Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A literary thing going on...Or, Tag, I'm it.

Fellow blogger, California Teacher Guy, posted today a series of questions about the books that have affected our lives. Well, I'm taking him up on his "tag" and here's my responses. (By the way, if you don't check out this guy's site you should - he's wonderful!)

1. One book that changed your life: The Gulag Archipeligo, 1918-1956, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I read this way back in High School and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I've never taken the freedom our country offers us for granted from that moment on. It also taught me a lot about the human spirit.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The first sentence is a classic - "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife". I adore this book and read it once or twice a year.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: That would have to be Pride and Prejudice again. Kind of funny since I can practically recite the entire thing.

4. One book that made you laugh: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. This was the book the John Cusak movie was based one (with a location change from London to Chicago), and it is even funnier than the movie. If you've ever known anyone really, really into music (I married him), then you must read this book.

5. One book that made you cry: The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw. I am still astounded at the people who lived, faught, and died during WWII. The memories of these people are tresures to me.

6. One book that you wish had been written: How to teach kids to content area read and have it really, really work.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Perryville, Battle for Kentucky by Dr. Kenneth Hafendorfer. It's not often I find a book that I can't finish, but this was it. And I'm really interested in the topic, so that was a double whammy.

8. The book you are currently reading: Boys and Girls Learn Differently: A Guide fo Teachers and Parents, by Michael Gurian and Arlette Ballew. I'm part of the action research time working on understsanding middle school boys so I'm reading this as part of my research. I'm also reading Decisive Day: The Battle for Bunker Hill by Richard M. Ketchum which is wonderful.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston. I loved his book, Demon in the Freezer, about smallpox and since I have this weird fascination with disease and biological warefare (I read books on the 1918 flu epidemic for fun) this is on my to-do list. Of course, I have about 3 bookcases full of stuff I need to get to.

10. Now tag five people: If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged. What are the books that have shaped—and are shaping—your life?


CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Thanks for playing along! I need to read The Greatest Generation because my dad is of that era. He turns 85 in a couple of weeks. He served his country in an alternative way. Realizing that he couldn't go to war, even though he was utterly opposed to Hitler, he registered as a conscientious objector and ended up as a human guinea pig, being injected with hepatitis virus for medical experiments. Even though my dad never carried a gun, I knew he loved his country and he's always been my hero.

About that book you wish would be written: Why don't you write it? I'd like to read it too!

Last, but definitely not least, thank you for your kind words about my blog. It's nice to know that there are people "out there" who really appreciate what I write.

Bellezza said...

Your comment on Pride and Prejudice, with a great beginning first line, puts me in mind of Anna Karenina with another great first line: All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

I enjoyed reading your book selections, and I laughed at your comment on californiateacherguy's where you said it's good to think of something besides your hot classroom. Are yours at least air conditioned? Ours aren't.

Jennie said...

I feel your hot classroom pain! Our *brand new* school was built with windows that won't open. In Southern California. This was because *we have AC*. Of course, do they turn the AC on before school starts? No.... So am I hanging posters and organizing in what is basically a greenhouse? Yes...

Does the AC even work that well when it is on? Of course not...not as well as a fan and a few open windows would anyway...

Great post! I grabbed it from CaliforniaTeacherGuy for my blog as well.