It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? School’s Out!

I am so ready for summer. Ready to not grade any papers, ready to not make my lunch every morning, ready to stay indoors every day hiding from the Texas heat, ready to maintain my garden.

And mostly ready to read a huge pile of books.

Since my last update, I have finished:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


This was a quirky little book, but I liked it.  It’s an upper-elementary or middle-grade reading level; however, if you have children who are sensitive to the idea of parents dying, you might be cautious about the first few pages.

Bod, short for Nobody, Owens is the shroud-clad hero of this adventure. He wanders into a graveyard as a toddler after his family is killed at the hand of the man Jack.  Sort of a Jungle Book meets Victorian ghost story, this novel details Bod’s adoption by ghosts and subsequent coming-of-age in the graveyard.

Drive by Daniel Pink


I’m glad that I finally finished this book. Pink describes how the old psychology of motivation by rewards and punishments(which is basically Behaviorism and operant conditioning) is ineffective in today’s knowledge-based workplace.  In fact, he explains how attempting to motivate workers with money can actually hinder performance?  What are we motivated by?  Mastery, creativity, autonomy.

There are many applications in this book for the classroom, where we have failed to move past the Industrial Revolution.  We are still trying to motivate students with grades.  How do we change this?  More thoughts later.

This week I’m reading:

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park

I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I read John Green’s review of it in the New York Times. Pretty much everything John says about it is true, so I won’t add anything here.

The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence

The Rainbow

I’ve never read D.H. Lawrence before.  However, this year’s prose essay prompt for the AP Literature exam was an excerpt from this novel. I was intrigued, at first just because I wanted to know what was going on in and around the chosen excerpt.  Then I started reading the novel, and I rather quickly needed to know what was going to happen to this Brangwen family.

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Orange Is the New Black

I heard about this memoir through an interview with the author on NPR one day.  I read quite a bit of it while I was on an airplane yesterday, an airplane that had been delayed by 12 hours, I might add.

Piper Kerman graduated from an elite women’s college, and within a few years of graduation had become involved with an international drug smuggling ring. She only did one job for these people, when she was 24 years old.  Ten years later, the authorities tracked her down and sentenced her to 15 months in prison. This is her story of those months and the people with whom she interacted.

I have more in my stack, but that’s enough for this week! What are you reading?

(“It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It’s a great way to keep track of what you’re reading and see what others are reading each week.)



  1. I’m on a John Green kick. Finished Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns. About to start on Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I love Green’s mixture of humor and pathos. He keeps the prose very accessible for teens and knows his audience extraordinarily well. He doesn’t pander or compromise, though. At a basic level, his books are flat out good reads. Because of his writing style and ability to “turn a phrase”, there are many sections that would work great as model texts for students.


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