Sunday, November 28, 2010

Books I've Read

I got this from Derek, and instead of doing it in Facebook notes, I'm doing it here--Mainly because I don't use Facebook notes. Also, I added some commentary. Some of it is funny and some of it isn't. Hopefully it shows up.

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold (I underlined, too. Couldn't see the boldness on a black background) those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds.


1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen--This is one of my favorites from Brit lit class. It's just so funny.

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien--What I've heard about lengthy descriptions put me off of this one. I did read The Hobbit when I was a kid though. My mom got my dad a pretty version and I snuck it off the shelf and read it.

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee--Doesn't everybody? Isn't it one of those 9th grade standards?

6 The Bible--I read this in high school. I don't know why.

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte--Oh, sophomore English X, how I almost failed thee.

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell--Had to buy a new copy of this one. Lent it to a student who never brought it back.

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman--to be fair, I read the first and own the other two, I just haven't gotten to them yet.

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens--More high school English

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy--You'll never guess why I read this one? Oh wait? You did? English 10X. Mrs. McQuiston's class.

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller--I owned this at one point. Not sure what happened to it.

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare--I've got one of these. Picked it up for $6.98 at Half-Price Books ages ago when I was in college. Probably for Shakespeare class. Yeah, I got a C in that one.

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien--See above note.

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger--I saw part of the movie for this one and, um, what?

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot--Um no. I taught a George Eliot novel during my student teaching and it was painful-probably because the action didn't start until 2/3 of the way into the book.

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald--I've read this one at least 3 times and own at least 4 copies. How I ended up with 4, I don't know. If anyone needs one, let me know and I'll mail it to you.

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy--Long as hell.

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams--funny as hell.

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck--My mother bought a collection of Steinbeck when I was a kid. The covers were so unappealing. Maybe I should get over that.

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll--Ah, Johnny Depp, how you startle me. I remember, though, the Alice in Wonderland television show on the Disney channel from when I was a kid. It had something to do with a mirror. I also remember that my copy of this book was pink.

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis--My aunt gave me a copy of the series when I was a kid and knew nothing about allegory. I lost most of those. Now I'm an adult, I know about allegory, and I really want to read them again. (I picked up a collected version at Coas a few months ago).

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis--isn't this one redundant? Chronicles of Narnia, like His Dark Materials, implies the entire series.

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini--add this to the list of books I own that I haven't gotten around to reading

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden--Read this one during my student teaching. I believe that was the same semester that the movie came out.

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown--The book was much more complex than the movie. At one point I had two copies of this one. Not sure what happened to the second.

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood--also read during my student teaching. There's a poor quality 80s movie that retells this one too. Oh, yeah. And dystopian!!

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding--Derek, I can't believe you haven't read this one. Have I mentioned that I love dystopian fiction?

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan--say his hame five times fast

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley--More dystopia. Oh, I love dystopia.

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon--I've been told I need to read this one. Haven't yet, though. Don't own it either.

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov--One of my AP students was reading this during my student teaching and said it was wonderful. It's on my mile-long to-read list.

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold--I own this one. Saw the movie. Was told that the ending of the novel left a little to be desired.

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville--ugh. I will probably never finish this one.

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker--Hooray for vampires that no one calls vampires and gothic novels in the Victorian era

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath--Read this one in ENGL 111. Really shouldn't have.

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens--Brit lit in college.

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker--Read this one earlier this year. Possibly this summer. Amazing. Hard, yes. But AMAZING.

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle-- I have Volume 1. It begins in a boring place and haven't had the patience to come back to it.

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad--I can honestly say I've been trying to read this since I was 15.

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


Review: The Arctic Incident

The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, #2)The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read something in Guys Read: Funny Business (I think. I know it was a Guys Read book though) about where Artemis Fowl got his start. Apparently it had to do with one of Colfer's brothers who had a mischievous streak. That actually made me appreciate the character a whole lot more. Never let it be said that knowing the background of an author or the origin of a character ruins a story. If anything, I think it enhances it.

I realize that the series continues, and it makes me wonder what Artemis's motivation is in the rest of the series. For the first two books, he was concerned with finding and rescuing his father. This mission is over? So what's next for Artemis? Warding off the people who may come after his father? Figuring out why he was kidnapped in the first place? And what about the fairies? They and Artemis are square now. I'll be interested to see what happens next.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

I made it up myself dictionary

Splat n: someone who is annoying, like a mess that gets in your way when you're trying to do something important.

