Archive for the ‘i heart books’ Category

Mango Street Moment


I just finished reading The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros which, unlike most, I never picked up in high school or college. Because it isn’t my own copy, I want to preserve a moment for me and for you.




My Own

Not a flat. Not an apartment in back. Not a man’s house. Not a daddy’s. A house all my own. With a porch and my pillow, my pretty purple petunias. My books and my stories. My two shoes waiting beside the bed. Nobody to shake a stick at. Nobody’s garbage to pick up after.

Only a house quiet as snow, a space for myself to go, clean as paper before the poem.”

There are few books I love as much as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. This might be one of them.




Loving: My new and completely unnecessary Blackberry. It just feels so natural in my loving palm.

Consuming: Yogi Tea in Immune Protection “Flavor” – Yogi Wisdom in this cup: Your heartbeat is the rhythm of your soul.

Craving: New York City

Hoping: For “easy” to come strolling by and sit down to stay awhile.

Netflixing: Sex and the City: Season 3, Disc 3 (hence the NYC lust). Fav ep: “Hot Child in the City”

Listening to: “Birds Fly Away” by Theresa Andersson

Reading: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Wanting: a clean and organized desk

Looking Forward to: President Obama’s leadership and innovative ideas. PRESIDENT Obama. Loving it.

George W. Bush is a George W. Bush Lover


There’s been a bit of a buzz sounding with an article in the WSJ entitled “Bush is a Book Lover.” I know, I had to try to stifle the laughter, too.

(Just kidding, why try?)

Anyway, I’ve been rolling my eyes in a literal sense and then I realized that -hey- isn’t a blog just one big figurative eye-roll? So, I come today bearing my haughty opinions.

My initial problem with the article is that I believe it’s complete bullshit. First of all, let’s look at the source. Karl Rove wrote the editorial. Um, kids? Have we forgotten who Karl Rove is? The man literally has no soul OR credibility. Of course he’s going to make small and meaningless last-ditch attempts to bolster the President’s image/legacy (and thus improve his own) as they head out of office. I DO recognize that my liberal bias IS having an effect on my perception on this point.

Okay, so let’s pretend that Leader of the Free World was actually reading several hours a day. While using “words” like “misunderestimate.” Sure. Fine.

Take a closer look at his book list. It gives a clear picture of the attitude problem of the entire administration. Nearly every book listed was basically an affirmation of the views Bush already holds. All literary pats-on-the-back: Why, yes, George. You are doing the right thing. Shouldn’t the President be an active thinker, always seeking a wider breadth of knowledge and different viewpoints?

I’m sorry. I just think that what people read says a lot about them. Reading is entertainment, absolutely, and who I am to call your book choice unacceptable? But shouldn’t we also be seeking to understand a little deeper, to expand our worldview to include different perspectives, to begin to unpeel the layers of this complex world?  I mean, isn’t that why books are so powerful and important?

I’m not trying to get all holier-than-thou on y’all. I DO think the goal of a book a week is incredibly admirable. I just wonder why you would spend such valuable time on things that don’t stretch you in some way. While I’m not claiming to be a consistent reader of mind-blowing literature – I do feel an obligation to keep up on adolescent lit because of my job, for example – I’m also not the President. Nor would you want me to be.

Near the end of the article, Rove states: “There is a myth perpetuated by Bush critics that he would rather burn a book than read one. Like so many caricatures of the past eight years, this one is not only wrong, but also the opposite of the truth and evidence that bitterness can devour a small-minded critic.”

Maybe it is bitterness that made me feel compelled to put my complaint in writing. I am just hoping for so much more with those who will govern us in the future.

The First Part Last: Adolescent Lit. Book Review


A colleague of mine came back from her Department Leader meeting with a stack of books that the district had purchased, but that had since been deemed “inappropriate” for classroom use. Yeah, our district usually operates that way.

Anyhow, they were up for grabs for use in our personal classroom libraries, which operate by a different set of rules.


One of the books I grabbed was The First Part Last by Angela Johnson. I’d just heard positive mumblings about this book and thought – if not for use in my classroom – that I’d actually like to read it. I knew it was about teenage pregnancy and I figured that I pretty much had the plotline all figured out.

It was a super quick read. I’m talking 2 hours tops.

And the plot was -yay- different than I had thought. There’s a dramatic twist at the end and it was so very sad. It reminded me of Rachel so much so that I had to put down the book and just bawl. Which isn’t really a bad thing because it’s been months since I actually felt any real emotion about her situation. It sometimes goes into hibernation. So…um…I guess I just gave away the twist.

But I digress. It’s a good read, though I’d be careful of which young person you hand it to. There’s a bit of “language” and then there’s the whole teenage pregnancy thing. Ya know.