Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blog, ignored.

My poor blog.

I am as bad as my students.

All that "time" I was going to have to blog while I wasn't teaching during the day... phooey. That "time" disappeared while I did paperwork, subbed, scanned senior pics, or filled the coffee pot.

Then... I forgot the password to the blog. Grrrrr.

With some recovered memory, I was able to hack back into the blog.

Anyway... I read two books over Turkey Vacation (a.k.a. Vacation that gives teachers the strength to manage the next 14.5 days before Christmas break).

#1. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

A GREAT read and an excellent accompaniment to "The Book Thief". A study of the German occupation of France and the resulting round-up of French Jews in July, 1942. The book is told in alternating chapters of then and now. During a raid of their home, a little girl locks her brother in a hidden closet, promising to return later and free him. In present-day, an Paris-based American reporter discovers the closet key and her in-laws' connection to the little girl and her brother.

I was able to recognize some of the Parisian locations mentioned in the book... that was some fun in the midst of the sad story.

#2. False Victim by Kathie Truitt

False Victim was an intriguing, suspenseful nightmarish story! This story is a fictionalized account of the real-life nightmare the Truitt family experienced while living in the Washington, DC area. Julie Patterson discovers that befriending her neighbor Lynn Hennessy turns into a nightmare with near-deadly consequences.

Kathie Truitt is originally from El Dorado Springs. I missed getting to attend her book-signing in Eldo while I was gone this summer, but I found a signed copy of it in the Springfield B/N. You can also order it from their website.

Happy Reading!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Messenger - Finished

I finished "The Messenger".

It reminded me of the short story "Button, Button".

I plan to buy all of Zusak's books. I've enjoyed his writing style and delivery.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Still Reading...

"The Messenger"...

I loved the tie-in to literature with the third card having references to authors. Ed visited the library and searched the shelves for the titles on the card that eventually led him to the next addresses in his message delivery missions.

I spent several minutes trying to convince a student to read one of the books that Ed was searching for in the library. I finally put "The Bell Jar" in her hands by explaining that Sylvia Plath met her demise in her kitchen oven.

Literary gain knows no boundaries :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Currently Reading....

"The Messenger"... by the author of the "Book Thief"... Zusak.

Zusak's writing is excellent. I am as equally intrigued with the plot of this novel as I was with "The Book Thief".

Murder, love, taxi driving, barefoot running and barefoot soccer, a 17 year old dog named The Doorstop... I can't wait to finish the story!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Currently Reading....

The Scarlet Letter.

I've got to be honest... I'm struggling with it.

BUT, it is better than my first reading of the novel.

I am reading "TSL" on my Nook. I get a brief satisfaction of clicking the button to advance the page after I've plowed my way down the screen, returned to the stanzas I didn't comprehend, and then re-reading the entire passage again. :P

Trish and I are looking for "exciting" ways to introduce the novel... so far, no luck.

Any suggestions???

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Spooner... Done. Eat, Pray, Love... Done

I finished the two books that I was reading.

Spooner... I think Spooner and I just did not mesh. I waded through that story with no sense of enjoyment, only curiosity. I can't say that I got any personal enjoyment or reward from reading the entire saga of Spooner's life.

Eat, Pray, Love... I had tried to read EPL when it was first published and could not. Maybe because I'm older or maybe b/c I traveled to the first locale of the book, I immersed myself into the story this time.

I enjoyed Gilbert's adventures in Italy. I could certainly relate to eating gelato for each meal! :) I also found I could relate to her meditation experiences in India from the last five years I've spent on a table doing my BEST therapies. And finally, when the old medicine man in Indonesia tells Gilbert that her shakras are aligned and all is well, I knew exactly what that feels like... complete bliss! (I attempt to reach that stage each week... some weeks are better than others :P)

Would I ever had the faith (patience? courage?) to leave all that is familiar and travel/live abroad for an entire year?

What I do know is that everything happens for a reason. I did not read this book until I was older, had traveled to Europe, and had spent 5 years working on aligning my mind/body/spirit. The book and Gilbert's experiences mean more to me now than they would have back in 2006.

