Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up for February 20, 2011: Outta the Rut Readathon, New Books (yes, again), and Reading Plans.

What a week!

I have felt like this past week was a super long week. The kids felt it too. I am glad that we have Monday and Tuesday off for mid-winter break. I think we all need to recharge so we can push through till their spring break in April.

We finished reading Of Mice and Men and The Glass Castle in the classes I am teaching and had some great discussions about both books. The kids really seemed to like them and as we move on into their paper assignments, I hope that feeling continues. My sophomores were especially into the ending in Of Mice and Men, since they didn't expect it. But we had a great conversation about the end of the book and what it meant. It was great to talk books with them. :)

Earlier this week, I was feeling kind of grumptastic about my lack of reading recently. It seems that beyond my read-along titles, I have made little progress on my project list. I can also attribute that to the fact I am teaching full-time, but it is frustrating to not see progress. I was thinking about having a mini-readathon this weekend when I saw Christina's post that she was also in a rut. We decided to have a readathon and invited whoever wanted to join in fr a day or two this weekend to do so. And I feel that I should point out that she is responsible for the fun name and button.

Yesterday was not a good kick-off to my unofficial readathon. I failed...miserably at making a lot of progress. I did manage to finish the last 150 pages of Oliver Twist and start Siddhartha last night, but I was so run down from having a migraine Friday night/Saturday morning, that I didn't get any further than that.

I am feeling much better today. After posting this, I am going to spend a half hour reading some other Sunday morning posts, finishing breakfast with the hubby, then snuggling down on the couch with my tea and my pile of books. Matt is working this afternoon and all night, so I should be able to get a lot done. Besides, he is taking the Jeep and its 4-wheel drive, so I will be stranded here anyway (We're supposed to get snow and ice today-his car is a little Neon and doesn't handle well in the snow, whereas my Jeep likes to play in snow and ice). I figure that since I am stuck here anyway, I really have no excuse. Right? I'll be posting periodically during the day to let you know how I am doing.

In bigger news, my mom and I went to a local Borders that is closing to see about their sales yesterday. Everything was only 20% off. I showed some restraint seeing as I went into the store with a GIGANTIC list, but I still walked away with a lot of classic titles. I only picked up books in mass market size, since that seemed the only way to get good value out of it (let's be honest, we can get books for 20% off on Amazon or Book Depository, or any other online book site). My mom is going to be watching for when they reduce even further. I have a long list of YA titles (for future reading-I promise!) and larger editions that were simply too expensive to buy yesterday. Mom is going to hook me up! :)

Anyway, here is what I walked away with, plus three books Matt picked up for me earlier in the week:

I know they are kind of hard to see. Let's start with that back row on the left hand side:
  • Anthem by Ayn Rand: Amanda at The Zen Leaf was saying that this would probably be the only Rand title she would read (or start with). And after reading what it is about, I definitely agree. Rand is scary, but this one seems accessible.
  • We the Living by Ayn Rand: I figured why not? :)
  • The Red Pony by John Steinbeck: I am loving all of the Steinbeck I have been reading and I needed to add more to my collection. I know nothing about this little title, but I am intrigued!
  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck: See above!
  • Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck: I have seen lots of reviews about this one on quite a few blogs, so I am excited to get to it.
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver: This is one Matt picked up for me. I had been talking about how this new title sounded so interesting and right up my alley, so he bought it for me. He's a sweetie, huh? I might try and read it tomorrow.
  • Pygmalion and My Fair Lady by George Bernard Shaw: This was another great steal and again, two more plays that I have heard a lot about.
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee: I have had the hardest time finding a copy of this, so as soon as I saw it, I grabbed it. I think I will get to this one sooner rather than later.
  • The Pathfinder by James Fenimore Cooper: Another one of the "Leatherstocking Tales," I have had a hard time finding a copy of this one as well.
  • The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson: This is another one that looked really intriguing and that I simply couldn't pass up.
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya: I have been searching for this title every time I go into a book store, but like a few other titles on here, I was having a really hard time finding a copy. So glad I grabbed it.
  • The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle: I have always been fascinated by King Arthur and Arthurian legends, so I am excited to dive into this at a future time.
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle: See above. :)
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare: This is one of the three Matt got me. I am slowly collecting all of Shakespeare's works so I can read all of them. This is something I have always wanted to do, so I am slowly going to!
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare: See above. :)
  • Henry VIII by William Shakespeare: I grabbed this one at Borders. There were more....but I've kind of forgotten which ones I still need to get and I didn't want to buy a repeat. But I knew I didn't have this one.
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair: I have heard so many things about this one...and I can't wait to read it. The woman in front of me in line told me I'll never want to eat meat again, but we'll see.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams: I have the hardest time finding this one as well, so it needed to come home with me.
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams: See above. :)
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: I thought I had a copy of this one, but when I went looking for it, I couldn't find it. Apparently not? So this little edition also found a home with me.
I did up confessing to Matt when he got home yesterday about my new editions....and yes, he was a little grumpy with me. I am on a book buying ban for the next month to make up for this...unless my mom finds some of my titles at the closing Borders. But, I think I have acquired quite a few books in the last month and I do need to stop my acquisitions and read a bit, yes? My classics shelf is completely full, so I need to get some reading done before I buy anymore...

