Archive | May, 2011

Theme Thursdays: Conversation

27 May

Due to a very busy week at work, my reading progress has been halted. I don’t mind, though, because it gives me more time to savor The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet. The longer I am able to draw out the reading process, the more time I can spend in the world of T.S. Spivet!

There are so many wonderful conversations in Selected Works! It was hard to select just one for this week’s Theme Thursdays prompt. After much debate, I chose the following passage that focuses on Emma Osterville, an ambitious young girl who dreams of being a scientist during a time when the field does not welcome women. Her tenacity and intellect make her a trailblazer in the late 1800s. The following conversation takes place at a conference she is allowed to attend as a young girl:

It was the most memorable weekend of her life. She met hundreds of scientests of all conceivable fields, and much to the amusement of the men around her, she introduced herself thus: “Hello, I am Emma Osterville Englethorpe and I would like to be a scientist.”

“Well, what kind of scientist do you want to be, little one?” a rotund man prompted her, smiling at the frothy ribbons on her hat, a gift from Elizabeth for the trip.

“A geologist. I am pretty sure. I am most interested in the Miocene and Mesozoic eras and particularly volcanic deposits. But I also love botany and describing the orchid families of the Indian Oceanic Rim. And Father says I have one of the best topographical eyes through the sextant that he has ever seen.”

The man took a step back, bewildered. “Well, my child, may I see you out in the field!” he said, and walked away, shaking his head.” (page 222)


Teaser Tuesdays: I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak

24 May

I am nearly finished with The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet. What an enjoyable read! I love the narrator and find myself laughing out loud often. After a long day at work, it is truly a pleasure to curl up with this book!

My next book will be I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak. Since I’ve shared passages from Selected Works in the last two Teaser Tuesdays posts, I thought I’d share a bit from Zusak’s book this week. I know this excerpt is more than a couple sentences long, but I I think it makes more sense when you read the whole passage:

“Due to my aforementioned laziness I was no good at school, except at English, because of the reading. Since my father drank all our money away, I just went straight into work when school was done. I started out in a  forgettable hamburger chain that I don’t mention, due to shame. Next was sorting files in a dusty accountant’s office that closed down within weeks of my arrival. And finally, the height, the pinnacle of my employment history so far. Cab driving.” (page 17)

Can’t wait!

Travel Reading?

23 May

It’s the end of the school year. Just a few more weeks until I can ignore my alarm clock, spend time at the beach, and … well … relax! I’m looking forward to the laid-back summer months, but there is still much to be done before school ends. Next week, a couple other teachers and I will be bringing a group of 8th graders to Philadelphia for a class trip. While it’s not my favorite thing to do (after all, who wants to sleep in a bus surrounded by 8th graders!?), the students look forward to the trip all year! We spend quite a bit of time on the bus, which will give me a chance to catch up on some reading I’ve been wanting to do. If you’ve read any of my Friday Finds posts, you know my TBR pile grows larger all the time. But I’m ALWAYS looking for recommendations. So what are your recommendations? Are there any books you would recommend taking along on the trip?

Photo courtesy of VEC Transportation Website

Friday Finds … A Day Late

22 May

I know it’s not Friday, but I still wanted to share some of my Friday Finds. I discovered all of these titles on a trip to Barnes and Noble today. The only question is … which one should I read next?

I was surprised to find two Louisa May Alcott fan-fiction books today. Obviously The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott is based on the author’s life. March is based on Alcott’s beloved novel Little Women. It focuses on Mr. March (the father from Little Women) and his involvement in the Civil War. I loved Little Women as a young girl, so I’m looking forward to reading these books!

Theme Thursdays: Male Person

19 May

This week’s Theme Thursdays topic is male characters. The prompt asks readers to submit a description of a man or boy from literature. When I read this prompt, I immediately thought of Dill from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Every time I read To Kill a Mockingbird, I become more attached to Dill. Curious and inventive, Dill hatches many imaginative plans to make Boo Radley come out. His innocence is endearing. During the Tom Robinson trial, Dill becomes upset when he sees how unfairly Tom is treated simply because of his skin color. The chapter where Dill reveals the truth about his home life always breaks my heart. Dill’s parents buy him things like books and toys so that he will not bother them. More than anything, Dill wants to be wanted. Every time I read this chapter, I wish I could adopt sweet, imaginative Charles Baker Harris. 🙂 I love the following description of Dill:

“Dill was a curiosity. He wore blue linen shorts that buttoned to his shirt, his hair was snow white and stuck to his head like duckfluff; he was a year my senior but I towered over him. As he told us the old tale his blue eyes would lighten and darken; his laugh was sudden and happy; he habitually pulled at a cowlick in the center of his forehead” (Lee 7-8).

Happy Thursday!

WWW Wednesdays: So Many Good Books!

18 May

What are you currently reading?

At the moment, I am reading The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larson. What a fun read! The main character (and narrator) is a charming, quirky twelve-year-old named Tecumseh Sparrow Spivet. He has received accolades from the Smithsonian for his detailed, hand-drawn diagrams and is invited to speak at an upcoming awards banquet. But there’s a problem – several problems, actually – that T.S. must overcome if he hopes to make it to Washington, D.C.

What did you recently finish reading?

This week, I finally finished reading The Grapes of Wrath. Although it took me a while to finish, I am so glad I read this novel!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Last year, I read The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. What an incredible story! I fell in love with Liesel, the main character, and was heart-broken when I finished the book … I didn’t want to say goodbye to Liesel! I Am the Messenger, also written by Zusak, has been in my TBR pile for so I think I might give this book a try after finishing T.S. Spivet.

Teaser Tuesdays: Another Bit from The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet

17 May

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I finally finished reading The Grapes of Wrath this week. Loved it! You can read my review here. This week I also started reading The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen. I am smitten! The Selected Works is told from the perspective of T.S. Spivet, a twelve-year old cartographer whose brilliance garners him recognition from the Smithsonian. T.S. Spivet is a lovable character. His quirky narration is endearing – I’ve found myself chuckling at many of his slightly off-topic tangents. The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet is such an enjoyable read so far, and I’m looking forward to writing more about it in the future. Here’s another teaser:

“The moment the latch on my door ticked shut, I began agonizing. For the act of packing I changed into an athletic costume complete with sweatbands and kneepads. This was going to be more difficult than the President’s Fitness Challenge, in which I couldn’t manage a single pull-up” (77).

See what I mean? Quirky, humorous, and endearing. What’s not to love?