Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On Excused Absences

Hello Friends and Fellow Bloggers -

You may have noticed that my posts are not coming as frequently as they once were, and for that I apologize, but I thought I would offer my justifications (and hope you will deem them excusable) and some teasers for what's in store when I return in full force!

1. The Fall school semester has begun, which means my days have been full of lesson planning, course schedules, and fielding questions about financial aid and registration (in that order).  This change of events leaves little time for non-course related reading and blogging.  While I am saddened that my summer reading time has come to an end, the following anecdote lifted my spirits: 

A student from one of my classes last Fall stopped me in the hallway today and told me that she recommends my class to all of her friends who need ENG 111 because I am one of her favorite instructors.  She said, "Your assignments were more fun because you put more thought into them."  She also expressed an interest in transferring to my alma mater.  Although faithful readers of this blog know my current feelings about Peace College, posted here, I told her I would be glad to discuss all of her options with her.  THIS is what my job is all about, and it is moments like these that warm me all the way to the cockles of my heart.

2. Despite my busy schedule, I have been reading, but the book I am reading is very long and very involved to say the least.  I have been reading it for weeks, and my Kindle still tells me I am only 35% through. Gah!  What is this gargantuan volume I am dedicating my time to?  I squirm a little as I write this: Stephenie Meyer's The Host.  I read Twilight because of all the hype surrounding it, and I was interested to see what she would do with an "adult" novel.  I must admit, the premise is intriguing - a collection of "souls" are populating Earth and injecting themselves into humans and taking over their bodies.  It's all done very peacefully, but of course, the humans are incensed that their very thoughts and memories are being stolen out from under them.  The novel follows the life of one soul in particular - Wanderer, or Wanda for short.  I am attempting to reserve judgement for later (although Meyer's over-reliance on metaphors like "his touch ignited a fire in me" is really grating my nerves), but 35% into this novel, and I still don't know the backstory of these souls.  What makes them different from human souls?  They seem to function in most of the same ways.  I hope this is a question Meyer answers in the remaining 65% of the book.

3. Finally, I have been intrigued by all of the hype surrounding Kathryn Stockett's The Help, and a dear friend of mine from Peace approached me about starting a mini book club and reading that book.  I immediately jumped at the chance to share time and reading material with some of my friends I see far too little of, and I will be sure to post all about the novel and our group discussions when they occur.  Maybe I can get my friends to guest blog their thoughts about the novel - it's worth asking!

So that's what's on my plate - What's on yours?  Do you ever start reading novels that you think you will NEVER finish?  What's your protocol for those types of books?  Any book club experiences you would like to share as I delve into this world for the first time?  Those of you who have never read The Help, care to join me?  I look forward to hearing your experiences and advice.

Happy Reading!


  1. Know you haven't read the help yet (and I currently am ) so you might not want to read this till then but BGC sent me this and I found it a very interesting perspective on the novel/movie. I don't really agree with everything said but I find it a really eye opening way to look at things and would have never come up with some of this on my own.


  2. Interesting review! I read a compare/contrast piece in the News and Observer on Sunday where two reviewers wrote about their reactions to "The Help" and its depiction of racial segregation. I don't know if it is on their website or not. I can't wait to read the novel and see the movie for myself, so I can join in this discussion. However, in answer to the above reviewer's dissatisfaction with the movie's lack of gore and violence, I do know that sometimes the suggestion of violence is more compelling than the depiction of violence because the reader or viewer has to fill in the blanks. Also, in order to reach more viewers, those scenes probably had to be cut or "sanitized."