Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Books I read in April 2012

April must have been busy.  I only read three books.  They were all pretty good ones though:

Joy School by Elizabeth Berg***

I liked this book.  Again, it was sort of sad.  Someday I'll read a thoroughly happy book (I'll probably hate it though).  It was about a girl who was twelve whose mother had died.  She had an older sister that had run off with a boyfriend and she also had just moved to a new town with her dad, who she didn't exactly get along with.  She was lonely and things were hard.  I kept expecting the book to go in different directions (like focus on the sister, or dad, or her mother) but it kind of glanced over everything and included her making new friends and having a big crush on someone.  That sort of disappointed me but then I realized that is a lot more like how life really is.  There's not really a neat and tidy resolution to things and you deal with a lot of different people and issues at once and have to keep moving forward.

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin ***

This book was sort of disturbing to me.  It is about Alice Liddell Hargreaves who was the muse for Alice in Wonderland.  The story was fiction but based on facts.  I thought Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) was creeeeeeeeeeepy.  It was a well written book.  I have to be impressed with any writing that makes me cry.  I am less impressed with myself for creating a spectacle of myself by crying at the pool while my kids were swimming.  Sometimes I think I shouldn't read in public but the idea of sitting idly while I could be reading would make me cry anyway.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell ***

I love it when my book club book is on my list of books I want to read anyway.  (I also love it when it's not, because then it's something new.)  I had been wanting to read Outliers because I think Malcolm Gladwell is a fascinating writer.  This book is about success and some of the illusive contributors to success (luck, lots of hours, culture, wealth).  It's very interesting.  Hard work isn't always the key that we Americans want to believe it to be (although sometimes it is).  It made me reassess the way I teach math and feel less embarrassed about the way my kids act sometimes when they're quizzing a doctor/dentist/orthodontist about what exactly is happening and why.

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