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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#sitxybooks: Books #4-8

Hello, and happy February vacation! I've been reading but neglecting to blog. Here's what I've been reading!

#4: Feed by M. T. Anderson

I teach this book every winter in my 10th grade classes, and I LOVE it. I usually hate sci-fi stuff, but I am obsessed with this book. It tells the story of Titus, a teenager with a chip in his head (his "feed") that does everything a smartphone can do. He falls in love with Violet, another teen who likes her feed but actively tries to resist it. The audio book is amazing because the characters speak in this crazy vernacular (just as crazy as my students' slang). It's an awesome satire that I don't mind rereading every year.

#5: Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind

I read this book with my newly formed book club of English teachers. This book is PERFECT for me and my school and gave me lots of tips for structuring my classroom, my lessons, and my language for my students. It gave me some structures for understanding my kids and helping them want to be in the room and focused. I'll definitely reread it this summer before the new year.

#6: The Wild Truth

This companion piece to Into the Wild was written by Chris McCandless's sister, Carine. She details the physical and emotional abuse rained upon Chris and Carine by their parents, and it provides a motive for Chris's journey into the wild. I avoided reading it for a while, but it's quite well written and gave me a much deeper understanding of Chris and his mindset before his journey. It turns the conventional wisdom of feeling pity for his parents on its head. If you believe Chris was insane to abandon the status quo and divorce his parents forever, this book will change your mind.

#7: The Man of my Dreams

I LOVE Curtis Sittenfeld. I read Prep and American Wife in the past and have been saving this one. Hannah is a young woman who never expects to have a boyfriend but keeps ending up in relationships and trying to figure out the guy and herself. Sittenfeld writes brainy women so perfectly. Lots of laughs and heartbreak here. I love how the book is structured into vignettes.

#8: Sisterland

Also great is this book about twins with psychic powers. They've struggled with their different personalities as they grew up, but as adults they both remained in St. Louis. One sister, Vi, feels a small earthquake and predicts a much bigger one is coming, making her briefly famous nationwide. The other sister has to deal with the consequences: does she laugh it off, or start buying batteries and bottled water? A great meditation on motherhood and sisterhood.

Next up, for my book club, is In the Best Interest of Students, by Kelly Gallagher. Can't wait to dig in. I always love Kelly's stuff.