Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up for May 13, 2012: Work, Book Loot, and Book Indecision.

A stack from just ONE of my classes earlier this week!
I am in a really good place this week. I'm feeling like I am caught up with work and that I have some free time available! I was really behind on grading for a few weeks. I usually try to get things back to the kids within a day or two of collecting an assignment (except for essays. Those take a week or two). But somehow, I was WAY off. I blame trying to get a unit planned, etc for eating up my prep time. This past week, I was determined to get caught up. And catch up I did. The only things I brought home this weekend were an assignment I collected on Friday and the essays from my sophomores. That's an accomplishment! And I have vowed not to fall behind again!

Covering a lunch break for an employee in the booth.
I've also been working a few shifts at the park the last few weeks. I started back near the beginning of April, and spend both my weekend days there. It has been pretty low-key so far, as we don't get busy until June. But we've been working hard on finishing some maintenance issues, as well as prepping the trails for a busy season of 5K races, mountain bike races, and for our hikers and dog-walkers. We've also been training our new employees as they come back from college. Yesterday was especially exciting since we had some of our returners start up again.

Sparty and Lily cuddling earlier this week in the sunshine.
I really enjoy my time at the park. While sometimes it can get crazy busy, there is always something new going on. That's what I love about the job, even though it can drive me nuts sometimes!

In bookish news...

I've acquired quite a few books in recent weeks. A couple of lovely students chipped in to get me a generous gift card to Barnes and Noble last week (for Teacher Appreciation Week), so I went and bought some new releases I've been meaning to get to. I also picked up a few other things. To be honest, I really haven't bought much this year in an effort to keep my book acquisitions in line, but sometimes I go a little nuts. :)

From top to bottom, left to right:
  • Presence by Arthur Miller: I just finished The Crucible with my sophomores and loved it (again), so when I saw this collection of Miller's short stories, I was intrigued.
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth: I read Divergent last year and was intrigued enough to see where the story would go.
  • A Million Suns by Beth Revis: Again, I read the first book, Across the Universe, last year, and want to see where the story will head.
  • An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer: I was given an ARC by the publisher, but I loved the book so much that I bought a finished copy (need to support authors I like!). Hopefully I can meet Percer one day to get it signed.
  • The American Short Story: I've been reading a lot of short stories recently with my sophomores (for their American writer research project), and I want to keep on that trend. When I saw this huge collection for only $10 I had to grab it.
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver: I wasn't completely sold on Delirium, but after hearing lots of praise for the second in the trilogy, I decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I did as it was far better than the first book (except for the end. I didn't appreciate that Oliver). I actually read this one for the readathon a few weeks ago. Not sure if I am going to do a review...
  • Fever  by Lauren DeStefano: I bought Wither last year solely for the cover (I know, I know), but haven't read it yet. I do plan on reading the trilogy, but might just wait till the third comes out.
  • Symposium and Phaedrus by Plato: Plato has always intrigued me, and since this was there, I picked it up. :)
  • The Communist Manifesto and Other Revolutionary Writings: All I can say is that it looked interesting and while I have read parts of Marx's manifesto, I haven't read the whole thing.
  • Island by Aldous Huxley: I've been looking for a copy since I read Brave New World, so when I saw it, I grabbed it.
  • The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas: I call this my impulse buy. I eventually want to read it, but probably won't for a couple of years. What can I say, I wanted another classic to balance out all these YA titles!
  • The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson: Amanda convinced me to join in on a readalong for the trilogy (everyone has already finished the first book, so I have to catch up) so, I needed the books. Right? Right.
  • Two bookmarks: I bought the I Love Lucy one, since I love that show. The one with the kitten was a gift from my students. :)
There might be a couple more I've acquired in recent months, but I'm not positive!

