Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Personal Beauty Pageant

Another prom season.

A Northern Light

Jennifer Donnelly was inspired by the 1906 murder of a young woman in the Adirondacks. The murder of Grace Brown was so well known it inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy. Young Mattie Gokey provides the reader with a glimpse into the hard life of the North Woods. Having lived there for three years myself, I often found myself visually some the well known camps, lakes, and rivers. The story shifts between the present where Mattie is employed at the well known Glenmore Inn and flashbacks to her life on the farm with her father and her sisters.

I found myself cheering Mattie on, remembering through her 16 year old eyes my fondness for books, my dreams, and my fears. The novel has tons of memorable characters, numerous references to literary characters and trends of the time, and the strict cultural constraints felt by the women of that era.

So grab a copy of A Northern Light and enjoy your holiday in the North Country.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another Slice, Please

I loved, loved , loved this book. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows was a wonderful combination of whimsy and history. And a smidge of romance, too.

Juliet, a well known London author, begins a correspondence with the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. Through their letters, the reader learns about the lives of the island's residents during and after the German Occupation.

So pull up a seat in Isola's house, take a swig of tonic and a huge slice of Potato Peel Pie. This is a read that even the most reticent of the membership would be sure to enjoy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Spot of Bother

This book would make a great movie. But please do not let that dissuade you from reading it; it is really quite good. Many of you will be familiar with Mark Haddon's other novel: the curious incident of the dog in the night-time. This is just as 'spot on'.

George is convinced his eczema is cancer; he is experiencing severe depression, he catches his wife in the sack with a former co-worker. Add to that a daughter who is marrying a man they feel is not well matched, who ironically, is better than them in so many ways. Throw in one gay son and the wedding day and you will be thoroughly entertained. This book has a bit of everything: pathetic human souls, a rather grisly scene when George decides to take a few matters in his own hands, and an absolutely hysterical wedding day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What Ewe are You?

Isn't that cute? That means I like soft, basic, and all purpose wool. No surprises there.
Am I allowed to say this week was torture? This marking period has been horrid. For reasons outside of my control, one unit ate up the 8 weeks of teaching time. We had two state assessments taking four days of instructional time, the music department took two more days. Today we had an awesome CSI activity, but that took another of 'my' days. Now the high school band teacher sends an e-mail 2 minutes before the last bell saying he is pulling kids for band auditions. No flippin' way I say. And I still have material to cover before the final exam and only one day to do it. I need this school year to end. NOW.
I believe I am about to eat a half gallon of ice cream straight out of the carton.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Dear Karma,

Please forgive me, for I know not what I have done. But it must have been bad. Gentle readers, I shall not bore you with the details, but they involve sores, lots of money and loads of distress. So, dear fates, please oh please, I promise to not do it again, whatever it was. Now leave me and my family alone!