Tag Archives: books

Monday, April 15, 2019 – Pick Seven for Literacy

Monday, April 15, 2019 – Pick Seven for Literacy

Here’s what I’m thinking about last week. Today is a summary of last week. First, I want to thank my friend, Shirley Crooks for challenging me to list the covers of seven of my favorite books. No reviews; no comments – just the covers. Then I challenged seven people to list their seven favorites.

The comments made by various people made me happy. For example, the number of

  • former students and people who said To Kill a Mockingbird was one of their all-time favorites,
  • the number of people who took up the challenge,
  • the people who said they went out and bought a book listed to read or reread it,
  • new books I learned about.

Listed below are titles of the book covers I posted on Facebook. But now I comment. These are a few of the books that I can remember where I was when I laughed out loud and cried softly – sometimes both in the same novel and maybe on the same page.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – greatest  novel EVER!
  2. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner – my favorite author of all time. Every August (As in a Light in August) I read a Faulkner novel.
  3. Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole – a Pulitzer Prize winning novel of New Orleans. Sadly, Mr. Toole took his life before seeing this greatness achieved.
  4. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston – a must read novel by a strong, Black women. The novel was poorly received initially, partly because it was written by a strong, Black woman in 1937. However, it is now one of the great works African-American and women’s literature.
  5. Looking for Alaska – John Green – every high school teacher should read because we taught them all through their teenage angst and they taught us through ours.
  6. Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger – needs to be read and reread at different stages of life.
  7. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – Nobody does tragedy better than the Brontes.

As many of those I tagged said, it is difficult to limit your favorites to just seven. In my top seven, there is a theme throughout the list. The theme is the one who does not fit in or is unable to find them self.

With the exception of Catcher in the Rye and Jane Eyre, there is also a theme among the other five. I do love Grit Lit! I love to read about the old South from the antebellum stages to the Depression Era South. Looking for Alaska is a bit of a stretch, but hey Alabama is Alabama.

Those books that almost made it and should be on a must read or reread list:

Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell – do I really need say anything about this book? I was 10 years old the first time I read it. It was also the first time I saw the movie at the Winona Theatre in Tomball, Texas.

Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling – Of course, name it after Harry, when the strong, highly intelligent Hermione does all the work. I am so Hermione!

Death Comes for the Archbishop – or anything by Willa Cather. She is one of the reasons New Mexico is enchanted.

Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut – all of his books, but especially SHF. The first time I read it I found Billy Pilgrim to be a funny, eccentric character. The second time I realized Vonnegut described PTSD long before it was diagnosed.

The Hand Maiden’s Tale – Margaret Atwood. Great social science fiction author.

From non-fiction shelf

Rising Tide – John M. Barry – an account of changing the course of the Mississippi River and the lives that were forgotten. If you have ever been to South Louisiana and traveled along the Mississippi, this is a must read.

Alaska and Texas by James A. Michener – long, heavy book, and always starts with the dinosaurs, but so worth the history the books contain. PS – I also read Poland.

The Devil in the White City – Eric Larson or any novel by him. His books are considered a new genre called hybrid history. This novel details two historical events that intersected in time.

I could go on and on just like all of us bibliophiles , but then I do not have time read. So READ ON! Spread the literacy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 – Calling All Bibliophiles and Especially Librarians, Literature and History Teachers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 – Calling All Bibliophiles and Especially Librarians, Literature and History Teachers.

Get those readers on and the bifocals focusing. Activate those library cards! It is time for the Great American Read!

http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/

The Late Buddy T. Cat.

On May 22, PBS showed the first of an eight-part series exploring and celebrating the power of reading. The Great American Read is 100 best-loved novels chosen in a national survey. It explores what these 100 books say about our great diversity and the human experience we share.

The genres displayed are as varied as readers are. The books are children’s and young adult books, science fiction novels, dystopian worlds, banned books, Pulitzer Prize winners, books by women who had to use their initials to get published, the classics you read in high school and college and just about every book you meant to read at some point.

These are the books that made a significant difference in your life. One is urged to reread some of the books based when you read it high school or college and compare to what you know and have experienced now.

And we get to vote on our favorites. While one only gets to vote once per day, you can vote for as many books as you desire until the end of summer. The finale will air with the number one selected book.

You can also download the list and check those you have read and determine those you will read next.

I thought I was pretty well read, but I have only read 45 of the books listed. I bought five on the list today. My goal is have read 50% of the list by the end of summer. Hint: Start with the juvenile fiction; they are short.

I have already selected the book that I think will be the most powerful book on the list. I am not giving the title, because I have more to read, but unless my bookmarks get blown away, I have chosen my book.

