me to the ultimate book nerd comic), Zita the Space Girl (feminist-y sci-fi!), and The Last Unicorn (which may be partly because of the sheer nostalgia factor). Do you have a fave graphic novel I should be sure to check out?
In my continuing effort to pick up books outside my comfort zone, I’m reading In the Garden of Iden, which I apparently put on my holds list at some point. (I sometimes log into my library account after a couple of glasses of wine, which is probably not a good idea but which has brought some interesting books into my life.) This book is technically sci-fi, about a cyborg botanist who travels to Elizabethan England to rescue specific plants from extinction, but it’s really gorgeous historical fiction plus star-crossed love story, and I’m totally okay with that.
My son and I are diving into biographies this summer, starting with Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix, which is one of the coolest picture book biographies I’ve discovered. This one corresponds nicely with our cooking shows obsession. (Next up: Creekfinding: A True Story, which is a biography of an ecosystem rather than a person.)
We’ve been cooped up for a couple of weeks with some yucky health stuff, so we’ve been binging obscene amounts of television. The kids discovered Malcolm in the Middle, which I missed when it was actually on but which is pretty fun to watch on Netflix.
I’m knitting up a few shawl-y things to keep me warm in the classroom this fall, and I think I’m going to start with this super-snuggly one.
Everyone is talking about Wonder Woman (and fair enough—it’s about time!), but I’m already counting down to the new Murder on the Orient Express. (You should watch the trailer just for Kenneth Branagh’s spectacular mustache.)
AMY SHARONY is the founder and editor-in-chief of home | school | life magazine. She's a pretty nice person until someone starts pluralizing things with apostrophes, but then all bets are off.
It’s that time again! Here’s a little inspiration to help you Little-Engine-That-Could your way through this Monday.
3 fun things to do this week
Have an Ingrid Bergman movie marathon this weekend to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the actress’ birthday. I recommend Casablanca,Gaslight, and Murder on the Orient Express, but you could make a case for For Whom the Bell Tolls,The Bells of St. Mary’s,Joan of Arc, and Anastasia, too. (Oooh, and make this popcorn!)
Monday is Vesuvius Day, in remembrance of the C.E. 79 eruption of the Italian volcano. What better way to commemorate the occasion than by taking a virtual tour of the city of Pompeii?
Enjoy the end-of-summer weather by setting off DIY chalk rockets.
3 ideas for this week’s dinners
This green rice salad with nectarines and corn is so imaginative and summer-fresh that no one will notice you are serving grilled chicken yet again.
It’s a shame not to be eating tomatoes every minute you can this time of year, so make an heirloom tomato galette.
Cobb salad sandwiches come together fast — and you can prep all the ingredients in advance so that no last-minute cooking is required.
one great readaloud
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans tells the story of the hurricane that flooded 80 percent of New Orleans — ten years ago this weekend.