Friday, February 25, 2011

Want to Know What I Am Reading Right Now?

You should, because it just might be the most eclectic collection of books being read by one person.

But seriously, I was tagged by Clearness at Just Another Blog (which is actually a very cool blog and much more than "just another blog") in a book meme, and since I can't say no to either memes or anything involving books, here you go :-)

So here are the rules:

1.Take a picture of the books you are reading currently and add to your post.

2.Describe the books and if you are enjoying them or not. Why?

3.For every book you are reading you have to tag one person.

4.Leave the person a comment letting them know you tagged them.

I can't take a picture of all the books I have going on because I am a book packrat ... seriously, I think it's unhealthy. I have a book going in virtually every room in my house, one in my car, several at school, and some in other locations that shall remain nameless. I'm going to do the next best thing, though, which is to put a picture of the book and a link to Amazon so you can read more about it after checking out my gems of witticisms if you're so inclined.

Okay, here we go ...

I was a huge fan of Patricia Cornwell when her Scarpetta books first came out. The protagonist, medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, was a strong female solving mysteries that kept me wondering until the last page. Cornwell made characters that were unlikable and loaded her characters with faults. Plus, the twists and turns of the mysteries kept me wondering until the last page. Then ... the series got really weird. I don't know how to explain it any better than that. I stopped reading them for awhile, but my mother recently read The Scarpetta Factor and told me that it's pretty old-school Cornwell. So far, she seems to be right :-)

The Bobbsey Twins #11: The Scarecrow Mystery, which I actually posted about earlier today. I did take a picture of the cover and the inside cover (decorated by me when I was in the hospital as a child), so I guess it's photo-worthy.

I've discovered in the past few years how interesting non-fiction can be. Although I will always be a writer of fiction (it's just my thing), I've gained a lot of insight into how to write fiction better through reading books about history or biographies. I tend to fixate on certain topics (I'm nearing the end of a JFK kick) and read about them from every possible angle. This book has been my "bedside book", and I probably have to rotate it to a better-suited location. It's not that it's a bad book or even uninteresting, but it doesn't have that level of excitement (at least not yet) to keep me awake past one or two pages.

One of my eighth graders recommended this series to me, and I'm actually really into them. The main character, a boy named Will with dreams of "Battleschool", is chosen instead to apprentice with the Rangers, a shadowy and secret group that are both separate and more powerful than members of the army. I'm only about halfway through the first book, but I'm impressed. And because I only read this during silent reading time in my eighth grade classes, it's slow going.

During my seventh grade classes, I'm reading the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. I'm honestly less than impressed with these, but I make it a point to read through student recommendations. While there are some really neat details (the main character, a vampire, is provided with packs of donated blood by his guardian, a nurse, to keep his baser desires at bay), it's ... eh, another vampire book. It's neat to see what kids are into these days, though.

You would think I'd be sick of this book considering that I've probably read it over a hundred times, but it just keeps making me think. After over 99% of the population is wiped out by an accident at a U.S. Army biological warfare site, the survivors are led by vivid dreams to either the forces of good or those who follow "The Dark Man". Amazing book.

I have a morbid fascination with Charles Manson (not in a "Manson's cool" way but in a "Wow, it's amazing how powerful psychological domination can be"), and this is the book that started it for me. I've read extensively on both Manson the man and the crimes for which he is still in prison for today, and I find that my interest--and the questions in my mind for just *how* such a thing could have happened--still remain.

Teaching is a profession with a high burnout rate. Period. I am part of a group in my school district that goes to several retreats each year intended to "renew our passion" for teaching. I have been known at times to make "Kum Ba Ya" jokes about it (we open and close our retreats with a candle lighting ceremony), but honestly it's a really good experience. Parker Palmer's book is the basis of the retreats, and we do a lot of reading and connecting with the book while at our retreats. It sounds hokey, but I really buy in (and I'm evidently kind of cynical sometimes).

Those are the ones that are occupying most of my time at the moment. So by my count, that means I need to tag eight people to chronicle their current reading journey ...

The following are eight people that I find utterly fascinating. I'd like to see what they're reading because I suspect their lists might be ... well, utterly fascinating.

Rachel at Awkward Girl

The Frisky Virgin

Martin at From Sand to Glass

Mejis at Southern Discomfort

Jewels at Turning 30: A Journey of Self-Exploration

The Novelista Barista

Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time

Jane at The Maple Syrup Mob

Please know that I would love to see what you're reading. If you're reading this, please consider yourself tagged, complete the meme, and leave a link in the comments.

Happy reading :-)

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