Saturday, January 5, 2013

Long Time No Blog

So I haven't blogged since April...I can't say that it was a planned absence, but I have missed blogging the last few months, so part of my goals for 2013 is to get back to blogging.  Here's a quick update of where I've been and what I've been doing the last nine months:

  • I switched jobs: I was teaching at a large public school in Northern Minnesota, and now I am happily closer to family and teaching at a charter school in Southeastern Minnesota.
  • I met someone who I think is probably the love of my life.  We met right before my huge job transition, and he was a total blessing through the entire moving/job search process.
  • I temporarily moved in with my parents for the summer (again!).
  • My certain someone moved to this city, and we have really enjoyed seeing each other so often!
  • I have experienced my most challenging teaching year in my career.
  • I've read less than I thought possible, over the last four months especially.
  • I am getting ready to take classes to hopefully FINALLY get my permanent Minnesota license.
Anyways, I'm back, and I hope to be consistent! I don't know that I'll post terribly often, but I want to be intentional about my blogging.  My brain needs a break from all things school, and I think the blog could be a good outlet for that.

Happy New Year, and here's to a book-filled 2013!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Readathon: Update 4

I definitely didn't make it as late as I wanted to last night! My goal was to read until 10:30 or 11:00, but I turned my light out and fell fast asleep at 10:15.  I did have odd, Anne of Green Gables-laced dreams, though, so I can I still count that for the readathon?

I'll be back later today for my end of event meme, but for now, here are my reading stats:
Books finished: 0; 2 total
Time spent reading: 45 minutes; 7 hours, 45 minutes total
Pages read/listened to: 50 pages; 454 pages total/ 0 minutes; 30 minutes total

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Readathon: Update 3

I finished The Shape of Desire, and it is definitely time for the contatcts to come out!

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next, but I do know that I will be heading to bed in the next hour or hour and a half (can't let that sleep rthym get off if I want to be productive at school this week...).  My goal is to reach at LEAST 500 pages before I succumb to sleep.  We'll see if I make it!

Reading stats:
Books finished -- 1 (The Shape of Desire); 2 total
Time spent reading -- 2 hours; 7 hours total
Pages read/listened to -- 138 pages; 404 pages total/ 0 minutes; 30 minutes total

Readathon: Update 2

I am now firmly ensconced in The Shape of Desire, by Sharon Shinn, and I am coming to the realization that I will probably never love any of her books like I did her Samaria series.  Those books kind of brought me back into reading fantasy, and they will always hold a special place in my heart.

I'm going to make myself some supper (nachoes and M & Ms...yum!), and then I fully expect to finish The Shape of Desire very soon.  After that, it will be a battle to the death between starting Son of the Shadows and giving in to one of the Samaria books...

Reading stats:
Books finished -- 0; 1 (Daughter of the Forest) total
Time spent reading -- 3 hours; 5 hours total
Pages read/listened to -- 186 pages; 266 pages total/ 0; 30 minutes total

Readathon: Update 1

I just got home from tutoring, so my readathon can officially begin! I read some this morning before I tutored, I listened to my audiobook on my drive to and from tutoring, and then, of course, I read during lunch.

I'm hoping to see these numbers go up significantly over the next few hours! Plus it's rainy and dreary outside, which is perfecting reading weather :)

Reading stats:
Books finished -- 1 (Daughter of the Forest, which was possibly BETTER the second time through...) Time spent reading -- 2 hours
Pages read/listened to -- 80 pages /30 minutes

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Readathon is Almost Here!

I'm SO excited about the readathon! It has come at the perfect time, and I'm really looking forward to spending tomorrow escaping into the world of books. I have to tutor from 9:00-1:00 tomorrow, but after that, I'm going to read, read, read. I'm getting a jump start on my reading tonight, and I'm particularly excited that the reading fates aligned and delivered Sharon Shinn's newest book, The Shape of Desire, to my library just in time to read tomorrow! Yay!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's That Time Again!

