Rowan and I picked up Ida B at the Scholastic book fair because we liked the cover. We had no idea what it was about, we just thought it looked like it had a sense of humor.

It does. A very big sense of humor.

It’s also a bit sad and full of deep thoughts.

I started to go through the book to stick some more quotes here, but I think part of what’s so wonderful about it are the little surprises it throws at you, so I’ll just leave it at this:

We both think lots of people who read my blog would love it.

Ida B on school:

“There was a rabbit cage in the room, but we couldn’t pet it until it was time. There were books on the shelves, but we couldn’t read them until it was time. There was a playground with slides and swings and balls, but we couldn’t play on it till it was time. There were lots of kids, but we couldn’t talk to them till you-know-when.”

Ida B on homeschooling:

“And I got to stay right where I liked it best: hanging around with Mama and Daddy, Rufus and Lulu, the trees and the mountain and the snakes and the birds. All day, every day.

It seemed like the best plan in the world to me.”

From Ida B…and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster and (Possibly) Save the World, by Katherine Hannigan

Jon bought Kurt Vonnegut’s Timequake recently. I read pretty much every book that comes into the house (ok, every book) so I grabbed this one, and he let me get away with reading it before he did.

Jon puts up very nicely with my love of books. He builds me lots of shelves. But he’s never been all that interested in books or reading himself. With one exception: Jon loves Vonnegut. He has a huge red book with a bunch of stories in it that he got from our friend Peter. I don’t ever remember him not having that book, and I know he’s read it lots of times.

After reading Timequake I felt like I got a different perspective on Vonnegut. I’m not sure exactly why – I think it gave me more of a feeling of who Vonnegut was. So now I’ve jumped into Jon’s big red book, and I’m enjoying it much more than I did 20-some years ago when I read it the first time. I like the random thoughts he inserts in little ways throughout his stories. He doesn’t elaborate on them. They’re just there, waiting to be noticed. Here’s one from Cat’s Cradle:

”Self-taught, are you?” Julian Castle asked Newt.
”Isn’t everybody?” Newt inquired.
”Very good answer.” Castle was respectful.

I’ve always loved to read, and I love love love old books – the way they smell, the way the paper feels, the old-fashioned expressions (“Golly!”) and the unintentional glimpses into the culture of the day.

I have some of my mom’s books from when she was a kid – Nancy Drew, Heidi, The Hardy Boys, Little Women, The Bobbsey Twins. I like to think she said I could have them when I moved out, but it’s quite possible I may have absconded with them in an unauthorized sort of way. I always intended to collect all of the books in the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins series and I did pick up a couple at antique stores, but for the most part it just stayed on my internal ‘I’d like to do that someday’ list.

But this year, Rowan fell in love with the Bobbseys. Thanks to ebay we’re on our way to a full collection of adventures with Bert, Nan, Flossie, and Freddie. We’re collecting the originals, not the rewrites they did in the late 50s and the 60s. We’ve done all sorts of research on the authors (none of whom were named Laura Lee Hope). We found this website that lists who wrote which books: http://www.keeline.com/BobbseyWriters.html. One neat thing we’ve realized is that because so many different people wrote the books there are all sorts of inconsistencies.

There’s a really interesting book about the Nancy Drew series called Girl Sleuth Nancy Drew and the Women who Created Her.

I love the cover art. Could she be more perky?