Category: Book Reviews

It took me over two hours to write this post.

Not because it was hard, but because (a) my daughter kept talking to me and (b) I kept getting distracted by The Oscars. And Twitter and Facebook. Also, I was trying to figure out which leggings to buy. Anyway.

Okay, I had to look at my calendar to see what I actually did this past week. Is that sad? It feels sad. I guess it’s a good thing I’m doing the Slice of Life challenge next month, huh? Anyway, that’s where I am. So yes, this past week I:

  • went to a Hamilton trivia night (my team lost)
  • went to the dentist
  • went to a search committee meeting for the church’s new minister
  • attended a plagiarism hearing as a witness
  • visited an astronomy class as part of the pilot Teaching Squares program at my school (and learned quite a bit!)
  • attended a student conduct hearing as a member of the conduct board
  • went to see a student production of The Drowsy Chaperone, which was super fun (I love a good farce and a good meta-narrative)
  • dropped in to a party I wasn’t invited to to visit a friend who was only in town for one night
  • went to the Women’s March celebration and activist fair held by the local chapter of the march

And that doesn’t even count my regularly scheduled activities (work, gym, etc.).

Also, my daughter got into her first choice college (and the only one she applied to), so that’s exciting.

Oh, and in grown up news, I decided that I can’t afford to go to New York to see Hamilton next week so canceled that trip. It sucks but was also the right thing to do. The good news is that I was able to sell my tickets super easily, so yay Hamlet, I guess.

Last week, I read:

Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerves, #1)Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this, though I wasn’t a big fan of the illustrations. The characters just looked all wrong to me except for Iko and Wolf.

Anyway, Iko is amazing as always, and I really appreciate that this is addressing all the Lunar soldiers left behind, which I have to admit I hadn’t given much thought to at the end of the series. So I like that Meyer is pushing us to think beyond “the win.”

All of the major characters show up, which is also nice.

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Ballet Cat The Totally Secret Secret (Ballet Cat, #1)Ballet Cat The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is super adorable, and it’s made even more adorable by the fact that it’s about friendship.

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I also abandoned one book:

The Blazing StarThe Blazing Star by Imani Josey

2/23/17: Made it to pg. 68, even though I was pretty certain from the first chapter this book was not going to hold my interest. I was willing to give it a chance because THAT COVER. Oh well.

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Currently, I’m reading:

Hidden Figures

I am still making my way through the audiobook of Hidden Figures. I have lots of thoughts about this, most of them related to The Fifth Season, which I still have not reviewed, but I think I have a way to come at it now. Also, don’t forget that racism is systemic, all-encompassing, and a thief. And if you think we’re “past it” or in a “post-racial world,” you don’t understand history.

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I am a little ways through Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan. It’s cute without being twee, so I’m enjoying it so far.

In TV news:

Big Little Lies

I watched the first episode of Big Little Lies on HBO. First of all, it was written by David E. Kelley, which I was not expecting. Second of all, I way prefer Nicole Kidman with red hair. And third of all, I found myself wondering how people who haven’t read the book experience or will experience the show.

Also, Reese Witherspoon is pretty great.

Kidlit version hosted by Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen of Teach Mentor Texts; original version hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

Kidlit version hosted by Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen of Teach Mentor Texts; original version hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

Have a good week, everyone!

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It’s Monday and I actually had a relaxing weekend.

“Why ya gotta be a scrub-ass Montague?”

So, the greatest act of self-care I have indulged in since this year started is listening to Thug Notes: A Street-Smart Guide to Classic Literature by Sparky Sweets, Ph.D.

Thug Notes by Sparky Sweets

In case you’re not familiar with the greatness that is Thug Notes, here is a brief intro, using a story we’re all familiar with:

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Is it February already? A wrap up then, I guess.

So, January passed pretty quickly. I mean, it dragged emotionally but I can’t quite believe it’s already February. Things are going well here; they’re just busy as all get out. I have a ton of grading (shocker, I know) along with some prep and then there’s my life that’s not work: I’m serving on a search committee for our church’s new minister. That’s not even counting my support groups, bible study, working out (of which I have not done nearly enough), or, oh, I don’t know, being a mom or a person who lives in a house that I would like to enjoy.

