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'Tis the season to be jolly...Reports done! Check! Exams marked! Check! Christmas party...

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 17, 2010 at 3:50 AM via web

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'Tis the season to be jolly...

Reports done! Check! Exams marked! Check! Christmas party with staff to go to today! Then - holidays! Now, if you are anything like me, you have a whole stack of books that have been cluttering your beside table that you have been waiting to read. And I am not talking about books you need to re-read or prepare for teaching after the break. I am talking about pure, selfish, unadulterated books for your own pleasure and edification. So, what books are you going to be reading for your own pleasure over the break that you have been dying to dive into? Just so I can make a start on my next pile of books to read, you understand...

For me, I am looking forward to reading "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" by David Mitchell. I loved his "Cloud Atlas" and am expecting similar marvels from this book. Also, I have "The Lacuna" on my list by Barbara Kingsolver.

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted December 17, 2010 at 5:37 AM (Answer #2)

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I'm still waiting to finish 'Vernon Godlittle' by DBC Pierre - every time I try to dive back into the book, someone asks to borrow it! So far it's been to London, Lille and New York! Now I've got it back, I intend to finish it over the Christmas holidays. It's not a very Christmassy or cheerful topic though - next year I'd like a snowy pretty book to read, even if that's a bit depressing too - like Anna Karenina.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM (Answer #3)

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I teach military history (odd job for a pacifist), so I picked up a copy of E. B. Sledge's With the Old Breed about fighting in the Pacific Theater during World War II.  Candy.

I've also decided I'm going to try and re-read the complete works of Walt Whitman.  Might have to carry that task through to Spring Break too.

Enjoy your time off! We've earned it!

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 17, 2010 at 10:37 AM (Answer #4)

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Unlike you, all my papers are not graded and grades must be posted by noon the day we return from break.  So, I will be reading student memoirs and grading a few late exams made up by students who missed the original test date.

However, I do intend to read a little for pleasure.  I have a historical fiction work from the point of view of Shakespeare's daughter (can't recall the name of the author just now).  I will also be indulging in The Handmaid's Tale.

 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 17, 2010 at 11:49 AM (Answer #5)

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When it comes to non-academic things, I'm pretty lowbrow.  My Amazon wish list (I'm hoping to get a few of these and then be diving in to them) includes

  • A book on the evolution of tactics in football.  (Don't get much more lowbrow than that.)
  • A new survey of Japanese society and culture that is supposed to present a more modern viewpoint than the old books that I read when I was younger.
  • A book of letters from Japanese people who lived through the war -- showing various aspects of the war from their point of view.

I've never taught a Japan course so this stuff isn't exactly academic -- more of my hobby.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted December 17, 2010 at 12:08 PM (Answer #6)

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Like amy-lepore, I too have a lot of essays to grade -- grades due 1/4, new semester starts 1/5/11 and I have to be ready for a rousing discussion of Ethan Frome! Luckily the students like it and find the 'symbolism hunt' a lot of fun.  All that said, I refuse to be a slave to it over the break, so I also plan to read The Double Bind -- a take off on the Gatsby story -- and maybe I can catch up on all the magazines that accumulate all semester!

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted December 17, 2010 at 12:24 PM (Answer #7)

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Double Blind sounds interesting - yet another one I muat get around to is Tender is the Night, also by F Scott Fitzgerald - I never did finish it. I seem to have a list of unfinished novels! I do have loads of paperwork and reports to write though.

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted December 17, 2010 at 9:16 PM (Answer #8)

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Christmas break is also summer break for us Down Under, so I have a BIG LIST!

I have finished John Smelcer's The Trap and News From Nowhere. I have also finished Frank Cottrell Boyce's Framed. I am also about to embark on Steig Larsson's Millennium Trilogy as I think I am the last person on the planet to do so. My unread classics pile contains the works of Tacitus (lent by an enthusiastic student!) and Silas Marner. Roll on summer!

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sboeman | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted December 18, 2010 at 11:28 AM (Answer #9)

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Gotta finish Three Cups of Tea and then on to reading Kerouac's On the Road for the umpteenth time!  I'll also try to dive into Lou Holtz's Winning Every Day if there's time.

Unfortunately, I find myself marking pages with every novel that I read so I can share them with my students as lesson plans, discussion topics, etc.!

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 18, 2010 at 12:08 PM (Answer #10)

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After dusting off The Kite Runner that was purchased nearly a year ago, efforts will be made to read it.  There is also a book on Freud that has been in the "waiting room" for a long time....not to mention a plethora of magazines.

Consolation goes to those grading essays, etc.  Been there! 'Hope everyone can rest and enjoy the holidays!

