Posts tagged ‘reading for pleasure’

November 29, 2011

Reading updates

by stryson

Moving has cut into my reading time! I’d planned to be done with my 50 book a year challenge by this week, so that I can spend December continuing to work my way through Ulysses, but such is not the case. Today, I finished my 47th book. I’ll be lucky to finish the whole challenge, at this rate.

This challenge is a Goodreads phenomenon. If you’re interested, the group is here, and my posting is currently in the P-T section. When I finish, it’ll move to the finish line section. I completed the challenge two years ago, but skipped last year in favor of reading harder, longer books – which is when I began reading Ulysses.

The book I finished today was called Robert and the Class President. Clearly, it was a book I was reading with my students in school. As far as plot goes, the book is mediocre, but it does provide some opportunities for lessons on multiple meanings of words.

On the other hand, we’re reading a completely not mediocre book in my sixth grade class – The Great Gilly Hopkins. The kids are loving it, and we’ve gotten into some really great discussions so far. Gilly is so full of sass!

In my personal reading, I’m working on two books at the moment. The first is The Pilgrim’s Progress. This book was written in the 1700s, and it’s an allegory about a Christian making a pilgrimage that’ll end in heaven/the promised land. I’d gotten interested in this book because I’d heard it mentioned in other books. I seem to remember it coming up in Little Women, for example. (Side note: today is Louisa May Alcott’s birthday!) The other is called Queenmaker, which is a historical fiction novel about Michal, the first wife of King David of Israel.

I’m not truly concerned about reaching the fifty book goal for the year, but I am disappointed that I couldn’t finish as early as I’d have liked. I’ll be doing the challenge again next year, but I may break in December/January to finish Ulysses as planned, regardless.

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August 10, 2011

A Humorous Take on Reading

by stryson

This piece has probably already made the rounds of the internet, but I found it quite funny.  The reactions I’ve seen have included many protests among those who loved reading as elementary and middle schoolers. I, too, read voraciously as a kid, but I’ll state as a disclaimer before my link that I don’t believe that argument is the point. There are many kids (sadly, in my opinion) for whom this is completely accurate, and it is a humorous piece intended to play on stereotypes about reading. That said, click  to see H. Caldwell Tanner’s “What You’re Reading at Every Stage of Your Life.” You’ll need to click through one more level on his site to see the full cartoon, but the direct link to his College Humor article was acting buggy for me. Enjoy!

July 31, 2011

Goodreads

by stryson

Have I  explicitly mentioned my love of Goodreads yet on this site? I don’t think I have, though a link to my profile has been sitting at the bottom of the page. In any case, goodreads.com is one of my favorite social networking sites – which is not shocking, since it centers around books. The site’s primary focus is helping you keep track of the books you’ve read, are reading, and want to read. They get classified on “shelves” to that effect. You can create further shelves to keep your books organized and to see statistics based on what you read. For example, I have shelves for young adult & children’s lit, fiction, nonfiction, sci-fi & fantasy, historical fiction, etc. You can place books on multiple  shelves, as well. (For example, a sci-fi book would also fit on the fiction shelf.) I love reading and lists with almost equal fervor, so this site makes me incredibly happy.

In addition to these basic functions, Goodreads provides various toys, quizzes, and other widgets relating to books. There are trivia quizzes about books and authors, lists on  which you can vote (i.e. “The best memoirs of the 20th century,”), areas for you to mark your favorite quotes by authors, polls, and so on.

You’ll notice I mentioned the social-networking nature of the site. Of course, you can add your friends to a list, and you can see the updates they post about their current reads, view their shelves, make comments on their posts, send messages, and so on. Goodreads also has virtual book clubs and other groups. I’m part of one called “50 Books a Year.” This is my second year doing this challenge; the last time I did was 2009. (I succeeded, too! 52 books that year. I’m on 29 now for 2011.)

I’m sure there are other features to the Goodreads site that I have not explored thoroughly, but those are the pieces I use. I’d highly recommend checking it out. It’s not particularly  helpful to me at school, but I wonder if it could be utilized in a high school setting.

If you join the site and would like to see my updates or friend me, the link is here.

I’d like to close with a quote from the list of those I’ve “liked” on Goodreads:

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” — Groucho Marx