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(no subject) [Sep. 4th, 2016|02:04 pm]
one thing at a time
Jane Eyre, YA fiction by Charlotte Bronte, reread.

Sense & Sensibility, YA fiction by Jane Austen, reread.

Invisible Man, Got The Whole World Watching, YA memoir by Mychal Denzel Smith.

A Deadly Wandering, YA nonfiction by Matt Richtel.
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(no subject) [Aug. 6th, 2016|10:13 pm]
one thing at a time
We Love You, Charlie Freeman, young-adult fiction by Kaitlyn Greenidge.

When Panic Attacks, nonfiction for adults by David Burns.

Manchild in the Promised Land, autobiographical fiction for adults by Claude Brown.

Come To Africa and Save Your Marriage, short stories for adults by Maria Thomas. Dreadful.

My Life As A Whale, adult fiction by Dyan Sheldon. Even worse.

Far From The Madding Crowd, adult fiction by Thomas Hardy, sneering and unlikable.

The Old Man and the Sea, adult fiction by Ernest Hemingway, reread.

Blindness, adult fiction by Jose Saramago.

Jane Eyre, adult fiction, more or less, by Charlotte Bronte, reread.

Homegoing, adult fiction by Yaa Gyasi.

Back in work...
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(no subject) [Jun. 24th, 2016|04:03 am]
one thing at a time
The Kite Runner, essentially YA by Khaled Hosseini. We will not be teaching this.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, nonfiction by Bryan Stevenson. Recommended.

Rebecca, adult fiction by Daphne DuMaurier, reread.

I'll Give You The Sun, YA by Jandy Nelson: Came via e-hold, long after I'd forgotten why I wanted it or what it was. What's wrong with YA is that I knew by the second sentence, due entirely to pat, stylized, aggressively subjective narration apparently uninterested in what people do, think, or feel.

Delicious Foods, adult fiction by James Hannaham, strange, frustrating, disturbing, sometimes ridiculous. Worth reading, worth teaching, not necessarily a good read.

The Invention of Wings, adult fiction by Sue Monk Kidd, recommended by my father. Slavery and the lives of black people as plot complications for the self-actualization of whiteness. The white protagonist is historical; her black slave is invented, but just barely.
The ONE Thing, next-to-unreadable business-help gibberish by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.

Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail, adult fiction by Louise Shivers, slight but strong.

The Mill on the Floss, adult fiction by George Eliot.

A Little Life, adult fiction by Hanya Yanagihara. Like several novels stapled together. The first one is so, so good; by the end we're halfway to Hannibal territory.

The Bluest Eye, adult fiction by Toni Morrison, reread for teaching.
Woman At Point Zero, adult fiction by Nawal El Saadawi, translated by Sherif Hetata, for school.

Running a Thousand Miles to Freedom, slave narrative by Ellen and William Craft. Includes the intriguing and new-to-me claim or rhetorical claim that white children were, perhaps frequently, kidnapped and sold as light-skinned slaves.

Station Eleven, adult fiction by Emily St. John Mandel: The Stand as rewritten by a very ambitious teenager who writes well but doesn't have kids or understand why grownups do things and who also really liked Cloud Atlas. Not unenjoyable as fanfiction.

On vacation...
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(no subject) [Apr. 10th, 2016|05:42 pm]
one thing at a time
Veronika Decides to Die, adult fiction by Paulo Coelho, mistakenly recommended by Amy.

Riding Lessons, adult fiction by Sara Gruen, mistakenly recommended by my father.

Satin Island, adult fiction by Tom McCarthy, sorta cool at the time, but barely remembered.

Ever, young-adult fiction by Gail Carson Levine, ideologically intriguing.

Disgruntled, adult fiction by Asali Solomon, see below.

Brain On Fire, memoir for adults by Susannah Cahalan, sloppy enough to bring out my inner Professor Kirke.

The Memory of Light, self-help pamphlet for young adults by Francisco X. Stork, which would be fine if he didn't go around calling it a story.

Lessons That Change Writers, teacher development by Nancie Atwell, increasingly removed from any sense of what goes on in classrooms in the real world.

Read and Succeed: Practices to Support Reading Skills in African American Boys, teacher development by Terry Husband. Really just an outline of practices that support reading skills, with find+replace "African American boys" for "students" -- thus most likely a crucially useful exercise for the majority of trainee teachers.

Lit Up: One Reporter, Three Schools, and Eighteen Books That Can Change Lives, nonfiction for adults by David Demby. He's stunned that these young people, some of them brown or black, some of them even female, are almost as smart as he was when he was fifteen. Also features a quick three-paragraph dismissal of the tedious proposal that a course on American literature might possibly bother to include any nonwhite nonmale writers. Dickish.

The Kite Runner, young-adult fiction by Khaled Hosseini. Like the Harry Potter books and The Da Vinci Code, it's probably pretty amazing if you've never read a book before.

The Residue Years, adult fiction by Mitchell S. Jackson, see below.

