Friday, December 16, 2005

Not Exactly Entering with a Splash...

For my first post here, I had hoped to contribute something, you know, meaningful and lovely. Wonderboy's pneumonia and Typepad's crankiness have conspired to nix that notion, it seems...I wanted to add another Favorite Fictional Family to the running list I've got going over at Bonny Glen, but Typepad's server is down and I can't update this morning. So I'll mention it here—and how could I forget them? The rowdy, ill-mannered, cigar-smoking, cussing, fighting, lying, stealing, cheating, unbathed Herdman gang from Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. My husband is about to start our family's annual read-aloud of this wonderful book. The Herdmans are the antithesis of the Hilda van Stockum families, the March girls, the Murray and Austin clans—just about everyone on our list so far, come to think of it. But they've won our hearts nonetheless. Every year they teach me something, and they never fail to make me cry.

9 comments:

Love2Learn Mom said...

That's great. I haven't read that book since I was in about 5th grade. Maybe we'll manage to pull it out this year. :)

Also, your post brings up slightly philosophical discussion I'd like to have on this blog someday (perhaps after Christmas) on what makes a book worthwhile.

Melissa Wiley said...

Ooh, count me in. Sounds fun. Certainly a topic I have wrestled with myself...

Karen E. said...

We *love* this book as well. And, I have to say, in a sad and silly way, it played a tiny part in my conversion to Christianity. I was sort of like Imogene ... totally out of the Christian loop, but somehow moved to tears by that Jesus fellow before I really understood who He was ... so, having first read the book as a non-Christian, you can imagine what affection I feel for it now. :-)

And, I guess that might play in to the discussion on what makes a book worthwhile ....

Love2Learn Mom said...

Neat story, Karen. That reminds me of one of the quotes I like to remember about judging books:

"Any book which inspires us to lead a better life is a good book."
Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Now I have to find my copy of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" - I know I have one kicking around here somewhere! :)

Karen E. said...

"Any book which inspires us to lead a better life is a good book."
Archbishop Fulton Sheen
***************************

Yes!

Love2Learn Mom said...

I think it's a lovely rule of thumb, but I do think it has some limitations or exceptions - or perhaps it just has to be properly understood. It is certainly possible to be so abhored by a bad book that it could "inspire" you to lead a good life (there are certainly some books that I've learned valuable things from that I wouldn't descirbe as good at all). Not necessarily the same meaning of the word "inspire" however. Also, there are some seriously flawed books that are honest enough to, perhaps even inadvertently, reinforce moral truths.

Ah, here I am rambling on when I don't necessarily have time in this week before Christmas to start a huge discussion about worthwhile books just yet. We'll just call this preliminary chit-chat. :)

Love2Learn Mom said...

"that I wouldn't describe as good at all" - isn't quite what I meant to say. These may have some bits of truth or goodness in them, but I wouldn't necessarily consider worthwhile or generally recommend or something like that.

It can be very challenging to be as precise as I'd like to be in this format.

Karen E. said...

"Any book which inspires us to lead a better life is a good book."
-- Archbishop Fulton Sheen
***************************
I think it's a lovely rule of thumb, but I do think it has some limitations or exceptions - or perhaps it just has to be properly understood.
**************************

Yes, I agree. There are various ways in which "worthwhile" could be defined. Something can be badly written, but worth reading, or very well written, but not worth the time to read, and so on.

And, I also agree that I don't have the leisure to dig into a great discussion like this right now, either. :-) But the chit-chat's been nice.

Maybe we could get back to it down the road ....

Maureen Wittmann said...

Welcom Melissa!!!