time travel

HSL Book Deal of the Day 5.18.17: Kindred: A Graphic Novel

Wow, wow, wow. OK, all on its own, Kindred—Butler's time-traveling novel in which a black woman in 1970s California is transported through time and space to antebellum Maryland, where she connects with her family's enslaved history, is dark and complicated and brilliant, but this graphic novel adaptation truly does the book justice. This is not an easy book to read—it asks hard questions about slavery, racism, and violence (especially violence against women), and it does not offer easy answers. It should be on your teenager's reading list for sure.

We're highlighting our picks for best book deal of the day on the blog, but you can always find our favorite Kindle book deals here.


Stuff We Like :: 4.21.17

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

Hello, weekend! 

around the web

People used to call me a grammar vigilante because I’d pull over while driving to complain to someone about a pluralizing apostrophe (what is up with that, though?), but this guy totally puts me to shame.

Who’s up for an HSL field trip?

Why do women’s dystopias seem so prescient right now?

I love this: What famous authors’ most used words say about them

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday with some of our favorite film adaptations

one year ago: 4 ways to get your homeschool mornings off to a great start

two years ago: Inside Shelli’s project-based homeschool

 

reading list

I loved The Lost City of Z (which is the kind of twisty, nerdy historical mystery I can’t resist, and which you should definitely read if you’re also into that), so I was excited to pick up David Grann’s new book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.

Continuing my “women writers I’d never heard of” run, I read Rumer Godden’s In This House of Brede, about a successful career woman who retires from the world to join a community of Benedictine nuns just in time to help solve the financial crisis caused by the death of the order’s charismatic Abbess. It's one of those books that you want to go back and read again right away just so that you don’t have to leave the world and people it’s created.

It’s funny to be reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with my son so soon after rereading Huckleberry Finn because I am still full of post-Huck Tom hatred. (Seriously, let’s go drink too much wine and complain about how terrible Tom Sawyer is, can we?) I’m trying to embrace the lighthearted spirit especially because my son is kind of digging it, but I AM NOT A FAN.

 

in the kitchen

I am in the restocking the freezer phase of cooking right now, and I was happy to discover this recipe that uses leftover brisket because I may have gone a little overboard with the brisket this year.

Nobody else in my family will eat this, but that’s okay because I want it all for myself anyway.

Cookie of the week: glazed lemon cookies

 

at home

I am a sucker for time travel and Victoriana, so obviously it was only a matter of time before I watched Time After Time. (If it sounds familiar, it’s because the television series is based on the 1979 movie and has the same premise: Jack the Ripper steals H.G. Wells’ time machine and travels to the present day; Wells follows him to bring him back to face justice for his crimes.) It’s just OK, but it’s fun enough for those collapsed-on-the-couch evenings.

Am I being totally superficial if I say that I have finally found my perfect everyday lipstick?

I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but everything always feels so hectic! I’m looking forward to the winding-down phase of all our school-year activities and the slower-paced summer school days. Though I am not looking forward to the crowds at the library!


More Book-Movie Match-Ups

In almost every issue of home/school/life, we put together a book-movie list to recommend reading to go along with upcoming movies. It's always one of my favorite things to research. Though this list is from spring 2014 (when all these flicks were coming to the big screen), I think it's just as fun now that you can watch them in your living room instead.

Before you see: Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley as a girl whose multiple talents cause big problems in a society where people are sorted according to their strongest characteristic

Read: Divergent by Veronica Roth, the dystopian young adult novel the movie is based on

Why: How else will you be able to nitpick the details changed in the text-to-screen adaptation?

 

Before you see: The Double, in which Jesse Eisenberg’s shy hero finds his life slowly being overtaken by his brasher doppelganger 

Read: The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky, the 1846 novella that inspired the film

Why: There’s plenty of critical controversy about what the Dostoevsky novel is really about, so it will be interesting to see what direction the film takes—and if you agree.

 

Before you see: Noah, Darren Aronofsky’s apocalyptic-style retelling of the Genesis flood story

Read: Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle, a quiet little fantasy that transplants two modern-day Murrys to Noah’s time

Why: Aronofsky is all over the story’s epic details, while L’Engle’s novel touches on deep emotions and philosophical questions.

