With the end of the school year falling at the beginning of the month I'm obviously a little behind. There wasn't nearly as much book reading as I would have liked in May, but it wasn't surprising. Now that it's summer break, though, I'm hoping to get through quite a few (fine- my secret goal is fourteen books in nine weeks).
Papers, papers and more papers
I've read and graded thousands of assignments. I honestly don't want to talk about it or think about it anymore. The one thing that I will say, though, is that despite some typical end-of-the-year laziness, my students improved and that's the most important thing.
Euphoria by Lily King
This is a novel loosely based on Margaret Mead, the anthropologist, set in Africa. Nell is married to Fen and together they study untouched tribes in order to compile their findings in a book (they are working Nell's success). They meet up with a man named Bankson, also an anthropologist, and a love triangle develops, coincidentally mirroring the sexual exploration of the tribes being studied by Nell.
Verdict: This is one of the best books that I've read in a very long time (it was one of my choices for book club, which we had a great discussion about). The writing, the story, the themes, the setting, the characters... just an all-round solid book that I'd recommend to just about anyone. Even those that aren't into heavy modern literary fiction I think would enjoy it; there's enough to get out of it even if you don't want to analyze it to death. I also have to mention that it definitely made me think about the field of anthropology in general; there's a quote in the text that refers to Nell and Fen's "ethnographic bullying" that I thought was interesting.
The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales
This was a quirky sci-fi read that I picked up after seeing so many rave reviews of. Basically it's the idea of female assassins, superpowers, oracles, assassinations, robotic parts, and complicated personal relationships all rolled up into one. Basically it's a kick-ass summer blockbuster in book form.
Verdict: If I had read this by the pool over the course of a few days I would have enjoyed this book. Instead, I read it over three or so weeks and didn't enjoy it as much as I think I could have. I think it would make a great movie! It isn't a serious book, but I think Gonzales did something unique and just plain cool with the story and the characters.