Thursday, June 28, 2012

Belle & Books

Beauty and the Beast is probably my all-time favorite Disney flick. I practically swoon every time I watch the opening scene where she enters the bookshop and flies around the the ladder searching for the next story to captivate her and then strolls through town with her nose stuck in the book. I want to be Belle. Just in case you want to see it for yourself...

So now that I've thouroughly nerdified myself, I'll get on with the meat of this post, assuming anyone is still reading. :)

One of the things I was most looking forward to when school (both teaching and finishing my Masters) was over was having time to read stuff I actually wanted to read! As exciting as journal articles for my capstone and textbooks on educational theory are, I was dying to read some stuff that has been on my must-read list for ages.

So here's what I've read so far this summer:  

The Hunger Games & Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins: I devoured the first two books in the The Hunger Games Trilogy and am waiting on third to come available at the library. I know I'm a little late on this bandwagon (I usually am a bit tardy to the party), but I'd heard all the hype (especially from my kids all school year, I was asked with great enthusiasm a jillion times, "Mrs. Burnett, have you read The Hunger Games yet?" "Oh, you've got to read it!" (as a side note, I was just totally pumped that so many kids were reading, and moreover were excited to read at that! Did this ol' English teacher's heart good!)) and I will say the books did not disappoint! I'm a fan. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I have my misgivings...I'm one of those annoying "the book was sooo much better than the movie" people. 

Life of Pi by Yann Martel: Well, I don't know that I can say I read this because I didn't technically read all of it. I read all of it I could stand: 227 of its excruciatingly boring and theologically whack-o 319 pages. And I made myself push that far through it (I have this annoying, compulsive urge that if I start a book then I have finish it, regardless of whether it is making me wish I was watching paint dry instead of burying my head in its pages.) But as I said, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through this, the first book I ever remember not finishing. While it sounds exciting enough--a boy survives a shipwreck and finds himself on a life boat with, among other beasts, a Bengal tiger--I do not reccomend it. Satiate your need for action/adventure/survival stories elsewhere.   

The Help by Kathryn Stockett: Of course, I'm late to the party here, too. But I am so glad I resisted the urge to see the movie when it was all anyone was talking about because it definitely did not measure up to the book! Stockett did such an amazing job developing the characters and the dynamics between them. I was truly drawn into the story and emotionally invested in the lives of the characters (I warned you in paragraph one of this post I was the nerdy bookworm type, so I make no apologies for being "emotionally invested in the lives of the characters.") Being a proud Mississippi native, this book was at times hard to swallow and made me cringe at the history of my home state in regard to race relations and civil rights. But Stockett's writing made this familar, but sometimes forgotten, message resonate deeply: that we are all--regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender--people, we all matter, and we should treat each other as such. 

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis with Beth Clark: the absolutely incredible--and I mean for that to carry the full weight of both of those words--story of a young woman from Brentwood, TN who took and is taking God at His Word, living out the Gospel in Uganda. I read the whole book in one day, but it's not one of those stories you just read and forget about. It's a powerful reminder of who God is, what he asks of those of us who claim His name, and how Muster up some courage to drink in Katie's example of what full obedience, service, and dependence on Jesus looks like. It's not that we all have to pack up and move to Uganda to truly serve Jesus, but I know I've got some re-evaluating to do concerning my Americanized, comfortable, riskless Christianity.      

Up next...

finish The Reason for God by Tim Keller: I'm only a couple chapters in, and I already think everybody, believer or skeptic should read this book. Fascinating, and I would say, a near essential read for those who need to process through life's hard questions and/or want to encourage someone else who is both wondering and wandering.

and lots of reading for school (which will be starting back in just over a month! what?!)...

Brain Rules by John Medina: a school-wide read to support our goal for the 2012-2013 school year. I am actually excited to dive into this. I attended a brain-based-learning seminar last fall, and it truly is incredible how intricately designed our brains are and what makes them function and learn at optimal levels. God is such an amazing Creator!

And the three novels for my my first reading unit I'll be teaching when school starts: The Master Puppeteer, Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and Black Horses for the King.

So what have you been reading? Do tell! :)

{Oh, and one more thing: if you click on any of the titles I mentioned it will take you a site called Better World Books. I started buying from this site rather than or the like because for every book purchased, Better World Books donates a book to someone in need and raises funds for literacy and libraries. Sometimes their prices are a tad higher than BUT the fact that Better World Books offers FREE shipping worldwide usually compensates for that difference. *I'm no compensated spokesperson for BWB...I just love finding and shopping with companies who give back! Easy way to make my spending more purposeful!   

1 comment:

  1. Ready Player One is very good. Granted, you have to be a bit of a geek like myself to enjoy it though. Also, the A Song of Ice & Fire series is incredible. It will really draw you in!


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