Thursday, October 5, 2006

Gateway Books

This woman needs to go away.

And somebody in that school system needs to stand up and tell her to. Especially after she said on Tuesday that school shootings happen because kids read Harry Potter books.

Okay I paraphrased. But that is what she said.

I submit, that if more students read Harry Potter and turned off their video games, thus inviting them into their imagination instead of becoming hypnotized by all the pretty graphics, there would be less school violence.

Also because reading requires a gateway drug; once you open the door to how much fun reading can be, there is no end to what books a child might reach for. And Harry Potter for so many children, is the stepping stone to what brough them to literature. Lots and lots of good literature too (in the same genre for example Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings).

There are very few books that I can think of that should be banned. In fact, off the top of my head, I can think of none. Certain books may be age appropriate, like I'm not sure I'd let a seven year old read Goblet of Fire. But definitely a 13 year old or greater.

Anyway - just showing my support for Harry and Ms. Rowling. I feel confidant that district will make the right decision.

I think I'll read Harry Potter after I'm done with my second Marie Antoniette book!

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Marie Antoinette

I have decided that the next object of my obsession shall be Marie Antoinette. It was once Henry the VIII and all his ladies, but I’ve read the best books about those women, though there is a new one coming out that I think I will have to purchase.

Marie Antoinette is now a movie written by Sofia Coppola, which explains my recent interest. But I find her fascinating. She was disliked by the French when she was Princess and utterly loathed when she was Queen. The French court was nearly bankrupt when she became Queen and it was totally bankrupt by the time she was killed for her “crimes.” The Parisians and the Revolutionaries blamed her entirely for all of their hardship. While they were struggling to buy bread, she had a new wardrobe every year for the first few years of her reign, and she redecorated the palace at least as often. While she lived this lifestyle, they suffered, and they hated her for it.

Of course, that was their perception. From what I’ve read, she did start her career lavishly, but later on the King informed her that she had to discontinue, as they were approaching bankruptcy. They even sold some of her jewels to pay off debts. And while the book I’m reading notes she had affairs, I’m not entirely surprised by that. But what may (or may not have been) one affair, the people saw as several and called her bad names.

Now, I am not an authority on this woman. I’m going to finish reading the book I’m reading now, and then purchase the Marie Antoinette that inspired the movie Sofia Coppola. And then I’ll know much more.

But from what I’ve read so far, this poor young girl, taken from her home at 13 and married to a man who was not warm or quick or elegant, was blamed for everything that went wrong in France during her reign.

I find that fascinating.

Also - I read something really profound today, yet so simple. And it reminded me of how I should behave:

The things we dislike in others are the things we should make sure we better in our selves.

Sort of that whole Do Unto Others thing. If we remembered that every day the world would be a better place.