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Saturday, June 7, 2014

What I'm Reading: Vol. 1

I saw something once that said, "If you love to read, become a math teacher." Teaching English certainly did not allow the time for pleasure reading, but I always go on a reading kick in the summertime. This summer is shaping up to be no different, but now I want to focus on reading the classics that I've missed. I've had many opportunities to read and study some great novels throughout high school and college, but I know I have some big gaps in my literary knowledge and if I do have sincere hopes of going back to school for literature, I've got some catching up to do.


I will confess that I started off with John Green's Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, but technically I read those during my last week at work, so they don't count. I did thoroughly enjoy them both.

Then I started Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and finished on our camping trip. It wasn't really what I expected. I went into it only knowing that it had to do with war, but was really confused at first because I didn't know that it was going to have such a nonlinear structure. I had trouble keeping track of the characters, but when I went back and reread (I have a bad habit of just reading even when I'm not paying attention/understanding what's going on), it all made sense. I came away really enjoying Vonnegut's writing style and there were a few parts that really stuck with me (two of my favorite parts quoted below).

I'm waiting for Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man on my digital library (I'm currently one of four holds), but in the meantime, I'm reading one of theMary Poppins series. On one of my sister Mindy's last nights in town before moving to Virginia, we watched Saving Mr. Banks and Mary Poppins. Naturally, we both came away curious about P.L. Travers' series of books. I love children's books and luckily, Mary Poppins Opens the Door was available right away. It's not the first in the series, but it's easy enough to pick up on what's going on. Each chapter tells about a different adventure, including riding peppermint stick horses, playing with a marble statue boy, shrinking a woman inside of a tiny golden palace, and shooting rockets in the park. It's silly and fun and Mary Poppins is every bit as stern as P.L. Travers insisted she was, but the content is certainly a nice break from the seriousness of Slaughterhouse-Five and the upcoming The Invisible Man.

What are you reading? Are there any classics that you recommend?

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