From left to right, meet Carlen aka Len or Lenny Lou, age 25 (gulp!) and
Courtney aka Court, Coco or Nee Nee, age 21 (another gulp!).
They are all things wonderful and delightful. I believe they are in the throes of
a precious sweet spot in their sister friendship.
It is swoon worthy to behold.
Just look at those money smiles.
I mean that literally smiles made from MONEY ;)
Worth every penny.
I can’t tell you how much fun I had talking to Caleb first about books and then
spending some time on Saturday afternoon while these two
discussed books and recalled memories of their childhood.
My challenge to you is start having conversations with others about books.
Especially the books you read as children. I guarantee you will learn something
about one another and create new connections.
I have loved reading your comments here and on Facebook.
Keep the conversation going!
We gathered around our dining room table with an assortment of Dutch Brothers,
Starbucks and an energy drink to discuss books.
I merely was a spectator, a note taker and from time
to time lobbed out questions when I was able to get in a word.
We ran out of time so this will be the first of a two-part conversation with my girls.
Me: Girls, I initially asked you to tell me your 5 or so favorite books, which you did
with some difficulty. So after my interview with Caleb, I decided you two deserved
equal time and I know we will appreciate your perspective. So thanks for agreeing
to sit down with me.
The Girls: Sure!
Me: Okay, let’s start with your favorite childhood books. Throw out some titles.
Court: The Seven Silly Eaters, that cake looked so good.
Len: Oh that was a good book. I liked that too.
I also liked Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed,
Miss Rumphius, the one where everyone is laying all over
the old lady, what was it called?
Me: The Napping House.
Len: Yes, The Napping House, I loved that book.
Also Chrysanthemum and Owen.
I loved Kevin Henkes.
Me: We all loved Kevin Henkes!
Court: I liked A Bad Case of the Stripes,
Bamboozled with that really crazy house
and The Stinky Cheese Man.
Len: Any of the If You Give… books and the book about the Koala Bear.
Me: Oh yes, Koala Lou!
Koala Lou, I do love you!
The Girls: YES!
Me: Okay, let’s move onto favorite books read aloud by your dear mother.
The Girls: The Secret Garden (laughter erupts).
Me: The Secret Garden was almost your last read aloud.
The Girls: The accent was hilarious. (more laughter)
Me: Yes, I tried my best to do an English accent but you both teased me mercilessly.
So glad we brought this up, I was almost over the humiliation.
Court: Hinds Feet on High Places and Inkheart.
Len: My Father’s Dragon and the Narnia books.
Caleb: (from the living room) Oh, I liked My Father’s Dragon, I read
all three of the books.
The Girls: The Ear, the Eye and the Arm!
We loved that book.
Me: Have you both always loved reading?
Court: Yes, absolutely.
Me: Tell me more Carlen.
Len: I didn’t like being told what books to read in school.
It seemed to take all the joy out of reading.
Court: Carlen,I remember when Mom tried to get you to read Harry Potter when
it first came out. I would watch you sit on the couch and move your head back and
forth. I was like, there is no way you are reading Carlen.
You were faking it.
Len: (laughs with a cackle) I know. I did not want to read that book. I just
wasn’t into that book. I wasn’t into magic and there was so much talk
about that book at the time.
Me: Yeah, despite all the controversy about Harry Potter at the time,
I was trying anything to get you back into wanting to read. I just
prayed you would find your way back to books.
Me: How long did it take you get back into enjoying reading and
what was the spark?
Len: I read Bridge to Terabithia when I was in 5th grade. It was a book
that Mom had always encouraged me to read. It was always on the book
tables she set up for Reading Is Fundamental. It was a book that taught
me not to judge a book by its cover.
Me: That book was a healing book as you dealt with the death of a classmate in 5th grade.
Terabithia meant a lot to both of us.
Remember going to hear Katherine Paterson lecture downtown
the same year.
We went to the book signing but I think we were both
too emotional to even approach her.
Me: Court, you have always loved to read books. Why?
Court: I don’t know. I just do. I like how you can picture the story that is being told.
It’s different from watching a movie or television.
I just need to read.
Len: I love watching Court read. She sits in her favorite chair and she is all
curled up. I watch her facial expressions and it makes me want to know what
she is reading and even to read the book.
I think it is her way to relax.
Court: Yeah, I agree.
Me: Okay, girls. We have to get to Caleb’s soccer game.
Can we take up this conversation later?
The Girls: Sure. Absolutely, this has been a blast.
Next weekend, we’ll talk about favorite authors, what is it about the books
assigned in middle school, the books they have read multiple times
and the never-ending debate of read the book first or see the movie first,
then read the book.
Oh and I want to know about Court’s uncanny ability to read books
light years before they become huge hits. She’s got the gift.
And perhaps why I could never get either of you to read Nancy Drew.
What are your favorite books to read aloud?
Do you do accents?