After a relaxing and restful 2 week Spring Break, we jumped right back in to the thick of things today. The great thing about Spring Break, other than that it's a break from the day-to-day busy-ness, is that I have time to power through some longer reads that otherwise take me forever to get through. So this edition of #IMWAYR is dedicated to some of the bigger books I read over the past 2 weeks, with a few picture books thrown in for good measure.
The Joy Of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World (Christina Crook) - Full disclosure: this book is written by a friend of mine. If it weren't however, I might still have come across it as it is getting some pretty major press exposure these days (NY Times, CTV Morning News, CBC, Psychology Today - wow!). The book explores our complex and often addictive relationship with technology, an exploration driven by Crook's 30-day internet fast (chronicled at Letters from a Luddite). At once well-researched and intimate, Crook's book exhorts us to put down our phones, tablets and computers and reconnect with the people that really matter - those immediately around us. She encourages us to slow down, to live in the moment, to take the time to see and feel and listen, to be present. This book is one of a growing number of books, blogs and websites that focus on the idea of living in the now and is well worth the read.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Cheryl Strayed) - Although Wild bears no similarity to JOMO in writing style or subject matter, it nonetheless focuses on the same idea - getting the heck out of Dodge (literally or figuratively) in order to find "rest, stillness and attentiveness" (JOMO). Unlike JOMO, this is not a researched piece of writing; it is a painful, funny, intimate memoir of someone who was headed right off the rails and rescued themselves in a drastic and rash manner. More Eat, Pray, Love than Hands-Free Mama, Wild was a great beach read.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Sherman Alexie) - This book lived up to everything I had read about it - wonderful, depressing, maddening, hopeful. The tone in which the book is written is light, belying the tragedies that come fast and furious throughout. While reading it, I could not but help thinking of some of the families that we encounter in our teaching lives and the tough row they have to hoe. Definitely a great read for high school but some of the themes are probably a bit too mature for middle school.
Tilly the Trickster (Molly Shannon) - Another book purchased because we were going to see the play, Tilly the Trickster is perfect for April Fool's Day! Tilly loves to play tricks, most of which are harmless fun. But as her tricks begin to adversely affect more and more people around, Tilly begins to question whether or not they are such a great idea. The only thing that I don't love about this book is the ending but it could lead to some great discussions about how our actions affect other people and what we should do about that.
Stranded (Jeff Probst & Chris Tebbets) - Playing on the success of the Survivor TV show, this series follows 4 kids stranded on a deserted island. A fun read for 7-12 year olds who love adventure books and are looking for an easier read than Rick Riordan or Gordon Korman. This one gets high marks from Kristi's son!
Once again, I didn't get this out on a Monday but I did it and I appreciate everyone who let me know that they're happy I'm doing it even if it doesn't happen exactly on Monday! Hope you had or are looking forward to a wonderful, restful spring break!
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about literacy, collaborative teaching and finding new and innovative ways to engage & motivate all kids. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!