neal stephenson

Book Nerd: Library Chicken Weekly Scoreboard (9.12.17)

Book Nerd: Library Chicken Weekly Scoreboard (9.12.17)

Lots of Transcendentalists, why does no one talk about how terrible Bronson Alcott is, Suzanne finally reads some Faulker, and more Library Chicken.

Stuff We Like :: 5.5.17

home|school|life’s Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources. 

You know how some weeks, it's like "Wow, is it Friday already?" and other weeks, it's more like, "Holy cow, I cannot believe we actually made it to Friday." Yeah, this is the latter. :)

around the web

Because food doesn't have to look good on Instagram to taste good.

I am now completely obsessed with the Chicago squirrel class divide.

Relevant to our interests: Death Made Material: The Hair Jewelry of The Brontës (If you’re not yet obsessed with the Brontes, Suzanne can help you get started.)

If you have the time and the emotional space to read this essay, it is worth your time. It’s a really lovely, nuanced account by the mom of a child with a rare chromosomal deletion but also about the things society expects of women and mothers, the challenges and rewards of motherhood, ideas about what it means to be healthy and normal—it’s just a good read, and it made me cry a little but the good crying.

Stephen Fry + The Hitchhiker's Guide + free audiobook!


at home/school/life

on the blog: If you’re interested in my own personal homeschool methods, you can read all about how we put together 3rd grade this year

one year ago: This house is a mess!

two years ago: Living and learning on wilderness time


reading list

Suzanne warned me, but how could I not take a chance on the newest Connie Willis? As usual, she was right: There were some great moments in Crosstalk, but it was overall kind of meh (and the plot holes—ugh!) and just not what I want from a Connie Willis novel. So maybe the moral here is that I should listen to Suzanne?

I finished Seveneves, part of my quest to read more genre books that aren’t Katie Fforde romances. (Though I do have Second Thyme Around going in the upstairs bath.) I loved the idea: The moon explodes, effectively ending life on Earth but leaving just enough time for the planet to secure humanity’s future on the International Space Station. Everyone’s scrambling to science and politic their way to a successful survival of the species, and there are lots of technical and personal challenges that threaten the project. I really enjoyed this part, the apocalyptic part. The second part of the book—set roughly 5,000 years later when the Earth becomes habitable again—was less satisfying, a problem that I often run into with sci-fi stories in general and with Stephenson in particular. There’s this great idea, and it gets set up brilliantly, but then it’s like the author’s not totally sure what to do with said great idea. Overall, it was a fun read.

I also finally read Among Others by Jo Watson, who wrote my favorite dragon comedy of manners. It is not so much a story with a plot as it is a love letter to books (especially science-fiction books), and it was weird (there’s magic—well, kind of, probably anyway) and lonely (the heroine ends up separated from her family at an English boarding school where she really doesn’t fit in) and full of references to so many wonderful books. I’m coming down firmly on the side of being a fan, though I can appreciate that it might not be for everyone.


in the kitchen 

My favorite weekend dinner is a bunch of different appetizers from our Chinese/Thai delivery joint, but when I want to feel particularly virtuous, I add something homemade to the mix, like these salmon and egg wraps.

These baked sweet potatoes are the perfect easy dinner. (I like them with a big spinach salad.)

Cookie of the week: molasses cookies (better with ice cream)


at home

I think no one will be surprised that I CANNOT WAIT to watch Victorian Slum House.

I’ve been knitting a bunch of these to give as holiday presents this year. 

Our outside classes are almost done for summer! I am looking forward to logging some poolside summer reading time in the very near future.