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Showing posts from 2017

2017.21 - Yes, And

When I started Yes, And I thought it was going to be light and funny, similar to both Bossypants by Tina Fey and Yes Please!by Amy Poehler. (If you haven’t read either of these, do it! Or better yet, listen to the audiobooks!) Within the first few pages, I realized this isn’t a lighthearted comedic book. Instead, it details the elements of improv comedy, and how they relate to our everyday lives and jobs. Of course, there are funny parts too!
I bought Yes, And after watching my dear friend Jess Loucks keynote at the Southern Summit. She inspired us all to take risks and make room for creative chaos in our classrooms and schools.
Teaching isn’t an easy career, and neither is working with people. The skills required for improv are extremely relevant for navigating all types of social situations. To start, the concept of “yes, and” is powerful; rather than shutting down and saying “no” right away, or even worse, “yes, but,” the words “yes, and” acknowledge the person’s idea then builds on…

2017.11 - Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Somewhere in late 2016, I saw a list of hot new books released in early 2017. I immediately got onto the holds list from the library. A few of them I had to recommend to the library e-collection. Recommend means they don't have it in their collection, but it alerts them that I'm interested. Somehow, maybe once they have enough requests, they will purchase the book and I'll receive an email. So, I got on the waitlist, and waited.

Caraval and a couple other books came up for me at the same time. Usually, I'm good at suspending my holds (stay on the holds list, but it wont check out to me until I unsuspend the hold--definitely a pro move!), but I got too busy and forgot. Now I have a whole lot to read in 3 weeks!

I started Caraval, and wasn't so sure about it at first. The story was a little slow and the characters seemed to drag out a bit. Then, after about 25% through the book, I started getting really into it! In fact, I started reading on Saturday afternoon when I…

2017.7 - Heartless, by Marissa Meyer

I was so excited for the new book by Marissa Meyer, Heartless. You may know her from The Lunar Chronicles series--book 1 is Cinder. I just loved The Lunar Chronicles, all based around fairy tales. I listened to all of the Lunar Chronicles books on audiobook in 2015, except for Stars Above, which was released in 2016.

When I saw that Marissa Meyer was coming out with a new book, I made sure to get on the holds list from the library as soon as I could! Success! I was one of the first in line for the Heartless audiobook! This is a new book (hopefully a series?) based on Alice in Wonderland. Without giving anything away, let's just say I was shocked by a few of the plot twists.

Let's talk audiobooks in general
Just like I become a fan of specific authors and their books, I'm also a huge fan of certain audiobook narrators. For example, Jim Dale narrates all of the Harry Potter books. Even if you're not a Harry Potter fan, you need to listen to at least one of the audiobooks-…

What I Read in 2016

My goal for 2016 was to read/listen to at least 100 books, reading at least 52. I ended up reading 49 and listening to 17, for a grand total of 66 books. Normally I’d be disappointed about not meeting my goal, but I’m thrilled I read as much as I did! This year, I have the same goal. We’ll see if I can pick up the pace a bit.
For the last several years, my dad and I have done a book bingo together. We create 24 categories + 1 free space at the beginning of the year, then try to read a book from each category. These range from silly (book with an orange cover) to diverse (book that is a translation) to old (published before 1000AD). Last year, he finished his whole bingo--must be nice to be retired! I finished about ⅔. We have a new bingo game for this year, so I better get reading.
I check out the majority of my ebooks and audiobooks from the public library via Overdrive. I’m usually good about managing the number of books I have and the number of books I have on hold. Pro tip: add bo…

2017.1 - The Giver

I finished my first book of 2017! It's a reread, and one that I've read about a dozen times...The Giverby Lois Lowry!

The first time I read this book was in 4th grade, and I fell in love. The initial appeal was the perfect world that quickly shattered when Jonas gained knowledge above and beyond his community. I marveled at how comfortable it would be to live in a society like that, in perfect oblivion. It made me think about how I would handle living like this--but, then I'd realize I wouldn't know that I were living in such a fabricated society. In some ways, it's similar to children (and even adults) living within oppressive and/or cult religions.

I was inspired to reread it this time because my 8th graders just finished a dystopia unit, and some chose to read The Giver (other options included Hunger Games and Fahrenheit 451).

These days, we don't bat an eye when there's yet another dystopian young adult novel or trilogy published; they're all fairly…

Books! Books! Books!

Passion projects are fun, so are hobbies. Reading is one of my passions and hobbies, so I'm going to blog about my reading journeys this year. (I blog semi-regularly about teaching and education here.)
I've been keeping track of what I read since 2011, and it's been incredible to look back at all the wonderful adventures. In 2011 and 2012, my lists are on paper. Starting in 2013, I kept a list in Evernote. Unfortunately, Evernote has become less functional--it doesn't automatically sync, and they always want me to upgrade to premium. At the end of 2016, I switched my lists over to Google Sheets, with a new tab for each year. I'm slowly importing my data, making fun graphs, and keeping track of my own analytics. Now in 2017, I'll have some robust reading data (nerd alert!). 
2011 - 18 (?)* 2012 - 32 (?)* 2013 - 54 (54 books, 0 audio) 2014 - 82 (52 books, 30 audio) 2015 - 58 (41 books, 17 audio) 2016 - 66 (49 books, 17 audio)
My 2017 goal is the same as 2016. Rea…