Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Reading List

As some of you know, I'm currently in the midst of my M.A.T. degree (Master of Arts in Teaching) from Mount St. Mary's University. Sometimes I love the work and come home with a heart full of take-on-the-world, movie-quality-teacher inspiration. Other times, the work is more like....wrestling a wet cat that's determined to claw its way out of your control.

In the midst of all this chaos, I sometimes lose track of my reading. But this summer. This summer, I dove into my reading pile and have been swimming around ever since, rejecting any attempts at rescue.

Here's a glimpse at the worlds I've been to thus far:

The Conquered List: 
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather... Somehow, I managed to go through four years of an English degree and not read a single page of Willa Cather. (If any of my former professors are reading this and thinking "But wait, I assigned that!"....I'm sorry.) Needless to say, I'm glad I rectified this lack in my life.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Bejamin Alire Saenz.... a spin on the coming-of-age novel, achingly blunt and  truthful. One of those books that every other sentence makes you catch your breath.
Midwinerblood by Marcus Sedgwick....Okay, okay, I know it won a Printz Award, but, while the labyrinthine structure was definitely original, I felt the writing itself to be a little forced. It felt like a book that was trying desperately to be earth-shattering Literature-with-a-capital-L. All that aside...I would use it in class.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green... Holy smokes. I cried and blubbered things like "it's just so beautiful." That's all.
The Nazi Hunters by Neil Bascomb... I have two things to say: 1) The narrator and tone are quite biased, borderline demonizing the men of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Admitttedly, if any government deserved to be demonized, the Third Reich would be it. However, it's a lot scarier to realize that these were rational, human men and women who voted and made their own decisions. 2) This is a pretty darn good nail-biter. I'm fairly certain I did a fist pump near the end.
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare....Haters gonna hate, but this is cheap and good entertainment.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter...Any book that takes me to Italy and 1950-60s Hollywood is a good book in my book. I just said the word book alot.

The Waiting List:
Bomb by Steve Sheinkin
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Wuthering Heights by Emiliy Bronte (a re-read, but its been a while)
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank (my go-to beach-read author)
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

I'm always in need of some more recommendations. Come one, come all with your suggestions!.

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