This 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?
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!)
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!
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!
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!
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
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 thesummer 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 devouredIf 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!