Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekly Reading Roundup

Since becoming a Language Arts teacher this year, I've rediscovered my love of library books. It seemed only fitting to be reading more, and once I started, I found I couldn't stop. I've been reading a mix of old favorites (i.e. Nancy Drew), new childrens books recommended by students (Percy Jackson), light chick lit that takes little mental energy to read, and adult books that have been recommended by friends, websites, or reading lists.

This week, I read:
Chick Lit:
Shopaholic Takes Manhattan 

Childhood Favorites:
Meet the Austins
The message in the Hollow Oak
Password to Larkspur Lane

Children's Lit:
Thirty Nine Clues: Book 1 (Written by Rick Riodain)

Adult Fiction:

Being sick this week helped me get through 6 books, which was a bit more than average (though the kids books don't exactly count the same, as they are very quick reads.
The first two categories aren't much of note. The Shopaholic series is somewhat fun, though I find myself needing to skip over some of the more embarrasing scenes, and often find myself siding with her foes, who belittle her for her spending habits. It was a good read during my sick day this week. I enjoyed  Meet the Austins as it had been such a long time since I've read it. I remember when I was young really loving Victoria, the mother, who reminded me of my mom, but who was a little messier :). She plays records constantly, something my mom often did, especially on Sundays. I remembered very little of the plot, so it was almost like a new book. Nancy Drew books, rarely disappoint.

Thirty Nine Clues I was interested in reading, as I had a least 4 book reports of it this past trimester. The report was on theme, and one child's theme for this book was, "Don't trust anyone; Even family members often want to kill you." Needless to say, my interested was piqued. I really enjoy Riodain's style (author of the Percy Jackson series), and it was a good, quick read.
Room I was a little nervous about reading. It was recommended on a reading list I subscribe to, and the reviews all said that the subject matter sound horrific, but the book is an amazing read. Here's a brief synopsis, courtesy of Amazon:

"In many ways, Jack is a typical 5-year-old. He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way--he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. For Jack, Room is the only world he knows, but for Ma, it is a prison in which she has tried to craft a normal life for her son. When their insular world suddenly expands beyond the confines of their four walls, the consequences are piercing and extraordinary. Despite its profoundly disturbing premise, Emma Donoghue's Room is rife with moments of hope and beauty, and the dogged determination to live, even in the most desolate circumstances. A stunning and original novel of survival in captivity, readers who enterRoom will leave staggered, as though, like Jack, they are seeing the world for the very first time." --Lynette Mong

Despite that fact that I'm pretty weak when it comes to disturbing movies (to the point that I almost never see R rated films), the way this book was told made it gripping. I really enjoyed having the 5 year old narrator (even though it's never a completely convincing narrator - he often narrates using words that wouldn't seem appropriate for a 5 year old), and read the book in almost one sitting. 

Off to the library now to pick up some new books on hold. Hopefully it'll be another great group!

If anyone has any good recommendations, please pass them my way. I'm always looking for something else to read. 

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