Finding Book Recommendations in Unexpected Places (Podcast Edition)

It took me awhile to jump on the audiobook and podcast train, but I am a devoted fan these days. Almost all of my reading happens in audio form these days, and the same is true for reading recommendations! Last year, I wrote about my favorite book podcasts: both for finding books for myself and for my little bookworms. As much as I love listening to podcasts about reading, however, it’s always a pleasant surprise to get book recommendations from one of my other podcasts. It’s like going to the park and discovering your favorite food truck is there for the afternoon at the same time. (Or it would be if I lived anywhere hip enough to have food trucks.) Here are three podcast episodes all about books that I’ve loved recently: Continue reading

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5 Favorite Books for Teaching Shakespeare

5 books for teaching shakespeareI mentioned last week that I’ve been reading Shakespeare with my fourth grader and kindergartener. We’ve never gone as far as to recreate a play, but that may be changing. In-depth study of drama and stage vocabulary is part of the fourth-grade curriculum in my state, so I’m toying with the idea of putting on a little show of our own. While I’ve been over here collecting costume pieces and debating which play is our best bet, I’ve also compiled a list of our favorite books we’ve used so far: Continue reading

Reading for the First Day of School

It’s time. My friends in Arizona have been back for weeks now, while our neighbors here in North Carolina won’t go back for another fortnight. It’s the first day of school at our house and I’m remembering this episode of The Cosby Show (like I do every first day of school). It’s especially appropriate this year because I have a new Kindergartener sitting at the table waiting to start and a fourth grader trying to sneak in one more hour of summer vacation before breakfast. Whenever the first day of school is for you, starting the year off with books is a great choice. Here are 5 book lists full of ideas for back-to-school reads worth reading again and again: Continue reading

4 Books I’d Love to See on the Big Screen

4 books I'd love to see on the big screenPerhaps this won’t come as a surprise to you, but I don’t always want my very favorite books to be movies. My nine-year-old said it best when he told me he wasn’t sure he wanted to see the Percy Jackson movies just yet. “Once I see it in a movie,” he said, “it never goes back to the way I used to see it in my mind.” I understand how he feels; my Draco Malfoy looked nothing like Tom Felton, but now he’s stuck in my imagination forever.

That said, there is something magical about seeing a beloved world on the silver screen, especially if the portrayals are just perfect. I don’t hear anyone complaining about Collin Firth as Mr. Darcy or Megan Fellows as Anne. Even Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka made a lot more sense after I read the book and realized how weird the whole thing is. All this talk around my house about the Ready, Player One and The Glass Castle movies has me thinking about the books I’d most like to see turned into films.  Continue reading