Why 100?

Last year I set out to read 100 books, but I ran out of time and only read 75. So this year, I will read one hundred books. And you're my witness :) The only thing stopping me this year is 9 seasons' worth of Seinfeld episodes- wish me luck!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My favorite book, revisited (my 21st book of the year)

"The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray." --Oscar Wilde

Second Helpings, by Megan Mccafferty
It still remains my favorite book.  It may not have the qualities that scholars could study for years, but it is my classic- it's in my literary cannon, which i prefer much more to the literary cannon being passed on to students in the classroom- there's a reason the kids don't like reading these 'old classics' in school- they are old and quite dull, for the most part.  I consider reading to be a sport that  i am damn good at, but even i struggle to get through most of those beasts.  But i digress.  Second Helpings, the sequel to Sloppy Firsts, was great when i first happened to pick it up in high school, at a Barnes and Noble in Spokane, for something to read on the long, boring drive home.  This was my second choice book to get, only because my mom thought the Gossip Girl  book that i had wanted to get looked "inappropriate and tasteless."  Boy am I glad I dodged that bullet.  Then I couldn't put it down until Marcus and Jessica Darling sorted out their sordid and twisted quasi-romance.  Would they remain as friends?  Would they have sex???  Will he continue to play "Game Master" until she gives up and dies in a fiery car crash??  (no to this last one, because this isn't a novel meant to horrify, as all the other books I pick up seem to be....-i'm shaking my head right now.  deep sigh-) 
Well, if you think I am going to give away the ending, I am NOT, because I insist you read this book, even if you aren't in high school, because the high school girl still lurking deep down inside of you wants to go through this literary extravaganza.  It's hard for me to write and feel like I am giving this book enough credit, so i am going to write some of my fave quotes from Second Helpings and leave it at that.  now go read it!!!!

"And I was happy.  Deliriously, deliciously happy."

"Jessica, we were perfect in our imperfection."

"...what is reality anyway, when no two people can ever see the same thing in the same exact way?  Reality is a lot more subjective than people like to think it is."

"... major in Hobagitry.  I'll just have to suck it up. (Ha. In more ways than one.)"

So there it is.  One of my favorites, summarized in quotes.  They may not make sense to you,  but I bet one of them stands out..... just like these all stood out from the entire novel for me.  especially that major in Hobagitry one.  there would be a lot of people that have graduated by now that are still in school if this was an option for a major.  i'm just sayin'.......

Monday, March 22, 2010

awful (#20)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I wish i didn't have to work with a group to create a lesson plan for The Road because this book was AWFUL.  awful awful awful.  I wanted to cry from fear and discomfort in reading it.  never a good sign. 

all i know from reading this book is that when the end of the world as we know it comes, i hope the Good Lord takes me immediately. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

#19 -Mediterranean Summer.... not quite, but i can feel it!

Mediterranean Summer: A Season on France's Cote d'Azur and Italy's Costa Bella
by David Shalleck

what a trite little vacation from the apocalypse....er the books about them.  actually my life is quite amazing right now.  well, i wouldn't go quite that far- but all is good and that's all that matters.  :-)  Anchorman is playing in the background, it's Friday, and i have learned how to write my name, as well as several friend's in Arabic.  because i have almost learned all the alphabet!  yay me!  david shalleck, author of this kind of boring but lovely book, picks up italian in his time (or his 'stages') apprenticing with all kinds of chefs and kitchens- from the almost home kitchens to the michelin starred ones- all over the boot of Italy.  then he is hired by fabulously rich businesspeople to be the chef in the galley of Serenity, a luxury yacht that travels the Mediterranean Sea.  it was a lot of hard work, but some true beauty and no small achievement to make an entirely original (yes, every time he cooked for the owners he was not allowed to make the same dish more than once- NOT ONCE!  can you imagine???? AND it had to stay true to the local regional cuisine AND it had to be fairly health conscious!  needless to say, i'm rediculously impressed- i can't even do that for myself from week to week!)  He goes on to work with culinary great, Jaques Pepin.  i loved hearing him speak so in depth about the recipes and the preparation, and the incredible luxury that people with money on the coast of the mediterranean live in.  someday, i hope to be here.  not necessarily on a luxury yacht, but that would be acceptable.  i guess.... ha ha but i definitely would not hire a cook to take care of every meal.  maybe someone to pamper us occasionally, and make menial meals when we are in a hurry- jetting off to the white sandy beaches and 'discoteques' of italy and monaco- but i wouldn't let this guy (or girl) have all the fun.  but i definitely would do as la signora and il dottore (the owners) do and have my labrador on board, being fed the occasional delectable human food.  i might not, however, name him Alessandro.  but that is kind of amusing.  yes, this book is my dream- sun soaked beaches, crystal blue waters, great food and loved ones- and a happy go lucky dog.  :-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

