Tuesday, June 8, 2010

End of year and looking forward to summer!

I have not been able to keep up my reading schedule as end of school year activities have been taking over! Some of you are teachers, I know, and will understand exactly what I mean. With grading, final exams, class days, proms...it becomes a bit too much.

I've been escaping into the Sookie Stackhouse novels...a delicious guilty pleasure!

I've also been compiling a list for summer reading. I have a few so far, but was wondering if there were any suggestions out there?

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

I never knew about this book before! It was suggested by the AP committee that I am on, and it is now part of our summer reading. So, I had to pick it up and read it, of course.

Overall, I liked it. The novel was different...I guess there isn't another way for me to describe it other than to move on to my three points.

1. It was utterly refreshing to read a work that did not focus solely on the horrors of the holocaust. That is not to say that books detailing the atrocities are not to be read or that there is anything wrong with that at all! I simply mean that it was nice to read a novel in which the characters are all Jewish, and it takes place around WWII, but the information in the book focused more on Judaism itself and the differences among various sects. Very, very interesting.

2. Beautifully character driven. I found that I cared deeply about the characters, was curious about their lives, and genuinely wanted to know what would happen to them. The were written so as to seem utterly real. Loved that. The first chapter didn't quite grab me, but from the second chapter on I was hooked on them. (The first chapter is about a baseball game. Not my area of interest. Ahem.)

3. A little pedantic at times. Not that it was totally unnecessary, but sometimes I wanted more study and less teaching and learning. I know, not something a teacher should say. But some of the pages/discussions took me out of the story and felt a bit like a different kind of book.

This one is a definite "should be read" book, in my humble opinion.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Woot-woot! A Blogger Award!!!

One of my fellow bloggers at Loving Books has awarded me the following award.

The rules of this award are to share seven things about yours truly and to pass this on to 15 more blogs I've recently discovered. On to my seven things!

1. In February I switched from drinking coffee to green tea. The change wasn't difficult, but I'd been drinking coffee for at least fifteen years! I switched to green tea because it is supposed to be healthier for you. Here's crossing my fingers that it is...

2. My book addiction works like this: I pick up at least fifteen books and overwhelm myself with all that I want to read. For example, I'll go to the library and pick out a few, then come home to discover another and start reading that one instead. When I get a book I really enjoy, I usually do nothing else.

3. When I was younger I never ever wanted to be a teacher. Guess what I do for a living? Yup, I'm a teacher. :)

4. One of my favorite movies is Rudy. I get totally suckered in by inspirational stories, hoping that I will take all the persistence and dedication portrayed on screen and shift it into my personal life.

5. I have a goldfish. His name is Biggie. I used to have another one that was small. So I named them Biggie and Smalls. Sadly, Smalls passed away. :(

6. I love when the days get longer. I feel like so much better. Lately all of my reading has been outside.

7. My mother always tells me how wonderful yoga is, so I've tried it. I have done it more sporadically lately, but can totally attest to how practicing regularly makes one feel so much better!

Now, to pass on this award to fifteen other bloggers! Here are the fifteen:

1. bibliophiliac
2. mainewords
3. Michelle's Book Blog
4. Mrs. V's Reviews
5. Bibliolatry
6. Book Crazy
7. Buffy's write zone
8. DeRaps Reads
9. Edited to Within an Inch of my Life
10. Writers' Ally
11. Crazy Cat Lady's Library
12. Daisy Chain Book Reviews
13. Frenetic Reader
14. From the Shadows
15. In the Hammock

Hope you check out those blogs...

Now, back to reading The Chosen by Chaim Potok. Just heard about it and I'm really starting to get into it. Review forthcoming!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday ketchup!

I have been remiss...I have not posted a thing to my blog lately, due to a ton of work happening and the infestation of a book series (Not YA) that has totally taken over my weekend mind. I've been reading Stieg Larsson's trilogy and it has me riveted! I don't believe the third one is available yet, and the suspense may just kill me.

That and work has been long lately...been putting in some twelve hour days, but I am anxiously awaiting the summer...

Be ready for the next YA review. Should be up later in the week!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Yup, it's Friday again! I'm looking forward to checking out some book blogs. You can grab the list here!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

A contest!! Enter Today!!

You can get to this awesome contest on the blog Love At the End of the World.

The books up for grabs look awesome...I read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. But the other one I can't wait to read!!!

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

After my son got home from school the other day I asked him some of the customary questions. What did you do at school today? What did you learn in Science, Social Studies, Math? What are you reading in English?

He let me know that he is currently reading The Outsiders, that standard middle school novel that all of my high school students still remember and love. For some of my students, it's the last book they've read. It occurred to me my knowledge of the book was nil.

Shame on me!

I know it is a classic, yet I vaguely remember the movie and don't remember reading the book at all. So I took a few hours and gave it a read. Loved it! On to my three points.

1. S.E. Hinton was (and probably still is) incredibly wise. The entire time I read the book I thought about how this was written begun by a fifteen year old and finished by a sixteen year old. Hinton remarked in an interview that she feels Ponyboy was closest to her as a person. That makes sense to me, as it was her first novel, she was young, and I think often young people are drawn to first person. In light of this I have to give her props for being so mature, understanding, and just plain wise about people and the world.

2. The first chapter. I had a hard time with the way the descriptions were put in. I mean, they were basically arranged by paragraphs and to be honest it made it really hard for me to feel the difference. I guess I got caught up in trying to memorize all the facts about the kids before the action really started to happen. It was disconcerting to me, but perhaps helpful for kids who want that information laid out for them.

3. Lack of parents. I read somewhere, I believe on another blog, that in young adult fiction the parents are frequently absent or neglectful. This novel clearly falls into that category, and it forced me to think about that issue again. Is it really necessary for kids to not have traditional parents in order to delve into issues of coming to terms with themselves and their world? I don't think so, but it is certainly prevalent in YA, and this is sort of like the bible of YA, adored by kids and teachers alike. Something to think about.

Well, I'm glad I read it. If I've read it before and don't remember, I'm glad I read it again. Up next? Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein.