From the Teacher’s Lounge

My daughter teaches Family and Consumer Science in Southern PA, and she collected eight books from the teacher’s lounge for me to read while I visited for a few weeks while helping the family adjust to to the birth of their new baby boy. I thought you might be interested in what some of our nation’s teachers are reading.

1. HALF BROKE HORSES- A True Life Novel by Jeannette Walls (2010), which I already read and thoroughly enjoyed. Here are the remaining 7 books I brought home with me, as yet unread:

2. MARCH by Geraldine Brooks (2005). This Pulitzer Prize Winning book about the Civil War is alike sequel of Louisa May Alcott’s famous LITTLE WOMEN. The book is praised for it’s historical detail and smooth blending with Alcott’s writing style. This is the story of Jo March’s father’s experience’s in the Civil War. The book has letters Mr. March wrote to his wife and daughters while he was away, and how they coped while he was gone.

3. BY THE RIVER PIEDRA I SAT DOWN AND WEPT (1998) by Paulo Coelho. This is the story of two lovers who reunite after 11 years. I had a hard time getting interested in it, and won’t be reading it.

4. THE CROWNING GLORY OF CALLA LILY PONDER by Rebecca Wells (2009). Wells is better known for her book DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD. Hopefully this book will be a good as the movie, although I don’t think I finished watching the whole movie! This story takes place in the small river town of La Luna in Louisiana. Calla Lily Ponder is living a charmed life in La Luna until it is cut short when her first love Tuck leaves her with a broken heart. Then Calla Lily with her “healing hands” takes off for New Orleans to further her education at a fancy beauty academy.

5. THE GIRL FROM JUNCHOW by Kate Furnival (2007). This story takes place in 1929 China where Lydia Ivanova believed her father was killed by the Bolsheviks. Later on she discovers he is imprisoned in Stalin controlled Russia. Lydia is willing to leave everything behind, even her Chinese lover Chang An Lo in order to travel to Russia with her half brother Alexei to find their father. Alex disappears when they arrive there and Lydia is left alone and penniless in soviet Russia. But Chang An Lo has not forgotten Lydia…

6. LITTLE ALTERS EVERYWHERE by Rebecca Wells (1992). As the book blurb says this is the “Hilarious novel of the eccentric Walker clan of Thornton, Louisiana set in 1963 flashbacks.” as told from the child and adult Siddalee Walker’s point of view.

7. THE HERETIC’S DAUGHTER by Kathleen Kent (2008). This National Bestseller is a novel about some shocking aspects of Salem Witch trials. What does that remind me of? (Didn’t we all have to read “THE CRUCIBLE in high school?). I love reading about life in Colonial times because I have quite a few ancestors who settled in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut at that time before their descendants migrated to Pennsylvania. The story starts out when Sarah Carrier Chapman writes a letter to her granddaughter revealing the secret she has closely guarded for 60 years. Her story stats a year before the the Salem Witch trials when nine year old Sarah Carrier Chapman and her family arrive in a New England already gripped by superstition and fear. This is the story of Sarah and her mother Martha Chapman and a little lie Sarah was asked to tell. I think I might like this book, but time will tell when I read it later.

8. A SISTER’S HOPE by Wanda Brunstetter (2008), in large print. I have read several of Wanda Brunstetter’s books and I find them all using the same formula: A Amish romance and marriage, a death, a birth, a wanting to be free to be who you really are sometimes and a wanting to do what the Amish community wants or be kicked out of it. I find these books unsettling because the characters have to follow the rules or leave. I hate that mentality, I get pissed off at it really! I’m not sure I’ll even read this book unless desperate.

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