Eleanor and Park: An Unlikely Duo

15745753If you are going to read one review of Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell, don’t read this one. I’m serious. Instead you should read this New York Times book review, written by John Green. I’m pretty sure when you look up rave in the dictionary, what you see is a copy of this review. It was compelling enough that my nana cut it out of the paper and mail it to me, and intriguing enough that upon reading it I immediately sent it to Alee with the request that we make this our next review. She quickly agreed. So read that review. It will convince to read the book, better than I can.

While reading the book, I worried that it wouldn’t live up to the high expectations set by the review. This was not a problem. It lived up to the hype. Continue reading

New Obsession: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

In keeping with my trend of being a tragically late adopter of all things awesome, I have recently stumbled on an internet treasure that is not only over, in that I’m guessing everyone else has seen it, but it actually ended yesterday.  This treasure is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a 100-episode adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice told primarily through the vlog of Lizzie Bennet.

Read on at your own risk – this is an incredibly addictive experience, especially for Jane Austen fans. Seriously, my first episode turned into watching over 20 episodes. Thank goodness most of them are less than five minutes. Continue reading

Adulthood Take 2: New Life Adventures

tumblr_mh0ralgrKM1qzr04eo1_500Last year when I started blogging, I was also beginning another adventure of sorts. In one of my first posts, I wrote about not being as settled or “adult” as I expected to be during the first week of a new job in fundraising. And I ended the post saying that I would keep everyone updated on my progress, or my digression.

Well 15 months later, an update is probably overdue. About a month ago, I resigned and gave notice at my job. Last Friday was my last day of work. I don’t want to get into the many problems/gripes that lead to this decision, but I will say that I never felt comfortable in the position (i.e. never moved out).  What comes next is (hopefully) more interesting than anything that has happened in the last year.

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Marry, Date or Dump: Rogues from Jane Austen

While no one will ever come between me and Mr. Darcy … you know except for Lizzie Bennet, or 200 years, or the fact that he is fiction … and I will always have a soft spot for Captain Wentworth, Jane Austen didn’t only know how to write upstanding men who resembled knights in shining armor. She also knew a thing or two about crafting the rakes and the rogues. Because some times a lady just wants to throw caution to the wind and give a guy a piece of her hair, or cut a piece of his hair, or even (gasp!) let a suitor call her by her first name. So look at the following fellows, and let us know in the comments who you would marry, who you would date, and who you would dump.

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Burn for Burn: A Pretty Delightful Revenge Story

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan VivianI was not a big fan of The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy, by Jenny Han. In fact, I think I kind of hated it. So it might have been surprising that I suggested to Alee that we read Jenny Han’s newest book Burn for Burn, co-written by Siobhan Vivian. What changed my mind, you ask?

Okay, no one asked, but I will answer anyways. What really changed my mind was seeing the two of them discuss their friendship, their book, and their childhoods in person at the National Book Festival last fall. The only word I can use to describe them is delightful. Jenny Han wore knee socks. Both talked about the most embarrassing thing someone ever did to them growing up (and they used the perpetrators full names!). Plus apparently while writing the book Han and Vivian would take on personas from the book and fight with each other. Combined with the prevalent theme of bullying within the narrative I was pretty instantly intrigued.

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First Book Drives More Diversity in Children’s Literature

Stories-for-All-group-photo1For those of you who don’t know what First Book is, it is a nonprofit organization that provides new books to low-income children in the US and Canada. They’ve given over 100 million books to 42,000 schools and programs. One of the things that has shocked me working in different at-risk schools is that children are growing up in homes with literally no books. When I taught middle school in Memphis, we had a rule that children always had to be carrying a book and almost half the kids would bring in Sears catalogues or Wal-Mart coupon packets because that was the closest thing they could find. Comparing this with the fact that this weekend I culled almost five boxes of books to give away, and didn’t really scratch the surface of the reading material in my house it makes sense why children are graduation high school not knowing how to read.

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