Tag Archives: Books

Teacher Man

A couple of years ago a friend of mine gave me Teacher Man, by Frank McCourt, for Christmas. I was looking for a new book to read when my eye caught the dusty spine on my bookshelf. After reading the first paragraph I was hooked.

Reading and writing were my two loves for most of my life so it wasn’t a surprise that I received an English degree or that I became a Fine Arts Teacher a year out of college. My teaching career began at 23 in a small town with a graduating class of 30. I was the Fine Arts department for the high school, teaching English, Reading, Art, Theater Arts, and Speech. My first day was exciting, yet terrifying. What the heck was I doing? My senior students were only 5 or 6 years younger than me. How was I going to get them to respect me as an authority figure when they probably had siblings close to my age? Frank McCourt described similar feelings of inadequacy in the first chapter of his memoir which pulled my memories fresh to the front of my mind.

There was one passage that really hit home for me. Mr. McCourt described the role of a teacher beautifully:

I didn’t call myself anything. I was more than a teacher. And less. In the high school classroom you are a drill sergeant, a rabbi, a shoulder to cry on, a disciplinarian, a singer, a low-level scholar, a clerk, a referee, a clown, a counselor, a dress-code enforcer, a conductor, an apologist, a philosopher, a collaborator, a tap dancer, a politician, a therapist, a fool, a traffic cop, a priest, a mother-father-brother-sister-uncle-aunt, a bookkeeper, a critic, a psychologist, the last straw.

This book will teach me something about myself through McCourt’s memories and my own. I just wish I hadn’t waited so long.

National Buy-A-Book Day

That’s right…Philip Athans is starting the trend today, September 7th, 2010. Why? As many book lovers know, bookstores have been struggling in sales for quite a while now (e.g. Barnes & Noble and Borders). Many people have been let go recently to help counter the decline in sales. From the looks of things, the “Big Boys” could be looking at closing or going into bankruptcy if things don’t pick up.

The purpose of National Buy-A-Book Day? To help spur sales for struggling bookstores. So, the challenge has been put forth. Go to a local bookstore (local will give more back to your immediate community, but if you prefer to go to chain that’s ok too) and buy a book at the normal asking price. Think of it as supporting a friend. I love books and bookstores. Personally, I would be quite beside myself if I couldn’t spend hours on end on a Saturday afternoon looking through book after book.

So, at lunch time you’ll find me going to buy my book! Which book? Which store? I’m not sure…but I’ll figure it out as I go.

Supernatural Summer Tour

****Update**** lost my pictures in a move from one blog to another. Will update the photos again when I find them all!

My friend Michelle and I went to the Woodlands’ Barnes & Noble for the Supernatural Summer Tour book signing last night. There were four authors in attendance: Kim Harrison, Kimberly Derting, Ellen Schreiber, and Kelley Armstrong (In order of the picture below).

There were quite a few people there, which was nice to see:

One of the girls sitting behind us was extremely excited (and loud!) to meet all of the authors. Can you figure out which one?! The authors talked about the past series, current releases, and future projects briefly then opened it up to the audience. There were several questions asked that I’m sure weren’t answered to the full expectations of the asker because none of the ladies were giving away anything on future story lines! Mum’s the word…

After the last question was answered, we all broke off to get in line and have our books signed. They had each author set up in different sections, so you basically had to wait in four separate lines to see each one. Thankfully they moved rather quickly.

Michelle and I went to see Kim Harrison first as she was the author we were the most familiar with.

Kim was extremely nice and pleasant to talk with. I found out that she had written some other books under the pen name Dawn Cook, so I’ll have to check those out as well! I’m currently reading her Hollows series and am enjoying it. One other thing I thought was funny: She had a pin on her bag that said “I failed Junior High English”. Hahaha…love it.

We weren’t as familiar with the other three authors but it was still a pleasure to meet them all! Next up was Kimberly Derting. She is promoting her first book, “The Body Finder,” and has her second book in the works.