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Review: Hold Still

Hold StillHold Still by Nina LaCour

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This one was sad--another hard read--but really a novel about hope and about finding a way after the unthinkable happens.

I just listened to a podcast about text sets, so rather than give you a review of the novel, I'm going to give you a text set that could include Hold Still. Call the set Teens Dealing with Death

Related titles:
Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult
The Pact by Jodi Piccoult
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper
Looking for Alaska by John Green
We Were Here by Matt de la Pena
Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park
After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

That list is all I can come up with off the top of my head. Read what you like.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Break Reads

This year is the first year that my school district has given us an entire week off for Thanksgiving. It may be one of the only holidays that lines up with holidays at the university, which is nice. I decided, between working on research studies and visiting the Grand Canyon with my family, I was going to try to read at least three books. Here they are...

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
I finished this one on the way home from the Grand Canyon. I'm going to admit that I had a little trouble figuring where it was going, though I imagine that we were meant to feel at least a little of what the main character was feeling.

What I couldn't figure out was why the novel was written in 3rd person limited. I think it could have been much more powerful were it written in first person--we'd get directly into Ginny's head. Feel what she's feeling. Maybe I'm partial to first person narrators, though. I don't know.

What I do know is that there is a sequel to 13LBE, which I hope will tie up some of the loose ends. From what I've heard from Maureen Johnson, she wrote the sequel because her fans asked her to. Readers have power and nerdfighters are made of awesome.

Hold Still by Nina LaCour
I got this one from Rockin' Librarian. She ran across it while shelving and thought it would be a good read. As it turns out, she thought so. I've started this one and see it going in a similar direction as Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why (fabulous read, but not in the school library). I should be done tomorrow, I think.

Exposure by Mal Peet
This is one I've waited a while for. I read Tamar in my YA literature class last fall and Keeper las semester. I didn't really care for Tamar, but that has more to do with the fact that period pieces, or novels about war aren't at the top of my "Genres I Like" list. I loved Keeper, and Exposure is along the same lines. Where Keeper took a supernatural route, Exposure is a retelling of Shakespeare's Othello. I have a date with SparkNotes before I read this one. Eventually I'll go back and actually read Othello, but for right now, a short overview will work nicely.

I plan on posting formal reviews for all three books through Goodreads before school starts on Monday. Check back here or on for more thoughts.

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Links of Note

I decided I needed to start writing at least biweekly about the links I pull from my Twitter feed. That way, at least they're all in the same place, and I can look anything I've forgotten up using tags. This is what I've got so far:
I'm interested in this only because I'm always curious about what more I can do with my iPad. For the most part, I use it for my college classes (in an effort to be more green), to create last minute presentations when the internet in my hallway at school is down and to allow kids to view videos for Skeleton Creek and Trackers from their desks and not my teacher station. I'm anxious to see what more I can do with this device.
A collection of links to writing prompts. Good for timed writing. Has RAFT prompts, some from Six-Traits, and a link to photo prompts. Not a bad resource to have on hand.
This Australia-based website has information on what readers do and how to help struggling readers in the middle grades. I haven't perused it completely, but put it here to refer back to when I have some time.
Royalty free sound effects. (I think this one comes from Google.) Needless to say, I could see how this could work well for school video or Glogster projects.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Math: Practical Application

I decided, this year, to decorate my classroom with movie posters. I started with five and eyeballed their placement on the wall. Two days ago I picked up a poster for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and decided that I needed to even out the space on the wall.

I borrowed a tape measure from the library and came up with this:

Then, used that information to come up with this:

My first hour students balked at my explanation.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review: Deadline

DeadlineDeadline by Chris Crutcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are some books you pick up, start reading, and think, "I love this main character, I don't want something bad to happen to him." So you read through the entire book hoping that the end isn't what it's billed to be. And you try to prepare yourself. But there is no preparing yourself. It's like rereading John Green's Looking for Alaska, or reading Jodi Piccoult's My Sister's Keeper (or anything by Jodi Piccoult, really). You know what's coming, but there's no avoiding the visceral reaction you have to the text.

I will reread this book. And when I do, I'll actually write a review of the book rather than my thoughts in general about books that make me cry.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review: Murder At Midnight

Murder At MidnightMurder At Midnight by Avi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While Murder at Midnight is well out of the genre I'm used to reading (I have a bias against anything remotely close to historical fiction) the mystery element had mr guessing all the way to the end. Avi attacks the question of how to find truth when everyone has their own agenda, and I think he does it well.

I believe the sequel ti Murder at Midnight, Midnight Magic, is published already. Unfortunately, I have a long list of books to read before I can get there.

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