Still haven't decided whether to go and watch the movie...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Almost There!!!

I am ALMOST done with Eat, Pray, Love!

I just have this little thing called work in my way of reading the ending!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love / Spooner / junior textbook

Yes, I am simultaneously reading all three of these.

Spooner and I go to sleep together. Liz Gilbert takes me to a foreign location while I'm waiting for something to begin... like another committee meeting. The junior textbook is being read while feverishly figuring out what I'm teaching for the next nine months.

  • (Sidenote... I have a student teacher this semester. Trish will start on the 16th and greet the students with me the next day. She will be with us until December.)Bulleted List
This reading schedule reminds me of my English-major, undergrad days . I would have one novel in progress for Dr. Morgan, another for Dr. Couch, and yet another for one of my social studies courses.

I once wandered into the PE department and visited my Uncle Max. He suggested I use the scales to weigh my backpack. That semester I was carrying 35 pounds worth of books across the MSSC campus, including that mammoth "Complete Works of Shakespeare". (I couldn't WAIT to turn that one back in to the rental compound!)

Anyway, I digress.

Christy asked me if I was going to see the movie "Eat, Pray, Love". We discussed that we are afraid the movie will damage the images in our minds that we developed as we read about Liz and the people she met while in Italy, India and Indonesia. We agreed that the scenery from Italy would make us homesick for the beautiful country we left 6 weeks ago.

I hope Jake develops a love of reading. I didn't think I would get Tyler to that point, but he enjoys a good book and he likes to read. (Shhhh... don't tell him I said that in my blog!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm reading "Spooner" by Pete Dexter.

Mr. Dexter's prose reminds me of Faulkner's... by the time I finally find the punctuation at the end of the sentence, I have no idea what the context of the sentence was in the first place.

The only thing keeping me going is that I am now too involved in Spooner's life and I have to find out the rest of his story.

This is on the list that we are using for the junior AR reading. It is suppposed to be classic American literature. I'm having a hard time putting it on the same list as "To Kill A Mockingbird".

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Getting ready...

My room, with the exception of the closet, is ready for the school year.

I walked into that room today and got that "anticipatory" feeling!

I dusted, arranged my personal pictures, put up my diploma frames, put up all the visual aids, arranged the furniture, removed the covers from the SmartBoard equipment, got the computer in working order, and straightened my desk.

I have to tackle that closet and the AR books when I return.

Ten more years until retirement...eleven if I stay until Jake graduates... and I think I can make it!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Completion of "The Book Thief"

Spoiler Alert! Details of book are discussed...

I finished reading "The Book Thief". When I finished, I was wishing it had been available for me to read at the same time I was first exposed to "The Diary of Anne Frank" as a young reader.

When I was grown, I found it difficult to teach Anne's diary and the history of WWII/Nazi Germany because the only thing I have in common with Anne is that I once was a teenage girl. I have never...

...been a Jew wearing a yellow star
...been persecuted for my religious beliefs
...had my family members taken from me
...experienced war
...been shut in a small space for several months.

But in "The Book Thief", there were so many characters... a reader had many choices to identify with throughout the course of the novel.

In "The Book Thief", the stories we know of Nazi Germany during WWII are presented by a narrator that we don't often see.

Death is the narrator of "The Book Thief". With Death as an all-knowing narrator, the characters of Liesel, her Papa, her Mama, Rudy and Max are given more depth than if the story had been written in first person from Liesel's (the book thief) view.

My favorite part of the story was Max's creation of "The Word Shaker" for Liesel. Zusak's (author) explanation about Hitler's words and Liesel's words, and how Hitler's words were designed for evil and persecution, while Liesel's were meant for sorrow and healing was powerful. Zusak made me stop and think about Hitler's words and the destruction he caused with words... just a combination of words.

Another point that me think was when Death narrated that he had picked up Hitler's soul and carried it away, pointing out that when Death arrived, Hitler was no different than anyone else and his words could not save him.