1. I watched the premiere of Riverdale (The CW). While I liked some parts of it, I did not love it. Nor did I like it enough to keep watching. The main reason is that it took this bright poppy bubblegum comic:

riverdalepromo_hires2-1024x793

And turned it into this dreary and aesthetically displeasing bleakness:

Riverdale on the CW dark

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s not Monday. Still, I’m checking in.

Traveling to the march this past weekend put me behind on everything. Sigh.

First things first, though: I didn’t make it to the actual march because on the way there, about two hours outside of DC, I got sick and knew I wouldn’t be able to handle the walking or the crowds.

However, I still had a positive experience because of all the awesome women in my life, most notably my friend Monique who was willing to brave traffic, etc. to pick me up from RFK at 7:30 a.m. when I told her what was going on and also a woman named Crystal on our bus who supplied me with Dramamine and anti-nausea meds when I got motion sickness on the bus ride home (before I knew her name, even!).

And, yes, that means I got sick on the way there AND the way back.

Anyway, the best sign I saw this weekend was black text on a white background that said, “NOPE.”

Then, of course, there were the books.

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First Full Week Back: Monday check-in

I only met with my students once last week, so this week is the full grind. A miracle occurred today, though! I didn’t bring any work home. The key seems to be going back to my office to do work instead of leaving immediately after class. Imagine that.

The rest of last week is a blur, for sure. All that course prep makes my brain go to mush. Oh, and I forgot to post this e-card a friend sent me when I was complaining about course prep last week, so here it is now:

Now that I’m back, of course, I’m fine (and even in the zone). But, man, that prep week is whoa.

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It’s Monday & I had a very merry Christmas

So Christmas was good here. It was very low-key. My daughter is home this year (she usually goes away), and we exchanged gifts around midday. (I had to wake her up–also par for the course with that one). I also spent most of the day cooking. Here’s something interesting: apparently, I *can* cook when I *want* to.

I made ham, macaroni and cheese, collard greens (using this recipe), and sweet potatoes. For dessert, I made an apple cake using my grandmother’s recipe, which I haven’t made in a long time. To make things interesting, I iced it using this caramel sauce. Everything turned out awesome. My daughter (who, as a general rule, hates everything I cook) loved everything, and my dad made sure to get some collard greens for the road. That was nice, especially since I was most worried about how they would turn out.

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It’s Monday & last week is a total blur

I genuinely have no idea what I did this past week. Seriously. I looked at my calendar and everything, and I have zero clue what I did. Probably because all I did was grade.

I don't drink, so this really must be the only explanation. (source)

I don’t drink, so this really must be the only explanation. (source)

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It’s Monday & I survived Hurricane Matthew

In fact, we didn’t get much more than some wind (highest was 55mph, according to the weather peeps) and rain. We didn’t even lose power this time! So that was nice. I’m genuinely saddened by the devastation and death in Haiti as well as the towns in Florida that did get destroyed in pretty significant ways, though.

Today, I’m reflecting on what I’m going to do differently next semester. I realized that we have done too much Cinderella stuff. Next time, I’ll use Cinderella for the example but assign a different fairy/folk tale for the students’ assignments. I’m also going to just do one whole class novel instead of letting the students pick from three. That way, we can have an actual in-depth discussion as a class.

Then, if I teach this class again in the fall, I’m totally doing censorship. TOTALLY.

On to the books.

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It’s Wednesday & I’m behind on everything. Still.

Yes, everything. Including my Monday reading check in. And I just realized I haven’t put up the October link up for Diversity on the Shelf. I’ll get to that tomorrow perhaps. Right now, I’m trying to squeeze this post in before exhaustion completely overtakes me.

I’m tired is what I’m saying. And there’s a hurricane coming so I went to the store today to get supplies. Because, of course, there are huge holes in my hurricane preparedness. But on the plus side, my parents loaned me a flashlight, so if both my and my daughter’s phones die, at least we’ll be able to see.

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