And you would think, that with all those books I would be a reading fiend, and while I have been reading, I've been feeling pretty fickle towards the books on my shelves. I've been grabbing random titles off the shelf, reading 30-50 pages, then setting them aside in order to get to something else. It is starting to get out of control! I am currently in the middle of the following:
  • Clarissa by Samuel Richardson: Started it in April, and have read about 100 pages since the beginning of this month...which, in Richardson length, is no progress at all.
  • Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens: Started this in February and set it aside in March and April to focus on school reading and other projects. I've read another 50 pages or so, but can't seem to get as into it as I was in February.
  • Oedipus Rex by Sophocles: I started this right after I finished Antigone, but am only about 10-15 pages in. I should just finish it because of how short it is...
  • A Passage to India by E.M. Forster: I actually think my book stats post when up this past week, so I should probably finish this one first to save confusion....
  • The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf: I was craving Woolf the other night, so I sat down and read 40 pages before yes, setting it aside.
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson: I started this one last night to catch up on the readalong.
  • Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: I've been watching the series, and finally decided to take the first book to work at the park yesterday.
  • American Short Stories: This goes along with my school stuff, since my students are reading a ton of different short stories. I've been so excited to discover new ones right along with them!
  • Ender's Game  by Orson Scott Card: Technically I'll be done with this one by Tuesday morning, since my class who is reading this will finish it by then, but hey, I'm reading it again with them! 
 See how it's getting to be a problem? I know I should probably focus on a couple of these until they're finished, but I'm having a hard time concentrating on any one thing. I have never done this before, so I'm feeling a little stressed out about the books piled everywhere (it's also making Matt get a bit twitchy). My norm is to read a book or two at a time. I like to focus on one thing until I'm finished with it (I can hyper-focus like whoa), but I seem to be lacking that skill recently....

I know some of you do this...tell me, how do you balance reading so much at once? And for those of you who don't do this, what should I finish first?

Happy Reading everyone!


  1. I love book sprees! Yay. :)

    Miss chatting girl. This has been one ridiculous year. 18 more days! (Also good luck on getting a secured position for next year.)

  2. Confession: I got Pandemonium from the library, even though I wasn't wild about the first book, because I'd heard it was good (except for the end). I read a chapter or two and wasn't all that hooked, and suddenly, I had a really good idea what was going to happen at the end to make people all unappreciative and/or angry. I flipped to the back, verified that I was correct (and I was), and that was the end of that book for me. That ending ruined the only thing I really loved about the first book, and felt like a cheat. So I just returned it.

    At one point while book blogging, I used to have 4-5 books on the go at a single time, and it got nuts. It drove me crazy! Now, I generally never have more than two - one in print, one in audio, if that. Often, it's just one at a time, without much overlap. Whew!

    I would love to see your park! Parks with 5K trails are the best!

  3. You are reading or just purchased so many books I either love or really want to get to. Yay for Plato and Game of Thrones just to name two of them!

  4. Island by Huxley is an under-rated book. It's a great companion to Brave New World.

  5. WOW you're reading a lot of books at once! I do have phases like that but I try to keep it at two or three at the same time, just so I don't go crazy!

    In other news, I really like your new blog design! I thought I'd miss the green (just cause I was used to it and all...) but this is really pretty :)

  6. That's a lot of books to be in the middle of! I'm impressed! The only one I've read off that list is Game of Thrones but I've always wanted to read Passage to India. I try to read a 50 pages or so of a book at a time when I have a few going. It takes awhile but I finish a couple around the same time that way and feel accomplished.

  7. Sometimes I just force myself to keep reading the book I've currently picked up, not allowing myself to read what I "want" to read until after I finish the current book. It works for me simply because then I'm ten times more likely to finish the book I want to read.

    I just picked up Incarceron because I heard it was good. I'm only a few pages in and honestly I feel like it was all confusion because I could not picture what was going on. Have you read it? And if you have, does it get better? Because I feel like maybe I need to keep reading and see, but there are so many other books on my list right now, I want to drop it and move onto something else. What would you recommend?

  8. I'm one of those people who read a lot of books at once. I try to keep it to 3-4 at once, usually a classic/literary fiction work, a fluffier/lighter work, a non-fiction work, and some sort of project book. Sometimes it gets a little crazy I find myself in the middle of 10+ books. That's when I start freaking out and focusing on one at a time to just get through them. I just try not to read similar books at the same time so I can keep them all straight!

  9. "An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer: I was given an ARC by the publisher, but I loved the book so much that I bought a finished copy (need to support authors I like!). Hopefully I can meet Percer one day to get it signed."

    Good for you! I do this too, and then usually give away my ARCs (if I haven't marked them up too much). I read an ARC of The Emerald Atlas last year and LOVED it, so as soon as the book officially released, I went out and snagged it (so as to be sure I had a first edition in my library).

  10. Just continuing to browse your blog and Ender's Game and Game of Thrones caught my eye, both books I've reviewed on my blog in the last month. I'm interested to see what you think of them.