IMWAYR – August 29, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicThis sure has been a busy week.  New semester started last week and then we’ve been away hanging out with family starting on Friday.  Needless to say, not much time for just leisure reading!

We did a library trip with the niece and nephew.  My niece and I got a chance to read together.  She read quite a bit of this one all by herself.  BOM! Went the Bear, by Nicki Greenberg, is about a bear and his drum.  But, once he starts playing music, all the other animals join in with their music.  Cute, fun, silly.  Great read for learning about onomatopoeia! 

In the meantime, I did have a chance to hit up the bookstore while we’ve been in the big city.  My TBR got bigger and my wallet got smaller.  Oh well, that’s the life of a reader!


What did you read this week?  What is your favorite thing to read with kids in your family?  Let’s talk below…..

Beyond the Books: August 25, 2016

So I said in my last post that I wanted to get back into blogging.  Today I hunted down a few memes.  I thought I’d dry this meme hosted by Beyond the Books.

KissinBlueKaren

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She posts a prompt/question every week (mostly non-book related), and it gives an opportunity to blog.  So, here we go…..!


If you could have any elective cosmetic surgery, would you? What would you do?

I’m not a huge fan of cosmetic surgery.  It seems that any elective surgeries would have more risks than benefits.

If I were going to have an elective surgery, it would most likely be to correct something that a previous surgery caused.

So, if I needed a mastectomy, I might get reconstruction.  Or, if I needed stomach surgery that caused me to lose my belly button (don’t laugh, it happens), I might see if I could get a new belly button.

Otherwise, no cosmetic surgeries for me.


So, what do you think?  Answer today’s question?  Talk about my answer? Have another meme I should try?  Let’s talk below….

IMWAYR – August 22, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicWelcome back to the “Oz and Other Lands” weekly  It’s Monday post!

Life has sort of gotten in the way, yet again, but I am re-vowing to be more regular in my blog posting.  That means I will be posting regularly here on Oz and Other Lands about what I am reading every Monday!

I will also work to post at least one other post per week.  Do you have any regular posting memes you think I should participate in?  Please mention them in the comments!

Meanwhile, here is what I finished reading this week…


I spent some time with Rebecca Musser’s The Witness Wore Red:  The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice.  Becky was a normal girl growing up in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) where they continued to practice polygamy.  Becky was wed to Rulon Jeffs – the leader of their church.  This memoir tells of her time before being sealed to Rulon, the time she spent as his 19th wife, his death and the takeover of the church by his son Warren Jeffs, Becky’s ultimate escape from the church and community, and her involvement in the the investigation and prosecution of men accused of practicing polygamy and marrying under age girls.

This was a really good book.  However, there are parts that could be triggering for people (frank talk of abuse, for instance).  However, I found her memoir to be intriguing and honest.  A good “adult” nonfiction book for me.

 

 

I then jumped back into sequel mode and read Where She Went, by Gayle Forman.  This sequel to If I Stay was just as intense and intriguing.  It follows Adam through a crazy night of insomnia where he reconnects with Mia.  Mia works to tell Adam what has occurred in the last three YEARS since she went to Julliard and never looked back.  She also uncovers his secret pain at this loss of relationship.

Engaging, heart breaking from page 1.  This book is a MUST if you read the first one.  If you haven’t – read them both.  Just do it.  It is that good.

Finally, I went to a book that has been buzzed about a bunch by the good folks at Book Riot.  After Anna, by Alex Lake, follows Julia, her soon to be ex-husband Brian, and his mother Edna, after her 5 year old daughter Anna is abducted from school.  BUT, one week later, Anna returns home.  Then the real drama starts.

This is told in alternating view points of the abductor and Julia.  I couldn’t believe that this would be a book that I couldn’t put down, but it truly was.  The twists, turns, and genuine crazy in this book kept me up way to late for a couple of nights.  Total crazy fest, but oh, so good!


So, there you have it:  the books I have buried myself in during my free time.  Got another for me to add to my ever growing TBR?  Mention it below!

Have an idea for a bookish blogging meme for me to try?  Mention it below!  As always, you can tweet me or find me on GoodReads using the icons in the side bar.

Happy Reading!

IMWAYR – August 1, 2016

ItsMondayGraphicThis week I read two tragedies for my Shakespeare class.  I also finished reading a hilarious memoir by Jenny Lawson.


