Reading through summer

I am a geek. People use lots of different terms to classify the characteristics they are talking about:  nerd/ geek/ overachiever*/ smartypants/ teacher's pet. I have been called all of these at one point or another. I prefer geek. I admit it and fully acknowledge and embrace my geekiness. 

I think these terms were first applied because I like to read... most anything and as often as possible. I would go to the library as a kid and my mom would put a limit on the number of books she would allow me to carry out. I also like school. I have been in school non-stop (working or attending) since 1985. According to a friend's kid, I just finished the 21st grade. :-)  I read for fun. Grad school put a bit of a cramp in my reading for fun because I spent all day reading for school. I had to get glasses to keep up with all the reading :-)

So, once I got past that whole dissertation thing this spring, the starter's pistol fired and the race was on to read as much as I could before the academic job began and reading purely for fun went on the back burner again. Here are the one's (that I remember) I have read since May 15.

My favorite of the summer was BY FAR "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I found it while browsing some recommended reading lists online. It's set in Nazi Germany and narrated by death. Sounds morbid, I know, but I couldn't put it down. I think it is listed as young reader material, but it wasn't available when I was a young reader (it was released in 2005), so I am just catching up. Everyone should read it.

LOVED "Life of Pi" when I read it back in 2004 -because one of my SGHS kids was reading it in English classes and recommended- so when I saw a new book by Yann Martel, I jumped. I bought "Beatrice and Virgil" even though it was only out in hardback, which I never do. It was just okay ...so if you haven't read it, check it out from a library or wait until it comes out in paperback. Definitely no "Life of Pi."

My friend Beckmeyer got me hooked on Russo and in the last year I have read a ton of his stuff  (That Old Cape Magic, Empire Falls, Nobody's Fool, Straight Man, Mohawk). "The Risk Pool" did not disappoint. Next on the list, "Bridge of Sighs."

"The Secret Life of Bees" is one of those popular "IT" novels that you get a lot of buzz about all at once, but a really quick read with a neat story - and, bonus: then I got to rent the movie (with Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keyes, Jennifer Hudson). Both were entertaining!

"Rebecca" - Another classic and apparently made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock WAY before I was born (well, before my parent's were born). Now the film is on my "to-rent" list. And, like all things Hitchcock might gravitate towards, there was a nice twist.

"Brighten the Corner Where You Are" - Another one of those from a recommended reading list. Worth the time.

"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" : I thought this was a great story - even if a friend I recommended it to was not exactly excited about a boy and his dog! And, maybe the only "Oprah Book Club" book on the list. (I won't hold that against it.)

A class. I threw of few of these in just for fun. Now I can say I have read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time": Amusing note: I read the entire book with the voice of one of my former students in my head as the main character (both happen to be autistic).Neat story.  

Yes Indeed, That's LC's second book, "Sweet Little Lies". I told you it wasn't exactly high-brow stuff (and I admit it, I loved "The Hills").

"Game Change": one of the only non-fiction items on the list, but I wouldn't say it was exactly academic in nature. All the behind-the-scenes dirt on the 2008 Presidential Election. Interesting stuff!

And, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is the one I am finishing this weekend: so far, it's awesome...and, being made into a movie. The other two Stieg Larsson books in the series are now on my to-read list, but it may be Christmas before I get there.

That's because the current list is related to the fact that I am teaching leadership this fall and next spring. The current list includes "Today Matters" by Maxwell, "Cases in Leadership" by Rowe, "The Leadership Challenge" by Kouzes and Posner, "Leadership" by Northouse, "Leadership" by DuBrin, "Teach with your Strengths", "Emotionally Intelligent Leadership" by Shankman and Allen, "Good to Great" by Collins and a stack full of supplemental materials that I could use to teach. Good thing I like to read!

*Rob Terry says "Over Achiever" is not the correct term because it implies that I have achieved beyond my capabilities. Therefore, "High Achiever" is more accurate, but he may be the only one who has called me a high achiever.

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