Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Books actually written for girls

We had our friends Erma and Lance over last night for a belated Chinese New Year dinner, and Erma asked how I came up with the name for my blog, since I don't seem to ever write about books written for girls. The name was taken from a Camera Obscura song that I like a lot, but given the blog's name it's not surprising that I get a lot of hits looking for...wait for it...books written for girls. So I've decided to start a regular feature on my favorite books for girls, and we'll start with one of the classics - Louisa May Alcott.

Back in September I wrote about our visit to
Boston and Concord, where we toured Orchard House. I won't go into Louisa May's history since there are so many great resources online and elsewhere; let's just get to the good stuff. Keep in mind I'm going off of my memory here, so if I've remembered something incorrectly feel free to politely remind me. (Marmee wouldn't have it any other way!)

Little Women is probably the best-known of all Alcott's works, and was based on her own upbringing in Concord. Set during the Civil War, it tells the story of the four March sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy) and their many adventures. They often get into scrapes in their daily lives, but usually learn a valuable lesson from them, and also through advice given by their mother Marmee and the guidebooks she gives them(most likely Pilgrim's Progress). There's also a handsome neighbor boy, Laurie that I think every girl who reads the book falls for at some point. A true classic.

Little Men is the follow-up to Little Women. It tells the story of Jo and her husband, Professor Bhaer (who she marries at the end of Little Women), and the school for boys that they open together. Again, the students learn to correct their faults and become productive members of society, after having their fair share of struggles. Not quite as fun as the first book, but still highly satisfying since the characters from Little Women all drop in.

I have to admit that I don't remember reading
Jo's Boys, so technically I shouldn't include it in my favorites. It's considered the final book in the Little Women trilogy, though, so if you're looking for a great birthday gift why not get all three?

There are three more Alcott books that I'd like to include, but I think they need their own post - I have a lot to say about Miss Polly Milton.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Notes from a caucus

We went to our district caucus this afternoon to participate in the democratic process and support our candidate. Also, we knew if we didn't go today then our vote wouldn't count; although there are still county/city resolutions to vote on in the primary and the Republican nominees are chosen in the primary, the Democrats choose presidential nominees at the caucus. I don't usually talk politics on my blog, but I suppose I've outed myself as a Democrat by talking about the caucus. Oh well!

The turnout at our caucus (at Hamilton Middle School) was HUGE. I caucused in 2004 and all of the precincts fit into the main auditorium; we then split up by precinct into classrooms. When we arrived today, there wasn't nearly enough room for everyone in the auditorium. Instead, we were sent to the west gym where our precinct and 2 others were meeting; other precincts were spread throughout the school. In 2004 there were maybe 30 people in my precinct at the caucus - today there were over 100. Between our precinct and the 2 others, the west gym was packed. It looked like all of the other rooms were full too; it seems like people are definitely excited about voting this year, which is pretty cool. Living on the west coast, it often seems like the news channels are calling the winner before we've even made it to the voting booth, so it's nice to feel like our votes count this time.

I'm not sure how the rest of our district turned out, but in the west gym there was a total of 19 delegates for Obama and 3 for Clinton. In our precinct there were 106 people present. At the second tally, 12 were for Clinton and 94 were for Obama; the delegates were split 1 for Clinton, 6 for Obama. The other 2 precincts were split Clinton 1, Obama 6 and Clinton 1, Obama 7. The Obama love definitely seemed to be flowing. Granted, our neighborhood is one of the most liberal in the state, so we'll have to wait until tonight to see how the rest of Washington thinks, or even the rest of Seattle for that matter. But it certainly looks like Obama could be the big winner today.

here for dispatches from other caucuses around the state (though mostly in the Seattle area).