Category Archives: Books I enjoy!

Saturday’s Book – “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” by Fannie Flag

I haven’t updated this category since we left for Alaska but I have been reading!

This was the first book that I read on the trip. I had seen the movie years ago and didn’t remember too much about it except that I really enjoyed it.

Perfect choice for many hours of traveling – light, engaging, interesting and amusing.


Saturday’s Book: “Visual Impact, Visual Teaching” by Timothy Gangwer

Not long ago I asked for recommendations for a useful book that my aunt in the U.S could send me for my birthday. By the way, the recommendations are here if you want to see them or add one of your own!

I’m glad I chose this book! I got a warm recommendation for this book. Although I duly noted that info I’m embarrassed to say that I did not note who recommended it – so if you are reading this post this THANK YOU is for you!

What I will do with ideas from the book in class is not a topic for a Saturday’s posting, but the book isn’t just for teachers. It is a book that enriches your knowledge of  visual information. There are some photography tips too, we’ll see if I remember them when taking pictures in Alaska!

I can’t resist sharing with you a lovely idea in the book. I was just flipping through the book and it was the first thing I read:

Page 184, activity 363 Gift Catalogue:

Have students make a list of things that can be enjoyed for free. Photograph those things and place them in a “priceless” catalogue.

Saturday’s Book – LISTENING to “Roughing It” by Mark Twain

Besides all the various material I’m reading, you can now find me “armed” with  an MP3 player (never had one before), moving around the house and listening to Mark Twain!

Did you know it can be legally downloaded for free from Libravox?

Although I was more interested in Mark Twan’s book “The Innocents Abroad” as it was about Europe and the Middle East, his delightful language and descriptions are such a pleasure to listen to that even silver mines become interesting!

Now I can get more reading done this summer, by reading and listening!

Saturday’s Book: We Need to Talk about Kevin – Part Two

I’m very conflicted about this book.

Lionel Shriver’s writing is brilliant. She (Yes, Lionel is a woman’s name! I was surprised!) draws the reader in and captivates with truly impressive prose.

Obviously she’s trying to shock and provoke the reader. Somewhat like a well written version of a Michael Moore film. There are certainly points to think about regarding society, media, parenting and more.

On the other hand, I felt that the author undermines her own message by depicting SUCH a dysfunctional family. It’s hard to buy the message that it isn’t just the parent’s fault with these parents, particulary the father and the relationship between the parents. I kept screaming at them ( in my head) throughout the whole book, from the beginning almost: “why aren’t you all in therapy?!!

Also, the ending -sigh. I watch a lot of foreign films (foreign, as in not Hollywood) and well, without spoiling it for anybody, that was an American ending. A movie which I actually hated (gave me nightmares!), but deals with comparable topics and has an ending which is more believable is Funny Games by Michael Haneke (the original version, don’t know anything about the American Remake).  Though I’m not actually recommending you watch the movie… there are others that are more palatable. Just here the topic is similar.

I’m also somewhat concerned – many of the people who recommended this book to me aren’t parents yet. I do hope this book hasn’t scared them!

My next book will be something more cheerful!

Saturday’s Book: “We Need to Talk about Kevin” by Lionel Shriver

The recommendations to read this book were very strong and kind of “creepy”:

* A “must” read – it will rock your world.

* Steel yourself but hang in there until the powerful conclusion.

* Don’t plan to be doing much else while you read it as you won’t be able to stop

To top it off the librarian said (when I checked out the book)

“I couldn’t read anything else for a week after that,  I was so shaken”.

A bit scary!

I’ve just read chapter one so far and am hooked (though still not enough to have trouble stopping, yet). Will save commnets for next Saturday’s post – too early to talk about it!

Saturday’s Book: Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux

Photo by Gil Epshtein

Our local library has something special – a reader’s “gift” corner.

Any person looking for a “new home” for some of his /her books can place them in this corner, near the entrance. Sometimes the library itself adds books that they have multiple copies of but don’t seem to be leaving the shelf.

People place a wide variety of things there, ranging from old encyclopedia volumes, trashy novels, auto magazines and old textbooks. The books are in different languages.

Sometimes I find a real treasure there, like this book!

I’m enjoying it immensely! Paul Theroux travelled, in 1986 from London to China by train, and then extensively in China.  His descriptions are so vivid and he writes so nicely! He spent a lot of time talking to people (in their language!) which makes the tale particularly interesting.

There have already been several mentions of English teaching. He taught English in Singapore before this journey. In Beijing (in the book it is still Peking) he taught English at a night school for a while. In Shanghai he encounters a regular English day at a park – a grass roots “institution” where people converged to learn and practice English. This was before the arrival of the Internet…

My son pointed out that it is somewhat illogical that I began reading the “gift” book and not the other two books I brought from the library which have a due date, but who has to be logical all the time?!

*Photo by Gil Epshtein