And before I close this chapter, let me rant momentarily.

Whoever thought Fifty Shade of Grey should be on this list should have to read War and Peace twice for punishment. Tell me how this POS and waste of trees made the list and The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck did not!

Happy Reading.

http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/

 

Thursday, January 5, 2017 – I Like Books. I Like to Read. Go For It, Bibliophiles.

Thursday, January 5, 2017 – I Like Books. I Like to Read. Go For It, Bibliophiles.

For Christmas I received these two books in the same gift – Hugs – Daily Devotionals for Women and The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm. Maybe my family knows me better than I think they do. My sister only received the one about hugs. She then stated regarding the second title, “Why did you get the other one? You certainly don’t need a book to be sarcastic.”

Buddy Glasses

I started keeping this book list in June.

Fiction

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. We learn so many behind the scenes, resistance and sacrifices made during WWII. Viva la France!

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen – From the opening pages when you determine why the book is so titled you will not stop laughing. Florida and Hiaasen at their best.

Adding to my Grit Lit Syllabus

William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom. Each year I read a work of Faulkner. While Absalom, Absalom is considered to be one of Faulkner’s greatest works, it took me three months to read the 300 page novel about The South during the 1930’s during a time of poverty, illiteracy, race, mixed races, rape, incest; War Between the States memories; honor, greed, family secrets, grave yards, hooped skirts; half breeds, former slaves still tied to their masters; the old South refusing to die; and sentences like this one that trail off into who knows where, forcing the reader to become lost and forgetting who the characters are or what we are even talking about and then there is that one sentence that is supposed to be 1118 words long that continues for pages. The previous paragraph was 114 words for comparison. But what a story of The South! And no one writes it better than Faulkner.

Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell. OMG! I cannot believe this was on my high school reading list at McC. I really should have read it before putting it on the reading list. Just think how TW parents reacted to The Chocolate Wars! Thank goodness only Bert Cohn read it and was mature and smart enough to understand it, but then he was in the Sons of the Confederacy. Think Faulkner with shorter sentences and more direct sentences about The South and rape, race, incest, poverty and illiteracy.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. While listed under fiction, I so wish this was a tale of fiction, but history tells us it is not. Every school child when he or she first learns of The Underground Railroad thinks it is a train that run beneath the earth. We later learn it was a path to freedom. This book tells of the horror and the kindness witnessed when the train makes stops headed north. A must read for history lovers. Have tissues close by.

Hillbilly Elegy. A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance. This was one of the most influential books of 2016. Faith, Appalachia, poverty, family love and a Yale Law School graduate. Educators need to look at a First Generation college graduate and prestigious law school grad and the norms and mores he still carries. It also examines what that background and upbringing reveals about Trump, The Rust Belt and America.

The Whistler by John Grisham. I forgot the plot and this one did have a plot unlike his last. Hey, it’s Grisham – some lawyers, some bad people, some good people and this one takes place in Florida. Fun read.

The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg. This is the kind of book that keeps a smile on your face with every word. When you get to the last page, you want to start it all over again. Worth the hardback because you feel so good at the end.

Non/Fiction History

Gone at 3:17 – The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History by David M. Brown and Michael Wereschagin. One needs only to grow up in Texas and exam the nine pages of In Memoriam listing the names and grave sites to understand the magnitude of the horror that occurred in New London, Texas on March 18, 1937 when the school exploded taking the lives of an entire generation.

Currently Reading

What Hath God Wrought – The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe. This Pulitzer Prize winner for history is not for the faint of heart, (or the weak of arms) but the lover of history. This 850+ page monstrosity examines a time in United States history that is remarkably similar to today. It starts with a dying generation of white men from The Colonial Era moving into a time frame when a seemingly unqualified man was elected President of the United States, whose cabinet was infamous for infighting over the morals of their wives and other issues; a First Lady who was vilified in public, a campaign to remove an entire race and culture of people, and brand new technology called the telegraph that told the entire world about it all. There is also the other technology of the time period – The railroad. Like President Elect Trump, Andrew Jackson had bad hair too.

Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne. Speaking of the extermination of a race and culture, this Austin, Texas author tells the story of Quanah Parker, the Comanches and the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. This is an easy, but powerful read with lots of Texas history that the Daughters of the Texas Revolution probably do not want one to know about. For example, the POTUS of the time, Andrew Jackson had a plan called The Indian Removal – just move them somewhere (See Oklahoma). The second President of the Texas Republic, Mirabeau Lamar’s was known as The Indian Exterminator – kill them. If one follows the same logic today about removing statues of individuals during a time of slavery, then there would not be an elementary school in the state of Texas named after The Father of Texas Education.

Keep reading!