Childrens Book Reading Extravaganza 2010: Novel #94

I had high hopes for this book.  High.  Hopes.  As in me lounging in the hospital between feedings enjoying novel #94 as my newborn Mini Mimi slept peaceful.

Um, can you say “reality check”?

Yes, I had a wonderful few days in the hospital – it was this wonderful little bubble of time filled with Mini Mimi, Mr. Mimi and some fabulous nurses.  HOWEVER…my image of me reading?  Lounging in bed?  Leisurely filling up the days?  Uh, no.  No, that did not happen.

Basically I learned that when you have a new baby, all you want to do is stare at her.  Stare, cry a little about how lucky you are and then stare some more.

And although I was warned by a lovely reader to just “stick it out until they get to the island” I hate to report that I didn’t make it to the island.  I made it pretty darn close to the island…they were on the boat…but I just couldn’t get there.

For those of you who are thoroughly confused and now completely convinced that new motherhood has totally turned my brains to mush, you are correct let me clue you in.  I’m talking about novel #94 which is Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.

The Big Six: A Novel (Swallows and Amazons Series)

This is actually an image from the entire series, not just this particular novel.  There wasn’t a link-able image to just the novel, which may have been my first clue that this novel would be a smidge difficult to get through.  (My apologies to those of you who heart this one…)

My first inkling that this book may be “troublesome” is that one of the main characters is named Titty.

I’ll pause for a moment and let you drink that in.


Seriously, imagine yourself saying the word “Titty” repeatedly in your class.  Or remembering to change it for “Thomas” or “Tito” or ANYTHING BUT TITTY over and over and over again.  

Now, maybe I’m just not mature enough, however I feel as if a main character named after a “private part” may not be the best choice.  I’m already picturing my friends stifling their laughter to the point that their eyes are bulging, perhaps snot is running down their face and maybe they’ve even peed a little.

I’m just saying.

The novel, which is written in what I would consider to be more proper English, is about a group of siblings who are totally into sailing and want to have an adventure on an island that they can see from their evidently very large yard.  With the green light for their parents, the whole first part of the book is about them packing for and discussing their trip.  As a non-sailor (I KNOW!  I consider myself an East Coaster and don’t sail…it’s a crime.), I found these sections to be long and difficult to get through.  Without the proper background knowledge, I think your friends might agree.

Again, I’m so sorry if you think this book rocks the casbah, but Titty + detailed sailing lingo x me at the end of my pregnancy and anticipating a new baby = not going to happen.

My apologies.

Next week, however, I am going to do my damn-dest to read novel #93 which is Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink.  It may take the harnessing of every super multi-tasking I possess, but we all know that teachers are rockstars and I have no intention of turning in my cape yet. 

Wish me luck.

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  • I can't imagine you keeping eyes open and having them in a book, but… I always envisioned with a little one and BFing and all that that my addiction to audiobooks from audible on my ipod as being the solution. It's slower than reading on your own, but that's good when you are a) potentially doing other stuff (I walk, do dishes, laundry, etc.) and because it takes a little more time to think good, reflective reader thoughts when you have headphones in/someone is talking in your head.

    June 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm
  • The official term is "mommy brain". No worries, it all comes back. I agree though this is for much older readers 4th-6th grade-but strong ones.

    June 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm
  • Thank you for shattering my view that being a new mom is always like your avatar, peaceful, serene, and quiet…but you do manage to blog, so that is impressive! Hope you and Mini are doing well!

    June 18, 2010 at 10:49 pm
  • This book was first written in 1930(which is even before I was born!!!)…perhaps the "private part" name of the character was more socially acceptable back then or maybe it had a different meaning or none at all. The language changes – as do children…so it's possible that the name would not have caused the giggles that it would today. I have no idea…just a thought.

    When you read the book, however (at least when I read it years ago) the name loses it's "giggle factor" as you get involved in the story.

    I agree with your reader who suggested that you stick with it till the island. Maybe another time 🙂

    Oh…and Pamela, I LOVE audible 🙂

    June 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm

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