(I will point out that I have a box on its way from Amazon with another 6 books I got a week or so ago. whoops).

Anyway, I am off to go read some blogs before diving back into my book pile for the weekend. My goals for today are to finish Siddhartha and read one of the two YA titles on my shelf (Across the Universe and Delirium). I also want to start another class-any ideas what I should go for?

Happy Reading!


  1. Okay Allie, I'm logging off of my computer, showering, dropping off my tax papers and then it's READING. :) I'll check in this afternoon and see how you're doing.

    Hope you like Hesse!


  2. I picked up quite a few books yesterday also. They were books of authors that I have come to love; the books were wrote before I came to love them. So I went ahead got those that they only had one copy of, to add to my collection. I agree 20% off isn't alot, but then again, I acquired books that I wanted to get. Now I can't wait for the big markdowns to come, then hopefully, I will be able to acquire some more ;).

    Just tell Matt that unfortunately(for him) you picked up one of my traits-acquiring books.

    Love, Mom

  3. Oh, I hope my local Borders doesn't close. . . .I thought they were supposed to be buying out Barnes & Noble. I'm still on a book-buying ban but if they close I strongly suspect I'll be breaking it.

  4. I wasn't a huge fan of 'Tortilla Flat', but I really enjoyed 'The Red Pony' - when I read it in high school (or maybe middle school - it's been a while).

    I'm curious to know more about James Fennimor Cooper. I have 'Last of the Mohicans' on my shelf but have not gotten around to it.

    Nice haul - I'm also on a ban from my spouse. I keep trying to take over her bookshelf, with no success. ;)

  5. Ohh great haul of books and I hope you have a productive reading weekend!

    Anthem is definitely an easy Rand to start with, very 1984ish but easier to read, I hope you enjoy it.

    I also LOVED delirium, and both the williams are great, so I look forward to your reviews of those, I read them in highschool and really loved them. I was thinking of picking up the glass menagerie this year maybe.

    happy reading!

  6. So I love STeinbeck, but I admit The Red Pony and The Pearl are the two I've read by him that I absolutely despise. I tend not to like his short works. Ah well. And I'm afraid that Delirium just didn't work for me. It was okay, but not nearly as good as I expected. :(

  7. I've gotten a lot lately too. I can think of 13 just over the last couple weeks... wait make that 16. I've kind of had a rough couple weeks and I always deal by buying books. A bad habit I acquired from my mother (although she deals by buying clothes).

  8. That's an amazing haul of books! I'm so jealous... The Steinbecks and the Williamses are all amazing, and I've seen the film version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and it was pretty awesome... disturbing and tense, but awesome!
    I'm on a bit of a book buying ban, but mainly because I have no money haha

  9. I just found out last week that Borders was restructuring through bankruptcy and the closing of around 200 of its 659 stores across the country. You can check to see if a store near you is closing at the following link:

    The store near my area is not closing, which is a good thing overall, but I am jealous of those of you who will be able to get good discounts in the near future.

    Awesome book haul, Allie! :)