Tag Archives: American Lit

12 Months of Books: July Suggestions

Hello, friends! Can you believe that it is July already? We are halfway through with 2018, which mean’s we’re also halfway through with the 2018 reading challenge. I’ve been fighting through some mental/creative blocks this summer, but I have been reading! I managed to finish seven books in June, which is a huge win for […]

To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck 

Last year I read East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and I liked it so much that it made my list of favorites from 2016. The fact that I loved East of Eden so much is only one of the reasons I picked up To a God Unknown this summer. Another main reason that I picked up this […]

In Defense of Difficult Books

Tomorrow I’ll start teaching my first novel unit of the semester, Fahrenheit 451. After my students take their Unit 1 Test, we’ll look together at the introduction and first eight pages and try to set a purpose for reading. As I’ve been planning for this unit, I find myself asking “What is the purpose of […]

What I learned from Alexander Hamilton.

What I Learned from Alexander Hamilton

Happy Fourth of July! As we celebrate American independence today, I thought I’d share my review of Ron Chernow’s biography Alexander Hamilton. The hardcover version of Chernow’s book is about 818 pages long. And those are about 818 reasons why I opted for the audiobook version–which clocks in at a whopping 36 hours and 2 minutes […]

One Summer by Bill Bryson

A lot happened in the summer of 1927: Charles Lindbergh made his historic flight across the Atlantic, Babe Ruth was closing in on his home run record, and President Coolidge took a three month vacation in South Dakota, to name a few things. Bill Bryson’s book One Summer is an in-depth look at just about everything that […]

East of Eden by John Steinbeck 

Sometimes I think the authors we read in school deserve a second chance outside the classroom. Today’s example: John Steinbeck. I read Of Mice and Men and The Pearl while I was in school, and I did not enjoy either of them. So when I started East of Eden I had to try and forget those negative experiences. I’m so glad I did, because this novel was, for me, another Tess experience. The book is so full of symbolism and Biblical references that I know I will be thinking about it for a long time.

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

A bildungsroman is a type of novel that tells a coming-of-age story, a story of education or growth. There are many, many examples of this type of novel, from the Harry Potter books to The Kite Runner. Brooklyn is a beautiful coming-of-age story about a young Irish immigrant who moves to New York. Eilis Lacey, the protagonist, leaves […]

Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor

Usually when I finish reading a novel I know what I think of it. From the first sentences to the last chapter, I can tell how my opinion is changing throughout the work. I think we get the same feeling with movies. We go into movies and books with an open mind–willing to suspend our […]

Current Inspirations: Flannery O’Connor

Do you ever go through a phase where you’re mildly obsessed with one writer? A few years ago it was Thomas Hardy, but I’m in a big Flannery O’Connor phase right now. It started last year when I read a biography and most of her short stories as part of my 50 book goal. The […]

Moby Dick

“Ah, God! what trances of torments does that man endure who is consumed with one unachieved revengeful desire. He sleeps with clenched hands; and wakes with his own bloody nails in his palms.” Each time I’ve completed my 50 book goal I try to include a book that is a challenge for me in some […]