November Reviews

Didn't I just do a monthly review? November most definitely flew by, with the exception of a few days at work that had me whining to my friend that time was moving at a snail's pace ("how is it only third periodddddddd?"). I am feverishly trying to work towards my Goodreads goal of 71 books, which means I need to read like eight books in December- it's totally going to happen. This is when you pull out all the stops, whether that means reading the shortest books you own, throwing in a graphic novel or two, and squeezing in a few pages at every possible moment. In the meantime, despite reading five book instead of my planned six, I read a variety of different books last month, which always makes me happy.

First up was "Master Harold"... and the boys by Athol Fugard, a play that I teach every other year when I have juniors. The kids usually really appreciate it and this I year I had them actually read it in groups, which I don't think I've ever done before. I overheard some really great discussions, as the play focuses on the relationship between a white teenaged boy and two black men during the Apartheid in South Africa. They've handled it with maturity, respect, and insight, which I've appreciated greatly (there's some profanity/offensive language and some heavy moments, so you always have to be prepared to step in with teenagers). 

I read yet another David Sedaris book, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, in preparation for the reading I wasn't able to go to (sickness struck out house... I was disappointed, but it happens). It was pretty typical of the Sedaris- quirky, funny, poignant, and well-written. This is the third collection of his that I've read in the last six months, so I'm starting to feel like he and I are old friends. 

Continuing my ongoing introduction into the world of graphic novels, I read Thi Bui's The Best We Could Do, which sucked me in immediately. The author's memoir looks at her family's experience in Vietnam and the United States, and how their past impacted their present. An old student of mine recently told me that it was actually selected as UCLA's Common Read for their freshman class last year, which I thought was pretty awesome. If you're on the fence about graphic novels, this is one to jump in with. Besides an awesome story, you'll learn some history and enjoy beautiful illustrations. 

My favorite of the month, hands down, was Michelle Obama's Becoming. I wrote about it here, if you need some convincing. 

Last up was Cherry Blossoms by Kim Hooper. The story is about an advertising copywriter named Jonathan who decided to take a trip to Japan before he kills himself. The novel slowly unfolds details about his life and struggles, while trying to maintain a witty voice. I think the foundational story has potential, but I had some concerns with the dialogue, some of the humor, and also some of the formatting decisions (too many lists, for starters). 

1,477 pages 

No comments:

Post a Comment