Saturday, May 14, 2016

Midsummer - Year Four

A Midsummer Night's DreamA Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love stories that end well - with love winning the day and all the characters getting what they hoped for (whether they should or not is the next question). I wish life worked out like a Shakespeare comedy more often. Good should triumph and all stories should end with weddings and feasts. I think the world would be a happier place.

P.S. Can you tell that I'm still teaching sophomores by the books I read on an annual basis?

The Fault in Our Stars...Again

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nearly four years to the day, here I am again. While I really liked The Fault in Our Stars when I first read it, I didn't love it until months later as the book stayed with me in the way that only truly great books do. After four years of knowing them, I adore Hazel and Augustus so much that they and the other characters in this book, seem like people that I've potentially encountered in my day-to-day life. That's John Green's way. He catches my attention with his wit and cleverness, and I unconsciously give his stories my heart. You just can't fight it. [cheesy, non-objective post over]

Happy reading~

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Yes Please

Yes PleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Life and my reading choices have been a bit intense lately, and I needed to laugh. Since I feel too exhausted to run, and I still don't drink, my solution was to sign up for Audible and listen to Amy Poehler tell her stories. While Poehler's "Yes Please" is self-indulgent and not nearly as witty as Tina Fey's "Bossypants", it was exactly what I needed. And for that reason, it gets the three star rating instead of the two. There are some brilliant anecdotes and one liners, and it made me laugh, so I'm happy. Mindy Kaling, here I come.

Happy reading~

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To be honest, I had no intention of reading this book. Then my sweet husband who has no interest in the literary world heard my talking about this book with a friend. Unfortunately Seth missed the part where I said "The Girl on the Train" wasn't my type of book and went to four stores trying to find a copy to give me for Christmas. How could I return it after he tried so hard to get it? I got my book club to choose it for April's book, so I'd be forced to read it....

And then when I finished the book last night, there were not enough lights to turn on or doors to lock to make me feel comfortable. I really am not conditioned to read stories where none of the characters are likable and where the conflicts seem so based in real people's problems. Hawkins did a fantastic job setting up an unreliable narrator that still captivates her readers. I can't recommend this book because twenty-four hours later, I'm still so anxious just thinking about it...but wow - what a ride.

Happy reading--
ps. Emily Blunt has been cast to play the main character in the movie version. Even with how much I love her, I'm not sure I'm brave enough to go see this movie. "Gone Girl" was way too much for me to handle...and for the record, casting Emily Blunt as someone who is supposed to be unattractive is a little unkind. ;)

An Open Letter to Ginny and Hermione

Dear Ginny and Hermione-

I read a disturbing commentary recently that women are appreciated for two main things: being beautiful and being mothers. While being beautiful is, of course, not a bad thing and being a mother one of my greatest desires, neither of those things should define a woman's worth. Thank you for being much more complex that - for being smart, fiesty, strong, and passionate. Thank you for fighting for what's right and for never backing down from a challenge. I can't wait to introduce my daughters to you. You're exactly the type of girl I want them to grow up to be. 

Love, Me

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows...Round 5


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I want to write something that does justice to how much I love the conclusion of this series and to the series overall, but it all comes out in "fangirl" and I just don't want to do that. So, today the short version is that I love the detail in this book. I love that Rowling pays attention to little characters and nuanced detail as much as she does the title characters. I love that there are stories within stories and that I notice new things every time I read. Few reading experiences leave me feeling as satisfied as the Harry Potters. Rereading the series over the past six months is no exception. There is always a perfect blend of nostalgia and magic - I can't get enough of it.
Image result for harry potter and the deathly hallows part 1
Happy reading to all the muggles who are also still waiting for their letter to Hogwarts--

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince



Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Someday when my fantasy dinner party convenes, I will sit with Jo Rowling and ask her how much of the Harry Potter story she knew from the first book. This time through these books, I am captivated by the nuanced details - the layers of character motivation and descriptions that seem like they are just flavoring the story, but are actually setting up major plot and character revelations. My only disappointment with this book is that I can't actually go into the pensieve with Dumbledore and Harry.

As one of my students says, Harry Potter isn't just a book, it's a way of life. Freshmen are dramatic, but somehow this one rings true...and somewhere in other room, Seth is rolling his eyes. :)

As always, happy reading!