Monday Book Talks and What I am Reading

Booktalks for 8th grade today:

It is interesting how the students want to talk about books and keep talking about them in general. It warms my heart. The ideas behind the stories are interesting to them as well. I also gave a survey of some books they like/hate/what they are reading now to get a better idea of topics to recommend. There are a vast amount of books to put on their radars. Milk and Honey (the poetry collection) that has seen recent popularity is circulating around the room. The poetry was a bit too heavy for me, but I am glad that they are branching out to that genre.

Between the Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by: Paul Fleischman and Eric Beddow

Poetry that is interesting and fun and meant to be read aloud.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

A great nonfiction story about the start of Zappos. I also mentioned that Starbucks and Tom’s Shoes also have similar books about the starting of companies.

 An Abundance of Katherines by: John Green
Love this book and the footnotes.
Alice in Wonderland by: Lewis Carroll

A classic story that I have loved all my life, and only read within the last couple of years.

What I Just Read:

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

Loved this title. The story is about 2 woman who apply for the privilege of renting a house that is minimal and full of technology that gathers data about the way they live. The story is full of interesting twists and the application questions peppered throughout the story is an added detail that makes it even more interesting. The house itself is a character and you always feel like you are on the brink of a new piece of information that takes the story in a new direction.
Fantastic read!
A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life
Parker Palmer

A book about trust, silence, and becoming the people our souls are.

 

Happy Reading!

Advertisements

Reading Party

I want to host a reading party.

Everyone comes with their book and dressed in comfy clothes.

There is great food, delicious beverages, lots of pillows and blankets, and we READ.

Wouldn’t that be fun?

 

Monday Booktalks

I am happy to say that today I am starting book talks in 8th grade reading classes. Some of the books are housed in school library and the others are from my personal collection. I started with books  and authors that I love. Also, several authors have many books to their name.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is an author that everyone needs to know. This book was recommended to me first by my son. I have read quite a bit of Gaiman’s work and love every word.

Booked by Kwame Alexander

This is the soccer version of Crossover which is about basketball. This book is told through prose and is unusual. Great for reluctant readers who can be turned off by too many words on a page.

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by: Jordan Sonnenblick

I read this book a couple years ago because of a recommendation from a friend who lives in Tennessee. It is a great story that pulls on the heartstrings about family and siblings. Plus the title is irresistible.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

There is only one copy of The Graveyard Book in the library and I wanted another class to be exposed to Neil Gaiman’s work.

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
A nonfiction selection about how people died. Always an interesting topic especially for middle schoolers.
Dark Matter by: Blake Crouch
I loved this book. It is science fiction, a thriller, and a love story all in one. This title was particularly popular. There is a waiting list for it now!
Ready Player One by: Ernest Cline
My students who love gaming will love this book. There are 80’s references in the story line so the students were warned. I am not sure if that will hinder their enjoyment.
I Kill The Mockingbird by Paul Acampora
This book is a young Hoosier nominee. It is a book about books which I love.
Nothing But the Truth by AVI
I met AVI a couple of years ago at the Indiana Reading Association conference. This book is about a student refusing to be silent during the star spangled banner.
The Westing Game Ellen Raskin
This is an older title and wonderful. There are lots of characters so I warned the kids before reading it. This title is full of adventure, mystery, and money!
a Snicker of Magic Natalie Lloyd
I love this book ! When it first came out I told everyone I could about it. I bought extra copies and gave them to other teachers.
Reception to the titles was positive. All of the books were checked out from each class so soon I hope to get some feedback from the kids and have more recommendations for them next week.
Happy Reading!

Brains and the Rule of Three

Brainpickings  is one of my favorite websites and newsletter. I subscribe and enjoy the weekly articles which I have found it to contain some of the most intelligent and interesting content on the web. It is a great source to link to other worthwhile reading.

I find my way to my new obsessions in curious ways sometimes. Let me explain how this sequence of new obsession occurred:

  1. While listening to Tsh’s podcast this week she quoted Parker Palmer, an author I had never heard of before. I enjoyed the quote and made sure to check the shownotes to copy it down correctly.
  2. While I was searching for something else I also found a blogpost from Modern Mrs Darcy about Palmer’s books.
  3. This blogpost led me to the articles on Brainpickings about Palmer.

