Tag Archives: Book

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley

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Here are a few of my favorite quotes fromThe Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” by Walter Mosley

 

“The great man say that life is pain,” Coydog had said over eighty-five years before.  That mean if you love life, then you love the hurt that come along wit’ it. Now, if that ain’t the blues, I don’t know what is.” p.76

 

“Ptolemy and Peter Brock worked on a truck, driving up and down city streets delivering ice to the customers of Brock’s father, Minister Brock. “What church your daddy preach at?” “He ain’t no preacher,” Peter said. “My grandfather named him that so if you used his first name you had to respect him anyway.” p.79

 

“The older you get the more you live in the past.” p.166

 

Check out more thoughts about this book on my Goodreads link.

What I’m Reading

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Here’s a couple of books I’m hoping to finish before the end of the month. I will include a Goodreads link so you can check out the synopses of the titles and covers that appeal to you.

The House Girl
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15781725-the-house-girl?from_search=true

the house girl

 

 

Burial Rites
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333319-burial-rites?from_search=true

burial rites

 

What are you reading?

Great Mystery Book For Kids

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Arthur’s Mystery Envelope” by Marc Brown

Grade level : 3

arthur's mystery envelope

One of my students and I finished this book today and loved it! She remained engaged throughout the entire book, made inferences and answered comprehension questions correctly.

Synopsis:

Arthur receives a sealed envelope from his principal and is asked to deliver it to his mom. With a little help from his friends, Arthur imagines the worst regarding its contents. He’s so worried he can’t eat or sleep. All he can think about is the envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL. Will he give the envelope to his mother and await impending doom or will he find a way to safely dispose of it?

This book is written in chapter book format for kids who are ready to read on their own. Its mysterious motif also makes for a great read-aloud, over the course of several days, to build suspense and allow students to draw conclusions.

We gave it 4 stars!

“The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes -Book Review

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Confident, promising and self-absorbed Tony Webster and his friends meet Adrian Finn at school. While the boys marvel at Adrian’s superior worldview and intelligence, they become very close friends and vow to keep the close bond throughout their lives.

Tony, now entering his sixties, re-examines the life he had not expected. He discovers sometimes memories can’t be reliable. When a letter from a lawyer arrives one day, out of the blue, he soon realizes just how unreliable his recollection really is.

This book (winner of  the 2011 Man Booker Prize) verifies that it doesn’t necessarily take 1000 pages to tell a great story. My paperback edition was about 150 pages! I read it rather quickly and was thoroughly satisfied.

The story (narrated by Tony) alternates between the 1960’s to present day London. Tony compares the different mores and nuances of the time periods. I thought this was very interesting. For example, there was so much freedom in traveling without cellphones and email — only postcards or, for emergencies, telegrams. No one expected you to check in daily or updated you with the current happenings where you were headed so wonder and exploration was prevalent.

He also expresses how simple recall can lack credence. We tend to remember events favorably when reality tells a different tale. While reading, I got the feeling that I had overlooked some integral parts  or perhaps the story was an unsolvable puzzle; but by the end , all the scattered pieces came together leaving my mouth gaped.

I really enjoyed this book, I gave it 5 stars!

You should read this book if you enjoy:

  • short stories
  • mystery books
  • accessible philosophy

Other books by this author: “Metroland” (1980) “Before She Met Me” (1982)” Flaubert’s Parrot” (1984) -shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize “Staring at the Sun” (1986) “A History of the World in 10½ Chapters” (1989) “Taking It Over “(1991)”The Porcupine” (1992)”England, England” (1998) -shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize “Love, etc” -sequel to “Taking it Over” “Arthur & George” (2005) -shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

My Favorite Childhood Books

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This will definitely be running a list because I’m almost certain I have forgotten some. Here’s a list of some of my favorite books I read as a child.

  1. A Snowy Day   by Ezra Jack Keats   Age 7                                                                                                                                              As stated in another post, I enjoyed this book mostly because it was the first book I encountered in which the characters were people of color. I think it is really important that children see themselves and their culture represented in story books. The story becomes more relevant and reliable.
  2. The Babysitter’s Club   by Ann Martin   Age 9                                                                                                                                         This was my first completed series. I remember pulling these books out to read, after having completed an assignment in class, and comparing page numbers with my friends. These books were so engaging and fun. I also enjoyed the movie adaptations.
  3. The Secret Garden   by Frances Hodgson Burnett   Age 10                                                                                                                       One day my mother grounded me, I had to stay in my room for the latter part of the day. It was a Saturday, I had gotten a new library book on Friday. I read the entire book that day and enjoyed every minute– best punishment ever!
  4. Goosebumps   (series) by R.L. Stein   Age 10 and up                                                                                                                             These books had just the right amount of creepy I needed. I could read them just before bed and would not experience nightmares. The stories were very cool and would leave me with “goosebumps”.
  5. Sweet Valley High   (series) by Francine Pascal  Age 9                                                                                                                                  This series was just as satisfying and popular among my friends and me as The Babysitter’s Club series. I remember being so disappointed after I realized that I had read the last installment. This series had love, friendship and high school drama — everything.                                                                                                                  What were some of your (childhood) favorite books? Have you read any other the titles on my list, if so what did you think?

How to Choose What to Read Next

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We can all agree on one thing; there are just so many great books out there and not enough time to read them. Here are a few ways I determine what I will read next.

  • Mood: I often allow my emotions to determine what book I will read next. After a heavy literary read I might reach for a light and fluffy Contemporary Fiction novel. If I’ve had a really light week, I might reach for a book that will give me a good cry (Between Shades of Grey not to be confused with the saucy erotica novel Fifty Shades of Grey).

 

  • TBR (To Be Read) List: I have a habit of buying lots of books when I can catch a sale, some I read right away while others get more shelf time. Sometimes I join a challenge on Goodreads (a website for book junkies) to help lessen my number of TBR books. For example, the challenge may require me to read a book with a yellow cover, read a book that’s been on my shelf the longest and read a book with the least number of pages. 

 

  • Book club commitments: I’m a member of a book club that meets once a month to discuss a book. I usually read the book designated for the month immediately so I can focus on other books. 

 

How do you choose what you will read next?

Cleopatra’s Back!

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10 Cool Facts About Cleopatra

Guess who I decided to dress as for Halloween? Yep! Cleopatra. Here are 10 cool facts I found about her (the word facts is used loosely because there are so many theories about what things were like many, many years ago. I can’t prove anything so don’t hold me to it).

1. Her full name was Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator.

2. She was bestowed the Egyptian throne at the age of 18 along with her brother Ptolemy, age 10.

3. She was the inspiration to many Shakespearean works.

4. She was not Egyptian. She was born in Alexandria and was part of a long line of Greek Macedonians.

5. She spoke at least nine languages.

6. She was the mistress and perhaps wife of Julius Caesar. She later married Mark Antony after having wed her two brothers.

7. Cleopatra, as well as most Egyptian men and women, wore make up made from herbs as a healing agent.

8. Contrary to popular belief, she was not very beautiful. Pictures of her depicted on coins depict a woman with a hooded nose and masculine features.

9. Cleopatra died at the age of 39. Dressed in all her fine jewels and linens, she committed suicide using as asp (poisonous snake).

10. Cleopatra was the last pharaoh of Egypt. Rome took control after her death, but she is still highly revered today.

Question:

Who were you for Halloween?

Recommended material about Cleopatra: 

Book – Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff (fiction)

Video – “Cleopatra” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Directed by Joseph L. ManKiewicz (1963)