Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Salon: Epic Fantasy and Children's Books

Musing for this week's Sunday Salon.

This summer, blogging (and most other things, like dish-washing) has fallen by the way side due to taking two intense courses.  The one that was intense because it was crammed into one month is over (I finished it with a 97%; "Hermionie Granger", anyone?) and the one that is intense because of the amount of reading is still on-going.  It's a lovely course, though, about what makes good children's literature.  I am LOVING this class.  Many of the books assigned, I had read at least once before, and I've also discovered some fantastic books that were new to me. 

Each Little Bird that Sings, for example, was incredible.  Once we're done studying it, I'll post a review.  Another one that has knocked my socks off is Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind.  I'm writing my literary analysis on this one, and once I'm finished with it, will write a review.  I've been introduced to some wonderful picture books and easy readers (Mo Willems has become a favorite with my private therapy student and I) and over all the class has been a joy.  How wonderful it is to be able to discuss books with someone else that loves them as passionately as I do (aside from my husband, mother, Sarah and Deb, that is).  Of course, the class is peopled with students who don't care and even a few who strongly dislike having a Hermione Granger in their class.  I'm trying to grow a thicker skin.  You'd think, being nearly 40, I could manage to care less about the people around me than I did as I as undergrad all those years ago.  I blame it on the Asperger's, that need to be liked.  But I digress, and it is still a fantastic class regardless of the people in it.  (And I'm the only one with a 100% average after six papers and a midterm. . . Overachieve much?)

YA and juvie books are regular reads for me, but I needed a little break from them, since I'm getting so many in my class.  I picked up Dune, as I mentioned here, and boy am I glad I did!  What a gripping epic thus far!  I know it's sci fi, but it reads like an epic fantasy to me and I'm enthralled.  I'm still behind in the reading group, but I don't feel any pressure.  It's fun to know I'll have interesting questions to address when I get there.

On the way home tonight, I heard an interesting interview with George R. R. Martin.  I became totally entranced in the idea of his series.  I've got a Game of Thrones on Kindle now, and it's going  to be my  next book to read, after Dune.  Guess I'm in an epic fantasy kinda mood.


  1. I've heard amazing things about Game of Thrones! I want to read the series so bad. And I've heard good things about Dune as well.

    I go through cycles of genres that I'm into. Right now, I've been in a young adult kinda mood, but I think that might change when I get through my next two books :]

  2. I love YA books, too! Have you read Make Lemonade by Virginia Euer Wolff? I'll be reviewing it soon; it is one of the best YA books I've read.

  3. Children's picture books are the best! Thanks for sharing thoughts on Shabanu; I have it on my shelf.

    Here's my Sunday Salon: In Which I Travel to Bhutan and the North Pole, with a Stop at a Convenience Store in Brooklyn. I hope you will stop by. Also, don't forget to enter my July Giveaway.

  4. Can't wait to hear the reviews of those books. Sounds like a great class. I just finished the first book in Martin's series and it's really wonderful. I read Dune when I was very young, and probably most of it went right past me. Maybe I should go back.