Saturday Ramblings

by Edie Wadsworth on December 12, 2009

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I started a bookclub two years ago in an attempt to continue my own education as I simultaneously teach my little ones. We loosely follow the reading list laid out by Susan Wise Bauer in her book The Well-Educated Mind. The reading list is divided into genres and is composed of a sampling of the Great Books of Western Civilization. This is not a bookclub for the faint of heart. The reading lists are demanding and this semester alone, our group has whittled itself down to a faithful few. I have a love/hate relationship with bookclub. I’m so thankful for the very smart group of friends that shares my passion for reading classic literature. If you have a friend who’ll read Plato’s Republic with you and not call you names or throw things at you, then you have a friend indeed. But because the books are tougher reads than say, Twilight, which I also enjoyed, I find myself feeling so relieved when bookclub is over. Similar to the way I felt when I finished a Microbiology exam in medical school.

“Whew, glad that’s over. I think I’m gonna bake all weekend!” (my classmates loved me)

With that sense of relief is also a very palpable sense of accomplishment. And since we moms live in a world of neverending/never completed tasks like laundry, dishes, and meals, actually ticking something off a list that is finished—is well……… just a dandy thing to do. I keep my list on my blog and though I won’t make my goal of 52 books this year, I’m so grateful for the books I’ve read. And grateful for the friends who’ve read them along with me.

We just finished All the Presidents’ Men on Friday—and yes I finished. I downloaded the 12 hours of audio on Monday and listened to the ‘the end’ 2 minutes before I needed to leave the house. It was a fascinating story but never EVER a book I would have read without the pressure of bookclub. And some things that are important—like to me, reading classics works I never read in school, or ‘read’ but don’t remember—-are not urgent. So they easily get laid aside for things that are more pressing, like laundry and dinner and mindlessly surfing the internet. I guess I’ve always functioned better with structure and guidelines. Our genre for the spring is ‘plays’—-so January’s read is Medea by Euripides. If I know myself, I’ll read 2 or 3 books before I start Medea and then get the ‘eye of the tiger’ in the last two weeks and read and study for Medea like I’m gonna have to take a test on it. And then I’ll search the net and you tube and see if I can find some brilliant Yale professor giving a lecture on greek plays. I like the way the bookclub forces at least some sense of urgency and structure to my reading life. Though my decorating schedule and my nightly menu may have suffered slightly.

In non-literary news, I love this cheese and I love those cute little bowls (from Walmart). I can’t help it if this really yummy cheese that’s been marinated in wine is called the Drunken Goat. I blame my neighbor Sue.
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And I’m slowly adding lights…

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….and other festive sparkles to my still slightly Thanksgiving-ish house. I’ll show the rest on Monday at The Nester’s Christmas Tour. I think.

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In non-sparkling news, my laundry became the ace-in-the-whole hiding place for the afternoon hide and seek.

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The pony tail gave it away. The laundry was at least clean.

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And I must quickly consult my fairy godmother to work some magic for me because I’m going on a date tonight. With an honest to goodness babysitter and reservations. And lipstick and high heeled boots. And other adults. If there’s an awkward lull in the conversation, I can always bring up the Drunken Goat.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TheOldPostRoad December 12, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I love that curtain fabric -the leaves one. Beautiful! (How is that for a non-academic comment?)
I am reading The Magnificent Obsession by Anne Graham Lotz – very good, so far.
-Trish

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2 My name is PJ. December 12, 2009 at 11:21 pm

I hope you really enjoy your grown-up evening!

Just the 'reads' you listed made my brain short-circuit. I read a lot of books, but they're either spiritual or pure entertainment.

It reminds me of Toni Morrison who looked down her nose at me (at least I thought she was looking at me) when someone complained about the difficult task of tackling some of these books…and she said, "That's what they call reading."

Yeah. I don't like her anymore. ;)

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3 patty December 13, 2009 at 12:34 am

i hope you {had} a wonderful date with your honest to goodness high heels and lipstick! that's the best kind of date! ;)
and hey, that wasn't a dig on edward, now, was it??…
love the bowl with the white globes and starfish… beautiful! i was wondering if you put up those big bulbs this year? i loved them..
have a great bookclub-free weekend! :)

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4 Jaimie December 13, 2009 at 1:19 am

I really need to join a bookclub, though I'm not sure that I'm into classic literature. Applause to you!