Zusak did an amazing job with this story. I wish I had read it when it was first published.

Does anyone else think Liesel possibly married Max???

Excellent book and thanks to Tracy for pointing it to my attention.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Book Thief

I am currently reading "The Book Thief". Have any of my followers read it???

I know Tracy B. picked it up about the time that the banned book at Stockton hit the news.

I'm not sure what age I would hand "The Book Thief"... there are some writing techniques at work that need a little bit of reading experience to understand (flashback, foreshadowing, and several literary devices at work by the author).

It's a great story... I can see it being used in units that would include teaching Anne Frank's story.

Off to read!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nook Update

I took my Nook on an emergency run to Barnes and Noble today. A nice guy named Nigel worked on it (kind of a CPR for Nooks) but failed to resuscitate my Nook.

I have to call B and N and request a replacement.

At least I can say this wasn't my fault :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Help

I finished reading "The Help" by Kathryn Sockett.

The B and N synopsis doesn't do the book justice. I agree with the one reviewer who said that you just land in this seemingly on-going story. It starts with one of the "help" narrating her side of the story and it just keeps running. The story alternates between three narrators, two colored maids and the white girl who wants to write a novel about the relationships between the maids and their white, female bosses. The alternating narration is not a problem -- Sockett tells the story in chronological order, just in different voice.

It's difficult to discuss my favorite / not favorite parts of this book without giving the plotline away. I will say that just as quick as you jump into the novel, you will jump back out.

I discovered this book during our trip to Europe. I think 3 women read the novel in the duration of the time. I knew it had to be good, so I borrowed it electronically from Karen.

After a few issues with my Nook, I still managed to read it on my itouch. 464 pages on the itouch screen... LOL LOL LOL... my optometrist will not be happy with me since I didn't wear my bifocals!

Thank you Karen!!! Great book!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Girls From Ames

If you are female and you know me, you must read this book! Shoot, if you're MALE and know me, you must read this book!

I read this while we were at St. John's.

It's the story of 11 girls that met in infancy / childhood / elementary school in Ames, Iowa, and who have maintained their friendship for 40+ years. The book was written by Jeffrey Zaslow, who co-authored Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture".

I could relate to the storyline since some of my best friends were made before I turned six. I could also relate to the Ames girls' insistence that their friendship was based largely on their common histories... and already knowing all about the others' pasts :)

We are starting a new book club of sorts at school next year. This book will probably be the first one the girls read/discuss together. (I didn't hear of any boys wanting to join but they are certainly welcome! The co-sponsor (Rentel) will probably welcome the male company :)

Sad news...

My Nook has developed some problems and the nice Nook Man was unable to solve them for me.

I can access my BN library on my itouch and computer, but the Nook says it's just not going to happen anymore. :(

So... the dilemma... what to do? Get BandN to honor the warranty? It's not like I dropped it and this happened... get another? IDK. Decisions, decisions.

I am currently reading "The Help" by Kathryn Sockett. Excellent! It was an e-load thru from my new friend Karen. We discovered that not only did we have matching Nikes, we had matching Nooks :)

Still love reading, but not looking forward to reading the American Lit. textbook... better get started on that... new class to teach. Yikes!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Nook titles for European Vacation

Thanks to the gift cards from Barnes and Noble, I loaded up my Nook for the European vacation! My downloads:

Olive Kitteridge - STROUT
The Sweethearts' Knitting Club - WILDE
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - HOFFMAN
Just One of the Guys - HIGGINS
The Cinderella Deal - CRUSIE
The School of Essential Ingredients - BAUERMEISTER
The Last Time I Saw You - BERG
The Girls from Ames - ZASLOW
The Scent of Rain and Lightning - PICKARD

Lots to read and enjoy!!! Let me know if you have read any of these and what you thought!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Wow! May just FLEW by me!

English 1 students did some creative writing using the illustrations from the book "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick" by Chris Allsburg (he also wrote "Jumanji"). Some good creativity from that exercise... Scott always comes up with something fun to do. We also took the End-of-Course exams required by the state. (God Bless DESE.) For the first time in all my years of teaching, we had a DESE person there during testing to watch us proctor/administer the test. The kids/adults did great and we were praised by Mrs. DESE Lady for our testing procedures/environment.

