Sunday, January 17, 2010

TSS - 01.17.10

Oh my - is it Sunday again?! On the one hand I am very grateful that this horrible week has ended; on the other hand I simply cannot believe that we are in the middle of January already. Does life ever slow down?

Anyway.....it is a good thing that last weekend was the Bloggiesta and I was able to catch up on book reviews, otherwise I would have had no posts this week. School started again - and unresolved issues from last semester continued, while new ones were added. It truly made me question my "calling" as a teacher. But "time heals all wounds" as they say, and I have calmed down just a bit. Not a lot of reading happened however, as I was too upset to do much of anything.

All that changed on Thursday, however, when I went to the library and just happened to see The Swan Thieves on the "recently acquired" shelf. I did not hesitate as I grabbed the book, added it to my stack of holds that were on reserve, and brought it home. I started reading it Thursday night, read more on Friday night, and spent a good part of yesterday absorbed in the story. I have read approximately 400 pages of the 600 page story, and I hope to finish it today. It is truly a great story that is so very well written; it makes me want to finally pick up The Historian that has been sitting on my shelf for months and delve into Kostova's debut novel. Hmmm....this book technically counts as a chunkster; the Historian would count as a chunkster....should I dare enter that challenge?!

I have tried to write the review for A Moveable Feast, which I finished last weekend, but it is proving to be difficult. I hope to have that completed today.

I am about three-quarters done with Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris and I have enjoyed reading this little bits at a time. Some of the essays I find myself laughing out loud; others I find myself nodding in agreement; and there are a few that I scratch my head and discover that I am not nearly the bibliophile as she. All in all I think this is a book that I will eventually add to my personal collection so that I can partake of an essay at a time, in a leisurely fashion.

Academic reading will be in full-force this week. We are reading Pride and Prejudice (I enjoy the annotated version) in British Literature (the girls are loving it - the boys are complaining); Fahrenheit 451 in 9th grade (I absolutely LOVE this book and plan to have the students select a book that they feel is worthy of memorization); and the 7th graders will begin reading Bilbo's quest in The Hobbit. I love all three of the books - and yet I always feel that I must refresh my memory of them before I teach the lesson. Unfortunately, this will cut into my personal reading time.

I am not quite sure what I will read after I finish The Swan Thieves. I plan to reserve a portion of today to skim through my newly acquired library books and decide which ones to read now, and which ones to postpone to a later time.

We have a day off tomorrow to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. I think I will do some online research and find a few of his memorable speeches to re-read. I will also use this "free" day to finally clean the house after the holidays --- ugh!

I hope this offers a great literary week for all of you!

19 comments:

Book Dilettante said...

Good luck with teaching this year. Sounds like you have some challenging books to teach. Hope you'll visit my Sunday Salonv

Florinda said...

My stepdaughter was just reading Fahrenheit 451 for 10th-grade English, and didn't like it much. Well, she liked some of the ideas, but not so much of the story. I think I've grown to appreciate that book more as I've gotten older.

The Historian is the infamous "book I won't quit." I've been stalled 3/4 of the way in for nearly 3 years, but refuse to admit I won't finish it someday - too many people I respect have praised it for me to let it drop!

I really enjoyed Ex Libris, but need to replace my copy - I gave it away a while ago because it was worth sharing, but it's also worth keeping.

Hope this week goes better for you, Molly!

Diane said...

YAY Molly...so glad to hear you are loving Swam Thieves as the reviews seemed mixed. Hope to read it soon.

Vivienne said...

I hope school gets better for you soon. I used to teach, but found it wasn't for me anymore. It began to make me really ill. I physically couldn't do it anymore, so I can completely understand how you feel.

The Swan Thieves is calling to me, I can hear it. I will have to reserve that one soon.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I know what you mean...the swift passage of time and all.

Now that I'm "retired," and my only work is my free-lance stuff, it seems that the weeks fly by.

Your reading sounds good. Hey, I'd forgotten about MLK tomorrow, since I already have the day off!

My Salon is here:

http://laurel-rainsnowsaccidentallife.blogspot.com/2010/01/sunday-salon_17.html

bermudaonion said...

I'm so sorry you had such a lousy week. I hope things are resolved for you soon.

Literary Feline said...

The month is flying by, isn't it? Oh! And I just remembered that I need to decide what to get my dad for his birthday at the end of this month.

I do hope things at school improve. I've had those days when I question my calling too. I'm thinking of you.

I am so glad you are enjoying The Swan Thieves. I can't wait to read it. I'm not sure when that will be, but as much as I loved The Historian, I'm sure it won't be too long before I do. I do hope you'll enjoy The Historian when you get to it.

I hope you have a great week, Molly!

English Teacher said...

Molly,

I loved The Historian and recommend to as many people as possible. Once you have read it, try Vlad by Chris Humphreys. It was fantastic!! Hmmm, maybe I will re-read The Historian if I can get it back from my sister?
Beth

mattviews said...

Fahrenheit 451 is on my TBR pile. The Historian is also sitting on the shelf. On Tuesday I'll begin the spring semester, with two courses in literature and literary theory. I'm hoping to finish Emma before school start and get ready for the PBS premiere of the Emma series next Sunday.

Lisa said...

I certainly hope you have a better week this week!

400 pages in just a few days? That really tells me something about how great that book is.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I know you were having a tough time this week, and being on a diet just makes it suck all the more. I hope next week is better. You've got some fun reading ahead of you though! I'm excited for you about finishing The Swan Thieves...can't wait to hear what you think!

ANovelMenagerie said...

I just loved P&P... that will be so great!

ds said...

I'm sorry you had such a rough week; hope this one will be better. Can't wait for your thoughts on The Swan Thieves--you sure seem to be devouring it!
You're right about Ex Libris; it's a good one to have about and dip into.

Vasilly said...

I hope you can get through all those issues at work. Here's hoping this week is better.

The Swan Thieves sounds like a great read! Maybe I'll give it a try. Happy reading.

Inside A Book said...

I'm right there with you about questioning our callings as teachers. It's definitely been a time when I have to do a lot of self-talk and reaffirmation. I'm more than grateful for tomorrow's holiday!!

Your books to teach sound wonderful. First graders aren't quite that well read. Skippyjon Jones is their current favorite!!

I adored Ex Libris. I snacked on it for a long time. (BTW, I think I got more out of Fahrenheit 451 when we read it in book club 3 years ago than I did when I read it in high school but Ray Bradbury and I loved it then!! That's the mark of a great book to me!

Hang in there!

Baba said...

Sometimes I feel like that too. Life seems go too fast. When I realize it, woo, asdflj, I get older and older too. I hope you are not quitting to be a teacher, since if there is noone like you, my kids won't be smart right now.

Beth F said...

Here's to a much better week. You have a great reading list though. I read 451 in junior high or high school. A lot to talk about.

Danielle said...

I've heard mixed things about the Kostova book, which I am in line for at the library. I wasn't sure whether to stay in line or drop it, but as you are enjoying it I will give it a try! I loved Fahrenheit 451--I've read the book, seen the movie and even listened to it on audio--the audio was really good. Somehow listening to it was an entirely different experience--so much of it really stuck in my mind. I will have to reread it again sometime. And isn't the Fadiman book great? I really enjoyed it as well.

Jenners said...

I'm hoping this coming week is better and you feel good about being a teacher. It seems to me you are a good and passionate teacher and we need teachers like that!!!!

And now I've heard two raves about "The Swan Thieves." I'm thinking one more and I'm adding it to the list.

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