(I'm in a reading streak of brand-new black-authored fiction that dazzles me with craft, breaks my heart, then frustrates the shit out of my childish desire for satisfyingly redemptive beginning-middle-end. Pretty sure that's the sort of the point?)
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(no subject) [Feb. 15th, 2016|10:08 am]
one thing at a time
Song of Solomon, adult fiction by Toni Morrison, probable reread.

Boys Into Men: Raising Our African-American Teenage Sons, nonfiction for adults by Nancy Boyd-Franklin and A.J. Franklin.

Outline, adult fiction by Rachel Cusk. Slippery. Good.

The Mare, adult fiction by Mary Gaitskill. A meaningful exercise for the writer, perhaps better left unpublished.

All-American Boys, young-adult fiction by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. 
The Price of Salt, adult fiction by Patricia Highsmith. 

Sold, young-adult fiction by Patricia McCormick.

A Small Place, polemic for adults by Jamaica Kincaid. 
The Seven Good Years, memoir for adults by Etgar Keret, translated from Hebrew. 

Outlander, fiction for adults who are women and therefore basically children, by Diana Gabaldon. 

Revolutionary Road, fiction for adults who are men and therefore hate everything and are miserable, by Richard Yates. 

Bloodchild, short stories for adults by Octavia Butler. 
Beautiful Ruins, adult fiction by the wildly inconsistent Jess Walter.

The Hired Girl, middle-grades fiction by Laura Amy Schlitz, pedestrian.
The God of Small Things, adult fiction by Arundhati Roy. Lots of people like it, but for me it fails to provide a reading experience different from or deeper than the information on the back cover. 

Unread: I Been In Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All The Pots, adult fiction by Susan Straight, abandoned the instant I realized she lacked even the claim on me of authenticity.
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(no subject) [Dec. 3rd, 2015|10:22 am]
one thing at a time
Mostly for work, for one reason or another:

Waiting for the Barbarians, adult fiction by J.M. Coetzee.

The Things They Carried, adult fiction by Tim O'Brien, reread.

Native Son, adult fiction by Richard Wright, reread.

Black Boy, autobiography by Richard Wright, including the American Hunger section, which was new to me.

The Crucible, play for adults, probably, by Arthur Miller, reread.

Train to Pakistan, adult fiction by Khushwant Singh.

Good to Great, nonfiction for adults by Jim Collins, reread.

100 Essays I Don't Have Time To Write, nonfiction for adults by Sarah Ruhl, gift from Jeff.

Flying Home: Seven Stories of the Secret City, fiction for adults by David Nicholson.

Their Eyes Were Watching God, adult fiction by Zora Neale Hurston, reread, but this was my first time loving it.

God Help the Child, adult fiction by Toni Morrison, although it might as well not have been.

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, short stories for adults by Danielle Evans.

And probably some other stuff I don't remember.
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(no subject) [Sep. 20th, 2015|02:33 pm]
one thing at a time
The Blazing World, adult fiction by Siri Hustvedt. 

Heart of Darkness, adult fiction by Joseph Conrad, reread for teaching. 

The Bluest Eye, adult fiction by Toni Morrison, same. 

Fist Stick Knife Gun, young-adult nonfiction in my opinion, by Geoffrey Canada, for advisory.

And some others, probably. 
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(no subject) [Aug. 19th, 2015|04:10 pm]
one thing at a time
A God In Ruins, adult fiction by Kate Atkinson.

Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, adult fiction, more or less, by Stephen King.

As a result, Rabbit, Run, adult fiction by John Updike.

Between The World and Me, nonfiction for adults, and for my students, by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Interpreter of Maladies, short stories for adults by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Working, therefore probably missing one or two.
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(no subject) [Jul. 11th, 2015|03:17 pm]
one thing at a time
Sula, adult fiction by Toni Morrison, reread.

Medicine Walk, adult fiction by Richard Wagamese, terrible. Like a high school student tried to mimic it.

Most useful parenting reread: The Nursing Mother's Companion, also my new go-to pregnancy gift. Orderly and wholehearted.
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(no subject) [Jun. 29th, 2015|07:58 am]
one thing at a time
Begun and abandoned: Brick Lane, adult fiction by Monica Ali, and another whose name I forget, both for gratuitous death of beloved child, once at the one-third mark, once on page four.

Why We Broke Up, young-adult fiction by Daniel Handler. In which the smart kids quote old movies and the football player has never met a smart girl before. She's, like, interested in stuff. It's readable, in its way, but it's so, so old.

Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood, nonfiction for adults by Karen Maezen Miller. She makes a style and a voice out of the insistence that her experience is universal; she's wrong in ways both trivial and fundamental, and she doesn't seem to care.

Lost Memory of Skin, adult fiction by Russell Banks. The Stephen King gold star for characters who live and breathe; if there's a meaning here, I'm not sure I like it, but I'm also not sure I need one.

The Tightrope Walkers, marketed as young-adult fiction, by David Almond, but there is absolutely nothing that constitutes this text as appropriate for young adults, either in content or in perspective, excepting possibly the inexplicably happy ending. As a novel, in its own right, it's not half bad.
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