Sunday, May 25, 2014

on book 23.

book 23 of 60: one fine potion: the literary magic of harry potter by greg garrett

date started: 5.7.2014
date completed: 5.23.2014

i'm currently developing a harry potter class grounded in narratology, so i picked this book up hoping for a good biblical allegorical interpretation.

i got that and more.

garrett approaches the harry potter series through a christian lens, yes, but he does so in a fair and honest way.  instead of the preachy-ness i feared i would find and have found to be the case in many books of this kind, i discovered a rational and refreshing argument.

in addition, garrett expounded on the texts through the four levels of interpretation found in thomas aquinas' summa theologica, one of my favorite texts.

while i did find his interpretation at the tropological level a bit weak, overall this is an interesting and compelling read.  it is well written and contains some really terrific ideas and sources.

probable next read:  lost at sea: the jon ronson mysteries by jon ronson (whom i REALLY don't enjoy over the course of an entire book, so we'll see how short articles strike me...we'll see)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

the adventures of flat kristy.

meet flat kristy.

flat kristy's 40th birthday is today, so she decided to take a trip to texas to visit with her family in the days leading up to the big 4-0.

after she arrived, flat kristy spent some time hanging out around the house with her family.  she watched some tele and smooched on some puppies.

later, she took a trip to lowes with her mom and sister to pick out some new plants for the garden.
 then it was time to garden (flat kristy's favorite!).  first she checked out this year's tomato crop:
then she helped trim some herbs:
just when she thought her gardening adventure was over, she met a new friend:
after she was done with her garden chores, flat kristy assisted her sister with dehydrating the herbs they picked.  she was thrilled with the result:
the next day, flat kristy accompanied her mom and sister to the grocery store, where she found her favorite soda:
then it was time for some fun.  first, she had dinner with a few friends at a local restaurant. because flat kristy can't get enough tex-mex, she chose cristina's mexican:

then it was off to the bookstore to see what they could find.  flat kristy was quite taken with the true crime section:
then, it was off to meet some more friends for a late showing of godzilla:
 before the movie started, though, flat kristy got into a raging argument with a friend about which is better, orcs or elfs.  flat kristy plainly lost (her elf argument was simply invalid):
the next day, she grabbed lunch with her sister at mesquite barbeque:
then flat kristy tried to help nick find a new house:
after an exhaustive search with no luck, flat kristy, her mom, sister, and nick had dinner at her favorite (and most missed restaurant), pappasitos.  flat kristy enjoyed the whole experience, from picking out what she wanted to eat:
 to snacking on chips and salsa:
to eating a delicious meal:
to enjoying a wonderful dessert and drink:
flat kristy may have gotten a bit too carried away with dessert, though:
but she pulled it together (despite being SO FULL!), and took a selfie with the family:
but, the highlight of the evening came later when flat kristy was serenaded by a mariachi band:
all in all, it was a wonderful few days.

happy birthday, flat kristy!

*nick said you will pay for this come july...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

on book 22.

book 22 of 60: it happened on the way to war: a marine's path to peace by rye barcott

date started: 5.6.2014
date completed: 5.17.201

this book was selected by the common book committee on my campus as our campus-wide common book for 2014-2015.  that means that professors throughout the campus will adopt it in their classes, structure assignments around it, and that special events will be held all year long in relation to the book and its content.

i was extremely skeptical about this book.

i'm not usually one for military-based narratives, so i wasn't initially thrilled with the selection, but i went ahead and adopted it and began reading.

while the writing isn't wonderful and can be a bit self-indulgent at times (the writer was in his 20s at the time, so, you know, kind of excusable i guess), the story is so compelling that it takes over.

about a man who, in the last year of his college career before heading into deployment as a marine, visited the kibera slum in kenya and founded a community development organization due to his experiences there, the book weaves the stories of kibera and the USMC together quite effectively.

the book delves into topics like ethnic conflict, war-time mentality, good v. evil, and personal growth and development.

this book contains a rich tapestry of life lessons, and i look forward to working it into my curriculum.

probable next read:  the death cure by james dashner

Thursday, May 15, 2014

on book 21.

book 21 of 60: life after life by kate atkinson

date started: 5.6.2014
date completed: 5.15.2014

very interesting book that was not at all what i thought it would be.

basically the groundhog day of books, the protagonist, ursula, repeats her life until she gets it right.  and there are nazis., that happens.

all in all this is a very british book that i think i enjoyed.

probable next read:  it happened on the way to way by rye barcott

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

on book 20.

book 20 of 60: the coldest girl in coldtown by holly black

date started: 4.30.2014
date completed: 5.4.2014

best. book. ever.

worst. book-hangover. ever.

seriously.  this book is AWESOME.  entertaining from the very first page--funny, dark, gross, a little bit angsty (but not so much that i wanted to stop reading). 

i found myself so engrossed in the reading experience that i didn't even see the plot-twist until it was upon me.  SO GOOD.

i will definitely pick this one up and read it again.

be warned, though: you will not be able to find another book worthy of your time right after finishing this one.  give it a day or two for the book-hangover to wear off.

probable next read:  life after life by kate atkinson