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Well, that was June. This is July.

Read-aloud for the 5- and 6-year-olds: Mary Norton’s The Borrowers, in a volume with all the stories.

The 11-year-old: Is currently rereading, for the zillionth time, the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, in a cheesy-looking (photos from the films on the jacket) but complete edition which the Visiting Graduate Student picked up at our local secondhand bookstore. He is also waiting for the teenager to dig out her copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel for him to read.

The Teenager: Is getting a jump on American literature for the coming school year by reading The Scarlet Letter. Also in her queue right now are Sarah Orne Jewett’s The White Heron and Other Stories, Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!, and The Red Badge of Courage. Her fun-reading stack, meanwhile, includes The Elusive Pimpernel and more Jane Austen. To Lady Susan she has already given a thumbs-down: “She’s an awful person.” In our household there reigns a general antipathy to the epistolary novel, so perhaps that at least partially explains the teenager’s distaste for the unfortunate lady.

The Visiting Graduate Student: Hail, Holy Queen, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, Caritas in Veritate, about which you might already have heard a thing or two, and the Book of Genesis in the Vulgate.

The Husband: Caritas in Veritate and Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. We don’t like made-up letters, but with real ones we have no quarrel.

The husband is also immersed in his summer section of Theology 202, or whatever the number is currently — I don’t quite get why course numbers change, while the course stays basically the same — which began yesterday, or so it seems, and ends next week. At any rate, student papers comprise the bulk of his actual reading at present.

Me: I’m sure I’m reading something. I must be. The problem is that I put the book down, and now I not only can’t find it, but the very fact of it is gone from my mind.

Men may deal with aging by buying cars; I deal with it by forgetting where I parked mine. Or I would, if my car weren’t a 12-passenger Ford Econoline van, which dwarfs pretty much everything else in the Bi-Lo parking lot.

Since I can’t forget my car, I make up for it by forgetting everything else. If it leaves my hand, it ceases to exist, as far as I’m concerned. Car keys, spatulas, hairbrushes, dog leashes, tubes of Bert’s Bees pomegranate-oil lip balm, which is my one cosmetic indulgence . . . all of it, poof. If I put it down, I have to go and buy some more. When they tell you to save for your old age, they mean something else, but I’m here to tell you that if you’re female and you’re not forty yet, it might behoove you to plan ahead for these incidental expenses.

Or maybe it’s all this internet use. In any event, I think I’m going to go immerse myself in the summer-reading- list links over at The Anchoress. If I’ve got to get dumber by the minute, at least I can be well-read while I’m doing it.

Crank ‘er, Al.

[Rating: 82.963 out of 100]

I have no idea what this means. See “internet use,” above.

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