I’m taking part in It’s Monday! What are you reading? meme hosted by Book Journey. One of my professional goals this school year is to read more, and I’m going to blog about it to keep me on track. (I blog here about books in the school library that I read.) (The justification for reading for pleasure to be a part of my personal professional development plan is that it helps with reader’s advisory and to know the books in the library collection. But reading grown-up books just helps me to be a happier person!)
My mom has been asking me to read this for a long time and I finally got it from the public library. It begins in 1968 and follows Martha, a widowed woman, never a mother, who finds herself in charge of a baby. She was once a teacher, though, and Mom knew I’d like this passage:
There were two kinds of students who liked the library: those who devoured one book after another and those who savored the same book repeatedly. Some teachers saw the former readers as intrepid, the latter tentative, while Martha held the view that old comforts, by encouraging patience, prompted discoveries. Now, though, Martha understood those rereaders differently. Aware that she was about to behave uncharacteristically by climbing back under the quilt in midmorning, she realized it was not the rereading that led to fresh insights. It was the rereader – because when a person is changing inside, there are inevitably new things to see. (pp. 80-81)
I love Benjamin Franklin. I’ve read Isaacson’s biography, and of course Ben’s autobiography, but this one is enjoyable in a different way. (It’s available as a bargain book on Amazon right now.) It’s basically reading the primary source documents that Isaacson used, but with Edmund Morgan’s apt editorial commentary helping along the way. We have four foreign exchange students at the high school this year, and I sent this to teachers who were struggling to communicate with them:
I have sometimes observed that we are apt to fancy the person that cannot speak intelligibly to us, proportionably stupid in understanding and when we speak two or three words of English to a foreigner, it is louder than ordinary, as if we thought him deaf, and that he has lost the use of his ears as well as his tongue. (p. 8)
What are you reading?