I'm finally ready to post some book reviews, get feedback if you've read any of them, get suggestions for things you think I should be reading, or even let me know if you'd like me to give YOU suggestions. I will say, that my own choices in reading material doesn't mean that I haven't spent a lot of time exposing myself to lots of different things (just not horror!!!) so that I have things to recommend to my students. Having said that then, I'll just say that my summer has been filled with lots of selfish beach reads, since there are LOTS of beaches here (and I'll cry when I leave them...), and a lot of YA fiction to catch up on what I saw students reading. Let me also insert in here really quickly that I can honestly say that the newest trends in YA fiction for girls is a little underhanded at times. I'm really not one to ever ban or censor any of my students, but I now have a short list of "girl" books that make me sad and sick to my stomach. (I won't post those, but email me if you really want to know what series, authors, or publishers that I now think have little value. Reminder, I'm not a censor, and never will be one, but I know what I won't recommend to students, or anyone for that matter!)
Off to my reads!!! (Yay...my favorite subject...outside of my new love Richard Armitage!) :)
--Mass amounts of Meg Cabot: I really like any of her YA stuff, as she has an amazing sense of humor, and attacks issues and teen thinking I see every day. As for her writing for adults, I will say that it's not perfectly squeaky clean, so you have to pick and choose. Overall though, I'm a big fan of her stuff, and I have her newest teen fiction book Airhead ready to read on my flight home. She always makes me laugh, and her stories are fun to escape into.
--I also read three Sophie Kinsella novels this summer, purely for selfish, beach-reading fun! Mom actually picked up one and couldn't put it down. Kinsella is famously known for her "Shopaholic" Series, but she has also put out some stand alone novels such as The Undomestic Goddess. No, she's not Beehive Book, but her stuff also makes me laugh, and gives me a relaxing, good read to escape into.
--Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. I felt like I wasn't exploring into genres that I'm not real big on. Basically, this novel is a fantasy novel based around a girl who has magical powers, but doesn't know it. Her kingdom has killed all people with magic, so as she begins to discover her powers, she has to hide it. Also, along the way she is hired as the king's food tester. She has to taste his food for poisons...and that's all I'm going to say. Did I like it? Yes and no. It was decent enough, but no Harry Potter! :)
--House of Many Gods by Kiana Davenport. I actually haven't finished this one, but it's really good. It's your basic ethnic novel based around the Hawaiians on the Southwestern side, over by Wainae. It's been interesting to read, and I'm thinking I need to email my Graduate Director, Greg, back as K-State to see if he's heard of it. It's not an easy read, nor is it a casual read, as it hits on cultural issues among native Hawaiians. If you like contemporary, ethnic reads, then you might like it. This one definitely has my attention, but it helps that it fits my environment!!!
Unfortunately, that's it on my summer reads. Let me remind you that my degree was in a pretty liberal field in English. It's pretty hard to offend me, so if you need a more specific suggestion or analysis, just let me know.
Sigh... Having said that, I guess I'm ready to gear up to head back tomorrow. :( I met with my trainer today for the last time, at least until I come back in December. She has been SO good to work with. From the beginning, she's been a teacher, and all about working with the health problems I've had that have messed up my metabolism and immune system. Anyway, my weight has stayed at around the same 4 pound loss I've had this entire month, but if you could see how baggy everything is on me, you'd know that I'd done some pretty serious work this summer! I went from gaining an inch on my biceps, to dropping three, and have dropped about an inch everywhere else. My lean body mass has increased, which is SO AWESOME!!! That's what you want to have, as it reduces your risk of diseases, injuries, etc., so I'm really happy about that shift in muscle mass, as HEALTH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Let me NEVER indicate anything else in this pursuit, if not that I just want to be healthy and happy. Honestly, I'd be most happy if my energy would skyrocket, but that's still in the basement somewhere. Overall though, I'm really pleased with the changes I've made, and for always being so persistent in being proactive about my health. Let me not kid anyone though, as I will ALWAYS love chocolate cake and bowls of pasta, and have no intention of giving them up! As with all things in life, our pursuit is to be balanced, and not do anything to an extreme. All I can say is, that I'm very happy with the hard work I put in this summer (did I mention AT LEAST 2 hours a day?!?) in the pursuit of health, habits, and happiness. Now let's bring on this fall, because I'm DETERMINED to keep up my three H's! :)