This week we focused on the tragedies in my Shakespeare class.  We read Othello and Macbeth.  I had never read either one before.  I actually loved both plays.

Othello was interesting because of the influence the other characters had on him.  He gave in to the influence of Iago and doubted Desdemona!

In Macbeth, we had a lot of interesting discussion about who was at fault for the death of Duncan.  The debate has centered blame on either Macbeth himself, Lady Macbeth, and fate (aka the witches).  Such a great discussion.

As for my personal reading, I finished Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy.  With a moderate amount of language, Lawson approaches life as someone who suffers from a multitude of mental and physical illnesses.  What I loved the most was her honest approach to the struggles she faces and the humor she finds in these situations!


Well, what did you read this week?  What do I need to add to my TBR?

Shakespeare – Weeks 1 and 2

Hello again readers!

I know, every time I come post I think, I should post more often.  Then, I don’t….

In any case, I have started my first few weeks of studying Shakespeare!  The plays and sonnets we are going to read are all new to me.  The reading, analysis, and discussion has been really interesting.  I am certainly enjoying it!

Here is what we’ve read so far!

Week 1 – Comedies
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Can you believe I have never read this comedy?  It was pretty funny.  I enjoyed the whimsical nature of the plot.  It reminded me a lot of Aristophanes and his comedies.  In fact, I learned that Shakespeare was educated using Greek and Roman plays.  I analyzed Act V and discussed the meta-theater of the “Pyramus and Thisbe” play.  All in all, a good play.

The Merchant of Venice

One of our focuses during these five weeks is the comparison between performance and reading the plays.  Our first week we watched a production of The Merchant of Venice as we read along.  I really didn’t care so much for this play.  I felt like the characters were just trying to get the better of each other.  Not my favorite, but certainly another interesting comedy to read.

Week 2 – The Histories
The Tragedy of Richard III

We started our week of history plays with Richard III.  The opening soliloquy was the topic of much discussion.  Shakespeare has Richard open by laying out his entire evil plan.  Shakespeare’s Richard is apparently very deformed, so instead of finding a girlfriend/wife, he wants to manipulate others and work his way to be king.  Now, being a “tragedy”, you can guess what happens.

It dawned on me about halfway through the week that some archaeologists analyzed a skeleton that they think is Richard III.  What I found intriguing is that the osteology shows the person suffered from serious scoliosis, but was not a disfigured as Shakespeare’s Richard.  That led to interesting thoughts and discussion about the literary purpose that Shakespeare had for creating an even more disfigured Richard.

The Life of Henry V

Our read/watch play for this week was The Life of Henry V.  Henry is painted as the “mirror of a Christian king”.  He leads his people into battle in France.  We watched a performance with Lawrence Oliver as Henry.  Again, the second play this week was not one of my favorites.


On the side, I’m reading a hilarious comedic collection of essays called Furiously Happy.  The author, Jenny Lawson, presents a honest, cynical look at her life with anxiety, depression, and a crazy family and loving husband.  If you are interested, you should certainly check it out.  She also has a blog you can read here.

Seriously, read it.  (Warning:  moderate amount of cursing, some possibly triggering portions for those who struggle with self-harm, depression, and other mental illnesses.  However, a great, positive look at the nature of surviving a mental illness!)

Reading Update

I really, really wish that I had more discipline when it came to updating the blog!  Oh well, I’m going to change it now by letting you know what I’ve read in the last three or so weeks!

I have posted reviews/stars on my Goodreads feed, so if you want to know more about these books and what I thought, visit the sidebar to the right!  —>


Novels and “Fun” Reads

I haven’t quite kept up with my Book a Day plan, but I have read some amazing books!

The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger – a deliciously indulgent read and different from the film.  If you liked the movie, read the book!

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart – a twisted and turning book about a teenage girl and her crazy family.  Read this if you liked The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, or other psychological explorations/thrillers.

 

Flora and Ulysses:  The Illuminated Adventures, by Kate DiCamillo – follow young Flora, her romance writer mother, crazy neighbor, odd nephew of crazy neighbor, her odd father, and a super squirrel (!) as they embark on some adventures.  Cute and engaging.  Read this if you are ready to step up from graphic novels or illustrated novels like Wimpy Kid, or if you believe in superpowers.