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pharman | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 21, 2010 at 8:52 PM (Answer #11)

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Unlike you, all my papers are not graded and grades must be posted by noon the day we return from break.  So, I will be reading student memoirs and grading a few late exams made up by students who missed the original test date.

However, I do intend to read a little for pleasure.  I have a historical fiction work from the point of view of Shakespeare's daughter (can't recall the name of the author just now).  I will also be indulging in The Handmaid's Tale.

 

My grades had to be posted Monday, I think that was the 18th. What a relief. I'll never forget listening to The Handmaid's Tale on tape as I drove to work one morning. I was so engrossed that I drove  10 miles too far. I have to read Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel and a book by Rushdie before break was over.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 22, 2010 at 5:49 PM (Answer #12)

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I love this thread... every year... every summer.  I just love hearing what colleagues around the world are reading.  What a cool connection.

I have had the latest Franzen book Freedom beside my bathtub for weeks (yes, thank you Oprah, okay).  By all accounts, she got it right this time and though I've never jumped on Oprah's bookclub bandwagon, this one has me intrigued.

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted December 22, 2010 at 7:25 PM (Answer #13)

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I have one more set of grades to put in and only about 12 dozen cookies to bake.  Then I will turn to The Children's Book, by A.S. Byatt, who is a favorite author.  I purchased this book months ago and have been gazing at it longingly.  It is supposed to be based on the life of Edith Nesbit, whose books I grew up on.  I suppose that betrays my age, since I doubt children ever read her anymore.  But for any of you who have children, I heartily recommend her, and I have a feeling I will heartily recommend the Byatt book, too.  Her writing is always rich and lush.

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jashley80 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted December 26, 2010 at 10:00 PM (Answer #14)

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I have had stacks of books sitting around for ages. I had back surgery this month, and was out the last two weeks of the semester (making my holiday break even longer), but I still have yet to read through my intended stack: Eat, Pray, Love; Three Cups of Tea; Clinton's Giving; What the Dog Saw; etc.

I did, however, read part of Sedaris' Holidays on Ice ("Santaland Diaries" are the best - I couldn't stop laughing at the sign language side note he included) and the start of Simplify your Life.

I want to reread The Witch of Blackbird Pond before starting school again, just because it's one of my childhood favorites that is fun to revisit any time in life.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 27, 2010 at 12:13 PM (Answer #15)

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Just finished A Million Little Pieces (overrated as well as somewhat fraudulant) and heading on to Three Cups of Tea and Fast Food Nation. I have a stack that grows waaay faster than I can read, but those are the top few at the moment.

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 30, 2010 at 3:15 PM (Answer #16)

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My essays are graded and posted, so now the time to read approaches, in the waning days of the break. I am a fan of Alison Weir, and a sucker for Tudor History. I have begun reading her Wars of the Roses,which promises to be interesting. Since my second love is Roman history, the next book to dust off the shelf--probably next Christmas, is Robert O'Connell's Ghosts of Cannae. So many books, so little time--the age old problem.

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 30, 2010 at 10:08 PM (Answer #17)

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Where, oh where, to begin. I love to buy books. I intend to read every one. Somehow, it doesn't quite work that way. So I have a lot to choose from. I have Paulo Coelho's The Pilgrimage, The Tipping Point, An Echo in the Bone (last in the series, I believe), and The Painted Drum (Erdrich). I have some books in progress: Willa Cather's My Antonia, and Erdrich's Love Medicine. There are more, always. And isn't it wonderful?

Open a book and take a vacation: no packing, no airports, no jet lag. Happy New Year, wherever you "go."

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cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted January 2, 2011 at 9:41 AM (Answer #18)

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As much as I dread the rush of finishing a semester before the holidays, it's wonderful to enjoy a break with no papers to grade! I just read Adam Ross' Mr. Peanut, which was remarkable; next is Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I need to finish Wolf Hall and Let the Great World Spin, both of which are also very good. In my to-be-read stack are also Tinkers, The Big Short, and Freedom. Of course, there's always re-reading A Passage to India in anticipation of the new semester. I have another week before classes resume, but I don't think I can read all of these.... I can't imagine not having a stack of book waiting to be read! Happy New Year, everyone!

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted May 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM (Answer #19)

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Considering the date of my post, I'm obviously behind the times!  Ha!  So I will simply tell you the book that I'm planning to read next during the first weeks of the SUMMER holidays:  Bossypants, by Tina Fey.  I have now had two friends in literary circles tell me that this book (albeit by a celebrity author and one of a different political persuasion) is very worth reading for the pure laugh factor.  I intend to read it, ... and to laugh very, very hard.  Perhaps I can then delve into more intense and literary reading this summer.

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