August: Arson, mass extinction, and Joe Biden dangling from a train

My summer reading came to an end with a strange mix of political potboiler, modernist melodrama, the science of extinction, and a shocking lack of young adult fiction, something I will most definitely correct in the coming months. For the time being, here are my reviews for August.   Hope Never Dies By Andrew Shaffer (Crime/Mystery) …

July: Somehow it begins and ends with executions

At about this time every summer, I reflect on how I spent June and July, wondering sadly how the time passes so quickly and wishing I’d done more to really savor it. Truly, summer is an annual lesson in living in the moment. I regret to say that I didn’t accomplish half of the items…

May: A Bouquet of Nonfiction

Hello from sunny Tampa! I’m here all week for the annual A.P. English Language and Composition Exam Reading, along with 1,600 of my colleagues, tasked with scoring more than 1.75 million essays written by 11th graders all across the nation. It’s very intense but I really do love reading all this student writing and partly…

April: Cruelest month, can confirm

I’m a bit late with this month’s update but I have two very good excuses. 1.) For the past month, I’ve been burning it at both ends trying to prepare my A.P. Language and Composition students for the AP Exam (which they all took yesterday and reported that they felt prepared, thank god) and 2.)…

How Reading Helped Me Make Peace with Infertility

When I was very young, perhaps three or four, I used to run down the hallway of our little ranch house clutching a doll in my arms, reenacting a scene from Kramer vs. Kramer. It wasn’t until years later that I was able to trace the scene to that film. I just remember a man…

March: So many great books, downright MADNESS

I feel like I really hit my stride in March. I was a little nervous because I knew I had to read an extra book to make up for falling short of my quota in February, but my picks this month were so good, I just inhaled them. I hope you find something here you…

Spring Break Book Recs

My students (current and former) came through again with some great recommendations for anyone hoping to get lost in a book this Spring Break. Since I know that includes ALL of you, I’ll waste no time getting to the list. Happy reading!   The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes “It is an inspiring autobiography…

Really, whose idea was February?

People love to hate on February. “The longest shortest month!” they say,  wishing to see the back end of it as quickly as possible. If you live in the northern climes, it can feel interminable, its creeping sunlight tempting you to fantasize about green lawns and trees in bloom*, which are still so far away….

Romantic YA Recs for Valentine’s Day

For this list I put out a call for recommendations for Young Adult titles that have some kind of lovey-romance plot or theme. Thanks so much to everyone who answered! I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read any of these; they’re going on The List. Here are some of my wonderful students (and one…

January: So far, so good

I did it. I read eight books in January. Starting this quest, I figured that if I could meet my monthly goal during what is arguably the busiest month of my year (with research papers and semester 1 finals), it would bode well for accomplishing my larger goal of 100 books in a year. I’m…