English 3 students got senior-itis and we coasted through the rest of the year discussing advertising/culture/"fluff" in advertising/etc... They seemed to enjoy that unit... at least they didn't complain a lot. :)

My summer reading has included thus far:
"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" Berendt

"Deliver us From Normal" - Klise

"Far From Normal" - Klise

The first is definitely for older readers and the second two are for middle school and up.

Happy Summer!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I've been listening to student presentations. I've watched a goat have its hooves cleaned and trimmed, guitar and xylophone instruction, how to make/decorate cupcakes, how to make paper flowers, a frozen pizza, Ramen noodles, how to say the FFA Creed, how to prepare your puppy for show, how to make toast, cinnamon toast, how to give a manicure, and how to prepare and eat puppy chow.

Quite a week!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Back in the Ballgame... so to speak

I've been ill for 6 weeks with fluid on my inner-ear. I managed to find something so physically (and mentally!) debillitating that it would keep me from my love of reading. So, having lost 6 weeks of magazines, newspapers, and books, I am frantically reading everything and anything!!!

The freshmen were guided through those weeks of my "here today, gone tomorrow" lessons of "The Scarlet Ibis" and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty". My poor sub had to handle the Ibis, but I got to take them thru the reading of Walter :) I love that story!

The seniors/juniors also had to manage their work solo. They worked on poetry from Dickinson, Teasdale, Bates, and Frost. Their last story was "The Ransom of Red Chief" by O. Henry. They liked that one... I think they can relate closely to Red Chief :)

Check out our wikispace... you can see how we were able to work together with me at home and them at school:

So... what I'm reading... Our educational neighbors, the Stockton (MO) Board of Education, banned the book "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by SHERMAN ALEXIE from their curriculum.

My immediate response to this news was to buy a copy of the book and read it today from cover-to-cover.

My conclusion? An excellent book!
Would I teach it in the classroom? (Would I make every kid responsible for its content?) No. Would I recommend it to any high school age reader? Yes.
Will I put my copy in our AR library? Yes, absolutely.
Are there themes of sexual content in the book? Yes.
Will these shock a high-school reader? Generally no.
Will the discussion of drinking/the effects of drinking be familiar to teenagers? Unfortunately.
Is the idea that you can overcome any obstacle something teens should read? YES!
Will I be reading any further books by the author? Yes!

We have another of his novels in our senior novels curriculum... "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven". I may have to go break into Scott's room and steal one out to read tomorrow!

I also read a whopper of a novel "White Crosses" by Larry Watson. It was recommended on a list that we used to purchase a "classic" college prep book list for our college-bound juniors (I am teaching that next year... new job assignment). Very unusual book... I have my dad reading it now b/c I was intrigued and disturbed by it. One of the few books I've read where I could have eliminated the entire center section and still gotten the exposition, climax and resolution. Of course, I was on medication while I managed to read it... maybe that's why it read "funny" to me. :)

Thanks for being patient during my absence from the book blog! Love, B.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What They Are Reading - 7th Hour!!!

First Shot - Sorrells
Snakehead - Horowitz
Buffalo Bill - Goodman
Winter Kill and Savage Run - both by CJ Box
Missouri Homestead - Tedrow
Pretty Little Liars - Shepard
Lightning Thief - Riordan
Keeping the Moon - Dessen
Dylan - Harrison

What They Are Reading - 3rd Hour!

Carnivorous Carnvial - Lemony Snicket
Marked - PC Cast
Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever - L. McDaniel
Foxman - Paulsen
Dial L for Loser - Harrison
Twelve Mighty Orphans - Dent
Claire - Harrison
Nineteen Minutes - Piccoult
Someone Like You - Dessen
Knights of the Hill Country - Tharp
The Notebook - Sparks

What They Are Reading - 2nd Hour!

