Book Review: The Screwtape Letters

So the reading plan for the end of home school co-op English 1 was a choose-your-own scenario. However, despite knowing all along how many weeks I had, my plan failed me and we did not have time for that whole thing. Instead, I chose for them a short book that would work well with the…

Book Review: The Ragamuffin Gospel

I first read this Christian book by the former Franciscan priest Brennan Manning in college. It was written in 1990 and I caught wind of it like ten years later. His life trajectory went something like: Depression-era-New Yorker; soldier; priest; uncloistered missionary to the poor; alcoholic; writer. The book came highly recommended to me (by…

Book Review: How to Eat a Poem

Another month, another book that I am reviewing because I taught it to my ninth grade(ish) co-op students. I can’t remember how I found this poetry anthology last summer, but I am sure glad that I did. Rather than have to pull poems from the whole world of poetry or require the students to purchase…

Book Review: Cyrano de Bergerac

I read this play by Edmond Rostand at this moment in time (after having to read it way back in high school) because the movie was coming out and it looked so good. Unfortunately, the movie has come out and Amazon wants $20 for me to rent it. Ah, well. It will come down some…

Book Review: Love in the Time of Cholera

I read this book last month because it was the first book on the Valentine’s Day List. It was also a book I already owned, so… free. It is also a book that I have already read, though judging from the Border’s receipt inside, I read it in 2002, some time before I began writing…

Book Review: The Non-Planner Datebook

I am a fan of Keri Smith’s books. They’re not novels, they’re journals or activity books of sorts. I think they get called “anti-journaling”? Among her most famous titles are: Wreck This Journal This Is Not a Book Finish This Book Mess Guerilla Art Kit How to Be an Explorer of the World Tear Up…

Journaling for a New Year

I have boarded the dot/bullet journaling train. Let me explain. First, there is some argument about whether or not it is called dot journaling or bullet journaling and about whether or not those are the same thing. From what I can tell, they can be used interchangeably to refer to journaling in a blank book…

Book Review: Dear Ijeawele

We’re weeks into the new year (already!) and I have done some New Years reading (which is mostly planners). I did pick a book from my New Years best books, but I was mostly getting myself all ready for a transition into dot journaling. Please don’t just hear that and run away. I’ll review the…

Christmas Book Reviews

Let’s just wrap up this year (which ended a few days ago, now) with a triple-review of Christmas-related reading. (For my original list of Christmas recommended reading—from which I pulled these titles for this year—click HERE.) And off we go… THE GREATEST GIFT The Greatest Gift is the story on which the movie It’s a…

Book Review: The Nest

Before I get to the Christmas reviews (and try to bang them out this week before we get to the new year), I have a book that I read for Thanksgiving. Yes, Thanksgiving does have some books. Well, sorta. Certainly there is not a huge amount of them (like Thanksgiving movies and let’s not even…

Book Review: Gods and Heroes

I have wrapped up the mythology unit in my Freshman English co-op class with American Born Chinese. Now it’s time to review the book that I used as the cornerstone of the unit. It might surprise you, but I went with Gods and Heroes: Mythology Around the World by Korwin Briggs. Of course, this won’t…

Book Review: The Witches

I know most of you can empathize, but it has been a busy season. I hosted Thanksgiving for thirteen and I go all out (and then multiply what you were thinking by ten), my daughter’s birthday fell the day before this year, we are still in a pandemic, I have Christmas to make happen on…

Book Review: The Song of Achilles

I have been reading Greek mythology lately. I have been teaching mythology to a small classroom of approximately-ninth-grade boys and I have, as a rabbit trail, plunged into book after book of Greek mythology. It was always a subject that interested me. (The truth is that just about everything in English 1 interested and still…

Book Review: Beowulf Graphic Novel

Ya’ll like gore? Blood? Torsos ripped in half by dripping, in-side-out monsters? Go no further than Beowulf in almost any iteration. The original epic. The 2007 movie. And this Gareth Hinds graphic novel, though it’s probably the easiest to swallow because it is cartoon-y and meant for a younger audience. Still… Beowulf is a true…