Friday, September 03, 2010

Week in Review: Great Reads

Since it’s been a hectic week now that I’m back teaching school, I didn’t have time to make it to a movie. I did, however and as always, find time to read. So, I thought I’d share with you some books I’ve recently finished. Maybe you’ll find something here you would also like to read.

Before I forget, if you live in the Spanish Fork area, I’d love to have you join me on Wednesday, September 15th at 6:30 p.m. at the library. I’ll be doing book talks for the adult patrons, and it might be a great chance for you to discover a book or series, or just to meet some other avid readers from our community. Hope to see you there!

Apple Turnover Mystery – Joanne Fluke. This
series is one of my very favorite cozy mysteries. The main character, Hannah
Swenson, owns the local bakery and has an uncanny way of always being the one
to discover the body of someone recently murdered. Hannah is a natural sleuth
and uses her bakery specialties, knowledge of the community, and sense of intuition
to solve the case, even though her policeman brother-in-law sometimes wishes
she would leave that part up to him. If you love to bake, you’ll also love
these books which are always jam-packed with actual recipes for cookies, cakes
and other confectionaries that sound way too many calories or sugar grams for
my diet!

Hush, Hush – Becca Fitzpatrick. Since this book
came out I’ve had a lot of locals ask me if I read it yet, and what did I
think. I’d read an absolutely scathing review by a well-known nationally
published YA author, so of course, I HAD to read the book at that point to see
what all the fuss was about. I picked up the novel expecting to be absolutely
scandalized, and found. . . next to nothing. Okay, so there was a little inappropriate
language, maybe some hinted indication of sex, but nothing compared to some of
the other well-known and widely read YA novels that recently passed around our
community as a “must read.” Maybe I’m becoming desensitized and these glimpses
of impropriety don’t faze me anymore. Honestly the book I’ve reading right now
to review for a national magazine has content much worse than this. Perhaps the
entire industry is leading teenagers down a path toward vulgarity in both
language and sex. One listen to the radio and a look at MTV sort of proves
this. In any case, I actually liked Hush, Hush well enough that I’ve put the
forthcoming sequel on hold at the public library.

Readicide – Kelly Gallagher. This book is a must
read for teachers and administrators, language arts of not. The author tells of
a terrible tragedy that has befallen our country, one that I have cried about
for years. We are developing an alliterate nation—a nation of people who can
read, but who DON’T. The reason? Our teachers are committing readicide—killing the
love of reading by dissecting literature into such small parts that the
students never learn to engage, never learn to read simply because they love
reading. Why do we do this? Because of state and national mandates testing.
Everything in school becomes about the test. Are the scores high enough? Can we
reach 100% proficiency by the target date of 2014 as mandated in No Child Left Behind?Anyone who understands that you can’t compare apples to oranges already knows
that the goal

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