“People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.
I listened to Born A Crime on Audible – highly recommend it that way! Trevor Noah reads it himself, adding so much texture to the stories. He brings experience and insight to this book as he weaves together so many threads. I’ll be thinking about it for a long time.
Ramona had never had a girl best friend, only Howie, and now that they were in the fourth grade they did not play together as often as they used to. Howie was always banging around with a hammer, building things. Ramona used to enjoy this, too, but lately, as her mother said, she was at loose ends. She was tired of pounding nails with Howie. She wasn’t bored exactly. She could always find something to do, but lately something was missing from her life. She wished she were old enough to babysit like Beezus, who was busy eve weekend. Now she knew what had been missing – a best friend, a girl best friend.
Fourth grade! This book offers us one final look at Klickitat Street. I wondered why I had never read it until I looked at its publication date – 1999 – fifteen years after the previous Ramona book. It was Cleary’s last published book. She celebrated her 102nd birthday while we were reading this one – that means she might have been 82 or 83 when she wrote Ramona’s World?
Also of particular note in this book – Beezus is in high school, Roberta is a baby, Ramona is 9 and Mrs. Quimby’s book club is reading……Moby Dick. <INSERT EMOJI TEARS OF LAUGHTER FACE/>
“As September sunshine changed to autumn clouds, life at the Quimbys’ house settled into a peaceful routine….Mrs. Quimby found more time to read Moby Dick, a book with so many pages that members the book club, most of them mothers or women who worked outside their homes or both, had difficulty finishing it. They postponed their meetings for another month. Ramona wondered why they didn’t just skip the hard parts.”
“Our culture is imbued with the belief that we can fix just about anything and make it better; or if we can’t, that it’s possible to trash what we have and start all over. Grief is the antithesis of this belief: it eschews avoidance and requires endurance, and forces us to accept that there some things in this world that simply cannot be fixed.”
I listened to this one and highly recommend it that way. It’s beautifully read by the author, Julia Samuel, a therapist in the UK. She illustrates her observations and insights about grief with gentle storytelling. I found this book compassionate, challenging, true.
For a bit of a preview to see if it might be a book for you, you can listen in on this conversation with Roxanne Coady.