Perfect You - E. Scott
Glass - Hopkins
Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
Just Another Day of My Insanely Real Life - B. Dee
There's Before and Then There's After - K. Harmel
That Summer - S. Dessen
The Lightning Thief - R. Riordan

and then there's Nick.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cranberry Flats, by Lisa

My college roommate and I have reconnected thanks to Facebook and we discovered that, along with a lot of other things we share in common, we both love to blog.

Lisa's blog is right over there in the sidebar. Click on "Cranberry Flats" and enjoy Lisa's blogs on anything and everything :)

Lisa worries that I will "red-pen" her blog but she does a great job and her voice bolts out of her blogs. I can literally "hear" her while I read her entries. (We nerds that get paid to do that kind of thing work very hard to get a writer to put forth their own voice and not imitate others in their writing.)

Lisa is doing such a great job that I plan to use her as an example of "adult writers" who are writing for FUN (What, writing is fun??? you betcha!) by sharing her blog with my students.

While I often remember my year at on that college campus as being horrible in term of race relations and on-campus rape issues, CMSU should receive credit for giving me a wonderful "blind-date" roommate for my first year of college. Love ya Lisa!!!


The freshmen and I finished reading Romeo and Juliet today!!! What an accomplishment!

I reminded them that 6 weeks ago, they thought we'd never finish. :) Not only did we finish, I think most of them enjoyed the story. (Though they might not admit that!)

Their reading improved greatly as we moved through the five acts. They began to read with a great deal of fluency and I actually enjoyed listening to them !

My teaching assignment for next year does not include freshmen. That will be the first year of my teaching career that I will not be teaching R and J to a freshmen. I almost cried at the thought of that today as we finished 7th hour. I didn't realize how much of a part that R and J have been of my career.

Thanks R, J, and Bill Shakespeare for providing me with some memorable teaching moments.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jonathan Tropper trumps Flannery

Oh Flannery... how I would love to love thee...but I just can't!!!

I've been working my way thru the biography very slowly. I decided to take a break and order a new book for my Nook. I'm reading Jonathan Tropper novels - every single one of them. :)

I'm now reading "Everything Changes". I love Tropper's style of writing!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oh Flannery!!!

Flannery is going very, very slowly... I'm switching between the autobiography and her fiction... and they're both sooooo.... blah.

It's just as bad as I remembered. Apparently my just-developed-frontal lobe was accurate in it's interpretation of MFOC.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I finished the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series :) I think Mr. Riordan did a fantastic job. I even found an "extra" book in the series in my room today ... "The Demigod Files"... and read that today during AR hours. ( I got a perfect score on the AR quiz for that one! LOL )

Next projects:

Mr. Rentel and I are preparing to start a book club with some of his sophomore girls and I hope we will quickly expand to include the other gender :) We are coming up with some neat ideas... if you have any book club suggestions, please send them my way.

I am going to read "Flannery, A Life of Flannery O'Connor" by Brad Gooch. At MSSC, English majors were required to take a semester that focused on the entire works of one author. The author during my rotation of that course was Flannery. My professor was a Flannery fanatic and I was too young and stupid to take advantage of his knowledge to gain/learn an appreciation for her work. So... my first step of academic redemption is to read the biography and remember how she came to write those stories and then I'm going to tackle a collection of her works -- Wise Blood, A Good Man is Hard to Find, The Violent Bear It Away, Everything that Rises Must Converge, and her essays and letters.

Want to read some Southern literature? join me!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Percy #5

I'm reading Percy #5... I'm enjoying this last novel in the series.

Percy has heard The Great Prophecy and I'm anxious to see how this story ends!

Jake and I watched "The Lightning Thief" Saturday. I was disappointed in the translation from book to screen. There were so many parts that I was looking forward to... I thought Chris Columbus would have a different setting for Camp Half-Blood. I wanted to see his interpretation of the demigods cabins. :)

The freshmen have finished Act II of R and J today... those old married kids...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wow!!! I haven't blogged for a while!

