Sorry, but I know that reading long posts can be pretty tedious! I just have so much to post about all of a sudden that I need more room for it all. :)
So on to what I've been reading. First off, let me not give off the impression that I've had tons of time for reading, because that's not the case at all. Here's the issue I've had this past week or two. The pollen count has been "Very High" now for over a week, which has sent me in a veritable tail spin. I've been on every prescription allergy medication known to mankind because I'm the type that gets these hideous sinus infections that create pressure behind my eyes, cheeks, and forehead. It's been murder! Well, it seems like once I take my last round of meds at night, have showered, and even taken my nasal spray, that I finally feel some relief, but can't get to sleep at night. Having said that, how do I spend my restless nights? Well, I grade for an hour or two, and then force myself to try to get drowsy so that I can get a couple hours of sleep by reading. That's where the reading time has come from...my sleep!
I actually finished Tori Spelling's autobiography Stori Telling late last night, but barely picked it up from the library on Thursday. I have to say that I actually have a new-found respect for Tori Spelling. I know it will sound a little strange, but I started watching her Tori and Dean show after Meg Cabot, in her blog, kept making comments about how much she loved the show. I gave it a try, and yes, I was hooked. She's amazingly down to earth, and you can see her vulnerabilities spelled out in a very charming sort of way. Besides, she genuinely loves her family and spends a lot of time being an actual mother, not just a Hollywood star like I'd always thought. Her autobiography really just spelled out why she is the way she is, and I found it kind of fascinating.
Now let me say though that I've ALWAYS had a thing for biographies of any form. I went through a phase in the 4th grade where I couldn't get enough of them, and remember reading one about Abraham Lincoln, Bob Hope, and Jimmy Carter. Granted, they weren't written for adults, but I remember reading a ton of biographies when I was in gradeschool. What a nerd, right? :) Honestly, I think it plays into my "cultural studies" side that loves observing human nature and why we are the way we are. My fascination with human behavior has also kind of turned me into a much more liberal person than I ever was before, based on the fact that I've seen what freedoms do for a person. We can either CHOOSE to be horrifying and kitchy, or we can CHOOSE to follow paths of happiness, but it seems that built in that choice comes greater humanity and good on a global scale. (Okay, so that all sounds a little grandiose in a discussion about Tori Spelling, but you get my gist?) Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed reading more about Tori Spelling's life, and will thank my lucky stars that I'm living a life out of the spotlight.
The second book I read this weekend was Loving Will Shakespeare by Carolyn Mackler. I actually read half of it Tuesday night when I ended up only getting an hour's sleep. Had I not been so sleep deprived, I might have finished it that night, but just couldn't stay up a second longer. I finished it this morning in one last swoop, and thoroughly enjoyed this one as well. Again, it's YA fiction, but interesting. Besides loving a novel that places me in a different time period, and one that is so foreign to me, I loved reading this author's take on Shakespeare's early years.
The novel was told from a Anne Hathaway's point of view, who lived in the same village/township as our young Shakespeare. I vaguely remember that his wife had been older than he was, but the book reallly highlights the way this played out as both grew up. It seems that Will was a whimsical fellow, full of creativity and a desire to do and be more from the very beginning. You really grow to care about Anne, and really want to see her with someone who will appreciate and love her, but is Will the one to do that? Yes and no. I was really caught up in the angst that was Anne's as she grew older and knew that she was becoming less of a "spring chicken" with each passing year, and at age 26 was told she might be sent off to a home so that she did not burden her family anymore. (Gasp...yet another reason to be glad for our modern day, and for living in the US, as I know some countries still feel this way. Okay, so we DO feel this way, but we socially ostracize in a way, but not physically...thank goodness!) Anyway, I really cared about Anne and wanted Will to be her hero in the story, but found the way the author dealt with his rise to fame and fortune to be interesting, and a little gut wrenching for Anne. You'll just have to read it to find out why, but I will say that it's a decent enough read. At least I liked it, which made it for a fun read.
Well, I'm off to keep grading Don Quixote essays. :( I have about 1/3 of them read from my time down yesterday, but REALLY need to get the other 2/3 finished today!!! Besides, I have parent-teacher conferences coming up this week (which I hate more than just about anything), and new units to start in both 11th and AP classes. Sigh...so much to do. We'll see if I fit in any more time to read, but pray it's not replacing my sleep like this last week, because I'll surely go mad if it does!