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Comments

Allegra

Just read His Dark Materials trilogy, and boy do I wish there was more - I'd gladly give it as much time as I could.

Adam

Man, I wish I could those Saved by the Bell hours back too...what a time suck! Especially the College Years show...God that one was awful!

And while I don't share your dislike of Harry Potter, I am reading the His Dark Materials trilogy right now, and it's some of the best fiction I've read in years. And Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is next on my reading list.

I do feel your pain over the scarf though, that's dedication to stick with something that long for charity knitting!

Stella

Thank you for this post. I've been spending a lot of time on frustrating but totally non-regrettable pursuits lately, and it's good to remember that they are just that.

I'm about halfway there with you on Harry Potter. For all their many flaws, I love those books and will probably find myself at Powell's at some point on Saturday. I also just don't think you can blame the decline in literacy and readership so squarely on Harry as that article's author would like.

But I agree in general that the monomaniacal focus on this one series is seriously unmerited, and in specific that His Dark Materials is far, far superior. I also just started Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell last week and am already very smitten.


connie

Thanks for that great link. I do read the Harry Potter books, but I see them as the literary version of Full House - a guilty, frothy pleasure.

But I totally hear you on bemoaning time wasted. If I were to tally everything up - ugh! And that's not even counting the 6 1/2 years I spent in grad school!

Haley

as always, an entertaining and heartful post. thanks! will add your suggestions to my list of books to check out at the library. hope you're currently spending your time in a way that makes you happy.

Heather

What a great post. I might have to copy it, if you don't mind.

Christy / Not Hip

I had read the article when I saw your picture on Flickr. (Although, I am jealous of your print copy of the Wash Post. Definitely one thing that I miss be able to get.) I found it interesting, as I have been thinking lately about how few novels I read now. Although, I have to blame mine on knitting. Since I took it up, my reading hobby has seriously declined. I am Potter fan (At least of the first four, I kind of slogged through the last two). However, I have never read His Dark Materials. In fact, I had never heard of it until recently. (Growing up in a conservative religious school, I'm pretty sure it was hidden until recently.) It will have to be next on my list.

Heather

I share your lack of enthusiasm for the Potter phenom.

I cannot believe how much time I've wasted worrying about ridiculous situations, like in high school when I thought I was fat because I weighed 121 and if I could only get down to 114...pathetic!

Ashley

now look, you know (or I hope you know) I love His Dark Materials & Jonathan Strange 87000 times more than Harry Potter, but this might be an interesting counterpoint to the article you've linked (it's a PDF): www.thecommonreview.org/fileadmin/template/tcr/pdf/berube61.pdf

Made me more sympathetic to the whole Potter phenomenon, and to Michael Berube, with whom I have Issues.

Ashley

Oh, crap, the whole link didn't come through. Here it is:
www.thecommonreview.org/
fileadmin/template/tcr/
pdf/berube61.pdf

Kelly

Another vote for Phillip Pullman here.

The scarf may be hiding the baby belly - but the belly is hiding - Septimus Heap?

And the book the Post author closes with - Peter Behrens' Law of Dreams - is stunning.

(I miss the Post, too. Reading it on line isn't the same.)

Lisa

I just put your two recommendations on reserve at the library. I'm game for any book that comes so highly recommended.

I enjoyed the article's perspective, though I don't think HP can be totally to blame for a literacy decline.

I am looking forward to HP, but not like I would have been before I started to knit.... :)

Ava

His Dark Materials is sitting upstairs on the dining room table. I had to buy the 3-in-1 as the younger twin loves the book so much and won't relinquish her copies for me to read. The older twin has read the whole Harry Potter series over and over and over again to the point where it drives me insane (and I really enjoyed it).

I have to admit that I admire the commitment for knitting that scarf. Wow! I might have cried during the first repeat.

Daphne

things that happen with one's sister are permanently in the "good" column for some weird reason, even when a great number of them are terrifically frightening. well. the answer may be in that sentence.

xo

reluctantmango

I've been meaning to read His Dark Materials - thanks for the nudge!

What a lovely baby bump! I'm at that awkward 'too big for regular clothes, not yet large enough for maternity' stage... though I'm sure it won't last long!

Mandy

Or, Julie Frick and The Cutest Belly on Earth.

Jill

OMG, you said, B.A. Baracus - HA! That is so funny, I used to have crush on 'Face!' (am I a dork or what?!)

Seriously though, how scary with the drunken soccer players! Yikes

Thanks for this post!
Jill

P.S. Yes! Perfect timing on the scarf - looks great and it will be a big hit for sure!

P.P.S. Your baby lump looks so cute! You look great and I hope you are doing great too!

joy

jonathan strange & mr. norrell? yes, please. i don't really even like sci-fi/fantasy, and loved this book...

Kim

I have a similar vivd memory of my Dad from when I was probably 6 or 7 years old. A cut on my thumb got infected and I remember being in the bathroom wiht my Dad, soaking my thumb in a sinkful of hot salted water and my Dad squeezing the pus out of my thumb. It hurt like a mutha! But it's a story I tell my son when I'm pulling out a splinter or cleaning a scraped knee. It never fails to distract him from his own pain.

Rachael

Oh Jonathan Strange...I think I actually developed a crush on that man when I read that book. It was so good, I was so sad when it was over. I hope she writes more.

Elspeth

It's funny that I love the HP series as much as I do, since really, they are sort of ridiculous. But the strange thing is, one of my fondest memories of living in Egypt is getting the last book- all of us lonely expats huddled around a precious and preciously expensive book. English! God, we were just so hungry for our own language. Nice scarf!

nova

Saved by the Bell, the horror. I want those hours back too. Particularly the ones having to do with summer vacation...I think the Fricklet likes the scarf.

Patty

Thanks for the great post. I myself have begun a summer of motivation after a couple of years of sucking time. My son (16) read each Harry 1-5 twice. As he approached his teens he put the books down and kept his reading to sports and magazines. I've fretted, bought #6,had plans to buy #7 - but so what if he doesn't read them? He's begun to pick up the interest again, through assigned school reading he's discovered Boo and Scout and thought they were great (very surprising to himself)and found Holden Caulfield as uninteresting as I did. He just completed a non-fiction work A Long Way Gone, which his entire school will read and said it was great. There is hope and it can be without Harry!

tiennie

I especially want back the time I wasted worrying about my high school body - a body I wish I still had! This is also exactly why I will never play video games again. I can look up and then there's the hour gone.

Cathi

I've thought about that a bit, and wonder if my children are having those same moments- time wasted. But then again, I read someone talking about how they always need to feel productive (like if I'm watching a movie/tv, I have to be knitting), and I feel like that can be as oppressing as the regret of wasted time.

I liked the article- thanks for sharing the link- and I read a bit in our local paper about the loss of book reviews and such that was the hot topic at Book Expo this year. Although I feel it's hard to deny, I can't think of a single friend of mine (ok, I just inadvertantly lied, I guess there is one) that reads the paper, aside from me. And although some do read novels, I feel like the correllation is close- if you're not reading the paper, are you reading novels? I kind of doubt it. That statistic about 70% of the books being written by 5 people was just frightening, though.

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