Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Charlotte's Rose

Charlotte's RoseCharlotte's Rose by A.E. Cannon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am generally wary of LDS fiction, but I genuinely enjoyed this story of a Welsh pioneer who volunteered to carry a dead woman’s baby across the plains.  This book is geared towards middle-school age readers and is written by LaVell Edwards daughter (BYU royalty). This would be a good book to read with children especially around Pioneer Day.

(yes, if you were wondering, I was obsessed with Oregon Trail, Dr. Quinn, and Little House on the Prairie as a child…can’t help journeying back the that era every so often)


BossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love people that are unapologetically self-assured but still manage to be genuine and endearing. Tina Fey is one of those people. Irreverent and perfectly candid, Tina unfolds her experiences in just the way that you would expect one SNL’s best comedians to do. I laughed until I cried listening to this book along some lonely stretches of I-5. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up or distraction from chaos, this is it.

*As they say in the commercials, not suitable for all audiences and most definitely not for children who are in a mimicking phase...though I would kinda love to hear a kid say some of the things Tina does. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Great Gatsby

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Plain and simple, I am obsessed with The Great Gatsby.  I would read it each year even if I wasn’t teaching it to my juniors. I love the tragedy, the elusive dreams, and the raw reality that Fitzgerald so deftly created.

And I cannot wait for Baz Luhrmann’s new film version. Some people count down to Christmas. I count down to Gatsby.

 Is it over the top if I say that the cast choices seem beyond perfect? I am most excited for Carey Mulligan as Daisy.

Heaven is Here

Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday JoyHeaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As general rule, my love of reading becomes a general loathing some time around mid March. That’s when I have endless stacks of students papers, the start of spring fever, and the end of the school year feels way to far away. In a two month span of time, Heaven is Here is the only book I read besides my school books. I know for some, a book in two months is their normal, but that’s like saying I didn’t have a diet Pepsi for a few days (impossible, I know).

Because I pre-ordered Heaven is Here, it arrived despite my reluctance towards all things literary. And because I love all things Nie, I could not help but begin my read. I even read Stephanie and Christian’s plane crash story as I flew to Utah (bad decision actually – I think I cried extra because of it). Nie’s writing isn’t the most incredible I’ve read, but I loved this book. I love Stephanie and Christian’s love story. I love their dreams and the life they’ve built despite life-altering perils. It was a perfect story to remind me of people’s inherent goodness and life’s incredible possibilities.

Happy reading!

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To say that To Kill a Mockingbird is a good book is like saying London is a pretty cool city or Paris is pretty at night. Understatements of the century…. Reading To Kill a Mockingbird with my freshmen this year was a fantastic experience. I fell in love all over again with Atticus, not only for his spot-on advice, but for the example he tries so desperately to be for his kids. I know the descriptions of Maycomb and its residents can get tedious for some, but those details make the story. I genuinely can’t wait to teach it again next year.

Monday, May 21, 2012


I am currently having an allergic reaction to some cherries I ate. This is really unfortunate. I love cherries.

Kristen Wiig is leaving SNL after seven seasons. Her characters - Gilly, Penelope, and Judy Grimes – are unparalleled and have reduced me to side-splitting laughter, tears, and high pitched, unintelligible speech.

The Grey’s Anatomy season finale was so unfulfilling. They killed one of my favorite characters and left so many questions unanswered. And a plane crash, REALLY?!

On Saturday I was mistaken for the girlfriend of a student at an NCS track meet. Unbelievably believable – and pretty friggin hilarious.

That’s enough for now. I better get to that grading I was telling you about yesterday. Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Serious Lack of Posts

This year, my goals were done by numbers and by themes. One of the numbered goals included 100 blog posts. Needless to say since I haven’t posted in five plus weeks, that I am way off my game. And let’s be honest, the next five weeks won’t leave much time for posting…

Starting tomorrow I’ll be….
grading like a crazy person...or procrastinating's a vicious cycle. As of tonight though, I'm completely caught up - miracles do happen. 

In five days I’ll be….
hanging out in Tahoe with my parents, Jenessa, Jewels, and her kiddies. 

In twenty-six days I’ll be…
done grading stacks like these, packed out of my classroom, and free for the summer.

In thirty-three days I’ll be…
back in the U.K. for a couple of weeks. Cannot wait!!