 

When a topic or a name pops up in front of me 3 times or more I figure I am supposed to pay attention. It seems that Palmer’s writing is exactly what I need right now. The quote that Tsh shared (#4 below) is a thought that is much more eloquently expressed in Palmer’s words then it has been in my own head. It is however what I have been contemplating and reflecting on all this week.

Palmer’s book is requested at the public library ( I am trying to cut down on the book buying…will let you know how THAT goes…) and I am looking forward to growing as  a person as I read his work.

Here are some ideas I have gleaned so far:

  1. I need to honor my shadow and my light. I also need to honor these characteristics in others.
  2. Wholeness is the goal – not perfection.
  3. I need to exercise my heart with joy and pains. Self protection all the time does not lead to an interesting life.
  4. “Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you.”

Happy Reading!

Christmas Break Reading

Christmas break started on Wednesday, December 21st for me this year. There was a flurry of list items to prepare for Christmas . My husband and I hosted Christmas Day this year so several middle of the night cooking sessions ended up on the list! In between visits and cooking and eating I have found quite a bit of time for reading some great books. Also, the KINDLE deals have been amazing. Lots of books that are on the TBR list, award winners, and titles that are frequently talked about on the podcasts I listen to weekly. My sapience accumulates from my life of reading and won’t stop until I die.

I abandoned A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the moment. It apparently isn’t the right time for me to read it. I will come back to it eventually I believe.

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

This book is strange in a great way. It is strange in the same way that THE HIKE was for me. Not quite as bananapants (I am borrowing Liberty’s word here…) as the Hike but weird enough to be interesting. Basically, it is about the relationship between Mr. Fox, his wife Daphne and his muse Mary. Apparently it is based on a fairy tale that I am not familiar with from my reading about the book. It almost reads like short stories with a common thread but I didn’t feel it was that strong that the individual chapters could stand on their own.

Notes from A Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider

This book was great. Short chapters full of a lot of great things to think about. Tsh and her family have lived overseas. I listen to her podcast every week and it is wonderful.

News of the World Paulette Jiles

A book club pick for January brought me to this book. I reserved a copy from the library, it came in,  and I finished it in one day. The story between the captain and Johanna is heartwarming. some of the historic pieces I honestly did not find as interesting as I feel I should have. I was reading along and wanted to mark some sentences to come back to them but couldn’t stop reading. The ending was surprising to me.

Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore Robin Sloan

I heard about this book a long time ago and I believe I downloaded it free as a promotion from an Independent bookstore site. I remember it appearing on my kindle “accidently”. I had heard great reviews about the book, but had not picked it up for some reason. (H is for Hawk is another one of the books in that category.)

This book was AMAZING! I read it in a day also. It was magical and full of secret societies and secret reading rooms and just fun! There were modern elements with Google and ideas about how we process information and how we limit ourselves and the groups we are to not be open to new ideas.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

This was a BOTM pick from August I believe. I chose it because Liberty was the judge and on the ALL THE BOOKS Book Riot podcast she said she flew through it. I did read it in about a day because I did want to know what happened. The people in this book were really despicable for multiple reasons. In The Nest I thought the characters were despicable too , but found the characters more developed and interesting. The writing was ok in TCND. The story was ok. I cannot think of anyone within my reading circles that I would specifically recommend it to however.

It is now January 2, 2017 and I have to return to work tomorrow. I am in the middle of READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline. It is a book I find interesting especially with all the 80’s references, but it is not going to end up on my favorites list.

Overall, I am pleased with my reading life over the holiday break and am looking forward to great books and reading in 2017!

 

Welcome 2017!

After attending an ISRA (Indiana State Reading Association) conference a couple years ago, I discovered the idea of choosing one word for the year. I have been choosing a word for the year ever since. Last year’s word was INTENTION. Everything I did I tried to do on purpose. Last year I struggled with finding the right word. SAVOR was another choice that I almost went with but intention kept being placed in front of me.

After much consideration, I chose 2017’s word: INSPIRE. The co-word is CREATE. The plan is to inspire through my creations. I have some goals and some steps to achieve them.

I encourage you to choose a word for the year. Write it down and carry it in your wallet. Put it on a Post-it note on your mirror in the bathroom or somewhere at work for you to see. Let it be a reminder of your wishes for the year.