I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as an educator of students with special needs, my classroom is often the most diverse in the school. This book not onl...moreI thoroughly enjoyed this book, as an educator of students with special needs, my classroom is often the most diverse in the school. This book not only defined the impact that stereotype threat has on students of all ages (both high performing and low), but also gave practical, easy to implement strategies to improve their performance. This book was heavily research based, but written in a narrative style format, which made for an interesting and easy read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone working with diverse populations, as well as anyone who may have experienced stereotype threat, especially in the learning environment. (less)
In this heart wrenching novel, Liesel finds herself living with a dynamic foster family after the death of her brother and in the midst of Nazi German...moreIn this heart wrenching novel, Liesel finds herself living with a dynamic foster family after the death of her brother and in the midst of Nazi Germany. With her life on seemingly downward spiral, leaving her paralyzed with grief, Liesel attempts to gain back a sliver of control by stealing her first book, The Gravediggers Handbook. Strangely comforted by the presence of this book, but unable to decode any of the words within, Liesel begins her journey on Himmel Street where she will spend countless hours learning to read, will learn to love again with the help of her father, and will harbor a Jewish man in her makeshift classroom in the basement.
The writing style of this book took a risk, narrated by the omniscient soul catcher, death. Often times I can be put off by such an endeavor, thinking, "tell the story, get on with it", but I have to say that Zusak really made it work. Death gave us insight into the actions of the characters, but also their deeper needs and desires. What struck me most about this book was the character development, specifically Liesel, her father Hans, and Max. The depth of their relationships and the creation of the "Word Shaker" left me eating up the words on each page.
This book should have remained what it originally was, a private journal. Maybe a grandmother would have better insight into this book? I found the bo...moreThis book should have remained what it originally was, a private journal. Maybe a grandmother would have better insight into this book? I found the book to be whiney, and honestly a bit pathetic. Inside thoughts that should have remained just that, inside. Like others, I really wanted to like this book, but it just didn't do it for me. (less)
I scoff when I hear people say, "I wish I had time to read!" My reading time is at 5:30 in the morning, when I am doing my cardio, rocking out to my m...moreI scoff when I hear people say, "I wish I had time to read!" My reading time is at 5:30 in the morning, when I am doing my cardio, rocking out to my music, and trying to balance my book open on those cheap little plastic book "thingys". I have sensed a pattern recently when I listen to an old song from my Ipod and suddenly I am am shot back into a book I read three months, six months, or even two years ago.
When I purchase a new song, I will often open up my Ipod and listen to the same three songs as I do my 45 minutes of cardio. It seems that amazingly these songs begin to infiltrate the book, or vice versa. Suddenly the lyrics, the beat, the melody all have different meanings, due to the book that I am reading.
As Chris put it, "Some people pair wine with food, you pair music with books". Ahhhhh, yes, that is it!
On that note I will begin each book review from now on with the musical reference that will give readers a feel for the mood and the tone of the book (when applicable, still trying to pair a song with Tina Fey's new book... little tough!). I suggest listening to the song before cracking open the book, or better yet, while you are reading it to see if you can feel the tie of the song to the narrative.
This Side of Brightness had two songs, which makes perfect sense to the two entwining stories of the book (forgive any errors in my quoting)
"Keep Your Head Up" - Andy Grammer: Tied in with Nathan Walker the sandhog, who is building tunnels in the early 1900s in NYC. "You are gonna turn out fine....but you gotta keep your head up, and you can let your hair down, I know its hard, to remember sometimes, but you gotta keep your head up...My life and my purpose is it all worth it?... Only rainbows after rain, the sun will always come again, and its a circle, circling, around again..."
"The End" - Kings of Leon: Tied in with Treefrog, who made his home in the tunnels of NYC. "This could be the end... I just want to hold you, take you by your hands and tell you that your good enough, and tell you its going to be tough... Cuz I ain't got a home... running from the street lights..."
Read the book, listen to the songs, let me know what you think. (less)
Music connection: "Let it Rock" -Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne "I see your dirty face, high behind your collar...And you take your time, and you do your...moreMusic connection: "Let it Rock" -Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne "I see your dirty face, high behind your collar...And you take your time, and you do your crime...When I arrive I bring the fire, make you come alive, I can take you higher...LET IT ROCK, LET IT ROCK, LET IT ROCK."
I laughed, I cried (no I really cried), and I truly did think I was part of the team. I read this book just as the Giants were slipping away from Arizona and were on a horrible scoring streak. Our pitchers were beat, and our bats were cold. I was so immersed in the stories, the details about these men that I watch day in and day out, that I found myself unable to look at the true reality of the team and the situation. As Chris was yelling at the screen and walking around in deep depression regarding our hitting, I was on cloud 9, feeling close to "my boys" and really truly believing we would pull through.
I recommend this book to ANY true Giants fan. It was a joyous read. May I suggest after the season ends and you want to reminisce on our 2010 season? Just a thought. (less)