Category Archives: Books

what I have been reading (end of summer womp womp). 3

I have to go back for training in the morning so my summer is pretty much over. I would ask you to feel sorry for me but I don’t really even feel sorry for myself. This summer was just the break I needed. More about going back to school later. But first, here are some […]

on taking a break from church (a review of how to be a christian without going to church by kelly bean). 1

I haven’t been to church in a couple of months. I needed a break, not from God but from some of the dynamics that inevitably appear when you attend a church for over a decade. It’s been nice in some ways, a relief. But in other ways, I feel a little bit unmoored. My Sundays […]

what I have been reading (beach reads edition). 0

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) (via the public library) I probably don’t need to say much about this book since it’s by J.K. Rowling, but I enjoy a good mystery novel and this one hit the spot. I could sort of see the pieces coming together but couldn’t quite guess how […]

god and the gay christian by matthew vines. 0

Since I bought Torn by Justin Lee, my copy has been passed around and my best guess is that it’s been read by eight or nine people. I think the combination of Justin’s story (I call him Justin because he lives in NC and therefore we are basically buds) and the seriousness with which he […]

the cross and the lynching tree by james h. cone 2

We have been watching a lot of the World Cup here. Atticus, who is very into superheroes, wants to know about the good guys and the bad guys. That hasn’t been a big deal to me until the USA/Germany game when I noticed that there were some jokes about Germany being bad guys on Twitter. […]

what I have been reading (falling into summer edition). 0

Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power – And How They Can Be Restored by Marcus J. Borg (via the used bookstore) The title basically says everything here. The book covers ideas like redemption and sin as well as words like mercy and belief and tries to put them in a […]

what I have been reading (summertime is upon us edition). 1

El Deafo by Cece Bell (sample via NetGalley, whole book via publisher) This is a charming graphic novel about a young girl who loses her hearing at the age of four. When she starts school, she has to wear a hearing aid. This is okay when she is in kindergarten with other kids just like […]

in defense of young adults and their literature. 3

I try very hard to be a parent who respects her child and sees his intelligence as he figures out the world around him. It’s made easier by the students I have worked with over the years, the ones who make bright and funny observations all the time and who have taught me to give […]

what I have been reading (almost summer edition). 0

Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste by Carl Wilson (purchased a copy) I heard the author of this book interviewed on this episode of the Slate Culture Gabfest and I think I ordered the book before the interview was over. It sounded so fun and interesting and it did not […]

#weneeddiversebooks like the great greene heist by varian johnson. 0

Last month, I followed and participated in the #weneeddiversebooks discussion that was sparked (at least in part) by Walter Dean Myers’s article in the New York Times. This is a topic close to my heart because I am constantly searching for books that reflect my students’ lives and their experiences. Like all middle school students, […]

strength and honor (a review of the little boy in the tree by roland russoli). 0

I do not know very much about the military or about military service. Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day have always just been days off from school. That’s why I thought Memorial Day weekend would be a good time to read my friend Roland Russoli’s book about the years in his life after his son Andrew, […]

moral monday 2.0 0

I went to Moral Monday this week. There were lots of television cameras, and the reporters kept asking the participants why they were there. I studiously avoided them all because the idea of me breaking into tears while trying to explain that I want a better world for my son was beyond embarrassing. But I […]

dad is fat by jim gaffigan (guest review by mike). 3

When I requested Dad is Fat, I had some vague plan to read it on the sly where Mike wouldn’t see me. And then I could give it to him for Father’s Day! This plan was brilliant except for one thing: Mike always gets the mail. And, let’s be honest here, he loves to open […]

what I have been reading (it’s been a while edition). 2

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor (purchased) I’m only mentioning this here because it was so good that I want everybody to know how good it was. Five stars! Go read it! I can’t summarize it but there were beautiful thoughtful things on every page! Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois (via the […]

library secrets: let it go. 2

This year, I have been diligently weeding (library word for discarding old or worn out items) the library’s collection because we have a bunch of really old books and equipment that I have to dig through when I want to, you know, do my job. There are all different kinds of librarians–I know this might […]

what I have been reading (spring break edition). 0

A Trust Betrayed: The The Untold Story of Camp Lejeune and the Poisoning of Generations of Marines and Their Families by Mike Magner (via NetGalley) I picked up this book because my mom did her student teaching at Camp Lejeune in the 70s and was diagnosed with cancer just two years later (in her early […]

a poem and a book for the end of the world. 1

“The Mystery of Meteors” by Eleanor Lerman I am out before dawn, marching a small dog through a meager park Boulevards angle away, newspapers fly around like blind white birds Two days in a row I have not seen the meteors though the radio news says they are overhead Leonid’s brimstones are barred by clouds; […]

living with questions (a review of living the questions by david felten and jeff procter-murphy). 2

In my early 20s, I reveled in books and songs about the questions of faith. One book in particular that I loved was called Living the Questions by Carolyn Arends. (I was a hard-core Carolyn Arends fan, you guys. I quoted her in my valedictorian speech. Of course I bought her book.) At that time, […]

what I have been reading (march edition). 2

Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir Questlove Thompson (from the public library) Goodreads kept suggesting this book to me and I have to be honest, I don’t know anything about The Roots except watching them on Jimmy Fallon. He knows a lot (A LOT) about music, but it mostly went over […]

what I have been reading (spring please come soon edition). 0

Incognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School by Andrea Raynor (via NetGalley) I enjoyed the divinity school part of this book quite a lot but was less interested in the dating/relationship parts of her story. I have been reading a Henri Nouwen book for Sunday School, so it was fun to read about what […]