June proved to be a poor month for reading – two kids books, a novella and my bathroom read – but then I had beggar all time. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t reading but books were put to one side in place of blog posts and magazines that could be dipped in and out of (plus some more of the eComics I have on my DC/ Marvel Apps).
A Brewing Storm by Richard Castle (eBook)
A novella of the fictional character created by a fictional character on a TV show I love. It was only available in Kindle and my new iPhone has that app. Having an iPhone did make reading the ebook easy and convenient. I still can’t see me buying a Kindle or similar just yet, but I can see the benefit of having a book always with you. As for the story it was exciting and fun to read – Derek Storm is called in to help solve the mystery of a kidnapping and try and get the hostage back. Stupid and silly but like the TV show I love enjoyable – I’ve already downloaded the next one.
The Queen’s Knickers by Nicholas Allan
I won this book and it’s brilliant. It is a picture book all about the Queen’s Knickers – seemed appropriate reading with all the Jubilee madness. I could see this making a fantastic display or storytelling session in a public library where kids could decorate pants etc. Or perhaps a bigger ‘pants’ display including the likes of Captain Underpants? Shame my pupils are far too old for it really.
How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
I like Caitlin Moran. I read her fantasy novel as a teenager and at times over the year some of her journalism stuff and I’ve always liked it. So on finding she’d written a book I picked a copy up (admittedly because it was on offer and I was waiting for a train). ‘How to Be a Woman’ isn’t a guide book, it’s also got rather strong language for the first few chapters, making it a tough call as to appropriateness for the school library. What is making me think about adding it despite this is that it is excellent and thought provoking. I didn’t agree with everything she said, in particular the chapter on not having kids, but overall it was pretty close to my way of thinking and I think I can say loudly and proudly that I am a feminist.
**** RANT WARNING *****
There was only one bit that I found myself disagreeing with in more than a superficial way – the chapter of not having kids. I felt it made it sound like if you don’t have the good grace to breed then you could only become the well rounded person a ‘mother’ is (simply by having a child) by doing something amazing with your now freed up life.
I have two issues with this idea;
1. I don’t think childbirth makes someone a better person (I’d agree it can change people but I’d contest the use of the word ‘better’). Frankly a worrying number of the mothers I’ve met over the years have been disobeying Wheaton’s Law. For the love of all that is fluffy, any ‘mother’ who utters the words “You don’t really do much…” or “I don’t see why you just can’t…” to anyone who volunteers and helps provide opportunities for their beloved sprogs should be made to give community service – preferably with children in large numbers and over a weekend.
If Miss Moran is seriously telling me that they are in some way superior because they managed to make a human with their genitals then I think we will need to agree to disagree.
2. Those who by choice, or biological failure, don’t have children don’t need to change the world to be amazing human beings.
I’d argue that every woman should strive to be a amazing human being by taking responsibility her actions and making the most of every day. Kids are no more a vital part of this than the need to own a shed. Some people do, some don’t, but you shouldn’t be judged on it. As Caitlin Moran asks throughout the book – if this was a man not having kids would it matter? No. Then women should be judged by the same standard.
Finally Mr. Stink by David Walliams which was the choice of Charlotte for her Brownie Book Lover badge and the book both Clair and I read this month. It was enjoyable and the illustrations by Quentin Blake were wonderful. I’ll not rush to read his others but I can see why kids will love them and I’ll look into getting more for the library for the kids who are stuck on Roald Dahl.