Nine, Ten:  A September 11 Story, by Nora Raleigh Baskin – I’ve never been one to read extensively about the events of that fateful September – neither fiction nor nonfiction.  However, my YA Lit social media was absolutely blowing up with reviews of this work.  I got it on release day (thanks Amazon!) and I was not disappointed.  The book follows four middle school students in the days leading up to the attack.  The book was brilliant, touching, honest, and real.  Enough said!

Order of the Wicked, by Danielle Paige – another prequel installment from the amazingly twisted Oz of Danielle Paige.  I can’t wait for the next novel – or for her new series beginning up soon with Stealing Snow.  Read this if you enjoy twisted tales, revisits of some of your favorite characters, or if you want an intense and amazing read!

 

What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty – imagine waking up 10 years in the future and not remembering anything in between.  That’s what happens to Alice.  Moriarty takes us through Alice’s life in snatched memories of the last 10 years.  A perfect summer read filled with confusion, clarity, and self-discovery.


Well, that’s enough for now.  Check out my Goodreads feed to see the textbooks I read in the last few weeks too!

How is your summer reading going?  Let’s chat!

“Sanka? You dead mon?”

No, I’m not dead…but yes, it has been a while since I blogged.  Things went a little sideways for a couple of weeks.  Let me fill you in!

What happened…..

Remember how I was taking Block class a mere 3 hours from home?  Well, yeah, that finally ended last Friday.  The last two weeks we talked about special education and content literacy.  The class is now over and in the books.  I’ve learned a lot and I am glad I had the experience of this class with my friends and colleagues.  I’m also glad it is over!

Then….

Well, let’s just say that returning home, and staying home, has been nice.  I spent a few days immersed in homework.  I am now, though, returning to the world and doing chores.  Laundry is almost caught up.  Dishes are done.  My random junk from living away is getting picked up.  Slowly but surely.

My Classes Now
One of my fave comics from Hyperbole and a Half has become a meme!

So, now that I am at home, I am still taking 4 classes online.  I’m doing Precalculus, Applied Calculus, Math for the Elementary/Middle School Teacher 1, and Linguistics.  This is the summer of the content classes!  They are keeping me busy, but I am glad I can accomplish these from the comfort of my living room.

And now….THE BOOKS!

I’ve updated my Goodreads, but I thought I’d give you a quick run-down of what I have read these last few weeks!

Textbooks:  I finished reading Classroom Assessment for Teachers for my Assessment class.  I also read Improving Adolescent Literacy for the final week of block (on….content literacy!).  Two more texts with a bunch of information!

Audiobooks:  I finally finished Inkheart on audio.  It was good!  I found myself driving around Chadron in the vain hope of finishing the book – it was that good.  Audio definitely was the format for me and this book!

I’ve also started the abridged version of The DaVinci Code, by Dan Brown.  I’ve read it before, but it is action filled and I thought an abridged version might be a good audio for me to try.

Novels:  I absolutely devoured If I Stay, by Gayle Forman.  I love love loved it!  If I Stay tells the story of Mia, whose family has been involved in an accident.  Mia is unconscious, but she can travel around the hospital and see her family and friends – yet they cannot see her.  Forman paints an epically tragic tale through flashbacks, questions, and heart wrenching scenes.  I want to get the second one to add to my library soon!

I’ve started a re-read of one of my favorites too!  The Devil Wears Prada is the tale of Andrea “Andy” Sachs and her epic year as the second assistant to THE Miranda Priestly.  I’ve seen the movie a bunch (actually, saw the movie before read the book), but I really like the novel.  I won’t give you any spoilers, but there are some differences between movie and novel.🙂

Picture Books:  For my Math for the Elementary/Middle School class had me create a lesson plan for math that involved children’s books.  A perfect blend for my two loves!  In the process, I read two beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written books by Greg Tang.  The Grapes of Math and Math for All Seasons use poems and images to create word problems for readers to solve.  They are quite inventive.  I think an entire Greg Tang library is begging to be added to my collection.  Check them out!


Whew!  I know that was long, but that’s what you get when I haven’t blogged in two weeks!  If you’ve made it this far….congrats!  Tell me what the best thing you have read in the past two weeks has been.  I’m always looking for something new for the TBR!