day 209: new old books

I’m listening to Claudia and the teacher of her Odyssey class chat about books. I’m pretty sure class is over and they are the only two left online.

I am pretty sure I just heard the teacher recommend that Claudia read To Kill A Mockingbird and am intrigued as to whether or not she will follow up on this. When people who aren’t me suggest materials to Claudia, is she any more likely to engage in them WITHOUT reluctance? (The new Natalie Haynes novel she complained about me giving her this week is, if not devoured, almost there. She told me this last night, laughing in that manic adolescent giggle and commenting “I SHOULD be thanking you. BUT.”)

I went on Amazon this morning while they caught up on some sleep. Many of my social groups on Facebook are specifically for Gen-Xers, so there are always fun things to remember and identify with. Although the memes are constantly asking if I “FEEL OLD YET?!?” I’m afraid I can’t see why I would. I don’t. But sometimes these memes are full of entirely unrecognizable imagery, because the majority of the members in my groups are in the U.K. And the U.K. really isn’t just America Junior with accents and hard water. They have more different “stuff” than the average Yank knows about.

I’m always asking questions of the folks I’m friendly with. What’s the name of the lemony sauce that comes with pie and mash, if you don’t get gravy? Things like that. But today, the nostalgia memes led me to what appeared to be a treasure trove of fantasy fiction a bit young for Claude (not that that would stop her) but PERFECT for Béla. Many books under five dollars! So we have some new books coming.

We could also return our pre-lockdown library books and get new ones. I’m more than ready for this outing but both kids are still afraid of going inside public buildings. Since we don’t know what’s going to happen on the Chutes and Ladders board of our Plague Fall and Winter, I certainly can’t tell them it’s perfectly safe or that they need to get used to the risk (of a mostly unmasked Broad St., which is my personal experience.) They are alive and uninfected and enjoying their educational year, and have lots of creative projects, and have been walking outside more the cooler it’s gotten.

But, at least Claudia has begrudgingly enjoyed the new Natalie Haynes, while Béla just started Pet by Akwaeke Emezi — new Afrofuturism purchased for, and snubbed by, Claudia. But I predict when she sees an Amazon package for him, just the idea that the books were not purchased with her in mind will make her want them.

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