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:
- I took the dog for a nice long walk.
- 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.
- I called my brother, who’s about to buy his first house – I think he closes on it tomorrow. Very exciting!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
I read Grave Mercy this weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. From the cover, I figured it would be a Twilight knockoff, and while it does share a few common traits (romance, supernatural elements), it’s far more complex and interesting in terms of its setting and plot than I was expecting.
It takes place in Brittany in the late 1400s, and is at least semi-historical – the major historical figures actually existed and faced the same challenges they face in the book. But it also incorporates a heroine with some supernatural powers, and some fairly implausible aspects given how much freedom and power some of the women in the book seem to have, and a few instances where the distinctions between social classes seem to be glossed over. But it’s a fun story, and even if the history is muddled, it’s still an interesting imagining of historical events that most people (myself included) know little to nothing about.
I had kind of a crummy day today. Nothing major, just a bunch of little things that all added up to me being super cranky for most of the day. So when I got home, I decided to indulge myself, and I curled up with a book and hoped it would live up to my expectations. And it totally did.
I’ve been intrigued by Dairy Queen ever since I heard about it, which must have been three or four years ago. A book about a Wisconsin farm-girl deciding to go out for the football team? Right up my alley. Plus, several people whose taste I respect had said good things about it.
But my reading list is about a mile long, and my school library didn’t have a copy of it until sometime this year (and I pretty much only read things from my school at this point). So I didn’t get around to reading it until this afternoon, and I’m kind of glad. Because it totally pulled me out of the funk I’d been in all day.