May Reads

I read a lot in May- I needed to escape and I needed perspective! I was split in terms of fiction and nonfiction, which was surprising to me. I already wrote about the Glennon Doyle books here, but here are my thoughts on the rest:

Quickly, I'll gloss over The Scarlet Letter, but Nathaniel Hawthorne, because I've read it before many times (I teach it), and I'm sure most people reading this have as well. It can be a slog to get through and it wasn't a great book to teach via distance learning with a group of seniors who had one foot out the door, but I did my best.

I had always meant to read Flowers for Algernon, but it had always  slipped through the cracks. It was fascinating to see how intelligence, or lack of, was written about during the 1950s, but also just the obvious thematic questions surrounding intellect versus morality. 

We read The Glass Castle by Emily Saint John Mandel for book club, and I really enjoyed it. It was a little hard to get into at first, but once I did I couldn't put it down. I thought she did some really wonderful things stylistically, but she the story was also fascinating (a Ponzi scheme, appearance vs reality, loss, etc...) 

Quiet was an interesting look at introverts, examining them from cultural, social, business, and historical perspectives. I usually split the  total on all of the introvert/extrovert tests, which makes total sense to me, since on one hand I love being social and busy, but I also carve alone time. She had some really interesting things to say about teaching introverts, which I could use in my classroom.

The two stars of the shower were Lily King's Writers & Lovers and Sue Leaf's Portage, one a novel and one a sort of memoir. King's story of a struggling writer who waitresses and is involved in a love triangle sounds overdone, but I promise, her writing style and the development of the characters put this in a class of itself. I could see it possibly hitting my top ten list for the year! And the same with Portage, Leaf's book discussing her numerous canoeing trips with her family. I know it sounds sort of niche, but her writing is beautiful and it will make you want to run out and get lost in nature.


I hope June is better personally and for the country. I feel such an overwhelming sense of disappointment in people, some of which I know, some of which I do not. There's just such a lack of concern for others, whether that means wearing a mask in public without constant complaining or respecting race and holding police accountable. I'm disappointed, deeply, in our country's leadership... so many things are wrong right now and we virtually have no leader. People are dying from Covid-19 and people are dying because of the color of their skin (STILL! HOW?) and it's just so appalling. 

There are so many things that we can do, depending on our resources. The main things I do I will list below. I hope that everyone can be kind, open-minded, will listen, and will be safe

1. Donate money to charities that help; I have been a long-time supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center. I can't donate a lot, but if everyone donate a little it will add up.
2. I verified out city's usage of body cams with my local rep (I was really pleased that he replied quickly, politely, and also forwarded me our police department's statement on what happened)
3. I talk to my son about current events, in an age-appropriate way
4. I bring it into the classroom when I am teaching
5. I listen. I don't expect anyone to educate me.
6. I try to educate myself through reading.
7. I vote.

Is this enough? No. But I definitely do more than just post infographic after infographic and meme after meme. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the tip on the Southern Poverty Law Center. I just donated & will keep them on my list of charities to give to annually. I read their "About" page and they look like a fantastic and experienced all-around racial justice organization.