February was obviously a very bad month for posting — the worst I have had in 8 years of blogging. That was not because I was spending all my time reading, as this list will demonstrate.
I managed to read the following:
First and Last Things by HG Wells, which was very interesting but very difficult to read. Part of that was due to the fact that he was writing about philosophy and religion, and I really had to pay attention. I liked some of the things he said and disliked others. But it made me think, and that is always good.
Persuader by Lee Child was probably the last Reacher novel I will ever read. I know I have said before that I was not going to read any more of them, but someone gave me this book and I read it. And I was disappointed. I think this is a series that needs to come to an end.
Eve by Iris Johansen is the first of three books written to start finalize a long-running series. I was a little disappointed, but that could be because I have missed some of the later books in the series. It was obviously intended to begin to tie up loose ends, and this one does that. Maybe I will like this one better if I read all three, but I am not sure I am going to do that.
The Mardi Gras Mystery by Henry Bedford-Jones was an excellent story. Set in New Orleans during Prohibition, the story kept me guessing until the end. Bedford-Jones, whom I had never heard of before, was a successful writer of dime novels, and I an see why. This one is worth a read.
“The Cosmic Express” by Jack Williamson was another excellent story that, while taking place in the future, is about us and the way we live our lives. I really enjoyed it.
I am hopeful that March will see me more active here on the blog and with my ereader.
I had hoped to finish three works in each of my three categories last month, but I missed by about 100 pages. What I got read was the following:
- The Loss of the S.S. Titanic:Its Story and Its Lessons, By One of the Survivors by Lawrence Beesley was quite interesting. Written soon after the disaster took place, it does not romanticize it at all. Beeseley explains how people did or did not get on lifeboats. He praises those who did their duties to the end. It was a book worth reading.
- Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College by Doug Lemov was inspiring at times and infuriating at others. It is a little too bean-counter in its approach to some things — like not “wasting” time — for my tastes. But I also feel like I learned a lot. I saw some of the things I do in the classroom in a new light. Overall, I think it was worth my time even as I approach the end of my career as an educator. I am consciously trying to implement some of his techniques, and I am aware of when I do things that go against them. My consciousness has been raised, and I think that is about all I want to ask for in a book. I would like to make a comment, though. I borrowed this book from a colleague who received it from the school where he used to work. As I look on Amazon, I see that the Kindle version costs $19.16, as opposed to $ 20.17 for the paperback. I would NOT buy this book for that reason alone.
- Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition 1838-1842 by Nathaniel Philbrick was every bit as good as his book about the Essex. I was not aware of my interest in naval history until I started reading Philbrick’s books!
- The Grave Maurice by Martha Grimes was, I think, my favorite Grimes book so far. Granted I have only read three or four, and all of them were from her Richard Jury series, but this one was really good. I liked Jury better in this book than in the others.
- Never Buried by Edie Claire was one I got for free from the Kobo bookstore. It is the first in her Leigh Koslow series. I will admit to being surprised at the end. It was a fun, easy read.
- “Dandy Detects” by M. Louisa Locke is a short story based on a series of books the author has written. This was an easy read and worth my time.
- “Salvage in Space” by Jack Williamson was a fun read. I haven’t read many of Williamson’s work, and this was the first of his short stories I had read. I enjoyed it a lot. Williamson is one of the main reasons I decided to “allow” myself to read short fiction this year.
- Flash Gold by Lindsay Buroker is a novella by the author of the Emperor’s Edge series. I really enjoyed this a lot. I haven’t done so yet, but I plan to get and read all of her work.
Pete Seeger died yesterday. He was 94 years old. There is nothing I could say that Harry Chapin didn’t say many years ago in his song “Old Folkie”.
You know, it’s always the “Old Folkie”
They say he’s always bleedin’
But whenever somebody’s needing him,
He’s the one who cares.
It’s always the “Old Folkie”
Whenever somethin’s burning,
Or a lesson needs some learning,
Or a tide that needs some turning,
To a better world somewhere,
Yeah, the “Old Folkie’s” there.
Yeah, for forty years now he’s been pushin’ on.
Carrying the dream ’cause Woody’s long gone.
He’s the last voice singing that “Bound for Glory” song.
And if you never seen him you might take a look
He’s the man who put the meaning in the music book.
Yeah, the world may be tired but Pete’s still going strong.
Well, Pete’s gone now, too. I can only hope that he and Woody and Harry are making sweet music together.
Actually, it is this blog’s birthday But WordPress just sent me a happy anniversary notice.
I started this blog in 2005 on Blogspot and moved it here about 18 months later. In the beginning I used it a lot as part of trainings I took and continued in the excitement in the aftermath of those. Since then, obviously, I have slowed down the pace of my posts. But somehow or other I cannot give up this blog. In part it is because I don’t like quitting anything. But it is more than that. I am not sure why but the blog is important to me. Let’s see if I can do a better job of posting this year than I did last!
I just realized that this is the sixth year that I have documented my reading here on the blog. Every year I have done it in a slightly different way. This year I am trying to read more short fiction, so I have three categories: non-fiction, novels, and short fiction. I have already read one non-fiction, one fiction, and three pieces of short fiction (two short stories and one novella). I hope that this is going to be the start of a good year of reading.
I guess it is past time to actually blog about my December reading.
Daughter of the Middle Border by Hamlin Garland was a very good book. I wasn’t expecting it to be that good. It is probably because I know the area of the country he talks about. It was fascinating to read about the people that he knew, writers I have read and enjoyed.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins was great. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I certainly enjoyed the book. I have the third one to read in a week or two. I find that I sometimes prefer to have a little break between books in a series; I am too quick to spot inconsistencies if it is all fresh in my mind. It has been a couple years since I read Hunger Games and a year, I guess, since I saw the movie; that’s plenty of time to not make comparisons.
Homeland by Cory Doctorow was in some ways a sequel to Little Brother, which I loved. My husband had told me that this book was better, and I have to say I agree with him. It was very timely. Some of the issues Doctorow discussed, like the government using our webcams to spy on us, seemed like they came right off the front page of the newspaper. But the book was published almost a year ago.
“Live from Cape Canaveral” by Jay Barbree was fascinating! Of course, I was around to observe the events he describes: the US space program from the late 1950s until the early 2000s. I really enjoyed it and I learned a lot.
The King’s Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi was another great book. I didn’t see that movie, either, but the book was very informative and interesting. It was very well written and easy to read.
And that was my month!
I am not sure how I am going to blog about my reading this year. I am posting it here, of course, but I don’t know if I want to continue with monthly updates or do something different. Since the only thing I seem to blog about any more is my reading, I feel a need to do something more than monthly updates. And since I haven’t yet even posted about my December reading, I am all too well aware of how easy it would be to simply ignore the whole thing. Let’s see how this goes.