The Gifts of Perfection by Brene Brown has a whole section in my everyday journal/notebook that I am copying parts I want to read again and again in. I am enjoying The Ninth Hour a great deal. It reminds me of Call the Midwives. Blue Like Jazz has its own kind of spirituality/inspiration. It tells of the author’s pain at the word “Christianity”, and his preference for “Spiritual Christianity.” He explains that many misdeeds were done in the name of Christianity (think Crusades, The Inquisition, Witch Trials, etc.) and apologizes for them as a “spiritual Christian.” Quite a new take on an old subject.
A lot to finish up, a lot to read, and definitely a lot to think about.
These were my original plans for a weekend of reading.
I finished My Epic Spring Break (Up), a YA Romance that was a fast, interesting read and was chosen because it was set in NYC. Since Social Graces, also set in NY, is overdue at the library, I made an effort to “get it done,” but it is Sunday evening, and I covered pages 144-180 so far during the weekend. (The night is not over.) In Peterson’s The Message, I finished the story/book of Job after beginning on chapter 11. Our Sunday School lessons this quarter studied Job, and it ended today. Next up we’ll study one of the Wisdom books, Ecclesiastes. I think I’ll study it in the Living Bible version. Because I had two audio books checked out from the library, I did not even open The Heart’s Invisible Furies this weekend.The copy I am reading from is a personal paperback.
Along with Spring Break, I finished a novelette by Miss Read, whom I’ve just now heard of, The Fairacre Festival. It was a 104 page read and was very pleasant. It reminded me of a cozy mystery, but there was no murder. Instead, there was a calamity the townspeople of Fairacre had to face together.
I was able to finish the audiobook, About Grace by Doerr. I had listened to the point of 67% read before the weekend. It took me three tries to read All the Light We Cannot See, so I tried the audiobook this time. It has magnificent descriptions.
A re-read of this month’s Book Club selection; this month’s meeting is the 20th.
I stalted Listening to audiobook Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, in an attempt to “read” four books set in New York by the end of the summer. p.s. I consider summer’s end to be Labor Day weekend. When do you say, “Summer’s over”?
One thing in this novel that interested me and kept my attention was its examination of public schools vs private ones. It also includes: social media, the value of therapy, bullying, and parenting issues.
One family has younger kids, and others have junior high age children, so most angles of modern school life are covered. Two of the mothers, whose stories are presented in Are We There Yet?, are sisters. In one family we see the relationships between mother and junior high age daughter, and the same mother and her mother, then the granddaughter and grandmother.
Alice Sloan is “one of those mothers who can’t control her kids. She is Teddy’s mom. Meredith is Sadie’s mom, and Nadia is Donovan’s (the “bad kid”) mom. Throughout the book, Nadia constantly measures herself by other’s standards. The author writes of the day to day interactions of these three women, heading each chapter with the featured woman’s name. Sometimes the kids’ names head up a chapter; regardless, It is not hard to keep track of who belongs to whom, thanks to the author’s skill.
The mystery of who is drawing penis graffiti all over the town underlies the conversations and intertwining relationships, and family secrets also abound. It is a darned good read.
This imaginary foray into Royal Life was published in 2007 to very little fuss and folderol in the publishing world. It begins when Queen Elizabeth stumbles upon the local book mobile parked at the palace’s kitchen door. Realizing her “error,” she checks out a book, which seems the “polite thing to do.” Norman, an ordinary kitchen hand is sitting in the bookmobile, reading avidly. Her Majesty is impressed with him and his reading skills and promotes him to the position of aide to The Queen. By the time Elizabeth II discovers the joys of reading and the books Norman recommends (often written by homosexual authors) she begins to carry books in her ever-present purse to “assign” to individuals who answer her seemingly-innocent questions of “Have you read So- and-So? with “No, Your Highness.”
Bennet’s self-deprecating humor turns these mere 120 pages into a “touching, thoughtful, hilarious, exquisitely written” heck of a read.
My students introduced me to John Green’s books, and my Third Tuesday Book Club read The Fault Is in Our Stars, which we enjoyed a great deal. We agreed that the label YA makes good reading for older people as well. This story has family drama and deals mainly with relationships as well.
We meet Aza; her best friend, Daisy; and Davis and Noah, billionaire Russell Pickett’s sons. Aza’s therapist, Dr.Singe plays a secondary, but very important role. Aza has mental issues , often “spiraling into her own thoughts,” which she does in the story. Her relationship with her mother is also an integral part of the story. Pre-occupied with her digestive tract and whether she has Clostridum difficile (C diff, for short), she can barely function at school. Her obsessions are magnified because she “keeps things in,” so people won’t “think she is crazy.”
When the boy’s father suddenly and mysteriously disappears, Daisy and Aza get caught up in a scheme to find him and collect the reward money to help Daisy enter college in the fall, something her parents can neither afford or think is important.
To say that what happens is “crazy” would be inappropriate, in light of the serious, empathetic look at mental illness this novel presents. But as Aza spirals out and the boys wonder why their father left without explaining, the action takes on a frantic, unreal pace. The ending is satisfactory, but it is arrived at by many twists and turns. The author is a genius.
Wide Sargasso Sea for the Classics Club, which I need to finish soon to stay on schedule.
Two Part Invention, another book of the Crosswick Journals for the project.
THAT’S WHAT I’M UP TO THIS WEEK WHILE SWAMPED WIT READING STUDENTS’ “ESSAY #1′ s”.
Have a good reading weekend. I’ll be frantically grading. LOL
I had a good two weeks for reading. This second week has been rainy each day, so the weather was perfect for snuggling in and reading up a storm. (I guess that’s why the rain gauge had 5 inches in it.)
