Monday, August 22, 2016

Books 30-35

30. East of Eden, John Steinbeck. Okay I finally finished this audiobook. I LOVE THIS BOOK. It is perfect. Can't recommend it enough. But listening to audiobook wasn't as beautiful as reading it so I think I'll have to read it again in a couple of years.

31. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls. Since this book was recommended by 5 of the handful of people who gave me recommendations, I was expecting something amazing. And I was actually impressed. The story is a terribly sad memoir about a girl who was severely neglected as a child, but it's helpful that you know throughout reading it that she turns out fine as an adult. The writing was extremely compelling.

32. Everyday Antiracism, edited by Mica Pollock. I read this book as part of a curriculum planning class I did this summer, and it was incredibly helpful in reframing my philosophy as an educator. The basic premise is that although race is a social construct and not a genetic reality, minority students have lived experience as members of a racial group, and though everyone talks about the achievement gap, the real problem is the opportunity gap. There were about 50 essays in the book all pointing out a specific antiracist way we can help minority students. I got some great ideas for the coming year and I'm actually excited about my curriculum. Highly recommend for educators.

33. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I had read this book before, and I guess I have unfortunately turned into more of a grown-up since then, because although there are some stand-out lines, overall the story is kinda weird. Maybe it makes more sense in French? I'll never know.

34. Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari. I listened to the audiobook for this, which I highly recommend, because Aziz Ansari reads it himself and he's freaking hilarious. Very interesting info about dating in today's world. If I weren't in a relationship already I think I would find the info more useful, but still it's worth a read to understand how things have changed.

35. Matilda, Roald Dahl. I haven't thought about this story for years, but as I was reading I remembered the movie very fondly, so I think I'll have to watch it again soon. Great book for kids.

I have two more weeks till I go back to school, and I'm planning on cramming a whole lot of reading in! Here we go.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Books 25-29

I'm in trouble and I know it.

25. Ready Player One, Ernest Cline. I loved this book! I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads which is super rare. I just couldn't put it down and though it was clever and entertaining. A lot of people have been reading it this summer and I totally get it.

26. Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson. I had read this book before, probably during high school, and I remembered the basic premise but no details. Reading through it this time, I found the main character kind of unbelievable. She was just so specifically witty in her misery. However, when I read this book during high school I don't remember her being unbelievable, so maybe it's that I have forgotten what it's like to be a teenager.

27. Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger. Another reread from high school. Another possibly unbelievable narrator, though I found his way of talking more realistic than the previous. I am going to suggest my students read it this year and see if they have anything in common with him.

28. The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger. I listened to this on a road trip and really really liked it. I had seen the movie and it was helpful to have a basic idea of the plot, but the book was SO much better. Believable love stories are just so so touching to me, and this book did a good job of making the relationship realistic. There were a few points where I actually liked how they did things in the movie better, so taking them as a package, I would recommend this.

29. Peace Like a River, Leif Enger. I had also read this book before and really loved it when I read it the first time. This time I listened to the audiobook and it didn't work for me as well. I couldn't follow the details very well, and a lot of what I loved was beautiful sentence structure, which doesn't come across. I would still recommend this book, but definitely reading it and not listening to it.

I am STILL not done with East of Eden (I haven't had a lot of solo listening time in quite a while) but I'm so close! My next read will be The Glass Castle, which 5 of my friends recommended to me, so I really have high expectations.

I'm giving myself until the official end of summer to read these books, so I hope I make it. I have some big books coming up, but I'm excited for them. I'm still really enjoying this challenge, even as I'm failing at it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Books 21-24

Remember how I thought I was going to get a ton of reading done while I was in Utah? Hahahahahahaha.

I'm not doing very well, guys. I'm far off track and looking at the last few weeks of summer (I'm about to start crying) I don't really see a way to catch up. However, I am going to continue trying valiantly, and even if I don't finish all 50 by August 31, I will finish them eventually, and I have still read A TON this summer.

21. Dracula, Bram Stoker. I was very surprised at how much I liked this book. I normally prefer contemporary fiction, but this book was so spooky and really well-written. Telling the story through letters and diary entries was innovative, and I just kept wondering what was going to happen next.

22. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt. I was originally freaked out by how long this book was, but reading it was easy and it kept my attention the whole time. I experienced a huge range of emotions while reading but the end was satisfying without being unbelievable.

23. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, "JK Rowling"/Jack Thorne/John Tiffany. I had to read this book, because Harry Potter duh, but I knew it wasn't going to be anything like a new HP novel. I missed out on the character development and descriptions that are missing in a script, and all the people who are saying it feels like fan fiction are right. I don't regret reading it, and it was fun to enter the world again with a new story, but I definitely wanted more. Also, I don't believe JK Rowling played anything more than a minimal part in this.

24. Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Okay I love reading novels about people/experiences that I know nothing about because it's like a whole new world opened up to me. This book was exactly like that and I ate it up. My only problem is that I take in these books as if the story is real, and because it's not, it just can't be a completely accurate representation. But still, this book is the bomb. It made me think a lot and entertained me while doing so.

I'm still listening to East of Eden (LOL it's taking an eternity but it's the best so I don't mind) and I'm about to read Ready Player One! Bring it on, August.