Ten Things Tuesday

Ten things I have purchased as a result of spending time with my geeky English teacher colleagues writing workshop community:

1. Broken Vessels by Andre Dubus. This is a collection of essays, several of which formed the launching point of our adventure. The book is out of print, but Amazon has some good, used copies, and I got myself one for something like six bucks with shipping.

2. William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. This isn’t my favorite Will story, but one of the writing group spoke incredibly high of it and, since Romeo and Juliet isn’t one of her favorites, either, I took her word for it.

3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Everyone I spoke to – and even a few people who overheard those conversations – piped in to tell me how much they love this book. I am eagerly anticipating its arrival and am taking my time getting through my current read (The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, in case you were wondering) so that I can dive right into it when it finally gets here.

4 & 5. This Boy’s Life. I’m counting this one twice because I purchased both the film and the memoir. I may figure a way to work it in to next term’s curriculum, but I haven’t had any experience with the story at all, so I’ll have to wait for its arrival from Amazon before I make any decisions.

6. Hamlet. I’m almost sure that the arrival of this DVD (it came today) pushes Hamlet into the top spot for films for which I have the most interpretations.   Now that this is part of my collection, I have 4:  this one (duh), Mel Gibson’s version, the play as imagined by Kenneth Branaugh, and the most recent (that I’m aware of) production of it which stars David Tennant and Patrick Stewart.  I’ve got the Olivier version on my wishlist…

7.  The English Patient by Michael Ondaatie.  This book wasn’t so much recommended directly as I overheard someone talk about teaching it (and, just as an aside, that picture of all the words on the board that I posted on the first night?  Those were all words that students associated with the novel).  Knowing that was enough for me to pick it up today, along with the next three books (and several more besides) on my trip this morning to my favorite used bookstore.

8.  The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.  As a scholar of the Shoah, I was told that I “had” to read this.  I’ve been led to believe that it will inspire a great many fruitful conversations in my classroom about morality and justice, and that, even if I choose not to read this with a group of students, I will find it well worth my time to read alone.

9.  Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.  This is another book – this time, a memoir – that I had heard good things about before coming to the writing workshop, and had the claims reinforced by my friends and colleagues.  I think this might end up near the bottom of my “must-read” pile, though, because I don’t see it being useful to my curriculum this year.

10.  The Hours by Michael Cunningham.  I have to admit that I didn’t love this film.  I saw it while visiting with Kizz, and I don’t know whether I just wasn’t in the right space for it, or if I was fatigued from the trip and all the excitement that came with it, but I remember not being overly impressed with the movie.  During a dinner at which a bunch of us were talking about books-to-movies (as I’m getting ready to teach a film and lit. class at CHS – go here to see a first draft of my syllabus for that class), someone said she didn’t love the movie, but the book moved her – and then someone said she didn’t love the book, but was captured by the film.  I figured, what the hell; I’ll pick up the book for 3 bucks and see where I fall on that continuum.

Auntie’s coming to visit in a bit; we’re going to go to the outlets to seek out nice (cool) wedding attire.  Have a lovely (cool) Tuesday, Everyone!



Filed under books, compassion and connection, fiction, Friends, movies, reading, remembering

9 responses to “Ten Things Tuesday

  1. #2: NNNNOOOOOOO GAAAAAHHHHHHHD NNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!! Please add another few lines of your own choosing disparaging this cast, their director and this entire endeavor. Please include the phrase “mumbly-mouthed.” I’m sure you’ve heard me say it all before.

    #6: I’ve heard great things about the Tennant version. Of course we live in an age where I’m pretty sure saying anything bad about Tennant is punishable by banishment via Tardis.

    #7: I love this book so very much. It changed the way I read and I loved everything about it. That being said I was inspired to read the book by seeing the movie which I’m also pretty fond of.

    #9: Good book, dense, way too much to think about and yet very different from what I expected it to be.

    #10: Having you not like that movie shifted the whole way I understood what you like in books and movies. Having you not like the movie makes me think you won’t like the Lymond books I talk about, I also don’t think you’ll like The English Patient or the book of the Hours so it’ll be really interesting to hear what you decide once you’ve tackled them.

    That’s a lot of media you’ve got to revel in, there!

  2. #2: One of my best memories at the movies when I was younger, and still a game-changing film IMHO. My mother has screened this one for her sophomore Shakespeare kids at FL State and LSU rather than Zefferelli’s, whatever that means to you.

    #4 the book: Did nothing for me. That is just to say that in teaching it, it might not move all readers. Didn’t watch the movie.

    #7: I am a lifelong reader, not particularly stupid in my own opinion, and I walked away from this book feeling cheated and confused. Apparently I am the only person in the entire world who feels this way about this book, however.

    #10: I found the movie sort of meh – definitely an actress’s film rather than an audience’s – but passionately adored the book, and was mesmerized by his Specimen Days.

  3. I’ve got a very thick volume by Dubus on my TBR shelf.

  4. writeitalready

    ooooo! Sooo excited for your reads!
    The English Patient is a BIG book in my life story. I’ve reread it a couple of times and love it every time.
    The Hours: loved it (both versions). A quick read!
    Reading Lolita: I started but did not finish. Too academic for what I was going for at the time. I would like to pick it up again.

    My, but I do love a book list!

  5. writeitalready

    PS — That was me up there. Leah.

  6. I put #3 in my basket at Amazon for my next order.

    Oh, and thank Mr. Chili for the laptop cooling fan advice, I can’t believe this thing works as well as it does! 🙂

  7. Organic Mama

    Wow! #3 is in my shopping basket as well. can’t wait to dig in!

  8. I loved ‘Reading Lolita’ and Nafisi is so wonderful to hear if you ever get to see one of her speaking engagements. There is much you could mine for a comp class, in my humble opinion.

    I haven’t seen Hawke’s Hamlet yet, but I like the DiCaprio R+J–and I think it would work for HS as well.

    The Hours was better as a book, but the English Patient was better for me as a movie. Go figure.

    I own a Soer book, but have not cracked it open as of yet. Perhaps this year?

    I just finished ‘The Death and Life of the Great American School System’ by Ravitch and it was wonderful, as if you needed another to read book…

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