WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays—May 18, 2011

WWW WednesdaysTo play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading [amazon_link id=”0670022527″ target=”_blank” ]One of Our Thursdays Is Missing[/amazon_link] by Jasper Fforde, The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas, and The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present: A Narrative History by Rebecca Fraser (I have been reading it since January, but in my defense, it is over 800 pages long).

I recently finished [amazon_link id=”0670021040″ target=”_blank” ]Caleb’s Crossing[/amazon_link] by Geraldine Brooks (my review).

What on earth am I going to read next? I’m not really sure. I need to think about it. Maybe [amazon_link id=”0743482832″ target=”_blank” ]The Tempest[/amazon_link] so I can read [amazon_link id=”B0048EL84Q” target=”_blank” ]The Dream of Perpetual Motion[/amazon_link]. It has been a really long time since I read The Tempest. I won’t try to pick it up until school lets out, however.

Caleb’s Crossing, Geraldine Brooks

[amazon_image id=”0670021040″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]Caleb’s Crossing: A Novel[/amazon_image]Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck was the first member of of the Wampanoag tribe, indeed the first Native American, to graduate from Harvard in 1665. Geraldine Brooks tells his story in her latest novel [amazon_link id=”0670021040″ target=”_blank” ]Caleb’s Crossing: A Novel[/amazon_link]. Brooks’s narrator Bethia Mayfield, the daughter of a missionary to the native Wampanoag tribe on Martha’s Vineyard, is a friend to Caleb, whom she meets on her rambles on the island. She begins teaching him her language, and in time, he becomes a student of her father’s, much to the chagrin of his uncle Tequamuck, a shaman in Caleb’s tribe. Bethia hungers for the learning closed to her sex, and she listens in on lessons with her brother and Caleb whenever she can. A much more ready student than her brother, she thirsts after knowledge. When her brother undertakes study with a prep school in Cambridge, Bethia goes with him as an indentured servant.

Many books about colonial American seem to concern either the Salem Witch Trials or the Revolutionary War. Brooks’s novel is unique for its focus on a different era, and indeed on relations between Native Americans and English settlers. Readers of [amazon_link id=”0142437336″ target=”_blank” ]The Crucible[/amazon_link] will recognize Thomas Danforth, who appears late in the book in a much more favorable light than Arthur Miller painted him. Caleb emerges as an interesting character. When explaining to Bethia why he chose to turn away from his tribe’s teachings and study with her father, Caleb says, “Life is better than death. I know this. Tequamuck says it is the coward’s talk. I say it is braver, sometimes, to bend” (144). Tequamuck has foreseen enmity between the Wampanoag and the English, and Caleb seeks to “find favor” with the English God, thinking that “if your God prospers me there, I will be of use to my people, and they will live” (144). The book is an interesting and well-written glimpse into a little-known area of American history. If the book suffers from a common historical fiction ailment of the heroine living out of her time and seeking opportunities denied women in other eras, the author can be forgiven because Bethia comes across as an earnest and realistic woman of her time. Brooks brings colonial Martha’s Vineyard into sharp relief. For readers interested in American historical fiction, this novel offers a glimpse into a time when America was just emerging, and a somewhat shaky peace between colonists and Native Americans seemed possible.

[rating:4.5/5]

I read this novel for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this novel as part of the Goodreads First Reads program.

WWW Wednesdays—May 11, 2011

WWW WednesdaysTo play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading [amazon_link id=”0670021040″ target=”_blank” ]Caleb’s Crossing[/amazon_link] by Geraldine Brooks, [amazon_link id=”0199537259″ target=”_blank” ]The Man in the Iron Mask[/amazon_link] by Alexandre Dumas, and [amazon_link id=”039332902X” target=”_blank” ]The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present: A Narrative History[/amazon_link] by Rebecca Fraser (I have been reading it since January, but in my defense, it is over 800 pages long).

I recently finished [amazon_link id=”0143034901″ target=”_blank”]The Shadow of the Wind[/amazon_link] by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (review) and Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran (review).

I’m definitely ready to pick up the new Jasper Fforde, [amazon_link id=”0670022527″ target=”_blank” ]One of Our Thursdays Is Missing[/amazon_link] next. I absolutely love Jasper Fforde. Oh, my TBR pile is so big. I will get to most of those books. Eventually. I hope.

What about you?

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays—May 10, 2011

Teaser TuesdaysTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

[amazon_image id=”0670021040″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]Caleb’s Crossing: A Novel[/amazon_image]“Tequamuck says it is coward’s talk. I say it is braver, sometimes, to bend.”

—p. 144, [amazon_link id=”0670021040″ target=”_blank” ]Caleb’s Crossing[/amazon_link] by Geraldine Brooks

Excellent read so far. I should have a review some time this week.

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday—April 27, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading [amazon_link id=”0307588653″ target=”_blank” ]Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution[/amazon_link] by Michelle Moran, [amazon_link id=”039332902X” target=”_blank” ]The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present: A Narrative History[/amazon_link] by Rebecca Fraser, [amazon_link id=”0143057812″ target=”_blank” ]The Shadow of the Wind[/amazon_link] by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (audio book), and [amazon_link id=”0199537259″ target=”_blank” ]The Man in the Iron Mask[/amazon_link] by Alexandre Dumas via DailyLit. I am enjoying the first three very much, but the fourth is not grabbing me. I hope it does soon because I so enjoyed [amazon_link id=”0451529707″ target=”_blank” ]The Count of Monte Cristo[/amazon_link]. The narrator for The Shadow of the Wind is exceptional.

I recently finished reading [amazon_link id=”0060558121″ target=”_blank” ]American Gods[/amazon_link] by Neil Gaiman (review) and The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning (review).

My next book will probably be [amazon_link id=”0670021040″ target=”_blank” ]Caleb’s Crossing[/amazon_link] by Geraldine Brooks. I won an ARC on Goodreads. The lastest Jasper Fforde, [amazon_link id=”0670022527″ target=”_blank” ]One of Our Thursdays Is Missing[/amazon_link], is calling my name. At some point, I want to return to [amazon_link id=”0812977149″ target=”_blank” ]Finn[/amazon_link] by Jon Clinch. I have a few books on my Kindle that I’m interested in reading, too: [amazon_link id=”B004R1Q9PI” target=”_blank” ]The Secret Diary of a Princess[/amazon_link] by Melanie Clegg, a few Austen sequels, and some good nonfiction, including [amazon_link id=”0316001929″ target=”_blank” ]Cleopatra: A Life[/amazon_link] by Stacy Schiff, [amazon_link id=”0385489498″ target=”_blank” ]Marie Antoinette: The Journey[/amazon_link] by Antonia Fraser, [amazon_link id=”1400052181″ target=”_blank” ]The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks[/amazon_link] by Rebecca Skloot, and [amazon_link id=”1439107955″ target=”_blank” ]The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer[/amazon_link] by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

So what about you?

Birthday Books 2008

My parents, in their infinite wisdom regaring gift giving, have made it an annual practice to give me a bookstore gift card for my birthday.  I nearly let the month go by before I shared my purchases this month with you.

This year, my selections were heavy on the Shakespeare, probably due to the fact that I took a class on teaching Shakespeare through the Folger Shakespeare Library in June.

I only hope I get a chance to read it all soon.

I started a reading group at my school.  I was surprised by the reception!  We have a good 15 interested teachers, which at my school is approaching half the faculty!  We are reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I need to get started on that one or I won’t be ready for our first meeting.