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5 Julie Harward December 13, 2009 at 2:35 am

Or those many books..that should give you lots to talk about! Except I think your thoughts will out class most! I love to read too but my problem is, I get into a book and can not put it down until I'm done! It can take up my days and it has to be a really interesting read for me to do that! Your book club sounds like a class..more interesting maybe than some silly book someone would choose to take up a night with. Glad you enjoy it! Come say hi :D

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6 Ami December 13, 2009 at 2:39 am

I am having date night with Edward! Let me explain..
We are going to be in TN for Christmas so we decided to do our gift exchange tonight. My present was home theatre system. Woohoo! So, we are testing out the Blue Ray with Twilight.
You will like Madea, I think. She is the ultimate scorned woman made crazy with jealousy and betrayal.
It may help you to imagine her as an old school version of the ladies in Steel Magnolias. :)

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7 Kristi December 13, 2009 at 2:46 am

Have a GREAT time! I just want you to know that my husband has watched All the Presidents Men so many times, I would bet he could say it verbatim!!! He loves all that is history. Thank God for my kids' sake, lol.
The more I research homeschooling my son, the more I realize I have total ADD, lol. I simply CANNOT read things that don't interest me. But if they interest me, I 'm through it in an instant!
I have also found out that my son is a right brain learner. It sounded like they had described him to a TEE! Now I have to find curriculum for this right brained guy. God help me!

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8 Becca~TimeWellSpent December 13, 2009 at 3:59 am

I started a book group 5 years ago. It's basically turned into a once a month womens gather to sit, visit, have some coffee and relax~only about 2 or 3 of us actually read the book. I would love to be a part of a serious book group~except on the months I don't have time to really digest it, then I'd be frantically reading (or listening!) like you did!
Love the lights!

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9 Darby December 13, 2009 at 4:02 am

Edie, Just reading what you've read/listened to makes me tired! I don't know how you could possibly squeeze one more thing in! I spotted those Walmart bowls… they're so cute! I'll have to try that cheese… I'm pretty sure I'll love it, I've yet to find a cheese that I don't. Hope you and yours enjoy the Lords Day tomorrow… stay warm!!! I made your angel biscuits Friday night and Justin was so very impressed. They were so good and I can't imagine them being any better… but they possibly could be if I had used buttermilk and heavy cream instead of whole milk and half and half— which was all I had. We managed to scarf them all down in a matter of minutes! So glad you shared that recipe with us… love the subtle sweetness!!

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10 Darby December 13, 2009 at 4:03 am

PS- I want to see what you wore to on your date tonight! And I want to hear all about it… those date nights are so precious and never can come often enough!

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11 Ruby Red Slippers December 13, 2009 at 4:07 am

My hubby and I just had a chance to go out last night-and it was so fun to not be a mom for a little while! Have fun tonight.
I am with PJ-I read easy reads-I don't want to think so much :), or spiritual-
But I want to be in a book club sooo bad! Lucky you!

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12 A Wedding Story December 13, 2009 at 4:24 am

I love the Christmas ceramic stuff from Wal-Mart! So cute and inexpensive!

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13 Gina December 13, 2009 at 4:45 am

I'm planning to read your January book with you and I'm hoping that you'll keep posting what book you're on in bookclub so i can keep up! Thanks for the encouragement! :)

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14 Lana K. W. Austin December 13, 2009 at 7:23 am

DATE NIGHT ROCKS@! So do great books!
More soon. Blessings, L

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15 Ruthanne December 13, 2009 at 3:55 pm

The ladies book club that I'm a member of does the same thing. We work our way through classics that we would like our child to read some day. Here's some of that we've read this year:

Fahrenheit 451
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Animal Farm
1984
Amusing Ourselves to Death

Hope you had a fabulous night out!

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16 Tess December 14, 2009 at 2:11 am

Great book, and great bowls. Just picked them up for an upcoming x-mas party exchange. I'm with Darby, let's see the date night outfit! ;)

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17 Cate December 14, 2009 at 9:05 am

I am so impressed with your high-falutin' reading group! I've also started a book club this year, but we've put no parameters on what is read, as we are so pressed for time.

Love your decorating too, and am looking forward to seeing the rest of it.

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18 Ruth December 14, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I love your reading list. There isn't a single person I know who would read these books with me. I long to learn more than I ever did when I was in school. I'm not sure exactly what they taught in the public school I attended because none of these great classics were on their list. I have read March because I saw it on your list and I totally loved it. I have purchases the Well Trained Mind and can't wait to finish reading that. Unfortunately, I too revert to easy and fun reads before tackling the difficult ones.

I just finished a series by Cricket McRae. They are homecrafting mysteries and I loved them. Now on to some meaty reads.

Love all your little touches in these photos. The cheese looks super yummy and I hope you had a fabulous date!!!!!!!!!!!
Ruth

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19 Penny Lane December 15, 2009 at 1:31 am

MMMM, that Drunken Goat is one of my favorites! I enjoy it most on a veggie fritata with the cheese melted. Yummmy yeah for drunken goat!

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