Saturday, November 04, 2006

Books, books and more books!

It's been way too long since I last posted. If you read this blog regularly I apologize and plead heavy classwork and chaotic workplace situations.

This past week books have been brought to my attention. Fate and my own inclinations made this happen. Book stores are dangerous places for me. Getting lost for hours among the stacks isn't productive and can be very expensive. If you are on a date and he isn't into books as much as you are then the date is pretty much over. Since I have been absent from the public library and the bookstores due to my college studies these two fine establishments seem to have missed me. They are reaching out to me, calling me back. I got a letter from Barnes & Noble telling me that Laurell K Hamilton's latest book can be pre-ordered if I wish. I haven't gotten around to that but I fully intend to. I love her work. My good friend, Susan Palwick, has been posting about her 4th book Shelter and I am eagerly looking forward to that one coming out as well. Being a SciFi/Fantasy fan I put myself on a list and now get updates on the writings of J.K. Rowling from Mugglenet monthly posts. Along with all the other Harry Potter fans I am waiting for the 7th and final book. I am also eagerly looking forward to the next Harry Potter movie which won't be out till July 13th.

Those are just the potential books. I have the fortune or misfortune, depending on your take on the matter, to work at a public school whose library, twice annually, holds Scholastic book fairs. This is an event that goes on for about 2 weeks and is prone to empty my pocketbook. Not only do I love good fiction, I like good children's fiction. So on Friday before last I walked into the school office looking for my cooperating teacher and found a book fair going on. My thoughts ran something like, "Oh! I'm early so I can just take a quick peek!" I looked and got hooked. The teacher and I went back together during her conference period. We put books in bags and stuck our names on them for purchase later. I chose 4 because district staff get one free if they buy 3. Over lunch it was learned that we needed to fill a period of class time in the afternoon because a science lab was canceled. I suggested Sudoku and with encouragement from the teacher went, added a book of those to my bag and purchased $35 worth of books.

That should have been enough, but when I showed up this past Friday, with my paycheck freshly deposited, I found the book fair still going on and this time I purchased 6 books. Another $35 towards public education and the support of authors, publishers and anyone else who gets a fraction of the small price I paid for those wonders of story and imagery. I tell myself that these books are for my future classroom, and they will be. But when I shop I tend to do a classroom library "no no" by purchasing books for MY tastes in literature and not those of my future students. I should really be buying a few books for those kids who are only interested in cars, soldiers or sports. Eventually I will do this. Till then, oh well.

What books did I buy this semester? Here's the list. My descriptions don't do them justice. Click on the links to go to and read the publisher's description.
1) Children of the Lamp by P. B. Kerr - this is about two kids who find out that they are descendants of djinn and end up having all kinds of cool powers.
2) Inkspell by Cornelia Funke - this is book 2 in a series about characters from books coming to life and swapping places with someone in the real world. Book 1 was Inkheart.
3) The Living Rain Forest: An Animal Alphabet by Paul Kratter - lovely artwork and educational.
4) It's happy bunny does SUDOKU by Jim Benton and Rafael Sirkis - I can copy these no end for my classroom to work. My students will learn good problem solving skills and logical strategies while having fun.
5) Storm Thief by Chris Wooding - This is by an award winning author. The story includes probability storms which are violent tempests which change whatever they touch. Definitely SciFi.
6) Peter and the Starchatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson - a pirate adventure in which two children are the heroes and go about having all kinds of great adventures while trying to save the world from evil.
7) Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - an old book still in publication and a Newberry Medal winner.
8) Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles - this book, written in 2005, is a National Book Award finalist.
9) A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin - The back cover proclaims it to be heartrending and hopeful. I liked that it was written from the animal's perspective.
10) Princess Academy by Shannon Hale - a lowland girl goes to school to learn how to be royal in case the Prince wants to marry her. This book is a Newberry Honor book.
11) Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver - the adventures of a 12 year old boy and his wolf-cub companion in a time six thousand years ago. It's a national bestseller.

Each and every one of the above books will be getting in the way of my finishing the other new book I'm reading, Sex With Kings by Eleanor Herman. And I wonder why I never get any textbook reading done. LOL I doubt I will get to them all during Thanksgiving due to college course work that needs to get finished. Looks like I have my Christmas and summer reading list.


Susan Palwick said...

Thanks for the plug, Lee! I finally got the copyedits sent back today, and I still like the book; now I just hope that readers will like it when it's published!

Lee said...

You're welcome, Susan! Having enjoyed your first two books, and a few of your short stories, I think that it will do well. I'm interested in how it will compare to what you are writing today.

Peace, Hope and Joy!

jsd said...

Hi Lee, I know what you mean about not being able to resist books...I enter a bookstore at my own pocketbook peril :-)

Lee said...

Hi, JSD! Glad to know I'm not alone. It was worse for my budget when I was married. We were both bibliophiles. Is your wife in love with books too?