Summer Reading!

Did you have a fun weekend? Sarah and I had a blast, albeit, doing very different things in different parts of the country. Her weekend started with a celebration of her birthday, complete with an adventure with Ca$h that deserves to be shared. My weekend involved our first every family road bike ride up the mountain to Maroon Bells.

Today we’re taking it easy and planning for the week ahead. One thing we’re thinking about is Friday’s post. Rather than our semi-regular links post this Friday, we’re going to discuss our first summer read, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood.

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Did you have a chance to read it yet? Sarah and I both loved the book, definitely not because it was a fairytale, but because of its amazing power to transport us to a time, place, and situation that we’ve never experienced.

If you haven’t read it, we strongly encourage you to pick up a copy and join us on Friday. The Kindle version is under $8.00, and totally worth it.

If you have or are reading the book, here are some discussion questions that we came across and thought would make for an interesting discussion:

  • Given their dangerous surroundings in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia and a long streak of what young Bobo describes as “bad, bad luck,” why do you think the Fuller family remains in Africa?
  • What do you think of Fuller’s mother and father? How would you describe them? Do you think they were good parents?
  • Animals are ever present in the book. How do the Fullers view their domesticated animals, as compared to the wild creatures that populate their world?
  • Consider Fuller’s interactions with black Africans, including her nanny in Rhodesia and the children she plays “boss and boys” with, as well as with Cephas the tracker and, later, the first black African to invite her into his home. Over the course of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, how does the narrator change and grow?
  • By the end of the narrative, how do you think the author feels about Africa? Has the book changed your own perceptions about this part of the world?
  • The back cover calls the book “unsentimental and unflinching”. This is especially true of her description of the racial attitudes of white settlers: she does not apologize for them nor explains them away, but neither does she justify or excuse them. Do you find this this unsettling or do you appreciate the honesty. How do you react to this choice?

We hope you’ll join us on Friday! And until then, we have some good stuff planned for this week.

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