Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Reading Promise

The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We SharedThe Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was so interesting and enjoyable!! Here is part of why the book is so cool (from the acknowledgements): "To my ridiculously talented editor, Karen Kosztolnyik: thank you for believing that a twenty-two-year-old recent college grad could and should write a memoir without a ghostwriter!" I just think it is really cool that author is so young. A lot of twenty-one year olds don't have anything worth writing a memoir about, but Alice Ozma definitely did!

She and her father had "The Streak," in which he read to her every single day (at least fifteen minutes and before midnight) from when she was a little girl until the day that she moved into her freshman college dorm. Wow!

The book contains her life, the way reading affected her life, the love of reading she inherited from her father, and more. It is just really interesting. I don't know what else to say. READ THIS BOOK!

I am inspired and intimidated. I want to read to my children, but I will have more that her father did, and mine are spaced much closer together. Perhaps I can read to more than one at a time. I hope it can become a "thing" for us. I love reading so much, and I really want my kids to as well.

Everyone should read this book. Thank you, Catherine, for recommending it to me!

"The greatest gift you can bestow upon your children is your time and undivided attention. As the years advance, you may reflect upon your life and see that in some areas, you have regrets about what you took to be a priority. No one will ever say, no matter how good a parent he or she was, 'I think I spent too much time with my children when they were young.'

Children are not easily fooled. They can tell where a parent's priorities are. When my wife left me I did not seek out companionship for more than six years. I wanted the girls to be absolutely sure that I would be there for them. If one parent moves out and the other is out on the town each night, where does that leave them? I guess they would have to think 'Mom's got her new man, Dad has his new girl, but who has us?'" (Quote by Jim Brozina, the author's father. From the foreword.)

"Before I had any children I used to say, 'When they come along I will not speak to them until they are sixteen, and then I will tell them to get a job.' Holding them in my arms made me rethink that idea. I have discovered very little in life that I am adept at doing. I cannot fix your car, repair your roof, or even drive a nail straight. However, I have given everything I have to being a father, and I happily stand back to see the results." (Quote by Jim Brozina, the author's father. From the foreword.)

"My father will not lie, so he tries to say the best possible thing that is also the truth. He doesn't realize that this is often worse than just saying what he thinks as nicely as possible. I was used to it and accepted his comments with a shrug, as I did now, but he wasn't always so lucky. Once, a friend of his made him cookies for his birthday and he accidentally started an argument by saying, when she asked him what he thought of them, 'I can honestly say that everyone of those cookies has chocolate chips in it.'"

"I wouldn't appreciate it then, but it takes creativity to lie shivering and shaking in your bed, wondering if your cats will know how to defend you, not against ghosts or the boogeyman, but against the immobile body of one of the most famous and beloved ex-presidents of the United States. Thanks to The Streak and my father, imagination was not something I lacked."

"When we had dates on the same night, we would compare notes as we got ready. This generally consisted of him telling me what great shape he was in and how every outfit looked good on him, though some looked better than others. Then I would ask him what he thought of my outfit, and he would make a pained look and comment on the color or the fabric. If there was time, he would usually make me hand over the entire ensemble so he could iron it, because he was very passionate about well-ironed clothes.

'It only takes a few minutes, and you go from looking like a horribly wrinkled monkey warrior to a real class act.'

I have never figured out who these monkey warriors are or what harrowing experience left them with bodily wrinkles, but having a father who loves to iron has always been advantageous."

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  1. "I have never figured out who these monkey warriors are..." too funny!!

    I will definitely be checking this book out, and probably recommend to my book club.

  2. Wow you blogged about a book. You must have been impressed.


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