Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Talk Thursday...from the AP list

Wow, it's been forever since we have posted.

We have been too busy enjoying summer, I guess.

I have spent many hours reading for fun and reading for grad school (3 weeks left!).

I wanted to take a minute to blog about my 'just because I can' read as part of Reading Toward the Stars Book Talk Thursday.

A moment of background, I have a sister who just finished her sophomore year in high school, where she had to pick a few books off the AP English list.  I have a great friend who used to teach high school English, and now teaches middle school.  She gave me some good recommendations for my sister and some of them actually piqued my interest!

One of them was The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles.
First, I LOVE the structure of the chapters.  Each chapter starts with two quotes from other published works.  One to explain the time period, Victorian England, and one to supplement the story line.
Also, the ending!  It has three possible ending, and you as the reader have to decide what you think really happened.

*I teach upper elementary kids, so I can't read the story to them, but I do plan on using this idea in one of my reading lessons about structure.

Second, I LOVE that the writer puts his voice in the story!

Quote from the book:
“You may think novelists always have fixed plans to which they work, so that the future predicted by Chapter One is always inexorably the actuality of Chapter Thirteen. But novelists write for countless different reasons: for money, for fame, for reviewers, for parents, for friends, for loved ones; for vanity, for pride, for curiosity, for amusement: as skilled furniture makers enjoy making furniture, as drunkards like drinking, as judges like judging, as Sicilians like emptying a shotgun into an enemy's back. I could fill a book with reasons, and they would all be true, though not true of all. Only one same reason is shared by all of us: we wish to create worlds as real as, but other than the world that is. Or was. This is why we cannot plan. We know a world is an organism, not a machine.”

*I plan to use excerpts of this quote with my students, as a lesson in thinking like a writer.

Third, I LOVE the character development.
The characters actually seem relatable even though they're in Victorian England, with social norms that are far different from the day.
The French Lieutenant's woman is a woman who was jilted by a lieutenant that comes to her town during the war.
The people in her town see her as an outcast.  All but one person, who realizes the woman, named Sarah, is actually the smartest and most real person among them!

Finally, I LOVE the vocabulary.
As an elementary teacher I read a number of books and stories that are meant for kids, but don't push me as a reader.  This book has totally made me think about vocabulary with words like: platitudinous, ruefully, banal, tetchy...the list could go on and on and on.
The logophile in me has been giddy to see what words are next.

**If you haven't switched to an e-reader, you totally should!  I love how easy it is to highlight passages and create notes!

*** My next 'just because I can' read is a book written by my uncle, currently titled Timm.  He is in the process of trying to get it published.
It's Science Fiction.
I know NOTHING about Science Fiction!
If you consider yourself a lover of Sci Fi, could you please leave a comment to help me understand what makes a good Sci Fi novel.  I would really appreciate it!

Have you been reading something that you just can't wait to share?


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for linking up this week! The French Lieutenants Woman sounds like a great book. That may be one to add to my Nook! Thanks for sharing!

    Reading Toward the Stars