Clearly, my presence around the blogosphere has been even more absentish these past two months. A combination of visiting family, a sleepless wonder for a child, and the upcoming new school year has had me running around in a fashion highly reminiscent of a crack addict in a candy shop (you thought I was going to say chicken with its head cut off, didn't you?). In this time, I have been reading; not as much as normal, but hey, I'm happy to get in a book a month these days.
Unfortunately, I don't have the time to do complete reviews (some of these books I've already reviewed, and I've provided the links) but I do want to get some thoughts down on the books I've been remiss in reviewing:
The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman
I read this because I am the faculty sponsor for the Gay-Straight Alliance, and we were putting on the play last Spring. Wow. The play (not in the traditional sense) is a record of the Tectonic Theatre Group's interactions and interviews with people who had a connection to the death of Matthew Shephard, a man brutally murdered because of his sexual orientation. Reading this play was powerful, and I must admit I shed a tear or two (and I am not a crying kind of gal). While the torture and murder of Shepard is certainly the focus, a very strong issue central to the play is the question: how did this horrible event happen in this town, and how do the townspeople come to terms with it? I definitely recommend this play.
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
This is a re-read for me; my original reviews can be found here (1, 2, 3). I must admit that I enjoyed them just as much, more in the case of Mockingjay which I was a bit lukewarm about the first time around. The plot, the characters, the setting, and even the themes to an extent, are wonderfully entertaining. And I won't lie, I think the movie version rocks - actually watching the movie is what made me pick them up again.
Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis
Absolutely awesome graphic novel about Bertrand Russell's lifelong obsession with finding the truth through mathematics. Seriously intense and entertaining. For a much better review, and one I completely agree with, head over to Ana's post at things mean a lot. I taught this in my Intro to Lit course last year, and I must admit I will miss it this time around. Alas, time for something new. If you haven't already, you should definitely pick this one up.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo
One of the plays I will be using this year in Intro to Lit, Accidental Death is a comical farce about a trickster who pretends to be investigating the death of an anarchist who was in police custody. As with many a trickster, he is the one to point out the absurdities and not only give the audience a laugh but also teach them a little something. The play is based on the story of a real person, but the events are made up. Read it.
Night by Elie Wiesel
Another book I'm teaching this year, I can't say enough about the emotional quality of this story. Personal accounts of concentration camps are bound to be evocative, but Wiesel manages to keep his story very, very personal and unique while still universalizing the experience. And he doesn't shy away from his own wavering: with his duty to his father, his relationship with his god, his understanding of himself. Another one to read - although I'm pretty sure you have. Most people have, right?
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
One of the best books I've ever read written by a man who pisses me off something fierce. In my experience, this is a book even "non-readers" enjoy, and I can't wait to see what my students make of it.
A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
My thoughts this time around are the same as my thoughts the first time around, so if you want to know, head over to my review.
And that wraps up my missing reviews for the year so far! Yay! And just so you don't have to look at an all-text post: