Book Review: Life of Pi

I have read Life of Pi a couple of times and I like it. I have reasons, and I’ll give them to you in a sec. I also always leave it a little disappointed. I think my main beef with this book is that Yann Martel tried too hard to sell us his perceived moral.…

Book Review: Lyddie

Lyddie was another in a line of middle grades historical fiction that I have read as the Middle School Language Arts teacher at the homeschool co-op I am a part of. I’ve been more impressed by the selections for this year (part of a writing curriculum based on Modern History as opposed to last year’s…

Book Review: Outlander

Well! There are gushing reviews of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and there are scathing reviews of Outlander. No one expects it to be literary fiction—it’s popular fiction—though many claim it is great historical fiction (though it incorporates time travel), but the real discrepancy revolves around “rape culture.” I would say one out of ten, maybe…

Book Review: A Christmas Memory

When I finally—after years of meaning to read it—ordered Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory from eBay, I did not expect what I got. Full disclosure: I have not read Capote, ever. I have meant to, of course, but have never gotten around to it. Yet. My impression, however, is true crime with a literary swagger.…

Book Review: Home Cooking

I have a new favorite food writer and—like my other favorite food writer, Bert Greene—she is someone you don’t hear about every day. She whisked into my life with an aroma of days gone by and required me to do a little searching for her titles. (I still have one last Greene book that I…

Book Review: Greenglass House

Another week, another middle grades book under the bridge. It is true: I seem to read almost nothing but middle grades book these days. You’re just going to have to take my word for it that I have much wider interests in literature than middle grades books. However, between curriculum-writing for seventh and eighth grade…

Book Review: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

A couple months in to school, and this is the third book I am assigning for my middle grades Language Arts class which is also studying Modern History. The first two books were a moderate win, so I thought it would be too much to hope for another success, and yet… This book was even…

Book Review: In the Reign of Terror

I have been really enjoying history, lately. Perhaps it’s my age showing. Perhaps it’s my way of dealing with the overwhelming amount of “history” that’s happening to us right now. It makes me feel like I have more perspective and I also feel like I relate to the people on the pages of history more…