House of Literature Bookmobile

This is the place I share book (movie) selections and reviews I have found worth mentioning. I'll also share gleanings of family life, faith, home education, and ongoing writing projects. Book selections will include children's books, books on home education, Catholic books, classics, series, raising children, and books that are made for reading under a shady oak tree with lemonade, in a bubble bath with a latte', or next to a snuggly fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Story to Tell

Louisiana storyteller Dianne de Las Casas and her family were able to escape Hurricane Katrina. They are thankful for their lives and safety. But the storm has taken their New Orlean's home and business.

I have seen this Louisiana storyteller (Dianne de Las Casas) perform and she's awesome.

She and her family were driven out of New Orleans by the hurricane and are now in Houston at her aunt's house. She is doing a remarkable job on her blog of keeping abreast of the situation. She has lost her house and everything and is living off the kindness of family.

I guarantee that if you order her Jambalaya CD or World Fiesta CD, your family will be in for a treat of magnificent storytelling!

The added benefit is that you will be helping a fellow story-lover get her business back on its feet and, in so doing, bless many children by making literature come ALIVE! Check out her website here: Story Connection

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Storyteller's Creed

The Storyteller's Creed
by Robert Fulghum
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge,

That myth is more potent than history,
That dreams are more powerful than facts,
That hope always triumphs over experience,
That laughter is the only cure for grief,
And I believe that love is stronger than death.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dianne de Las Casas

I have seen this storyteller perform!

She is simply wonderful!

Check her site out at Story Connection Express.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Free College Education

I remember now...see my mind isn't that far gone ...where I read VERY recently about the public library providing us with a complete college education. My friend Cindy shared it with me:

"Last night historian and author David McCollough was being interviewed on Cspan. He was lamenting how American children (and adults) know so little about history. As the interview went on he shared his beliefs that:

1) - children would learn more through dinner time coversation than in hours in a classroom

2) -the lesson plans of today can't compare to a good book and an interested adult

3) -everyone has time to do this in our 'too busy' world if they will take the average 3-4 hours a day spent watching tv and spend just one on books and conversation

4) - that you can get a college education and beyond for free at your local library

Do You Do This With Your Child?

Teaching Children to Use their Public Library!

I read somewheres VERY recently (and now I can't remember where!) that one can get a complete college education if they take advantage of all the services offered at their Public Library.

Of course, they didn't say one could get a college DEGREE...just a complete college education. : D

I assume there's a difference there or, as my 15-yr-old daughter says, "What's the point?"

Sunday, August 14, 2005

My Little Protege

Here's my seven-year-old reading a chapter book that use to be her older sister's. See the other books to the series nearby?

She's a reader like her Momma.

I Agree with Amy

Amy Welborn recently had a review about Regina Doman's new book Angel in the Waters. My children have a copy of this book and I can't say enough about it. It is a beautiful book and a very appropriate gift for baby showers and new mothers. It should be the first book a mother reads her infant.

To view & read it online go here!

World Youth Day 2005

World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany!

Some links to check out!

Official Site!
Vatican Site!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Cold Mountain

My oldest daughter and I watched Cold Mountain yesterday. Be forewarned, it is rated 'R' . Luckily, my daughter's friend warned us ahead of time. The two sxx scenes are grounds to not allow anyone under 15 to watch this (and only mature 15 yr olds at best), and I still fast-forwarded through those scenes. It was too much of too much, even for a matronly 39-yr-old. (That's me!) The war scenes (especially the one at the beginning) were too upsetting and gross for me to watch.

But I like a good Civil War love story and I'm a fan of Nicole Kidman. Even better I like my 15-yr-old daughter inviting me to watch a movie with her. I've never cared that much for Renee Z. (however you spell her last name), but she was great in this movie. The movie really got lively when she entered the scene. I'll also give her credit for Chicago. She looks like a Roaring Twenties woman.

I found the love story very contrived. I think the whole story would have held more weight had the two main actors established a courtship before he packed off into the army. But, such is Hollywood...

Other than the swiftness of the love interest---that seemed quick-silvered into the script to place the love story at the forefront of the movie---there were parts of the movie that made it worth watching.

There is one scene that fluxed the artist in me. The two women characters portrayed by Nicole and Renee are building a fence, trying to do man's work of repairs around a farm. Nicole begins lamenting that this is the first constructive thing she's ever done in her life. Before that she knew only French and hand-embroidery and piano, but this was the first thing she has ever done that made a difference. The other accomplishments of her life no longer matter in the culture-of-war that she now lives in.

For some reason that gave me pause. What have I done in my lifetime that has made a difference?

And what is it about patching a fence on a farm that is so much more constructive than speaking French, embroidering a picture, or playing the piano?

Suddenly I realized when classical education and a liberal arts education fell out of favor in America. It had to have begun during the impoverished days of the Civil War. Suddenly a classical education no longer mattered to families. Art didn't feed a hungry baby. Poetry did not feed a houseful of people. Speaking French did not stop the carpetbaggers from taking over your farm. Embroidering a shirt did not matter if there were no shoes to wear through the winter.

They needed hands that knew how to work a farm. They needed hands that knew how to sew a dress out of a curtain and make new harnesses. They needed minds that could bargain for supplies and handle the frugality of money without wasting it. They needed strong backs that could plow a field, repair a fence, plant a garden, or work a trade. They needed sharp minds who could alter figures so the carpetbaggers could not make claim to the family farm.

Classics and liberal arts held nothing for the common man. Nothing at all except, perhaps, memories and dreams that were gone with the wind.

Yet there is a redemptive scene immediately following: it is night and only the candles near the piano burns. Nicole's character is playing a beautiful piece on the ivories and Renee's character (a harsh, hill-billy, redneck of a woman) is silently witnessing the melody from the recesses of the stairwell. Silently, and ever so gently, she begins to sway back-and-forth, back-and-forth. She closes her eyes and continues to sway...and the music plays on. The moment is solemn, the moment brings calm to the troubled heart and peace to the troubled soul.

The achieved moment brings hope for a better tomorrow.

Monday, August 08, 2005


If you have a teenager or a racist relative, now would be a good time to have them read Revelation by Flannery O'Connor.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Speaking of E.B.White

My writer friend, Melissa Wiley, often recommends The Elements of Style written by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B.White.

White Magic

My 12-year-old son is reading E.B. White's Trumpet of the Swan for the month of August for our co-op book club. We have already read Charlotte's Web and seen the cartoon-movie version. CW remains one of my favorite childhood classics.

The Trapp Family Book

I read this book by Hans Wihelm at a recent conference. My recommendation is to watch The Sound of Music with your children one evening and read this book the very next day. Wihelm's illustrations are frolicking fun! Your children will be posse to the fact that this was a real family that led a very interesting life. I promise your children will find this book intriguing. You will too. It will be a beautiful addition to your home library. It is available through the Trapp Family website.
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