May reading

In May I read these books:

  1. The Warlock Heretical by Christopher Stasheff (233 pages – finished 5/9/11)
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (552 pages – finished 5/14/11)
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (374 pages – finished 5/15/11)
  4. Readicide by Kelly Gallagher (135 pages – finished 5/17/11)
  5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (735 pages – finished 5/24/11)
  6. Conquistador by S.M. Stirling (596 pages – finished 5/28/11)
  7. The Edge of Reason by Melinda Snodgrass (372 pages – finished 5/30/11)

That was a total of 2,997 pages!  Not bad!  Some of the books were read as part of a search for a book to use with my students in the fall — assuming I decide to stay here and teach for my “terminal” year.  Others were more of my exploration of fantasy.  All the books were great this month!

The Warlock Heretical by Christopher Stasheff was the most difficult book I read this month.  What made it hard was the dialog.  Stasheff uses what many people would think of as “Bible English” — lots of thees and thous.  But he doesn’t use them consistently.  Once I got into the swing of things, it was easier.  Either I was used to it or he actually used more “regular” English as he went along.  Anyway, Stasheff used to teach where I do, and I knew him slightly.  I am sorry I didn’t read the book while he was still here so I could talk to him about it.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is one I read as a possible book to use in a course.  It was a wonderful book — but not one I could envision using.  It was an extremely interesting story — reminding me in some ways of Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi.  It was a very powerful story told very well.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was another one I read as a possibility for use in a course.  I liked the story a lot and saw lots of ways I might be able to use it in class.  I am still considering using it.  The upcoming movie will make the book even more popular with students, I am sure!  I thought Collins told the story well, although Katniss’ reactions seemed odd to me at times.  I haven’t read the other volumes in the series, but I plan to.

Readicide by Kelly Gallagher was an excellent look at why so many of our kids in high school and college hate to read and don’t have trouble thinking about what they have read.  What we do to kids in the name of improving reading scores is criminal!  Instead of allowing students time to read and enjoy a book, we feed them a steady diet of short passages followed by “comprehension” questions.  Gallagher argues, and I agree, that what kids need most is time to read and guidance from teachers as they undertake more difficult readings.  Educators and parents should all read the book, I think!

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory was the third of these books about the wives of Henry VIII I read. I read them out of order, of course, but it wasn’t really a problem because I knew the storyline!  It was fast-moving and exciting.  What must it have been like to actually live through those days?  If you are even remotely interested in that time in history — and assuming you can stand to read it from a woman’s perspective — you should read this book!

Conquistador was the first book I have read by S.M. Stirling.  It was very interesting.  It goes between the California we are familiar with and an alternate California that was only settled by whites in 1946.  The stories on both sides of the Gate that connects the two realities were interesting.  Most of the book takes place in the alternate California, where there was a lot more interesting stuff for the author to play with.  I enjoyed the book a lot and will be back to read more of Stirling’s work.

The Edge of Reason by Melinda Snodgrass was a book I picked up at Dollar General for $1.  Since Snodgrass is a New Mexico author who regularly comes to Portales for the Jack Williamson Lectureship. I decided it was time to read one of her books.  It was, I thought, a very interesting book.  In some respects it reminded me of the Karen Moning Fever series — without all the sex. She has written the second book in the series, The Edge of Ruin, which I plan to buy, and it working on a third installment, The Edge of Darkness.

Anyway, it was an interesting month of reading.  Let’s see where June takes me!

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3 thoughts on “May reading

  1. 21stjefferson says:

    I’m inspired by the sheer volume of how much you read! My goal is to make it through 52 books this year but you seem to make it through more than that and still have plenty of time for other things! Do you use speed reading techniques or can you just read fast and still comprehend? Thanks for any advice!

    • Nancy McKeand says:

      I am not sure I have any real tricks or techniques. One thing is that I don’t have a TV. I watch a few things on Hulu, but it doesn’t take up nearly the time I used to spend in front of the TV. Also, I am lucky to have a husband who reads as much as I do, so there is no problem on that front. I guess I just read fast. But I put a lot of time in on it, too. Fortunately, I enjoy reading a lot!

      I think 52 books is a great goal! Especially if you didn’t read that much last year!

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