Monday, May 26, 2014

May Theme: Summer Reading Kickoff by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

I dug into my summer reading over the weekend, with books that have been in my home for ages: First up was THE APPRENTICES, Maile Meloy's sequel to THE APOTHECARY.
It's been a while since I was in Janie's world -- it's definitely a more harsh, violent, and acutely painful one this time around.
For some reason, I've torn through every one of Chimamanda Adichie's books but HALF OF A YELLOW SUN, which has been staring accusingly from a living room shelf for YEARS. Romance, Nigerian history, and spectacular writing by one of my favourite authors. The writing! Characters so carefully and lovingly sculpted...I am already wishing I could start all over again. As most of you may know, Adichie's "Danger of a Single Story" TED Talk went viral some time ago; check out this both hilarious and heartbreaking "Danger of a Single Book Cover" post from the wonderful AFRICA IS A COUNTRY blog. Seriously, go look now.
Dani Shapiro's STILL WRITING, which is both fresh and delightfully familiar, is perfect for subway and wait-during-lessons/activity reading, reminding me of those lessons I need to keep learning in my writing process.
Then I'm moving onto THE MAKING OF A POEM: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms, edited by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, which is not me at all, because I actively avoid the writing of poetry, but I know I can learn a lot and my daughter loves to write poems, so I am (a little grumpily) making this a joint summer study -- we'll read it aloud together, I think.And bell hooks' TEACHING COMMUNITY: A Pedagogy of Hope, because, well, bell hooks.
For the rest of the summer I've got a couple of never-read oldies like THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH and THE WESTING GAME; I've got Varian Johnson's GREAT GREENE HEIST; Claudia Mills' ANNIKA RIZ, MATH WHIZ; STRANGE FRUIT, VOLUME I: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, and a glorious boatload of middle grade joys. Middle-grade novels are my summer reading sweet spot. Those fictions packed with truth. The place where I lose myself and find myself and am inspired. I can't wait! (Oh yeah, I didn't.)

8 comments:

  1. I need to begin my summer reading with books that have been in my home for ages, too...

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    1. It's so much fun to "discover" on your own shelves! :D

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  2. Ooh, some wonderful recommendations.. thank you, Gbemi! Just reserved HALF OF A YELLOW SUN and am looking for STRANGE FRUIT. Happy reading to you! xo

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  3. I'd love some of *your* recs, Irene! What have you loved lately?

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  4. Love your list. Have scribbled them onto my own :)

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    1. Everyone here is such a wonderful resource!

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  5. So many wonderful books...so little time. Wish I had the superpower of being able to touch a book and instantly absorb it's contents. Thanks for the great recommendations.

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    1. Oooh, Darlene, that would be awesome! Sounds like a story....

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