"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Salon, January 17th

Clear Lake, Oregon. Photo by Anne Parr, used with permission.

Weather: Clear night (Saturday); Rainy (Sunday)

Mock Printz Workshop: Thirty Five students joined me Monday afternoon for an exhilarating time debating the merits of twenty YA books. The team of reading teenagers attempted to get into the mind of the Real Printz committee to select the best YA novels of the year. It was a wild event with lots of opinions shared and several voting sessions before the slate was selected. They selected Challenger Deep as their favorite book of the year, and four honor books: Nimona, All the Bright Places, The Truth Commission, and The Game of Love and Death. None of these titles actually won an honor when the real awards were announced but the kids had fun selecting them.

Poetry Out Loud: The National Endowment for the Arts sponsors a recitation competition which has levels of winners which start in the classrooms, move through the school, to regional, state, and finally National finals. I am the coordinator for our school. Our school Poetry Out Loud contest was held on Thursday after school. Ten class winners came together to recite two poems each. Our winner, Katie T. will represent us at Regionals in February. Check out the POL website to understand more about the program. If you are a high school teacher you, too, can bring this poetry contest to your school.

Busy week: With two big after-school events in one week I was ready for bed at 8 PM Thursday night. How do coaches and drama teachers do it night after night? I was pooped after two late afternoon events! Ha!

Nine down, one to go. My daughter has been a busy girl applying to graduate schools. She has completed nine applications so far and we are so proud of her diligence and determination. Send your positive thoughts and prayers her way that she will find a slot in Grad School this coming Fall.

Puzzlemania: Between Grad School Apps and work, Carly and I have been busy putting together jigsaw puzzles. Normally each holiday season we will put together one puzzle. We just finished our 4th, a puzzle purchased after Obama was just elected the first time, YES WE CAN.

Reading this week:
  • The Yearling by Marjorie Rawling---I just finished this classic novel which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1939. It was my Classics Club Spin book. Check out my review here.
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junet Diaz---as part of my Pulitzer Challenge I decided to finish this novel but couldn't remember much so ended up starting over. I am listening to the audiobook. Progress: 40%.
  • Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez---this was one of two Printz Honor books announced this past week, the only one on the list I haven't read, yet. Progress: 10%.
  • Nice Recovery by Susan Juby---a memoir about Juby, a newly discovered author about being a teenage alcoholic.
12th Minuteman: We are all a little Seahawks crazy around here, considering ourselves to be the 12th man on the football team. Even the Minuteman statue on Camp Murray is a fan. 
Don and the 12th Minuteman, both fans of the Seahawks!

Rest in Peace Alan Rickman. My favorite movie where Rickman played a role was Galaxy Quest (other than Harry Potter movies, of course.). In it he plays an actor who had been part of a TV show like Star Trek and he had the Spock-like role.  We enter the scene when the actors, now has-beens, are living on their former glory. The Rickman character is sick of it. Enjoy the 2 minute clip.


  1. I loved Alan Rickman as Snape. My mother really liked him in Sense and Sensibility. I need to see that! People who haven't had daughters apply to grad school don't know how big those applications are and how difficult. I admire Carly for doing so many of them!

    1. Oh, I did like Rickman in Sense and Sensibility, too. He was such a kind gentleman, in contrast to all the cads.

      Grad School apps are no fun. But she is almost done.

  2. Rickman was also intriguing as an artist in an older movie, with Kevin Kline, called The January Man. I watched it not that long ago.

    Nice Recovery looks like a book I might enjoy. Thanks for sharing...and you've been very busy! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. Unbelievably I've never read The Yearling and after reading your review, I'm thinking maybe I should sometime. I keep hearing about Nimona too and ight need to check that one out also.

  4. (Apologies. Don't know why, but sometimes I can't type on.)

    Printz event where people discuss which book might win. I sometimes do a Caldecott event with the little guys at my school but it's probably not the same level of discussion!

    1. Yes, high school students LOVE to discuss and debate. There was lots of energy in the room. Another fun aspect to the event is getting all the kids together, who don't necessarily know each other. I always point out that they are not alone. They are not the only book lover in the school. Sighs of relief ensue.

  5. Sorry about the Seahawks game. It's sad news about Rickman too. Quite a great actor. I'll be interested to see what you think of the Diaz novel.

  6. Gosh what a busy week! But jigsaw puzzles are really relaxing, aren't they? I loved the clip, thanks for posting!

  7. Now I want to hunt down that movie! Looked like good fun. The Printz event sounds great too. I LOVED Challenger Deep, but wondered how it would work for teens. Glad to know your group really connected with it. Did the kids sign up to participate? I'd love to do something like that, but I work with mostly reluctant readers.


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