It's Spring, which means it's time for Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge! I've been quite absent on the blogging front, but I have been reading, so I hope signing up for this challenge can help get me back on blogging track!

I'm signing up for Quest the First, which means I will try to read five books that fit into the category of fantasy, fairy tale, folklore, or mythlogy. I'm tentatively thinking that I will choose from this list:
1. The Once and Future King, by T.B. White (which will also count for A Century of Books)
2. Daughter of the Forest, by Juliet Marillier (I've been wanting to reread this, so now is the perfect time!)
3. The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey
4. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkein (I need to read this before the movie comes out, so it's perfect!)
5. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaman (I've never read any Neil Gaman *ducks*, and Carl is doing a group read of this, so it seems like the perfect opportunity!)
6. Green Heart, by Alice Hoffman
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling
8. The Queen of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner

I'm also signing up for the Quest on Screen. This will give me a good excuse to gush over ABC's Once Upon a Time. It will also give me some motivation to rewatch The Lord of the Rings sooner rather than later; some Lost, Doctor Who, and Pushing Up Daisies might show up, too.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I've been a bit absent lately, and the only excuse I can give is distraction. For the first time since I started blogging, I have almost NO motivation to actually write reviews (which is ironic since I'm doing the Century of Books challenge). I've been reading, and in the case of my Century of Books reads, I've even been journalling and keeping notes. But the desire to turn those notes into posts has been nonexistent.

To distract you from the lack of posts, I'm going to share this:

I love the Victorian era, and I can't wait to do some dedicated reading in June and July! Maybe I'll finally get Tess of the D'Urbervilles read...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shakespeare Reading Month: A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream was the first Shakespeare play I ever taught, and even though I don't teach it anymore, I still have quite the soft spot for it. I loved being able to teach a comedy, especially one that my students could relate to so well (liking someone your parents don't approve of, liking someone who doesn't like you back, liking someone who has a donkey's head...wait a minute...). For a while I practically had the play memorized (that's what happens when you listen to it five times a day for a period of several weeks), and upon revisiting it in the form of the excellent Arkangel audio production, I found it to be just as delightful as I remembered.

If I could choose one single line to sum about this play, it would be Lysander's line from early in Act 1: "The course of true love never did run smooth." Ever. Especially not in this play. There are five main couples that the play focuses on: Theseus and Hippolyta are about to get married, and they sort of present the frame for the rest of the story; Theseus is the one who has to decide Hermia's fate. Hermia and Lysander are in love, but Egeus, Hermia's father, for some reason that is never explained to the audience, wants Hermia to marry Demetrius (even though it is EXTREMELY obvious that Lysander is the better guy). Demetrius is sort of a jerk because he was promised to Helena, Hermia's best friend, but one look at Hermia made him dump Helena and pursue Hermia instead. Meanwhile, Helena is still desperately (and embarrassingly) in love with Demetrius.

Off in fairyland (really!), Oberon and Titania are fighting. The premise of the fight is very childish: Oberon wants something he can't have, and the ensuing chaos only makes Titania more and more (rightly so) angry. All of the couples eventually converge upon the forest, get confused (with some help from a handy love potion that Oberon happens to have), get angry, but, in the end, make up and live happily ever after.

The genius in this play (aside from the chaos and the zingers and the Rude Mechanicals, country bumpkins who try to perform a tragedy that ends up being the funniest play in the history of Athens) is how Shakespeare manages to take a serious look at what love is by using humor and comedy. Is love always difficult? Can you ever know if love is true? Can even the truest love be overcome? Shakespeare examines all of these things and comes up with very satisfying conclusions. This is one of Shakespeare's more poetic plays (as in there is a lot of closed form poetry happening, especially rhymed poetry when Oberon, Titania, or one of the other magical creatures is speaking), and that poetic quality lends itself nicely to Shakespeare's musings about love.