Kimberly was so personable. I had asked her about the flower on the cover of her book. I thought it might have been an iris but it was definitely unusual. Come to find out, it wasn’t a real flower at all! It was a fabric sculpture that was created by the same gentleman that  makes the wings for the Victoria’s Secret Models. How neat is that?! Her cover gives off such a eerily beautiful feel.

Kelley Armstrong was our next person to visit! I picked up her book “No Humans Involved” at the signing.

The girl in front of us was obviously a huge Kelley Armstrong fan. She had at least 6 books, a spiral bound book, and an email (from Kelley to her) for her to sign. The young lady was talking about 90 to nothin’ and her hands were shaking with excitement. Michelle asked, “How can you follow that?!” Not very well, obviously. So, how did I follow it? By saying absolutely nothing! LOL…Kelley looked a bit tired and possibly overwhelmed by her previous encounter so I just handed her my book and smiled. Sorry for my anti-social tendencies Kelley!

Last but not least was Ellen Schreiber.

She was adorable in her gear. She had a fang necklace, ring, and bracelet. Her shirt was fangtastic! (hehehe) It was quite obvious that Ellen was thrilled to be doing what she’s doing and who wouldn’t be? I wish I had the amount of energy she did. She was extremely bubbly and I told her as much *forehead smack*. Her first three books from the Vampire Kisses series has been released in one paperback, so I picked it up as well.

All in all the evening was great and I enjoyed meeting all of the authors. It’s always nice to be exposed to new people/books you may not necessarily come across. If you get a chance, check out some of their books!

Indeed! 😉

Elves, Magic, and Love…Oh My

I <3 books…I always have and I always will. There’s something about the smell of a new book and the way it feels in your hands as you’re turning pages. Yes, I own a Kindle and I love it but I also like having an actual, made from trees, book in my hands.

The question is, why do I read? Why do I read? Books enable me to escape from the here and now. When I’m having a bad day, all I have to do is pick up one of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Books or the equivalent and I’ll have soon forgotten what put me in a foul mood to begin with. I’m able to envision the characters and their surroundings as the author describes each in turn. My idea of Edward from Twilight (yes…I enjoyed the series…I won’t lie!) is very different from Rob Pattinson and other’s Edwards. But, that’s what makes him unique to me. He is what my imagination has created him to be, with the help of the author’s descriptions. That’s one reason why I like reading more than I like the movies. In books the story can be so much more complex. There can be multiple plots and intricate emotional connections/bonds that get lost in movies.

Some books challenge my mind while others are just fun to read and don’t require much concentration. I can travel around the world and through new worlds without leaving my house, or bedroom for that matter. Books are my friends! No time is ever wasted as long as you have a book with you. Now that the Iphone has been invented (thank you Apple!), I have my Kindle library at my fingertips. If I’m stuck in line at the grocery store or the bank, all I have to do is whip out my trusty phone and pick up where I left off last time. 

My question to you is, why do you read?!

The Kindle 2 Cover Has Arrived!

It finally came! Not that it took a long time, but I was overly anxious for it to get here! The box it came in was a little crushed. UPS didn’t take care of it too well, but not to worry the cover was well wrapped and undamaged.

Upon opening the box, the first thing I saw was a key charm that was the same design as my cover. Very nice!

I unwrapped the brown paper and lo and behold…dum dum dum….there it was. The first thing that hit me was the smell of leather. I’m not sure why, but I was surprised to smell it so well. Most items that say they’re leather don’t normally smell like that. I guess they’re more processed. However, this cover is full grain leather and extremely well made.
This green is a little brighter than the actual green, or “fern” color of the cover. But the work is well done. The stitching is even and the edges are clean. The other pleasant surprise was the fact that the corner edges holding the Kindle were actually leather too. I had in my head they’d be cloth or maybe heavy duty elastic, but nope..they’re leather. My Kindle is in there nice and strong. I don’t have to worry about it falling out.
The only part that’s elastic is the right top corner and the cover closure. I love how the elastic wraps around the well made button to hold it together. It looks like a journal or a book. LOVE IT. What’s the best part? Well, It’s hard to pick just one. It’s extremely well made, durable, secure and probably best of all:
Thanks for the great work Oberon Design!