This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching.
Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish.
This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."
My blogging friend and “sister,” Deb Nance toasts Paris with recipes, reviews, and raves during the month of July. I intend to follow her posts closely all month and suggest you do the same. The rewards will be pleasant and inspiring. Check out Readerbuzz during the month of July. What I am looking forward to most is more pictures of her recent trip to Paris this past April.
Rarely do I read books described as “thrillers.” Either they don’t deliver or the thrill part is so good that it makes me anxious. Never Have I Ever falls into the latter category. This 2019 novel kept me on the edge of my chair and turning pages late into the night.
The story begins with a book club meeting (definitely a plus), and a strange woman who comes to the door wanting to join the group. This new-to-the-neighborhood woman, Roux, is as exotic as her name, especially to the mundane every-day housewives and mothers gathered at Amy’s house for book club. Time magazine calls this a novel with “dramatic reveals about [each] woman’s complex histories.” As the story progresses we meet up with blackmail. family secrets, relationships, second marriages, and step parenting issues.
It is a story of two women, both complex, compelling characters. Amy, the protagonist, the “good guy,” or is she? and Roux, the antagonist, the “bad guy, is she ever! plot against each other as they play out a dangerous game started that fateful night at the book club meeting.
Who knew what lurked in Roux’s past? Who knew the dark secret Amy was hiding? The women of the book club, although secondary characters are well-developed and integral to the progression of the twists and turns of the plot. And the ending–oh the ending –is both exciting and satisfactory.
This is a thriller I highly recommend. It was a “darned good read.”
Today’s selection is a book I ordered for my niece’s husband (and his daughter age 4) to read together. They are both huge Star Wars fans.
Imagine Darth Vader, in full regalia, seated at an outer space bar with a four-year-old Luke Skywalker in his Jedi clothes, admonishing Luke, “Don’t make bubbles”, as little Luke blows instead of sips his beverage. Throughout the book, Darth Vader protects and corrects his son in a fatherly way until by the end of the book, when Little Luke hugs Darth’s leg and says, “I love you, Dad,” we are inclined to feel that perhaps good ole Darth “ain’t so bad after all.” At the end, Vader’s Little Princess is mentioned as another Brown book, one which is a MUST for my father-daughter duo.
I have already been reading books about writing (in all of its forms) in preparation for the fall semester. One which I particularly enjoyed was by one of my favorite novelists and essayists, Anna Quindlen . In 2022 she published this book about writing, advising her readers to “pick up a pen and find yourself.”
Quindlen presents this book as one which demonstrates “how anyone can write and why everyone should (italics mine)” write. This book is aimed specifically at those of us who don’t consider ourselves writers. She explores connections made through writing and addresses recording our daily lives for a great many reasons. Quindlen, like Flannery O’Conner feels, “I have to write to discover what I am doing.” (O’Conner). The author offers personal freedom through writing. The book is not a handbook, but an argument as to why we should write.
I highly recommend this book for writers and students alike.
Literacy has been my passion since I taught 4-year-olds in my neighborhood what I learned each day in first grade as we played school after I came home from my lessons for the day. Some of the mothers made their kids come down to my house to a makeshift “school” in my garage because they came home knowing their letters and numbers. In those days, we had no free kindergarten; only the “rich” kids went to kindergarten, which was often a private affair at a retired teacher’s home. Because I was a “late birthday,” November 21st, I ended up being seven two months after first grade started. I was the smallest in the class with the loudest voice and the bossiest manner. Because it was wartime (Korean War), our elementary school was crowded with Navy “brats” in our town which housed both a Navy Base and an Amphibious…
Tonight (6/18) I want to review a book I read a couple of weeks ago, but never wrote a review on.
At the risk of labeling my self “old,” I must confess I had always heard the term “fan fiction,” but never knew what it meant until I read this novel. Several of my students have mentioned various semesters that they wrote fan fiction in their teens, but later branched out and wrote stories, poems, and “pieces” of their own. Cath,(twin to Wren) the protagonist of this YA novel, is the ultimate Simon Snow fan and writes alternate stories to Snow’s author, sometimes even before the next book is published. She has a huge following, but she keeps her identity a secret from her followers.
The twins are ready to start college, and Cath is bemused by Wren’s decision to room with another girl rather than with her twin sister. As they begin their freshman year, apart for the first time, the girls begin separate lives and separate interests and friends.
The novel includes the themes of a parent who left, roommate relationships, romantic complexities, betrayal, and the true meaning and kinds of friendships.
I heard about this book in a magazine review and ordered it online from a bookseller. It turned out to be a “darned good read.”
My long-time friend and fellow Alvinite (Alvin, TX) Deb Nance was the one who encouraged me to blog in the first place. Her blog Readerbuzz is a constant delight to me and a way to keep updated on what this busy lady is up to. Right now, she is looking for fossils and sapphires in another county with her gemologist husband. She and Tamara of Thyme for Tea are featuring Paris in July again this year. If you are enchanted by the idea of Paris, France (We do have a Paris, Texas, LOL), join her blog and enjoy many pictures and posts from her April trip to Paris as well as reviews of books about Paris and Paris recipes.
Just as Saturday mornings on TV during the 50s and 60s, PWR reserves Saturday mornings for kids. This is my recommendation for kids for 6/18/22:
I found this book at my local library when I was looking for a book with a compound word in its title for a challenge. It turned out I had a title with a compound word on my TBR shelf (Mt TBR Challenge), so I used that one for the challenge (What’s in a Name challenge), killing two birds with one book.
I did read this book though, and decided to use it for a Saturday Mornings for Kids review since it was too good not to share. Basically, it was written and illustrated (LOVED the illustrations!) to teach the concept of compound words.
SEE WHAT I MEAN ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATIONS–MARVELOUS!