But ohhhhhh, hooowww looonnnggg it takes to grade writing assignments.
And that's where the year has already caught up with me. I have approximately 110 students this year, a couple dozen more than I've had for the past couple years. Between the two grade levels, someone's always writing something, which means, I'm always grading something. I'm halfway through a set now and have a test coming up Friday with some essays that are, thankfully, pretty straightforward. Those shouldn't be too bad. Hoping to be in the clear by this time next week!
And then what will I do (in the week before the Freshmen's character analysis essays come in)? READ! I'm going crazy with the fact that I haven't been able to read. I actually want to pull my hair and yell about it! I seriously think I'm going to make a deal with myself about grading and reading: Divide number of essays by the number of nights to grade. And once I've graded that many in a night, I can let myself quit...and read!
So, what will I read? Glad you asked. Here are the top ten books I'm itching to get my eyeballs on:
1. Gutenberg's Apprentice, by Alix Christie. This is my next review book, from Harper. It's about the history of books, wrapped in a fiction story...what's not to love?
2. Landline, by Rainbow Rowell. I won a free copy! That's a good enough reason, but there have been good reviews of it. What tipped my decision to read it sooner than later was a post on my FB wall by a fellow English teacher/book nerd that said, "You say you won Landline? Read it. NOW!" You don't have to tell me twice!
3. Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh. This is the special copy I received from the parents of my student, Erin, who passed away this summer. It belonged to Erin and she had brought it to me to read in part and laugh with her last May, the week she graduated high school. And how fitting that Brosh's writing voice, which emanates from the pages of this particular book, fits Erin's personality so well, it is like having a piece of Erin with me. I was very honored that they would think to give it to me and it will always be a most treasured book in my collection.
4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs. Rave reviews from students more than anyone else have convinced me to put this on the "read now" list.
5. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski. This is on my TBR Pile Challenge and would count toward my Chunkster reading challenge as well. And I've had it forever, so I need to get reading!
6. Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara. We ordered this book for Freshman English and I've never read it. So, best get on the ball. I think we are going to pick it up soon, so you may be seeing a Student Spotlight on it in October.
7. The Best Yes, by Lysa Terkeurst. A book on when and how to say no instead of being a people pleaser. I've never thought of myself as a people pleaser and I don't think that's the case for me. But I do have a heart for helping people and I will help whenever I possibly can, even when it's obvious (to myself) that I really can't or shouldn't. Reading this one along with a group of friends.
8. Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education, by Glenn Beck. Now, if you know me, you know I have very little interest in politics. So while I know Glenn Beck is a big name in that game, and I have faint recollection that there was something even his own people have against him, I don't know much about any of it and don't care either. I picked this one up purely because of the title. Anything common core related, I will read. The topic is kind of consuming my career/public education right now, so I'd like to hear all sides of it and sort my thoughts.
9. Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline. I remember this being reviewed in a positive light. Also that it's historical fiction, with a piece of history not well known, which is always interesting to me.
10. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. This is number ten because if it is as good as everyone claims, I will follow it with a reading of the entire series. Tell me current Outlander fans, how many are there anyway? And are the half mark books between two main books (labeled like 7.5 or 8.5) worth the read?
So, those are the dear friends waiting patiently at my bedside. Hopefully you'll be hearing from me on one of them soon...I can dream, can't I? What are your eyeballs itching to read?