July 15 – Dog walking, reading, and phone calls

You may have noticed that today’s title is the same as yesterday’s. I wasn’t feeling very well today, so I didn’t get up to very much – just the basics:

  1. I took Daisy for a reasonably long walk this morning.
  2. I did some marathon reading, and finished up three YA books today: Z by Michael Thomas Ford (a very average zombie novel that my students will love), The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal (a fantastic fantasy novel full of political intrigue that I loved, but that will probably only appeal to my fantasy readers), and How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr (a surprisingly insightful realistic fiction about two teenage girls: one whose father recently died and whose mother has decided to cope with her grief by adopting a baby, and the other the girl who is giving her baby up for adoption. My eighth grade girls will eat this one up, although its length may be a little intimidating for them).
  3. I called my HR department to find out how tuition reimbursement works in my school district, and I think I’m all set to sign up for a grad school class.

July 14 – Dog walking, reading, and phone calls

Today (or yesterday, really, because I’m posting this a little late) was not a very productive day for me – I’m not really even sure where the day went. But here are the few things that I did get done:

  1. I took the dog for a nice long walk.
  2. I read Shine by Lauren Myracle, which is a nominee for the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award. I wasn’t very impressed by it – it was a little too much of a Problem Novel, with the characters feeling a little flat outside of their Issues, and occasionally a little far-fetched that they could have such dramatically different personalities hidden under the surface, and not really reveal them before the book’s climax.
  3. I called my brother, who’s about to buy his first house – I think he closes on it tomorrow. Very exciting!

July 4 – Reading, gardening, and dog care

We had planned to go to a 4th of July barbecue today, but J hasn’t been feeling well so we bowed out and stayed home instead. So today was pretty quiet for me – here are a few of the things I did:

    1. Finished Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, which was a really incredible book. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction, spies, feminism, or intricate plots and writing. I’d heard a lot of hype about it, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was even better than I’d heard.
    2. Picked the first jalapeños from our garden – and 10 of them at that. Anyone have any good recipes for hot sauce? It looks like our plant is pretty prolific this year.
    3. Brushed Daisy’s teeth, which I think we need to work on being a little more vigilant about – a couple of her teeth are looking like they could use some TLC.

June 19 – 3: Ungifted by Gordan Korman

Despite being a middle school librarian, middle grade novels are definitely not nearly as exciting for me as YA novels. So I was pleasantly surprised to really enjoy Ungifted by Gordan Korman. It’s the story of Donovan Curtis, a troublemaking tween who accidentally gets sent to a gifted school. While stereotypical tweens abound in the novel, the characters are still nuanced enough to be enjoyable and interesting, and I liked the overall message that different people have different skills, and test-taking skills and IQ aren’t everything. I think my younger students will really enjoy it, too.

June 9 – 2: Pinned by Sharon Flake

I just finished Pinned by Sharon Flake. While there were a few moments that got a little bit preachy or seemed like they overreached, for the most part I really enjoyed reading it. And I think it’s a really good story for teachers to read – it definitely made me think a little bit harder about what school might be like for my students who really struggle with reading. I’d definitely recommend it.

June 7 – 1: Girl Genius

If you are a person who likes graphic novels, or steampunk, or romance and adventure stories, you have to go check out Girl Genius. I absolutely love it (and I’m not the only one – it won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story three years in a row). A new page is published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and one of the best parts of those mornings for me is when I get to see what’s going on in the world of Agatha Heterodyne.