Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday: Best book of November

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a question and answer it on their own blogs. 

You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This week's question: What's the best book you read in November?

November has been a whirlwind.

A hurricane, really, of school, family, and life in general. 

I always imagine that this part of the semester will be different the next time in happens. 
Hope springs eternal. 
Then I'm literally engulfed in work. Things pick up right after midterms, grading becomes overwhelming, and just as you complete one class's 20 midterm journals, you have to jump to another class's 20 papers, and then there's another assignment to grade, back to back to back. 

Add in advising: scheduling dozens of meetings with students who may have absolutely no idea what classes they want next semester, hunting down the students who won't sign up for a meeting, making sure the seniors are on track to graduate...

Then there are the classes you keep teaching every week, despite all the added work. Trying to make your courses exciting and interesting, but also cover all the hard stuff like quantitative methods and theory that everyone complains about. While also trying to produce better thinkers, and better writers, and creative problem solvers.

Tack on the research. It has to be innovative, and it has to be publishable. Or you will lose your job. It's that simple. You send off a 40-page article you've worked on for a year only to get a 12 page revise and resubmit report (which is far better than an outright rejection, but, you know-- more work).

All of this makes my head spin, makes me wake up at 4:30,
worried about whether I'm spending enough time with my kids, 
worried that I can never read with them enough, 
or hold them enough while they are little,
worried that their milk has hormones in it, 
worried about bisphenol A and atrazine, 
worried that I haven't gotten a raise in two years.

And then I look over at the shelf. 

I see a stack of books.

Maybe they are books that I've heard about on RTW's, or through reviews on blogs. Recommendations from neighbors, friends, family, or librarians.

And I take a slice off of the day, pick up a book. I'm transported. 

I tell myself that 30 minutes less sleep is worth it. 

Just a little time, without any of the burdens of life as we know it. 

I am SO THANKFUL for books!

This month I read four good ones: 
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, 
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock,
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins, and 
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.

I recommend them all, and especially what they represented: a moment of much-needed enjoyment for a tired working mom.


  1. Your November sounds pretty rough. I'm glad you were still able to get reading in!

  2. Books are a wonderful oasis from the real world...I loved Dairy Queen and Libba Bray's series too.

  3. What a great message! Sometimes it's definitely such a good idea to take a break from life's stresses and just relax with a good book. Glad you found some to enjoy this month, and hope December is less stressful!

  4. Awesome post! I'm so glad you found some time in your crazy schedule to relax a little. :)

  5. I really need to read Libba Bray--hear so many great things about her writing. :)

  6. I had the end of the marking period, grades on 140 reportcard, starting a new unit and 40 parent teacher conferences. Writing was something that got pushed to the side and so did reading.

    I feel your pain sista friend. Enjoy your week off.

  7. What is it about November, seriously? Doesn't seem to matter what area you're in, it's always hectic. A friend of mine is a teacher, and I've taken to bringing coffee and cake over to her house while she slogs through reports, it's just manic.

    I'm really looking forward to reading Mysterious Benedict--glad to hear you liked it!

  8. Thanks Alicia, the reading made it all worthwhile

    Jennifer, good stuff, huh?

    Kaitlin, I am already feeling less stressed, just after making the post. Writing is cathartic like that.

    Kristin-- thanks and me too!

    Pam- her writing is really good, and the historical aspect is fascinating...

    Erinn, OMG! I cannot even process what it would be like to fill out 140 of ANYTHING!!!! And 40 P-T conferences, you feel my pain, and then some!

    So true Amie, I think when the end of the year comes, everything goes into high gear-- no matter what your job.


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