I have been reading the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. With the movie coming out today, anticipation in the classroom has been rising :)

(This is primarily male excitement... the females are excited about "Dear John", based on a Nicholas Sparks' novel. )

I am on book 4 of the 5 book series. A few of the boys and I are challenging each other to see how fast we can read the series. It's neat to have a series I can discuss with them ... generally, I am usually talking "girl books" with the females. :)

I really like how author Rick Riordan has incorporated the ancient Greek mythology into a modern setting. It's been a great tool to use in class to illustrate the concept of setting/time/place.

I hate putting them down when I'm reading! I've been reading at night and not getting enough sleep b/c I want to read the next chapter :)

My favorite character is Annabeth, a daughter of Athena. Annabeth is a great example of a character exemplifying loyalty. Her loyalty to Percy is constant, but it is her loyalty to Luke, even as they find further evidence of his evil plans, that is good for kids to read. It's a good reminder that sometimes your friends do stupid things, but they still need and value your friendship.

English 3 read "To Build A Fire" by Jack London. Their teacher chose to read that on two VERY cold days... my students didn't appreciate my lesson planning! As the main character was freezing to death in the Yukon, they were chilling in Room 308. Our heater wasn't working too well in those frigid temperatures, but it made for some great environment while reading/listening :)

English 1 is waging their way through Romeo and Juliet. I am always amazed at the lines they understand on their own and how they miss the more obvious stuff. (Of course, I am speaking of the "dirty" content in R and J. They seem amazed that Shakespeare just might have had a really dirty mind :) ) They are also appalled by the 13 and 15 year olds getting married after knowing each other less than 12 hours! :P Not that any of them would make an impulsive decision!!! :)

Until I finish another book / or / the Percy Jackson series...

Sunday, January 31, 2010


A few errors in that last post. Sorry!!!

I'm too tired to be blogging this late (8:30 !!! ) at night.

Front and Center!

This week I finished the "Dairy Queen" series with "Front and Center". I liked the series. I didn't think the writing was strong through each the three books, but I enjoyed how the author concluded the series with DJ making strong decisions based on her own needs and not the needs of others.

I've encouraged several students to read "Dairy Queen". It's making the rounds :)

What I LOVE about my job -- I love getting kids to read a book just convincing they will ENJOY the story!!! "Dairy Queen" is one that I can recommnend and get that effect with the kids.

I also finished "The Lightning Thief". Rick Riordan has written a great series. I was very impressed with his first book and asked my dear husband to pick up the others for me which he did on Friday night. Now, I just have to read 'em. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Lightning Thief continues

"The Lightning Thief" is good. While it is not the type of book that I normally would want to read, it is keeping my attention. At this point, the author's hints of the book's resolution have seemed obvious to me and I am hoping I wrong, that I haven't figured out who betrays Percy.

(The book is geared toward middle school readers. Too many years of guiding students toward finding these types of things ruins a lot of books for me. LOL )

Beginning "Romeo and Juliet" Monday... R and J times 19 years, several years 6x a day, 1x in my own hs class, 1x in my college Shakespeare class = a LOT of R and J. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I have loved my Nook so much!!!

They are again available from Barnes and Noble.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reading "The Lightning Thief"

I am currently reading The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

I wish we had a copy of this book for each kid!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Finished "The Off Season"

I finished "The Off Season".

My students (who have read the book) didn't like it... they thought it was "boring" and "slow".

I read it with a different perspective (of course!). A large portion of the book focuses on DJ's brother's rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury. There is a lot of discussion about the process of rehab and her brother's resistance/later, acceptance of his situation.

I remember going with my mom to the St. Lukes' rehab when she had her hip replaced. There was a young woman in rehab who had been in a car accident and suffered a broken neck (like DJ's brother). I watched her for several days while she and my mom were assigned stations beside each other. Each day they were working on her ability to return a balloon to the therapist by swinging her entire arm and trying to hit the balloon. She had been there for several weeks and it struck me (13-year-old me) that it had to be maddening to advance in such "baby steps" in her attempts to regain her functions. I remembered her and her accident when I began to drive. I wish I knew if she ever regained full movement of her limbs.