 

Before you see: X-Men: Days of Future Past, a time-hopping entry into the X-Men universe with an Oscar-worthy cast

Read: Time Machines: Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction by Paul J. Nahin, a terrifically comprehensive examination of time travel in science fiction

Why: Nahin digs deep into the science behind science fiction, so you can intelligently quibble about disrupted timelines.

 

Before you see: Maleficent, in which Angelina Jolie attempts to create a sympathetic backstory for the baby-cursing villainess of Sleeping Beauty

Read: From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers by Marina Warner, a smart exploration of women’s roles in fairy tales and their history

Why: Jolie’s villain’s sympathetic origins can reveal a lot about society’s values and needs—if you know how to look.

 

Before you see: How to Train Your Dragon 2, which flashes forward five years into Hiccup and Toothless’s future

Read: How to Train Your Dragon: How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel by Cressida Cowell, the latest installment in the popular series

Why: Like the Harry Potter series, Cowell’s dragon books have grown increasingly dark and complex as her hero grows up. Will the movies follow suit?

 

Before you see: The Fault in Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as teenagers with cancer who fall in love

Read: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, the heart-warming (and tear-jerking) novel the film is based on

Why: There’s every chance the movie will be excellent, but you are missing out if you don’t read the book, which is so beautifully sad that it can make you cry on the subway. (Ask me how I know.)

This list was originally published in the spring 2014 issue of HSL.


Not-So-New-Books: The Doomsday Book

Doomsday Book
By Connie Willis
 

[I try to keep on top of interesting new books, but there are so many good boos out there, it seems a shame not to revisit some of my favorites now and then, just in case they’ve fallen off your radar and are just what you want for your library list.]

I wanted to come, and if I hadn’t, they would have been all alone, and nobody would have ever known how frightened and brave and irreplaceable they were.

OK, so the premise of Connie Wilkes’ time travel books is absolutely brilliant: In the not-too-distant future, historians must get practical experience by traveling back in time to the period of their concentration. (“You didn’t become an historian by staying safely at home,” one character reminds the worried professor Dunworthy near the beginning of the book.) Most of Willis’ time travel history books take place in the 19th and 20th century, but The Doomsday Book sends history student Kivrin back to the 1300s.

This is a big deal, even for time-hopping Oxford academics. Some time periods are just inherently dangerous, and the Middle Ages—with the plague, disease, lack of general hygiene, bad food, and short life expectancy—are not safe places to travel, especially for a solo young woman. And there are issues with slippage—time travel is notoriously unreliable, and you can’t always be sure you’ll end up exactly when you want to be. But Kivrin is determined to be the first historian-traveler to the Middle Ages, and despite her professor’s concerns, she gets the go-ahead to check out a 1320 Christmas celebration in person.

But things don’t exactly go as planned. Kivrin discovers that she’s landed in 1348, with the Black Death just making its entrance in England. (She’s immunized, but none of the nice people who’ve taken her into their village are.) The big time discrepancy means that getting Kivrin back to her right time will be a challenge—but Dunsworthy is the only one who’s worried about Kivrin because fpresent-day Oxford has been hit by a plague of its own, and the town is quarantined. As Kivrin experiences life in the Middle Ages—realizing how little her years of obsessive research and study have taught her about actually living in medieval times—she faces the possibility that she may live out the rest of her life in 1300s England.

I love this book. Some people criticize the needless and rather boring drama Dunworthy goes through trying to first figure out what’s happened with Kivrin and then how to get her home, but I actually think that’s exactly how bureaucratic organizations tend to operate. (It’s true that Willis didn’t imagine cell phones, which might have sped up some communication, but in general I think all the lags and waiting and missed calls are totally believable.) But the best part of the book is the time travel bit, when we’re with Kivrin in Skendgate. Willis does a great job paining a medieval village as seen through Kivrin’s eyes, first as she grows to understand and know the people who have taken her in and then as she watches, heartbroken, as the plague kills villager after villager, leaving Kivrin alone and far, far from home. 

This is definitely a YA book—when a plague shows up, you know there’s going to be a lot of death, and some of the descriptions of the plague’s effects are pretty gruesome. But I think it would be a terrific accompaniment to a medieval history class or just an engaging read for teens who appreciate apocalyptic fiction (what’s more apocalyptic than a good plague?), science-fiction, or good historical fiction.