• This week I was the Mystery Mom in my daughter's class, which meant I was responsible for coming up with some unique project or activity to do with the kids. I knew that most of the other parents engaged the kids in fun crafts, so I was bent on finding something different. I hit pay dirt at the library, with a book called MORE TRUE LIES (by George Shannon and John O'Brien), which had these short vignettes I read to the class and then opened for the discussion. The kids were so engaged. It was a blast. I also brought home baked cookies, which didn't hurt. Anyway, I highly recommend this book, which appears to be out of print but is still available on Amazon. Even my 14-year-old was eager to read it. Here's the Booklist review:
Gr. 4-6. The spirited successor to True Lies: 18 Tales for You to Judge (1996) again challenges readers' ability to find "true lies," which Shannon defines as statements that are "technically truthful yet basically a lie." While the idea may sound grimly pedantic, the book is lots of fun. Shannon, who has culled stories from around the world, presents each tale in a few brief paragraphs, then asks the reader to determine, "What's the truth, the whole truth? And where's the lie?" A flip of the page reveals the answer. In one, a man who is accused of stealing insists that he "only picked up a rope." When children turn the page, they discover that the rope was attached to a cow. Other tales revolve around bargaining, buying, and selling. There is even an object lesson in greed. Sophisticated ink line drawings by John O'Brien reinforce the "something's out of whack" theme. Notes on the stories are appended. Connie Fletcher
• Last week I mentioned that I got my editor's comments on my manuscript. I'm happy to say I'm now halfway done with the edits.
• This week I watched House, one of my favorite TV shows, and was surprised to learn that Dr. Taub's first name is Chris. I'm always so surprised when I come across an error like this. Do gentiles not realize that Jews don't name their kids Chris? Is this some sort of secret only Jewish people know? If so, I hereby blow our cover.
• If you're following me on Facebook, you may have witnessed my meltdown over the bathroom scale. I've been dieting like a mental patient, and running on the treadmill daily past the point of exhaustion. Yesterday I got on the scale to see how much all my hard work paid off. The verdict? I'd lost zero pounds. Zero. I had an absolute fit. Then one of my online buddies told me I would literally see results overnight. So today I got on the scale again and guess what? I lost three pounds! Somebody buy me a cheesecake. (And then hide it.)
• Shout out to Barbara and Neil for the fun dinner last Friday at Old Street in Smithtown. Great hanging out with them as well as David and Donna.
• I don't know why it took me so many years to get around to it, but I'm finally reading the magnificent HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG by Andre Dubus III.