I enjoyed the book and I can't wait to read the third/final installment of the series!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Off Season

I'm reading "The Off Season" by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. (Her sister is Elizabeth Gilbert... "Eat, Pray, Love").

"The Off Season" is the sequel to "Dairy Queen". I'm enjoying reading about DJ again... :)

The school routine doesn't allow as much reading time (phooey!). Between curriculum changes, eMINTS /website deadlines, and the targeted tutoring beginning, I'm thinking the job is going to get a little crazy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Romeo, Juliet and me x 70

We read "The Odyssey" before Christmas Break. When we returned from Christmas (we actually went 3 days!!!), we watched "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and had the kids write out the comparisons they could determine. They did a great job!!!

When we finish the upcoming 3 week grammar unit (not my favorite thing to teach :P) , we will start "Romeo and Juliet". If you count high school, college Shakespeare class, and 19 years of teaching it, some years 6x a day, I think I will be reading it for the 70th or so time. Sigh... it's a good thing I really like it :)

The seniors/juniors in 3A are working on "The Prairie" from James Fenimore Cooper's "The Leatherstocking Tales". Natty Bumppo passes again... :P I don't think they were too thrilled with the selection our textbook offers.

Tyler's section of Eng. 3 read a portion of "Moby Dick" during the 3 days... I don't think they were too impressed! I think it's again time we cut out the whale and have the kids walk over/around/on the whale to get a sense of its enormity. No fishing pole for that catch ;)

Does anyone remember reading those in high school? I didn't read either until American Literature class with Dr. Morgan at MSSC.

Snow Vacation reading

During the Snow Vacation, I managed to read several books!

1. Dairy Queen (Catherine Gilbert Murdock) - excellent! I could relate in a few ways with the main character. I didn't have to imagine bringing in the hay with machinery from the 1950's era. :) I also had no idea I would be reading another football book!!!

(During first semester, I challenged my 5th hour boys to some "football reading". We read "Our Boys... A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen" by Joe Drape, Jim Dent's "Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites who ruled Texas Football" and "The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game" by Michael Lewis. I read them ALL and got more than my dosage of football reading!!! :) )

2. The Book of Joe (Jonathan Tropper) (adults)

3. How to Talk to A Widower (Jonathan Tropper) (adults)

4. Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons ( Lorna Landvik) (adults) I read this on the Nook

5. Very Special Delivery (Linda Goodnight) Also on the Nook...

6. Homespun Bride (Jillian Hart) Also Nook...

7. The Christmas Cookie Club (Ann Pearlman) (adults) Nook...

8. Anyone But You (Jennifer Crusie) (adults) Nook....

I bought #2 and 3 sight unseen. "The Book of Joe" has the main character returning to his hometown of Bush Falls when his father has a stroke. I was thinking that someone was definitely stealing my father's own story line :) I was even more intrigued when I got into the book and found many more parallels between my own past and the story of "Joe".

#5 and 6 were freebie downloads on the Nook... romance/historical romance fiction
My new motto created while I was discussing his lack of reading time with a 7th hour student...

"If you have time to breathe, you've got time to read!" - Cooper

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Reading on the Nook

I have enjoyed reading on the Nook! I thought I would be bothered by the screen, turning pages electronically, finding my last reading spot, etc...

I have been annoyed by my lack of capability to run the software. I wish that was a little more user-friendly :)

I love having a book "delivered" to me in minutes! I hate paying for it!

My favorite book that I've read on the nook so far is "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons". In the book, several neighbors form a book club. In the beginning of the story, set in the 1960s, they gather to discuss books, but by the end, the 1990s, their lives have become completely intwined with divorce, death, deception and even attempted murder.

I tried to determine my favorite character and decided I could not... I loved them all.

I wondered why I liked this book so well. When I investigated the author's other books, I realized that she had written another favorite book - "Patty Jane's House of Curl".
Wow!!! been a loooonnnnggg time since I blogged!

I've been reading on my Nook... details later...