Teacher • Writer • Reader
I’m always on the lookout for something spooky to read. I am desperate for that book that sends shivers down your spine, or keeps your mind racing at night thinking of all the twisted possibilities that lurk in the shadows. The local bookstore was reorganizing their displays and happened to have a large quantity of books thrown together, and it was in this massive pile that this particular book caught my eye–the bargain price stick on the bottom of the cover also caught my eye, but that isn’t nearly as important. I grabbed this book and added it to the growing stack of books in my arms before heading out of the store and back home to shelve the newest additions to my collection. Despite being a bargain price, this book was full of exactly what I had been looking for.
I had bought some books for my classroom that I thought my students might enjoy, but it turns out that I enjoyed them as well! I typically like to read the books in my classroom before I put them on the shelf so that I can make good recommendations to my students, and I was pleasantly surprised with the mystery and heart that I encountered in Nick Brooks’ book, “Promise Boys.”
This was a new addition to my bookshelf, and my growing TBR pile, that was bought on a whim during an unscheduled (and quite unnecessary) trip to the bookstore. This particular book happened to be on one of the display tables around the store, and I’m a sucker for a good book display, so I grabbed myself a copy and, after some more browsing and selecting, made my way to the cashier with a small stack of books wrapped in my arms. I’m not entirely sure why, perhaps something intuitively sank its hooks in me, but I knew that this was a book that I needed to begin right away. After more than 150 pages in one night, I was captivated, engrossed, and frankly horrified, but I couldn’t seem to put it down.
Le Cirque des Rêves
I had been trying to pick out something to read, and this was recommended by a friend of mine who figured that I would like it. I already owned the book, so I plucked it off of the shelf and nestled down in the chair. Unfortunately, it took me quite a while to finish this one (life just seemed to get away from me), and I think that may have contributed to my overall experience reading this book. I think that I would have been better off if I had committed myself to finishing it right off or putting it back on the shelf until I was ready to commit to it fully.
A Boy and His Dogs
When I say that “Where the Red Fern Grows” has been on my TBR pile for a long time, I mean a long time. I remember ordering this book out of a flyer that was sent home during elementary school. Needless to say, it has taken me over twenty years, but I finally decided to sit down and give this book a try. I was filled with nostalgia and emotion as I read this touching tale of the love between a boy and his dogs.
Welcome to the Maine Woods
As I was checking out the opening weekend of a new bookstore in town, there happened to be an author signing event to promote the work of a local Maine author. I recognized the name, but really didn’t think much of it until I found myself back in my classroom struggling to pick something to read. As I scanned the shelves, I came across a few titles that had that very same author’s name on them that had been donated to me earlier in the year. After a quick scan, I picked out the one that grabbed my attention the most and settled down to crack open the cover.
The slam of the steel door shattered the solace of silence. The buzz of the locking mechanism cycling closed left me assured that I was secured in my classroom. The meticulously placed posters on the walls did their best to mask the institutionalized feeling of the cinder blocks, but a prison is still a prison--no matter how well you decorate.
"The Evil Hairnet"
It all started with “The Evil Hairnet.” I have no idea where this story ended up, or if it even exists anymore, but I will always credit “The Evil Hairnet” as being my first piece of fiction and the beginning of my complicated relationship with the craft of writing.
The House of the Scorpion
I was stumped trying to figure out what to read next. Nothing seemed to jump out at me from the pile of unopened books on my shelf at home, so I turned to the only place I could think of for suggestions–my classroom. My students have quite the eclectic taste when it comes to books, so I knew that I would get suggestions that I wouldn’t have stumbled across myself. One suggestion, from one of my more voracious readers, led me to pick up Nancy Farmer’s, “The House of the Scorpion.”
A Book For The Better
When I saw this challenge appear, I thought that it was going to be a breeze. Talk about a book that changed me. Easy. All I had to do was pick one of the countless books that I’ve read and write about it. But it wasn’t a breeze. As it turns out, thinking about the powerful impact of books isn’t something that comes easily when you really put your mind to it. Sure, thinking of book titles was easy enough, but none of them seemed to really ignite that spark within me that truly represented growth and change. However, there was one book that kept coming to mind more than any other, and that book was Neil Gaiman’s, “The Graveyard Book.” I devoured that book. I read the entire thing in two sittings and I was hungry for more.
Wit, charm, and irreverence abound in this mockumentary that took the world by storm. Turning the humdrum of the workplace into a spectacle of enjoyment, “The Office” shines as a message to viewers that the mundane can be magical. Hilarity, hijinks, and heart ensue episode after episode again and again.
- Top Story - August 2023
Egg & SpoonTop Story - August 2023
To say that I have been in a bit of a reading slump lately would be an understatement. For whatever reason, perhaps burnout, stress, or just a general sense of apathy, I haven’t been overly motivated to read (or I simply lose my focus after a few short pages).