Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sunday Post #18

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  It's "a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog."

Reading This Week: 5 books

Of course, the only one I reviewed was the one I liked the least.  I'm a huge sucker for multiple-point-of-view novels-in-verse, and I loved how Marilyn Nelson gave stage directions to help the reader visualize each scene she described in the New York neighborhood that was razed to create Central Park during its brief life as the home of free blacks and immigrants.  Crutcher's Stotan! was slow for me at first, but when I finally gave it some time, I got sucked in and whipped right through it.  His trademark humor and pathos are there (very Sherman Alexie-like, which is interesting since they were raised near each other), and as for the Goodreads reviewer who snarked that the Aryan Nation subplot is a little dated--yeah, I wish.  I tried two new authors I've heard a lot about, and both Moriarty (what a terrific name for a thriller writer) and Reynolds lived up to their reps.  I wasn't 100% sure just how dark Moriarty was going to go, and I like the the line she trod.  Reynolds also pulled his punches a tiny bit more than I'd anticipated, which gives me even more leeway for recommending the book to students.

I'm still listening to Pillars of the Earth on Audible during my commute and damn, it might take me until summer to get through it.  I'm really enjoying it though!  At one point the other day, a character thought, "Well, I think I've solved that problem," and I said out loud, "Dude, you're like 5% into the book; I'm pretty sure you have NOT solved the problem."  I'm also nearly done with reading Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) on the Serial Reader app.  Each day I get about half a chapter on my phone, and every couple of days I get caught up.  It's a great low-key way to read some classics.

OH!  I have totally sucked at all aspects of the Global Read Aloud I signed my students up for, except for the part where I read the book aloud to them.  We are supposed to finish next week, but last week my seventh graders wouldn't let me stop on Thursday, so we read all the say to the part where a main character dies, then the bell rang.  They were OUTRAGED, and the next day kids said:

  • I almost cried yesterday when you read that part.
  • Me too!  (These were both boys.  Seventh grade boys don't admit to tears very easily. This class is actually fully 2/3 boys.)
  • Yeah, it ruined my whole day!  
  • I couldn't stop thinking about it.
  • When you started reading this book, I though it was going to be boring, but I was sure wrong.
  • WHY???? Why did it end like that?
Then when I went on to read the resolution of the story, some of them felt more satisfied, but some did not.  Then someone said, "Can you start reading it over from the beginning?" and there was a chorus of assent.  I denied them, but encouraged them to read it again themselves, and to read other books by the author.  There are so many good books I want to expose them to still!  

Since I just spoiled the ending, I'll add the title only at the bottom of the post if you're curious.

Blogging this week:

I posted six times, counting last week's Sunday Post, which is pretty good for me.  I wrote one ranty review and a Slice of Life about letting my students put makeup on me on Halloween, I posted the first in what I plan to make a series of posts about my struggle with "Gatekeeping" and censorship within my classroom library, and yesterday I broke all the internet safety rules and posted pictures of my kids.  I also got my October wrap-up posted and linked up to Nicole's Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction.  

Life this week:

I actually COOKED DINNER several times this week, which felt like an accomplishment.  We've been doing a lot of frozen food and pizza and fast food lately.  My husband had the kids doing dishes after school, which helped.  

It is freaking pouring out right now.  Much rain.  We may float away.  If I weren't writing this, I'd either be reading or napping.  I will always love summer best, but fall is pretty great for pursuing my hobbies.  

Halloween on a Monday is a cruel, cruel joke to teachers.  Kids are out of their mind on that day, then groggy and sugar-hyped (yes, you can be both, and it ain't pretty) the next.  Wrappers on the floor ALL WEEK, although I did find that if I officially allowed them to eat candy IF they threw their stinkin' wrappers away the floor stayed cleaner than if I banned eating and they snuck it anyway.  My kids had a good trick-or-treating outing, although it was the first year that they didn't kind of lose their heads over the whole candy thing, which made them seem awfully grown-up to me.  My daughter wanted to go as Luna Lovegood, and put together a pretty cute costume that was clearly that of a Ravenclaw, if not clearly Luna in particular.  My son wanted to be "an army guy," and then bought a weird orc mask at Goodwill to go with his camo shirt and pants.  It's kind of hard to be a very good "army guy" when your mom doesn't let you buy anything but the most obviously childish replica guns.  

There was also some pre-teen friend drama.  Argh.

Things have been strangely calm and normal overall.  I kind of like it.  Happy Time Change, those who gain an hour this weekend!

Oh, and as for the spoiler above:

The book I read aloud is Gary D. Schmidt's Orbiting Jupiter.  


  1. Glad you liked The Husband's secret, I like Liane Moriarty and I thought Big Little Lies was even better.

    Lol about Halloween, I can only imagine. We actually had a decent Halloween here, it was relatively decent out (unlike the last few years when we've had cold rain and even snow one time), so that was nice. I'll have to check out your "gatekeeping" post as that's a topic I find interesting, it can be such a tough line.

  2. LOL you got me laughing out loud with your 'dude you're only 5% into the book you haven't solved the problem' comment, Wendy :D That's too funny, and definitely true. There would be no more story if that was the case, right?
    YAY for making dinner and having some help with dishes and other stuff that takes time away from actually preparing food.
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading :)
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  3. I’m glad you had a good Halloween, and I loved your Gatekeeping post.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. I love how you weave your life, your students, the weather, your kids, your reflections, and your sense of self so skillfully into every post. What at treat. (No pun intended!)


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