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Posts Tagged ‘reading’

  1. Summer Fun List Update

    September 2, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    Just because a girl goes back to work doesn’t mean she’s all teach and no fun, you know. If we teachers didn’t make time for fun, we would lose our minds.

    And, yes, I realize Labor Day is on Monday and that is the symbolic end of summer. I, however, am giving myself until the first official day of fall to complete as much of my list as possible. For those of you keeping track, that’s September 23rd.

    Until then, here’s an update on what has been crossed off the list in the last few weeks.

    Keep reading…


  2. Summer Reading…So Far

    August 9, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    #36 on my Summer Fun List is to read, a lot. I love reading. It is my one of my most favorite things to do. When I was teaching, it was hard to find the time to read between lesson planning, grading, and having some semblance of a life. Reading only happened during breaks or the summer.

    I’d like to say that I could pick up a book during the school year and read just a bit each night before bed. Believing in that idea would mean living in complete denial about what my true limitations are as a reader. If I love a book, heck even if I just kind of like it, it is very difficult for me to put it down. So, picking up a book during the school year was always just too risky. I’d stay up too late reading and be a complete nincompoop as a teacher the next day. Or I’d fall completely behind on my school work because surprisingly a good piece of fiction is way more interesting than 30 spelling tests.

    Now that I’m home with Olivia, I actually have time to read. After she goes down for the evening, I have a few hours to myself and that time is very often filled with a book. I still don’t stay up all night reading. Mostly because the only thing worse that being a complete nincompoop teacher is being a complete nincompoop mommy.

    About the same time I made my Summer Fun List, I posted on Facebook asking for book recommendations. My friends came through, as usual, with some stellar suggestions. Because I trust these people so implicitly, I didn’t really investigate many of the recommendations. I just put them on hold at the library and picked them up as they became available.

    Keep reading…


  3. Weekend Reading

    August 7, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.
    What if your job was to travel the world and learn new things every day? How awesome would that be?

    I’m on Goodreads, a place to share a love of books and reading. Follow or friend me there and let’s talk about books!

    I watched a movie called Blood Into Wine last night. It is about Maynard James Keenan’s (the frontman of Tool) foray into wine making in Northern Arizona. And, yes, good wine can be produced in Arizona. If you have Netflix, the movie is available for instant streaming.

    For everyone watching Shark Week, let’s step it a notch shall we?

    What are you up to this weekend?


  4. #44 Take Olivia to Story Time at the Library

    July 21, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    I grew up in Phoenix, where the summer temperatures soar into triple digits and then just keep going. On the hottest days, I would climb on my bike and pedal my way down to the public library. The library was a perfect place to hang out during the summer. They had air conditioning and books. I really didn’t need much else.

    Libraries have only gotten better in the last twenty or thirty years. Now, in addition to books, you can check out DVD’s. There are computers with internet access and downloadable e-books online.  And nearly everything that a library offers, from books to services, is free. Gratis. Nada. Why more people don’t use the library boggles my mind.

    When I learned I was pregnant, one of the first things I thought about was the books that I wanted Olivia to have in her bedroom library. So far, her collection includes some of the best children’s authors. Eric Carle, Kevin Henkes, Margaret Wise Brown, and Karen Katz are all represented. Even though Olivia has no shortage of books here at home, I want her to love and appreciate the library. It is after all, the best place to cool off in the summer.

    Last week, I took her down to our local library for story time.

    Our library offers a few different story times. The one for toddlers falls during O’s nap, so we went to the all ages time. She was by far the youngest child there. Most of the kids were at least three years old. The librarian read a few books and Olivia seemed interested. By the third book though, she was more interested in playing with the kids than listening to the story.

    We snuck out of the reading room and went to pick some books to check out. There were many board books to choose from.

    Did you know you can get books for infants at the library? I didn’t realize that most libraries carry a selection of board books for babies until I walked through looking for something new to read for O’s bedtime story.

