Tuesday, February 12, 2013
I'm Still Here
No, I didn't forget I have a blog. I've simply been doing what I do best...reading. I've already read 11 books this year, with number 12 about 80% done. Now of course, some of them are rather short, like Annie Dillard's "The Writing Life" and Anna Quindlen's "How Reading Changed My Life." I discovered I still don't care for Dillard and that although Quindlen and I had a rocky first meeting over an abortion essay in my undergrad years, we definitely agree when it comes to the effect books can have in a person's life.
So according to Goodreads, I am six books ahead of schedule to completing my year reading goal of 50 books. And like I predicted on my reading list for 2013 post, I've already strayed from my list. Five of the eleven are books outside of my target list...four of those five are...dum, dum, dum....ebooks! That's right, free ebooks on Amazon have proven useful. During my lunch duty, I pull up one of my beautifully free ebooks and read intermittently as I watch the students eat lunch. In this way I've discovered Lysa TerKeurst and her two books about changing yourself as a way to better your relationships: "Unglued" and "Capture His Heart." In both books she mentions leaving survival mode and living life...totally confirmed my previous post about Survivor Mode. I wasn't just making stuff up! TerKeurst's an insightful Christian writer and I think her books will prove beneficial.
My second new discovery was Mary Leonhardt. She was an English educator for 30+ years and her books are in e-version for the purpose of being accessibly priced for educators and anyone who will listen to what she believes is the downfall of literacy in our education system and our country. The titles of her books should give you a hint about how she feels about the education system: "The 7 Toxic Reading Myths that are Killing School Reform" and "How to Teach a Love of Reading Without Getting Fired." I've tried placing a few of her ideas into my classroom, but I think starting fresh with her ideas next year will give me a better idea of how well they work. (She basically believes in inundation of reading, both in class and out...I'm all for that.) I agree with what you have to say Mary, but there's only so much a girl can do.
And last, but not least, I finally met Mr. Gladwell in Outliers. Very interesting perspectives and I'm pretty sure I agree with him. He kind of believes along my definition of luck = where preparation meets opportunity. People get a chance at something and they are willing to work at it diligently and hence they are successful. So success is not a matter of being the best and brightest, but the opportunities your circumstances happened to give you (or not) at important points in life and what you did with those opportunities. I say I'm pretty sure I agree with Gladwell because I think there's another layer to this. I do believe that hard work at the right time(s) will bring success, but I also believe that God creates that path and leads us down it if we will pay attention and follow. I don't believe in coincidence.
So here's to the rest of February and the good reads that will come my way...starting with "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."
Have you read anything really eye catching or found a new author in the New Year? Sell me...I have no problem reading off the intended list, if it's interesting enough to lure me away ;)