Mission

Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Coffee: Catching Up

I've Got 99 Essays.....

Catching up is never going to happen, honestly, but I keep trying. There are ninety-nine ungraded essays sitting on my kitchen table right now, and I really am going to tackle some of them later tonight. But first, I'm going to catch up on my blog (I want to post something at least once, a week), and reading other people's blogs, and leaving comments. But first....

I really do need to acknowledge how good things are right now, even though I am crazy busy and there is never enough time. I'm really happy in my job right now, even though grading is a paper tiger that keeps threatening to eat up me or maybe just my life. But I love the classes I teach, I love my students, and I love my school. So there's that.

Actual Incident From My Life....

Last week I was in the media center with my students. They were checking out their copies of The Great Gatsby. As I watched the students checking out their books, one of my former students joined me. She gazed at the sophomores pensively and said "What they don't realize is that they are about to read the best book they'll read all year."

Also, cool books.

Did you know that Richard Wright, author of Black Boy and Native Son, wrote thousands of haiku? I'm really fascinated by Wright's foray into poetry, and I've been reading and enjoying Haiku: This Other World. There is an interesting and revealing introduction by Wright's daughter, Julia.

What else have I been reading? Well, I'm reading The Great Gatsby, since I'm teaching that. Then, I've started I Am Malala, and just finished reading John Green's wonderful Looking for Alaska.
 
So many of my students have read and loved John Green's books that I really had to read him for myself, and I have to say I totally get it now. One of my reading goals is to read more Young Adult literature, especially the books my students can't stop talking about.

Your suggestions, please...

I'm looking for suggestions or recommendations for two categories of books. One is young adult fiction that has a mythological connection. So, books that are re-tellings or updated versions of Greek or Roman myths (maybe fairy tales too?). I'm designing a research project for my high school so the titles should be appropriate for that age. I want the kind of books that students just can't put down.

The other category is books (fiction or non-fiction) either from or about the Civil Rights movement in the United States. This would be for a new class I will teach next year for high school juniors. I'd like to include a wide variety of readings, from essays and reportage to short stories and novels. Songs, too. Any ideas?

So, are you "catching up," or trying too, in this crazy-busy season?

11 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I'm glad things are going so well for you! I have pretty much accepted that I will never be caught up again.

bibliophiliac said...

@bermudaonion-but we can always try!

Iliana said...

Too funny that we were both on the same wavelength with our blog posts :)

I hate to admit that there will probably never be enough time to catch up with everything I want to do but I'll just have to keep on trying!

Wish I had some titles to recommend but right now I've got nothing. Must think on that a bit more!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I love the comment about Gatspy... I really need to read that one!

Glan Deas said...

I like all the posts of these day. Every person share their moments of Christmas celebration.

Regards,
Kopi Luwak

JoAnn said...

I really need to see what all the fuss over John Green is about… The Fault in Our Stars is waiting on my kindle. Good luck with the essay grading!

Andi said...

This made me smile: "What they don't realize is that they are about to read the best book they'll read all year."

So glad you're enjoying your classes. Boy, do I know what it's like to have papers looming. The university courses I teach are wrapping up, and they're turning in research papers I have to sift through. Oy!

As for novels about the Civil Rights Movement...the only one that comes immediately to mind is The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. It's a little unusual as the African American family in the book is actually from one of the northern states (Michigan maybe?) and they don't encounter much racism there but they visit the south and are close to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Interesting book. It's actually for middle grade readers, but there's enough symbolism and ambiguity that I think high schoolers could have a great discussion of it.

bibliophiliac said...

@Sheila-if you have not read Gatsby yet, you are really in for a treat!

bibliophiliac said...

@Iliana-That "catching up" feeling...we have to keep on trying! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and catch up on whatever you need to catch!

bibliophiliac said...

@JoAnn-I was surprised by how good Finding Alaska was...he really "gets" the teenage mind. Most of us conveniently forget what we were really like and how we felt. But Green also has a really layered and smart writing style that I really enjoyed.

bibliophiliac said...

@Andi-Kids say the darndest things! So, yeah, grading guilt is the worst, isn't it/