Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge Update (August 2018)

August’s words were: above, beach, boat, camera, few, help, house, sun, yellow


Glass Houses by Louise Penny


I Am a Camera by John Van Druten

Picture Books:

Sunny Days by Trudi Strain Trueit

Toy Boat by Randall de Sève, illustrated by Loren Long

The House that George Built by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Rebecca Bond

Short Stories:

“Tea at the House” by Meg Wolitzer


Help Me” by Luis Alberto Urrea

“Paper Boats” by Rabindranath Tagore

“Listening to a Flute in Yellow Crane Pavillion” by Li Bai

Beach Walk” by Henri Cole


Here’s a list of organizations that are mobilizing to help immigrant children separated from their families – from pro bono legal services to backpacks filled with stuffed animals and toiletries.

How you can help victims of the California wildfires – article from early August providing ways to assist amid the devastation sweeping through parts of California.

Museum colours: contemplating yellow – Hazel (a sort of shade of yellow?) Saunderson of the National Museum of Scotland wandered the galleries looking for yellow objects. Her detailed post is not just a list of what she found, but a reflection on what attracted to her to the different shades of yellow in a variety of objects.

The Latest: Italy wants to pay less to help asylum-seekers – immigration-related news in Europe reported by the AP on July 23.

The Problem of the House Museum – an opinion piece from Traditional Building argues that the historic house museum as a model has a low success rate, with individual examples flourishing only under certain financial conditions.

Cat Self-Help? – Hank Phillippi Ryan and Alice Loweecey discuss cats in real life and on the covers of cozy mysteries. Glass Houses by Louise Penny (see earlier in this post) is about as cozy as I can handle, and I don’t think I’d ever read a mystery with an adorable cat on the cover. But I do love cozy adorable cats in real life!

Dave Eggers: A Cultural Vacuum in the White House – While we may not think of arts and music and literature as the most important subjects for a president to care about, Eggers argues, “Every great civilization has fostered great art, while authoritarian regimes customarily see artists as either nuisances, enemies of the state or tools for the creation of propaganda….[Art] expands the moral imagination and makes it impossible to accept the dehumanization of others.”

Red Cross helps homeowner after fire makes house unlivable – sad news, but with some relief, from Rockford, Illinois.

A Few Maxims For The Instruction Of The Over-Educated by Oscar Wilde – for example: “To be really mediæval one should have no body. To be really modern one should have no soul. To be really Greek one should have no clothes.”

The Sunny Side of Armed Conflict – a 2010 article by Edward Tenner noting that notwithstanding the horrors (ecological, among many other kinds) of war, the lack of development in some war-torn or military-protected areas has had a positive effect on the preservation of beaches and wildlife.

Red Cross receives $1,200 Helping Hand to put smoke alarms in homes – The Helping Hand is a donation given by KWCH in Wichita.

8 Signs Your “Pokemon Go” Team Is Definitely Team Yellow– I am Red, because that’s what my brother already was, but I would really fit in better with Blue. Yellow, as described in this article, sounds like the kind of person I would be friends with.

George & Amal Clooney Donated $100,000 To Help Migrant Children & They’re Not The Only Ones Protesting – As the Clooneys wrote in their June 2018 statement against family separations, “At some point in the future our children will ask us: ‘Is it true, did our country really take babies from their parents and put them in detention centers?’ And when we answer yes, they’ll ask us what we did about it. What we said. Where we stood.”

Can Artists Do Anything to Prevent Climate Change? Miami Beach Has Recruited One to Find Out – Misael Soto is the new artist-in-residence with Miami Beach’s Office of Resilience; the program is sponsored by the Art Center of South Florida, whose CEO explains that resilience is used as a “code word for the things that concern us here… South Beach is ground zero for rising sea levels.”

Does It Really Help Research When Scientists Work Close Together? – I was expecting this 2011 article to be about a room of not-even-cubicles, where noise ricochets in mysterious ways and desks don’t have enough room for more than two stacks of paper and one glass of water, but it’s actually about proximity of offices (same floor? same building? same campus? same city?).

Romantic or racist? Perceptions shift on ‘Little House on the Prairie’ – I have written before that there’s a difference between museums and monuments, between remembering history and honoring history. Similarly, there’s a difference between studying an author and naming an award after an author.

Maryland State House could get laser cleaning to remove biofilm – as the headquarters of Maryland’s legislative body, the State House serves as a living museum in that it’s a historic site where governmental business still happens in the present. But just because it’s a living museum doesn’t mean it needs a layer of microorganisms creating a resilient slime on the surface of the building.

Luis Laplace Creates a Museum Above the Clouds in the French Alps – This article is interesting, but I object to the word museum to describe a fancy, remote vacation home with art in it.

Danica McKellar: Netflix show to help tween girls find ‘inner confidence’ – article from 2015 about an educational show designed to get girls into STEM subjects.

“Don McGahn Hates Rudy with Intensity of 1,000 Burning Suns”: Is Trump Ready to Cook Giuliani? – if the Trump administration were a fictional political thriller, I’d complain that it was too long and too implausible with too many characters.

Madeleine Albright sounds off on Trump: He acts like he’s ‘above the law’ – The former Secretary of State speaks out in favor of freedom of the press and in opposition to “foreign policy by tweets.”

Why Retaining Older Women in the Workforce Will Help the U.S. Economy – “U.S. businesses should put particular focus on retaining older women. Now and even more so in the future, increasing their participation would create substantial economic opportunity. To realize that opportunity, more companies should consider making flexible work arrangements a staple of their employee recruitment and engagement strategy.”

Gut Enzyme Could Help Solve U.S. Blood Shortages – a certain sugar structure could be altered to change blood from one type to another.

Relief officials say Marshalltown immigrant families should not fear seeking help – After the hurricane that swept through Iowa in July, aid organizations tried to reassure the community that they were there to help everyone, regardless of immigration status.


Doc, Help! by Harry Bliss

Audiobooks that I read (in print form) years ago and fell (or tried to fall) asleep listening to in August:

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

Open House by Elizabeth Berg

The Help by Kathryn Stockett


About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
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