    Olivia picked out a few she liked. She is obsessed with baby face books right now.

    I’m not sure that Olivia is ready for story time on a regular basis, but I hope that one day she loves the library as much as I do.

    The Summer Fun List is one shorter today!


  5. The Hunger Games

    June 10, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    I suppose that it is not summer yet. Not technically anyway. Of course, those of you who are currently experiencing 100 plus degree days and wicked humidity would probably disagree.

    When I was still teaching, the arrival of summer meant one very important thing. It was time to read. That first week of break I would head on down to the library and check out a stack of books. Then, I would readreadread my way through the searing Arizona summer. I wasn’t picky. I would read the classics, chick lit, murder mysteries, and Pulitzer Prize winners. There were days that I would just read the whole day away. Many of my teacher friends do the same thing.

    At the end of last summer, I was definitely reading, but I was into a whole new genre. Specifically, parenting and birthing books. Olivia was due in late August, so fiction was off the table for a while. Then, along she came, pink and perfect. Along with her came a potential job for Tim…in Colorado. So, when O was 3 weeks old, we packed up the car and drove up to Denver where Tim had his final interview. (Yes, we took a 3 week old on a 5 day road trip. We might have been crazy. That’s a whole other blog post.) After he wrapped that up, we took the long way home and drove to Steamboat Springs to see our friends, Dave, Jenn, and Bennett.

    By the time we got to Steamboat, I was fried. My body wasn’t healed, my hormones were raging, and I was staring down an interstate move with a newborn to a place where we had no family. I needed  a mental escape in a bad way. While in Steamboat, Jenn asked me if I had read The Hunger Games. Nope, hadn’t ever heard of it. Later, when Dave came in the room, she brought it up again. I think he said something along the lines of, “If you liked Harry Potter, you’ll like this.”

    Even though I love Harry Potter, I was wary. First, there is only one boy wizard for me, thanks. Harry, Ron, and Hermione cannot be replaced or duplicated. Second, someone said the same thing to me about the Twilight books, which I thought sucked. Hard. So, when Jenn took me up to the smallest WalMart ever to pick up some new mama supplies, I sort of felt bad when she offered to buy me the book. What if I hated it and it was a waste of her money? But then my sincere love of books overrode everything else and I said, “Yes, please!”

    When we got back to the house, I dove in. I was hooked almost immediately. The story of Katniss, the heroine, was riveting. She lives in District 12 of Panem, a post-apocalyptic North America. It is a dystopian society made of 12 districts. Yeah, I didn’t know what dystopian meant either. Basically, it is a society which only really benefits one segment of society but is held up as one that benefits all. An anti-utopia. Think Brave New World or 1984.

    Ever year, in Panem, the hunger games are held. Two children are chosen from each district to enter an arena and fight to the death in a televised survival of the fittest competition. It’s part reality television, part Roman gladiator games. Katniss becomes a contestant and the book tells the story of her competition. Katniss is a kick-ass heroine. Although there are romantic entanglements, she is not obsessing over boys. She is self-sufficient, courageous, smart, and wily. Her characterization is one of my favorite things about the book and the whole series. Katniss is a great female character for young readers to be exposed to.

    When I wasn’t caring for Olivia over the next couple days, I was glued to The Hunger Games. Dave was right. Not because The Hunger Games is just like Harry Potter, because it is decidedly not. Instead, Suzanne Collins has done what JK Rowling also did. She created a fictional world that was unique and interesting and believable. This is also a series. After finishing The Hunger Games, I devoured Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

    Lately, maybe because of the Hunger Games movie news, it seems like a lot of my friends are talking about these books. This makes me happy. I love when people love the books I do. If you are looking for a great series of books to dive into, I would highly suggest The Hunger Games. The whole series is a great summer read.

    Pour yourself a glass of lemonade, sit in the shade of a tree, and get your read on.

    Oh, and Jenn? Thanks for the book!

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