The grades are posted; the semester has ended, and I spent most of my time this past week writing my summer school course. As usual, I have changed the course entirely (as I end up doing every semester), which is a good thing because it keeps the course fresh to me, and also to my students. Summer school begins June 6th, so I had better get a hurry on finishing my online asynchronous (where students can work at their own pace) Advanced Writing Class. I am having a dear friend over for coffee this coming week, and visiting with two former students as well. It promises to be a busy week.
This week was sunny, often cloudy and humid, but…WHO CARES! No more snow; no more 14 degrees with no heat. The plumbing and heat & air-conditioning trucks travel throughout the subdivision, and soaked carpeting and insulation are left out on yards to be picked up. Things are slowly returning to normal. I am caught up with catching up my online Advanced Writing class, and have been able to do some reading.
I have been so busy with the start of the new semester that I have done very little reading, other than looking at and marking student assignments. I have done some reading which is summarized here.
This is so much more than a children’s book. It is the story some of my students back in the 70s experienced as they fled Vietnam, were sponsored by local churches, and were plopped into my reading class with no knowledge of English. This was one of my most challenging and most rewarding teaching assignments ever. I often wonder what became of Son, Hau and Dung, and where they ended up. I often wonder if they are well and happy.
I am reading this book slowly, savoring every word and appreciating the lovely word choices and phrasing.
This is a wonderful novel. I am lucky enough to get the large print edition from my local library. It is a long book to begin with, and in large print, it is a good five inches thick!
There isn’t a day that goes by that this book doesn’t speak to me. I copy many of its copious quotes into my Quote Notebook, and think all day about what this author says. I am learning to think about myself, my life, and things, in general, differently because of this book.
When I opened my mailbox, there was a book! I was excited because I couldn’t remember ordering one. Peachtree Publishers were kind enough to send me a free copy, and I had forgotten it was even coming. What a wonderful surprise! It will be perfect for a Saturday Morning for Kids post.
It’s definitely time for another classic! I have plenty on hand on my TBR, it’s just a matter of picking one up.
So, happy reading, and as we say goodbye to January, let’s look at February as a month of love–to others and to ourselves.
I enjoyed reading Sarah at Brainfluff’s “Sunday Post” so much for so many years that several years back, I added my own Sunday Post, but named it “Sunday (Evening) Post because I never could seem to get to it until Sunday night and in honor of the old magazine, The Saturday Evening Post. It is my attempt to catch readers up on what I am reading now, what I have finished, and what I have just begun. I am a reader who reads multiple books at a time, often switching books for variety and because I have books stashed in different rooms of the house and in the car for times of “unavoidable delay.”
What I am reading now
I am still continuing Americanah by Ngozi Adichie on my laptop’s Kindle. My problem with finishing it is I forget it’s “on there.”
I recently started and am now on chapter twenty-three of The Rosie Result by Graeme Simison, the final book in his Don Tillman Trilogy. It is as warm and funny as the first book, The Rosie Project, and even better than the second, The Rosie Effect. The entire series is one I often recommend to people who don’t enjoy reading, and almost always they are won over.
In an effort to clear my TBR shelves (yes, plural) I am continuing to read The Mercy of the Tides by Keith Rosson. It has been a long time since I have read a police procedural, and so far this one is an enjoyable read.
In order to support my church library, two weeks ago I checked out God Was Here and I Was Out to Lunch by James W. Moore. I am still reading, keeping this book in my guest bedroom for when I am wakeful, and My Better Half is blissfully snoring away.
To supplement my Advanced Writing class, I bought This Is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for Young Writers in the Real World by Kerri Majors at Half Price Books, and I have read almost thirty pages at this point.
On my iPad Kindle, I have downloaded a romance, something I rarely read, but this one is set in the fifties, a time when I was struggling with the “new-to-me” concept of dating, which makes for nostalgic reading. The book is Jaqueline L. Sullivan’s Lovesick, a book another blogger reviewed and recommended.
Since July 29th, my last Sunday (Evening) Post (I can’t believe I completely skipped the month of August!), I have finished the following:
The Sparrow by Mary Dorie Russell (to be reviewed soon/ Aftermath by Suzanne Morris(Reviewed recently )/ Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlin (to be reviewed soon)/ Who Was Jackie Kennedy? by Bonnie Bader/ and the Netflix series The Outlander
I have just begun
Barbara Leaming’s Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story The two books on Jackie Kennedy are in preparation for my Third Tuesday book club at the Alvin Libary. Each of us selected a First Lady to read about and present to the group. It ought to be an interesting (and perhaps lengthy) meeting.
Since last Sunday, I have been spending most of my time working on my syllabus for fall and writing assignments and handouts for class. Other than making peanut butter and jam sandwiches to put in the bag lunches to be distributed to two low-income trailer parks locally by a friend’s church, I didn’t even get out much.
However, I did a bit of reading:
What I finished:
Why They Can’t Write by John Warner/ Coffee Poems: Reflections on Life with Cofee, edited by Lorraine Healy/ Under My Hijab, a children’s book written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel/ Butterfly Yellow, a YA novel by Thanhiha Lai/ and a play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide /When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
What I am Continuing to Read:
Americanah by Chimananda Nzozi Adichie/ The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell/ Aftermath by Suzanne Morris, and continuing to watch episodes of the second season of Netflix’s The Outlander
Rise and Shine, a novel by Anna Quindlin.
This week ahead promises to be full with an appointment to have the car worked on early tomorrow, a foot surgeon’s appointment Tuesday and a Grand Re-Opening to celebrate the fresh paint My Better Half put on my Little Free Library (complete with free books, cookies, small prizes, and a drawing to be held for a Barnes and Noble gift card) Wednesday morning for the neighborhood.