Saturday, February 21, 2009

Catching Up!

I need to catch up on work, home, and personal responsibilities. I'll get back to blogging in a few more days.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Rating: 3/5

I really enjoyed Speak (also by this author), so I thought I would enjoy this one too. It was okay. In many ways, it reminded me of Cut by Patrica McCormick because of the main character's need to run. The main Kate and Teri were also similar to a minor female character in Deadline by Chris Crutcher. The private stories were very not what you would expect. The story behind Teri's little brother is the exact same story as Crutcher's character. Also, I kept imagining the kids from The Breakfast Club as the characters. Molly Ringwald could play Kate. Emilio Estevez would be cast as Mitch, and Ally Sheedy would make the perfect Terri.

These similarities probably influenced my negative opinion of this book.It just feels like the formula storyline ha been done too many times before. It got interesting after the climax (p. 148), but there was not enough build up. Okay is the best rating I can give this one.

See Dewey's review here.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

People of the Book

Author: Geraldine Brooks
Rating: 7/5

I LOVED this book! It reminded me of The Thirteenth Tale because both are very well told stories. Encountering this book renewed my reading zeal and reminded me there are books out there that cause you to read well past your workday bedtime. All of the characters felt like flesh and blood, courageously flawed people. I even enjoyed the side story between Hanna and her mother (it reminded me of the story line between Dr. Meridith Grey and her mother on Grey's Anatomy. Mother/Daughter relationship are complex...even when they're fictional.) Hanna's side story fits given the theme of the book.
"I think you have to accept a book as your receive it from past generations, and to a certain extent damage and wear reflect that history."

As in life, the side stories in People of the Book are the story.

See Dewey's review here.

Friday, February 06, 2009

6 Things That Make Me Happy

I saw this meme at Bermudaonion's Weblog and thought it was a great thing to reflect on at the end of a long day. So, here are my six suppliers of happiness:

1. Rainy, pajama days (after the morning shower, the attire for indoor day...pajamas!)
2. Chocolate
3. The sound of the ocean
5. A baby's smile
6. My cat, Kobi

Once I got going on this, I realized that there are many things that make me happy (far more than six things). In an effort to share the love, consider yourself tagged (CTG and Notes From the Ordinary, I can't wait to see the six things on your lists.)

Thursday, February 05, 2009


One of the changes I made this year was switching to an increasingly gluten-free diet and drinking less caffeine. Yes CTG, I no longer indulge in my usual morning mugs. I now drink Teechino during the week and have ONE mug of "real" coffee or ONE green tea soy latte on Saturday mornings. Last year, I eliminated dairy products. (I've even found a pizza place that meets my dietary requirements.) My skin has cleared up significantly, and, for first time in my life I don't need to use Beconase or Flonase to avoid congestion when I bend over or lie down. I was in the doctor's office today (nothing major) and told the PA about the recent changes I'd made. He informed me he had just attended a seminar on the value of a gluten-free diet in children with upper respiratory problems. He wasn't surprised by my results and told me to continue my dietary regimen. Not that I needed it, but confirmation is always nice. I have to keep this in mind when students make choices that can change their lives for the better.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Blog Imoprovement

The last two week blog improvement challenge (posted Jan 19th) has to do with content. I really need help in this area, but time has not permitted me to put a lot of work into this part of the challenge. Time seems to be the biggest enemy for me. I have the same 24 hours as everyone else. Mine are just pulled in too many directions.

When it comes to generating ideas, I agree that they are everywhere. On other blogs, in classrooms, in the news, on the road, in the neighborhood...You get the idea. Journaling (yes, I mean the old-fashioned pen and paper kind of journaling) helps me to keep track of some the things I find noteworthy. What I have to do is work on dedicating time to writing. It takes time to prepare the grist for the mill and then to do the appropriate revision and editing a good post requires. I usually have concentrated time for writing on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons, but during the week time is just too fragmented to do anything worthwhile.

With regard to an original regular feature, I have an idea for a bi-monthly Catty Corner" which would feature my cat, Kobi, and other cats that influence me. More in the coming weeks on that. Let me get a slightly better grip on time management first.

20 Books in 2009

I joined this challenge some time ago but never shared the rules. This is a good one because I can use the books from other challenges. The rules are as follows:

You must have a website since you have to keep an online progress page. You can get free ones from or if you need to.
You must create a progress page, which will be updated each time you complete one of your 20 books. For more information about progress pages and an example of how you can do them, click here. If you do not have a progress page and would like to post your books as regular blog updates one at a time as you finish, please create a tag or category specific to the challenge that I can look at.
You can read as many books as you want by an author or in the same series.
If the book is a re-read, it must be from a year ago.
If you begin the book in 2008 and finish it in 2009, it does count for this challenge.
The following do not count: comics, catalogs, manga, journals, audiobooks.
The following does count: paperbacks, hardbacks, advanced copies, ebooks. You can read fiction or nonfiction, the choice is up to you.
You must link back to this challenge with the button provided or one that you make for your own personal use, or even a text link.

If you intend to participate, leave a comment on the main entry stating so. You will then be added to the participants list.
Everyone who successfully completes the 20 in 2009 challenge will win a small award graphic to display on their website

Click here the join this challenge.