Here are this month's questions:
1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it.
I just finished the Welcome to Night Vale novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. I'd listened to a few episodes of the podcast a while back after seeing some of Celeste's doodles inspired by the show and wondering who Cecil and Carlos were and why Tumblr was so obsessed with them! I didn't get obsessed with it, but I appreciated the weird, Lovecraftian surrealism - probably my favorite Night Vale offshoot is their Twitter account, actually. I didn't know about the book until a few of my fellow Female Geek Bloggers mentioned it, and then saw it under my library's new eBook releases. Just as the podcast took me a few episodes to appreciate, it took me a few chapters to get into the book, which focuses on two mysteriously connected characters, perpetually 19-year-old pawn shop owner Jackie and single mom (to a shapeshifting teenage boy) Diane. They live in the utterly weird desert town "where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep." The book's mystery begins when a bland-looking man in a tan jacket gives Jackie a piece of paper she can't put down, and a similarly forgettable man goes missing from Diane's office (Evan? Ethan? Everett? What was that guy's name again?). The trouble with living in Night Vale is knowing when something weird is actually weird enough to be worried about.
2. Have you ever read a book that made you want to immediately travel to that destination?
Nothing comes to mind automatically, but in college I desperately wanted to move to New York and I think it was because I was reading large quantities of "chick lit," like The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, where the main characters were usually in low-level publishing jobs in the city.
3. What is your ideal reading spot? (Ex. Reading nook in a library, in bed, in a hammock on the beach, etc)
I guess I should say my zebra chair in my classroom, because I love reading to my kiddos every chance I get, but I can't lie, my end of the sofa is indented lower than Mr. Q's because it's the perfect cozy spot to read, usually early in the morning or late at night. However, my all-time favorite reading spot anywhere in the world is the McGregor Room in Alderman Library at UVa - the closest I'll ever get to the Gryffindor Common Room. I also spent a lot of time lying on the grass with a book in the Ampitheatre on sunny days when I was in college. As a tween reader, it was this spot at my local public library.
4. If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be?
I can't even think of a new name for this blog, but I think my memoir would need to be called 30 Going on 13 because teaching middle school is the biggest part of my life, I love puns, and my students are my heart and soul (and best source of funny stories and quotes like, "School food is for hobos.")
5. One of our great literary giants has recently passed, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. Did you read the book? Thoughts/opinions. What about Go Set a Watchman?
I have a cat named Scout; what do you think? TKAM was required reading in 10th grade advanced English at my school, and even though most of my classmates were overwhelmed by the length and serious subject matter, I got hooked (it helped that my mom had already shown me the movie!). I can still remember my teacher describing it as a "perfect book" and explaining that she meant that there wasn't a single word or phrase in the novel that didn't need to be there. Since then, I've always tried to remember that good writing should be succinct. I did read Go Set a Watchman, and while I wasn't blown away by it in a literary sense I could really relate to Scout's struggle - when you grow up, how do you continue to love your family members once you see that they are flawed?
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