Weekly Chit-Chat, a New Blog Plan, & Blogger Links

As usual, spring is bipolar here in central Virginia. Last week, we had glorious weather and the crocuses had come out in all their glory. Today we’re getting an indeterminate mix of snow and freezing rain. Just a typical spring here in the Shenandoah Valley.

My daughter Trisha has decided to finish the Harry Potter series, beginning with re-reading the books she read with her sister about a year ago. She’s read the first four books in the series, a combined total of something like 2,000 pages, within a week. This girl is a reading maniac. Of course it doesn’t hurt that J.K. Rowling is such a consummate storyteller. And that Trisha is an unschooler, so she has plenty of time to read.


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What I’ve Been Up to this Week in Movies & Books + Blogger Links

My daughter Trisha and I contracted some kind of bronchial crud, last week, in our adventures. Happily, after a couple of days of vomit and trying to keep her fever down, she is back to normal. I am still recuperating. (Hack. Hack.)

Movies I’ve Seen This Week:


Room (2015) — It is just as wonderful as everyone said it was. And when I say it measured up to the book, understand that I consider it one of the most emotionally affecting novels I’ve ever read. Brie Larson was amazing, of course. I’ve been besotted with her since Short Term 12, and she definitely earned that Oscar. And Oh my God… Jacob Tremblay.

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Talking ’bout 1984 by George Orwell & Questions for Readers


It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

My seventeen-year-old son James is a homeschooled 11th grader. As a follow-up to Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, we just started reading George Orwell’s 1984 together. Little Brother is basically a homage to 1984 for teenaged tech-nerds in the era of The Patriot Act. James seemed to enjoy it, and it provided the perfect segue into Orwell’s world.

This is the second time I’ve read 1984. The first time was when I was seventeen and taking 12th grade advanced placement English. While this staple of high school curricula definitely made an impression on me the first time around, I had totally forgotten — or didn’t appreciate — how gorgeous this book is. Like Golding’s Lord of the Flies by William Golding, which James and I read last year, this is a novel I appreciate much more at forty-something than I did at seventeen.

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