Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why Channing likes Justin....

My niece, Channing, is nine years old, and she is in the clutches of Justin Bieber fever. In fact, she counts herself as a "Belieber," one of the teen singer's legions of fans...many of whom, I don't doubt, are as young as Channing.

Channing knows I have a blog, and reads it regularly. The other day I got an e-mail from her, suggesting that I blog about Justin Bieber...and Channing. Who knows? Maybe Justin Bieber would somehow stumble on my blog and be virtually introduced to Channing!

I broke the news to her that that probably won't happen, but because I love Channing so much, I DID promise to blog about Justin Bieber.

A YouTube phenomenon

Justin Bieber's story really is pretty remarkable. Just a few years ago, when Justin was 12 years old, his mom posted a video on YouTube of him singing at a local talent competition. (He placed second in the competition.)

Mom continued to upload videos of Justin's songs until he became sort of a YouTube phenomenon. He ended up being noticed there by a music producer, was signed to Island Records, and went on to become the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

So why do little girls love Justin Bieber?

Do I get the appeal? No, but then again I'm a grown woman. Channing says she likes him because he's cute and she likes the way he sings.

I don't know if anyone's ever done a psychological analysis into what makes people become avid fans of anybody or anything. If you are around my age, you might well have had a huge crush on David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman, or even Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees fame.

Why? Probably because they were cute, and you liked the way they sang.

And I suspect whenever fan-girl-ness is present, there's the very faint, very distant hope that maybe someday, somehow, the object of your fan-girl-ness will notice YOU.

Channing won't be nine years old forever, and all too soon, her crushes will be on real boys she knows rather than on teen pop stars with thick bangs.

But because she won't be nine years old forever, and because I love her very, very much, I'm glad I granted her wish that I blog about Justin Bieber.

Here you go, Channing! :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My top 25 books of all time

My niece, Katie, asked me today to give her a list of books I would recommend for her to read. I remembered once posting a list of my Top 25 Books of All Time...and I thought it would be as good a place as any to start!

By the way: this list doesn't include the Holy Bible, which I feel goes without saying is the greatest Book of all, and actually is really much more than a book.

Here it is, originally posted in October 2005:


(in no particular order)

1. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott--really kicked off my lifelong love of reading
2. The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis
3. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
4. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
5. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
6. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
7. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
8. Red Knights from Hy Brasil, by Christine Savery (read here about how I re-discovered this childhood favorite)
9. Auntie Robbo, by Anne Scott Moncrieff (read here about how I re-discovered this book)
10. The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis
11. Villette, by Charlotte Bronte
12. Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot
13. Shadow of the Almighty, by Elisabeth Elliot
14. The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom
15. The Persecutor, by Sergei Kourdakov
16. New Moon Rising, by Eugenia Price
17. This Present Darkness, by Frank Perretti
18. My Life Without God, by William Murray
19. The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher
20. The Emerald Ballad Series, by B. J. Hoff--reinforced my love of all things Irish, and showed me just how good Christian fiction can be
21. The Mark of the Lion Series, by Francine Rivers--introduced me to a remarkable writer, and reinforced to me just how good Christian fiction can be
22. Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan
23. Streams in the Desert, edited by L. B. Cowman
24. Not My Will, by Francena H. Arnold
25. Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery

NOTE7/14/10: I'm sure there are many others that I've somehow left off this list...I'll try to remember to add them as I think of them.

I know Katie has already read some of these books, but I hope she'll enjoy the others as much as I have!

(P.S. My quest to lose 10 pounds stalled out at the halfway mark. I hope to continue my quest when I get back from my Texas visit. Hopefully I won't gain any back!)
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