Hello, friends! Can you believe that it is July already? We are halfway through with 2018, which mean's we're also halfway through with the 2018 reading challenge. I've been fighting through some mental/creative blocks this summer, but I have been reading! I managed to finish seven books in June, which is a huge win for… Continue reading 12 Months of Books: July Suggestions
Last year I read East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and I liked it so much that it made my list of favorites from 2016. The fact that I loved East of Eden so much is only one of the reasons I picked up To a God Unknown this summer. Another main reason that I picked up this… Continue reading To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck
Tomorrow I’ll start teaching my first novel unit of the semester, Fahrenheit 451. After my students take their Unit 1 Test, we’ll look together at the introduction and first eight pages and try to set a purpose for reading. As I’ve been planning for this unit, I find myself asking “What is the purpose of… Continue reading In Defense of Difficult Books
Happy Fourth of July! As we celebrate American independence today, I thought I'd share my review of Ron Chernow's biography Alexander Hamilton. The hardcover version of Chernow's book is about 818 pages long. And those are about 818 reasons why I opted for the audiobook version--which clocks in at a whopping 36 hours and 2 minutes… Continue reading What I Learned from Alexander Hamilton
A lot happened in the summer of 1927: Charles Lindbergh made his historic flight across the Atlantic, Babe Ruth was closing in on his home run record, and President Coolidge took a three month vacation in South Dakota, to name a few things. Bill Bryson's book One Summer is an in-depth look at just about everything that… Continue reading One Summer by Bill Bryson
Sometimes I think the authors we read in school deserve a second chance outside the classroom. Today's example: John Steinbeck. I read Of Mice and Men and The Pearl while I was in school, and I did not enjoy either of them. So when I started East of Eden I had to try and forget those negative experiences. I'm so glad I did, because this novel was, for me, another Tess experience. The book is so full of symbolism and Biblical references that I know I will be thinking about it for a long time.
A bildungsroman is a type of novel that tells a coming-of-age story, a story of education or growth. There are many, many examples of this type of novel, from the Harry Potter books to The Kite Runner. Brooklyn is a beautiful coming-of-age story about a young Irish immigrant who moves to New York. Eilis Lacey, the protagonist, leaves… Continue reading Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín