Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up for September 4, 2011: Thank You, Giveaways, and Book Loot.

Wow, what a week. In addition to the events going on here on the blog, which I'll get to in a minute, I had a crazy busy week. I reported to the school I am long-term subbing at on Tuesday for a couple of days of Professional Development. And while I got something of out of about half the sessions, some were a little awkward for me (like the union/pay scale session. That doesn't apply to me at all since I am paid by a private company for subbing). But, it was fine and I did get to see the teachers from last year's school during one PD session (I am subbing in the same district, but at a different high school).

I also had some meetings with some other teachers to figure out what I am doing. My classes are very similar to what I taught last year. Again, I am teaching sophomore English and senior English. The senior class is only a semester, so I am fairly familiar with the content (the teacher I am covering for has never taught it!). As for the sophomores, it is a year-long course, so I am basically teaching the other half of what I already taught. Not too shabby. The one new course I am teaching is Government, but I am rather excited to dive in!

I already have things prepped and ready to go for the first week, so I am ready to get to it. I also have a firm ending date in place, so I will only be there for 12 weeks (I am done the Tuesday before Thanksgiving). After that? Who knows! All I know is that I am excited to be in a classroom for a little while and to have students again!

In blog news...

This week I celebrated my blogversary with a bunch of giveaways. There are still a couple open, so go enter before midnight tonight for a chance to win. I'll announce all the winners in one big post tomorrow.

I wanted to say thank you to all of you who have supported me in the last two years. I think I would have gone completely crazy without this project and blog to rely on. I started it because I needed to find purpose and do something with my life. I think I am accomplishing that, one book at a time.

Two years ago I considered myself a good and solid reader, with a lot of titles under my belt. I was proud of the numbers of books I read and how important reading was to me. I laugh at the old me now. It has only been through reading 112 classic books that I have truly discovered who I am as a person and what I truly love. I know I am not the same person I was two years ago, and I fully attribute that to the material I am reading. I don't know if I could have handled some of the things I have in these past two years without these reading experiences to back me up. I know that may sound silly, to say that books have had that kind of healing impact on me as a person, but it is very, very true. Words heal.

Here's to many more years of reading and loving the classics.

I have acquired quite a few books over the last month. I feel like I should emphasize the word MONTH because I don't want you all to think I have gone insane. Well, I probably have.

Anyway, there are a few Borders closing nearby. Some people might believe that going in and buying books at hugely discounted prices is rather Vultureish. I don't agree. For me, I see buying those books as a way of rescuing them. I find the whole ordeal depressing-bookstores closing-but I am going to save some of those books if I can. And many of the titles I picked up had some dust on them, so who else would save them but me?

So here is what I've gotten in the last month or so... (Oh, and I am not typing out titles and authors since there are so many can click on the pictures to make them larger).

This is the most recent haul. Matt took me on Friday to our nearest store. The only book not pictured was a surprise he got for me-a huge guide to the TV show "I Love Lucy." It has been my favorite since I was maybe 6 or 7. I own the whole series on DVD and can quote every episode. I was excited. Oh, and I am in love with the big Mark Twain collection on the bottom left (it has his humour pieces!!). That book was a SCORE.

These are the goodies I got from Melville House for participating in The Art of the Novella Challenge. I was pretty excited about winning, and I cannot wait to read these (especially the Turgenev-I LOVED the other title I read by him (Fathers and Sons)).

This is the big pile, and is the result of my mother and me shopping at two different Borders a couple of weeks ago (I feel I should point out that this was taken at my parents house. I was worried about bringing them home and making Matt angry, but he wasn't!). While a few of these books wound up in some of my blogversary giveaways, most were just for me. :) I was most excited to find the Persephone title (first time I have seen one in a store-except for the one I found "used" a year or so ago). I was also excited about the two lesser-known Gaskell titles on the bottom left, as well as the copy of Birdsong by Sebastian Faulk (top middle). I had been looking for a copy since I began the project two years ago and was about to give up!

And the pile on the right is for funzies. :)

Anyway, that's my book loot. Matt has given me permission to go to ONE MORE store before Borders finally closes their doors, and then I am done with book purchasing until next year. Yeah, you read that right, NEXT YEAR. I really shouldn't complain. I have more than enough on my shelves to last me a long while, so it isn't as though I NEED more books. But, you know...I get that book buying itch. :)

So how was your week? Did you read this whole thing? If you did, pat yourself on the back-you deserve it. ;)


  1. Gorgeous book loot! And I agree, reading can change you, it's a constant exploration, isn't it! Here's to another 2 years at least!

  2. Haha, do you think you'll make it through four months without buying any books?? :D

  3. YAY, I'm thrilled for you and your subbing job!

  4. I've been buying books at Borders too, though it still makes me sad. You got some great stuff though! I also got one of the hardcover Penguins, Middlemarch, but I don't think the cover is terribly pretty. And I bought a bunch of Willa Cather as well -- but I'm sadly, none of our Borders had anything by Gaskell that I didn't already own. Marchioness is a good Persephone, and I actually bought that one at Borders also. I've only ever seen Miss Pettigrew in a big-box store, though I did find Mariana by Monica Dickens at a fabulous indie store in Austin, TX.

    Now my shelves are bursting also, I think I can refrain from buying any more books but what will I put on my Christmas wish list?

  5. I'm jealous of your Mark Twain finds!! I'm on a bit of a book ban too - self-imposed. :(

    Books have changed me too, and I'm only to #56. (I did not consider myself at all well-read before I started.)

    I'm glad you're feeling great about this place, Allie. It really is life-changing. And congrats on the sub job! I know you're excellent at it. You inspire me on the "tough' reads, and why it's important to give them time on my list. So I know you're amazing in the classroom. :-)

  6. I noticed Child of the Prophecy on your fun stack, and I can't say enough good things about Marillier. I absolutely DEVOURED the entire Sevenwaters serious back in January. However, you do need to read them in order! Child of the Prophecy is number 3, so if you don't have Daughter of the Forest (#1) and Son of the Shadows (#2, my favorite) then you need to find a way to get them. They're SO good!

  7. Congratulations on your two years! I love going to the book store, so when you decide to go for your last time ;)), let me know, I'll come along. I love having books just appear on my shelfs-LOL.
    Love, Mom

  8. What great Borders loot! You're almost tempting me to go back, although I'm not sure my store has quite that much good left in stock. I did pick up a copy of Sylvia's Lover's, too, though!

  9. I'm so glad for your new job! It is amazing!
    Also, Matt is awesome. Truly. Seriously. Awesome!

    I was asked to help with a little English literature workshop/class ata primarty school... and I'm worried because some (most) of the kids don't even read in Spanish! Any advice?

    Have a nice week!

  10. Woohoo! So excited for your book loot! :D

  11. wow! some great finds! I'm with Amanda...I suspect 4 months will be a bit long for you to resist buying books!