my last sigh (of the night)

wow.  i'm a little bit disturbed.  and strangely relieved and at peace at the same time.  i suppose salman rushdie has that effect on people.  how else could he have gotten padma lakshmi??   

The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie

this book was frightening to me.  not so much in the traditional sense of a horror movie or car crash- but more like watching a car crash in a movie.  it is psychologically upsetting, however you aren't entirely involved- you are not in the sphere of influence necessary for total fear that will stick with you when you go to bed at night.  i may be getting a little too philosophical.... sorry about that.  this book wasn't as much of a mind fuck as The Satanic Verses which may stay with me for the rest of my life- the images of the butterflies on the pilgrimmage to Meccah and the man transforming into a goat in the back of a van..... those will be with me for a while.  when i am old and gray, recounting stories of my youth in a nursing home, i will probably talk about these twisted fairy tales.  grimm's tales for english speaking indians.  that's what salman rushdie writes.  yes, that's it.  this might not make sense to you, but i can definitely feel the sprout of an idea here.  rushdie writes memorable shit.  'nuff said.  how could anyone possibly live in such dystopias?  i'm about to read cormac mccarthy's the road (not looking forward to the post-apocalyptic horrors shared between man and son, but my group members insist.... what could i say?).  maybe i am just on a dystopic kick.  i wonder if india is really like this?  surely not- no where can be so corrupt and violent, right?  with drugs being smuggled in baby powder shipments and artists mixing with politicians to result in murderous fueds and trickery- husbands killing wives and real life romeo and juliet mix ups.  does such a place exist?  is this the world we live in? i sure hope not.  and if it is, i'm parking myself in montana.  oh wait, i forgot about the unibomber though.... (i swear me and my friend found his abandoned hide out in the woods when we were kids....)
alright, thats enough for tonight.  it's best i quit thinking and go do some school work.  ha.
good night*

Sunday, March 14, 2010

site to connect with fellow readers

if you happen to be a reading/literature nerd like me, this is such a great site.  it is like an online, giant, anything-you-could-ever-imagine book group.  for anyone and everyone.  sweeeeet.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

#17 (suuuuccckkkk it!)

Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher

my I just say that this was a good read for future English teachers..... 
and may i also just say that i am getting more than my fair share of 'this is how you teach, because this is how i taught in allllll my many years of experience'.......

livin' the life
xoxo molly

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

#16: another from the school of ed

Engaging Readers & Writers With Inquiry, by Jeffrey Wilhelm
another day another dolla.... another snooze fest, although this one wasn't as bad as some of the others that i have read and have yet to read.  something about someone telling me how to teach is a major turn off.... i feel that they shuold just be teaching us these lessons, as more of a demonstration, rather than telling us how to teach without teaching it.  does that make sense?  perhaps not, but it's how i feel, so i'm sticking to it.  i had an awesome weekend, i checked out another cosmo-sponsored blog with my darling friend emily and am delighted to say that i gave some of them a whirl, and they are good.  good suggestions, cosmo.  now you, reader, get your head out of the gutter, we could have been reading beauty tips blogs...... -wink wink-
so thank you renne library, for forcing me to stay in one spot and soothing me with fountain noises so that i could finish this bugger, which, regardless of how much i don't like reading books about teaching, still taught me how to be an enthusiastic teacher! YES!