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Showing posts from July, 2016

Book Review: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

Yesterday, I finished "Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within," by Natalie Goldberg. I started reading this book years ago.  I began this book, when I was attending the University of Mississippi Writing Project Summer Institute.  This Summer Institute was designed to teach teachers how to write and teach writing. At that time, I was only a special education teacher with a Master's degree in English, yearning and longing to teach English. Who would have thought that years later I would finish this book and use it in my English class on the collegiate level?

This book is really great. What I like about this book is that you are taken away from the constraints of "normal" writing. You are encouraged to write. Goldberg's writing tips are beyond the realms of what is considered to be the normal method of teaching writing. Of course, I love her for this fact.  Perhaps, I love her because I am different...hmmmm. Ok, I need to focus on the book.

Today, I u…

Guest Post: The Importance of Reading for Writers According to a Writing Consultant and Editor

The Importance of Reading for Writers According to a Writing Consultant and Editor The Importance of Reading for Writers According to a Writing Consultant and Editor
By Megan Easley-Walsh
Reading and writing naturally go together. Not only is reading the effect of a writer's work, though, but it is also what should proceed writing. Writers are some of the most voracious readers! Here are a few good reasons to read if you're interested in writing.
1) Reading actively engages the imagination and creates better thinking. Studies have shown that this can be true for up to five days after reading a novel. Writers of fiction are therefore not only entertainers, but "brain boosters"!
2) Reading alerts you to what is popular in the market. This does not mean that it should be mimicked. It does, however, show types of things that are of interest to readers. Perhaps, more importantly, it can show what is missing from the market. An original is better than a 1000th c…

Guest Post: 5 Ways to Get Teens to Love Reading

5 Ways To Get Teens To Love Reading 5 Ways To Get Teens To Love Reading
By Samantha Saunders
As an English teacher I have had parents reveal to me in hushed tones, as though imparting some secret information - "He used to read all the time in primary school. But then he just stopped." Why does this happen, this perceived halting to the reading practices of our youth? When do they stop loving reading?
Let's consider how kids learn to read in primary school. They begin with gaining an understanding of the sounds of the letters, which they blend into words, which then become the written word, which are then multiplied and woven into stories. Eagerly, children bring home their assigned reading books and proudly demonstrate their reading prowess to anyone willing to lend an ear. Progress is recorded and monitored probably through some sort of reading log, and may be charted against the rest of the class. It is a task that must be completed, a skill that must be learned.

Book Review: Divanomics by Michelle McKinney Hammon

Book Title: Divanomics
Author: Michelle McKinney Hammon
Format: Hardback
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I just finished reading Divanomics by Michelle McKinney Hammon. Surprisingly, this book is an excellent read. I ordered this book from Black Expressions Book Club because the title was appealing. Ironically, I did judge a book by its cover. I'm glad I did. On the cover of the book, is a yellow sales tag with the inscription, “how to be still fabulous when you're broke.” As I read it page by page, I fought the urge to mark it up, highlight it, and stick “post-it” notes all through it. I plan on doing that the second round through.

Michelle McKinney Hammon has written a lot of books, which I didn't know. Now I am excited to read a few of the others. Funny, she wrote her first book, when she lost all her money. Perhaps, the most intriguing aspect of the book is that she writes as if she is having a conversation with you while sharing her personal situation. Who does that nowadays? W…

Currently Reading: I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

I first started reading I Almost Forgot about You ,  by Terry McMillan, when  I was visiting my parents.  I stopped at Square Books in Oxford, where I as able to meet Terry McMillan, to read the first chapter of the book.  After reading "The Uses of Sorrow" by Mary Oliver at the beginning of the book, I became intrigued.  After reading the first chapter, I decided to finish reading the book.

I do not buy as many books as in the past since the majority of my library is in storage.  Therefore, I requested the book from my library.  There were two people ahead of me, so I assumed it would take forever for my chance to read the book.

Today, I checked my email, I became filled with excitement.  I was notified that my hold for I Almost Forgot about You was available.  My library, Central Mississippi Library System, using the Axis 360 application to allow patrons to check out electronic versions of books.  I immediately downloaded the book to my iPad and my iPhone.  Since this is my…

Currently Reading: The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I started reading The Thing Around Your Neck  by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie this week, and I cannot believe how good this book is.  This text is a compilation of short stories, which demonstrates how Adichie's talent as a writer.  Honestly, I am listing her as one of my favorite writers.  Her writing forces me to be intrigued by African culture, especially Nigerian culture.  After completing only three stories, I cannot wait until I read the other ones.

Here is the book's description from Goodreads:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie burst onto the literary scene with her remarkable debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, which critics hailed as “one of the best novels to come out of Africa in years” (Baltimore Sun), with “prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes” (The Boston Globe); The Washington Post called her “the twenty-first-century daughter of Chinua Achebe.” Her award-winning Half of a Yellow Sun became an instant classic upon its publication three years later, on…