Through These Winsome Gates

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Tuesday 3 January 2017

Fahrenheit 451 By Ray Bradbury

Somehow, I missed this book in both high school and college. It just didn't make it into the reading lists that passed through my hands. But a copy landed in my to-read pile this winter (put there by me - apparently picked up from the local Goodwill by my partner), so I jumped on the opportunity.

Today, it feels timely.

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Monday 19 December 2016

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Imagine the lives we would lead if all we needed to take the grandest adventure of our lives was a little imagination.

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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Salvage The Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Told from the perspective of a 16 year old girl, this story takes us through the days leading up to the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina and into the beginning of recovery. But more importantly, it's a window into the lives of people who stayed in the path of disaster despite warnings and instincts and all wisdom to the contrary. It is a reminder that the choices so many of us take for granted are simply not available to far too many. It is a pointed reprimand for the divide between privileged and not.

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Wednesday 30 November 2016

Touch by David J. Linden

If zombie stories aren't usually my thing, then Non-Fiction (outside of news) isn't even on my radar. But, touch is quite possibly my favorite sense, and so when a friend mentioned this book I decided to add it to my reading list.

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Monday 14 November 2016

For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood by Christopher Emdin

A week ago, I was talking to my supervisor about how we can put the ideas in this book to work with the students in our program. Today, I got an email from my child's school district letting parents know that our students are talking about a walkout in response to the election. It leaves me more convinced than ever of how important the ideas in this book are. Students at all levels need to be heard and valued and supported in ways that honor their reality. To me, that means sometimes our biggest job as educators is to see our students and teach them that they can teach us, too. Because if they can change even just one mind, nothing can stop them. In For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the rest of Y'all Too, Emdin outlines a practical approach to learning ways of accomplishing exactly that.

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Tuesday 1 November 2016

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

There is a line between destiny and self-determination. That line is never clear or sharp, and sometimes it is blurred entirely. When two ancient magicians set in motion a competition to prove the value of their different teaching styles, they neglect to consider the interplay of these two forces. But in the end, I believe the dreamers - the people who can see beyond the rules and imagine their own way - win.

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Monday 17 October 2016

Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon

The transition from military to private life is difficult at best. Confronted by plush purple paneling, Heris Serrano wonders if she'll manage at all. But then a series of events ranging from sabotage to kidnapping remind her that adventure can be found anywhere.

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Tuesday 11 October 2016

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Wade Watts has found his place. It happens to be online. As a high school student, he's figured out how to make his own way in both the real world and the virtual one, but it's the latter that speaks to him most clearly. From academics to socializing and beyond, everything he really needs is right there. If it isn't, he can use his skills there to send it to his physical space. Until a contest that has turned into something more than a game reminds him of the richness that remains outside of his computers.

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Tuesday 4 October 2016

The Fugative Prince, by Janny Wurts

I've been reading this series very slowly, picking up a book or two from Wurts each time I go to Dragon*Con. It had started to feel like a bit of a ritual for me, so I was sad to not see her booth in the vendor rooms this year. Still, I'm enjoying it so much, I plan to pick up the next book soon.

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Thursday 22 September 2016

Between The World And Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I've been posting my reading list in mostly chronological order. This week, both local and national headlines are making me feel like I need to step out of that a bit. I won't belabor the details from the headlines. You've seen them already. If you haven't seen them for this particular story, you still probably understand the gist from other recent headlines. I'm not interested in the excuses or the circumstances. The salient point here is that Black lives very much do matter, but as a society, we do not treat them that way. And that is why this book is, in Toni Morrison's words, required reading.

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