A Reader’s Week

Apropos of nothing here is a rundown of what I have read this week since last Saturday. I always find that once I get back into the rhythm of the school year my reading picks up. This year has been no different. In addition to reading the short story Mateo Falcone, the text I taught this week, and reading and grading about 35 movie reviews, which was the first essay I assigned, here is my week.

First, I finished rereading a classic sci-fi novel by Alfredt Bester, The Stars My Destination. It is a lose retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo reset in the 25th century. If you are used to sci-fi by Clarke or Asimov then do yourself a favor and try Bester. His characters are dirtier, grittier and more real, yet the overall arc is still ultimately positive. A personal favorite.

Next, I picked up a Lee Child novel that had been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of years now, Deep Storm. I have read a lot of the collaborative works of Lee and Douglas Preston, but I had never tried one of Lee’s solo works. I shouldn’t have waited. It is just as much a page turner as the best of the collaborative works. I literally couldn’t put this one down and finished it in 3 days. It tells the story of Peter Crane, a naval doctor, who flies out to an oil rig to investigate what appears to be the first appearance of an incredibly deadly disease. But the oil rig is just a decoy for a much bigger and more secretive operation. The disease is attacking residents of a deep-water research facility and it could be linked to the facility’s excavations of an ancient site that might hold the key to the fate of the lost city of Atlantis. Or something even greater. Highly recommend if you want a quick and fun read.

Finally I just started reading a new book from the BookSneeze book blogger program, God in My Everything. Here is the publisher’s summary: 
Ken Shigematsu was leading a dynamic, growing church in Vancouver, B.C. but felt like he was simply treading water in his spiritual life. Then a friend invited him on a pilgrimage to the holy places of Ireland, and the trip inspired him to explore the ancient practice of living by a rule, or rhythm, of life. In this book, Ken guides readers on a journey down an ancient, timeless pathway toward transformation, showing readers how to open their lives to enjoying God. He brings this ancient practice to life for modern readers through his own poignant and humorous stories— from his time as a “salaryman” in Tokyo with the Sony Corporation and his experiences as a husband, father, pastor, and friend. I like anything that marries the ancient ways with the modern, so I’ll be interested to see where this goes. 30 pages in, I am intrigued.

Aside from the novels I also do quite a bit of online reading. Here is what I got through this week:

  1. Should I Stop Assigning Homework– as a teacher I found it interesting.
  2. The Two Faces of American Education– good book review.
  3. Your Casual Friends on Twitter Are Better Than Your Close Friends on Facebook– not sure I agree, but interesting nonetheless.
  4. Annotating Texts (With Pictures)– for book geeks only.
  5. GOP Wonderland: Inside N.C. Conservative Makeover– sign of the times or disaster in the making??
  6. I Quit Teach For America– one more reason big, bureaucratic solutions will never be the answer. 
  7. Bring Back Social Studies– I support anything that is pro-humanities.
  8. Scholar Says He Found New Photo of Lincoln– c’mon can you really not click on this?
  9. Secret American Subculture of Putin Worshipers– who knew?
  10. Common What? -a good primer on the current common core kerfuffle.
  11. Survival Lessons From World War Z– sounds corny, but it is actually pretty practical.
  12. The Five Friends Every Man Needs– validating.
  13. Why Scandinavian Prisons Are Better– an eye-opening and engrossing read. 
  14. Just about everything from Via Media, my one short-read obsession, and all the entries on my favorite Red Sox blog Extra Bases.