I Can’t Believe You’ve Never Read That!

If you have ever had any length of a conversation with me, seen me in the waiting room of a doctor's office, passed by me while my kids are playing in the park, sat next to me at a stop light, or peered in my bedroom window at night (creeper!), you probably know that I love to read. I always bring a book with me wherever I go just in case I have a spare second to read. I've read books for school (high school, college, and graduate school) and I've read countless books for pleasure. Then I began teaching English and started reading books for work. I've lost count of the books I've read. But when talking with a fellow bibliophile about our literary conquests I've often gotten the response, "I can't believe you've never read that!". As a voracious reader and former English teacher, I feel a responsibility to have read every notable book out there. Why is that? Should I have read Moby Dick instead of The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club? Should I have read Jane Austen instead of rereading Keep Reading

Why I Love Epistolary Novels. And Why You Should Too!

Do you love epistolary novels?  Do you know what an epistolary novel is? Well, don't fret if you don't. I didn't know that term until I sat down to write this blog post. I've been calling epistolary novels books written as letters or journal entries. But apparently there's a word for that. Epistolary novels! If you already knew that then I have a cookie I'd like to give you. I am currently reading (or rather listening to on audiobook) Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life by Annie Spence. I love this book. As the title suggests, it's a collection of letters a librarian has written to books. Yay! I'm not the only one who talks to books or other inanimate objects (Sorry, coffee pot. You're not the only one I'm involved with). That means I'm not crazy, right? Well, maybe we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. As I was reading Dear Fahrenheit 451, laughing my ass off as Annie has a drunken conversation Keep Reading

A Perfect Pair: Americanah & Fresh Off the Boat Six Words

Some things are just meant to be together: peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, Burt and Ernie, Milli and Vanilli (girl, you know it’s true).  While reading Americanah, I discovered its perfect match: Fresh Off the Boat Six Words. Here’s why they go so well together (click here to find out why Milli and Vanilli go so well together). Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:  The story starts out with strong, self-assured, opinionated Imefelu preparing to return to her native Nigeria after 15 years in America. As she prepares for departure, her past is told in a series of flashbacks. After a year in a Nigerian college, Ifemulu leaves her boyfriend, Obinze, and everything she knows to go to college in America. She struggles with holding on to her Nigerian heritage and culture while trying to assimilate to American society. I’m only half-way through, but the author brings up so many interesting points about race, culture, and identity.  Fresh Off the Boat Six Words edited Keep Reading

12 Slightly Scary Stories for Any Age

Sometime during the month of September a peculiar thing happened. The temperature began to drop, the sky became increasingly cloudy, the leaves began to change color, and gusts of wind sent them flying through the air. As a recent transplant from the South, I had no idea what was happening. Is this some kind of apocalypse? Are aliens planning to invade and enslave mankind? I was frightened and asked a passerby what was going on. “Sir, sir” I pleaded. “Please tell me what kind of sorcery is happening among us!” The man looked at me with a bewildered look and replied “It’s fall, lady”. Ok, that might be a little dramatic. Even though I spent five years in western North Carolina where we had beautiful foliage, I'm still amazed every time I see the seasons truly change. In south Georgia, where I grew up, we had two seasons: hot and really hot.  Now that my family and I have moved to Minnesota, we’ve already had the joy of experiencing a very mild summer. Now we’re enjoying Keep Reading

4 Banned Books that Made Me Love Reading

So, I recognize that Banned Books Week was last week, but since I’m a chronic procrastinator I feel no shame in posting this after the fact. Also, standing up for your first amendment rights and fighting censorship is something that should be celebrated all year long. And I NEVER miss an opportunity to stand up to the man. Censoring books might feel like something of the past that our culture has overcome, but it’s just as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. With emerging groups fighting for social equality and increasing racial tensions, it’s even more important for younger generations to understand the problems that exist in our culture and find ways to overcome them. In recognition of Banned Books Week, the American Library Association posted this video of the top 10 books challenged in 2016. Books were often banned for content thought to be sexually explicit, containing foul language, or exploring racial themes thought to be inappropriate. Today the most common reason for Keep Reading