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Wonders Never Cease

June 5, 2013


I began my summer a while ago.  And there is a weird part of me that I can’t understand.  I had been so excited to read a real book!  One that I got to choose!  But I was reluctant to start.  Have I told you before that once I start a book it is difficult for me to do much else?  And there was the laundry.  Always with the laundry!  And the house was a disaster.  I had to get my dining room table cleaned off.  And then there were all the other corners of the house that were housing crap that didn’t go there.  I just couldn’t start.  I read blogs religiously.  I went on (gasp) facebook.  I read posted articles from TED, and watched TED talks.  I read a lot of stuff people recommended.  I *could have* read a book.  I was doing A LOT of reading.  But it felt different.  I don’t know why.

My friend from work (the chair of the department) and I are teaching a workshop next week for high school teachers in St. Paul, so she told me I should read Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

I thought, “Why not?” So I went to the bookstore and bought it.  The introduction was brutal.  But the book was interesting.  It reminded me a lot of Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.  At least the first 50 pages did.  That is as far as I got.  I just couldn’t do another dense non-fiction read.  I needed something that was a STORY.  But I will definitely go back to Thinking Fast and Slow.  It is a really great study about thinking; about our involuntary reactions and our thinking brain and how they work together.  I would recommend it based on the first 50 pages (out of about 400) for sure.

Sarah needed to go to the bookstore to buy her friend a birthday present, and how could I say no to that?  While we were there Sarah and Katie each got a book for free (from me), and I decided that I could get one too.  I decided to start easy.  Both Sarah and Katie had read Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and they loved it.  I had heard about it from my friend who teachers children’s literature at school and many other places.  Plus, I had been reading the 200 suggested books from TED and this one made the list.  I thought, “Why not?”

I am so glad I started with this book.  I can not recommend it enough.  It is about a normal kid.  Normal in every way except one:  His face is deformed.  It is set when he is going into 5th grade (which is middle school in this book), and going to school for the first time.  You can imagine some of the trials he is put through.  But the over-all theme to me was love conquers all.  Love Wins.  It is perfect for anyone, but I think third grade is the youngest that would really understand the details.  And it is good for adults too.  It really is.  Let me know what you think!

What are you reading?  I have started What the BEST College Teachers Do by Ken Bain.  I know!  I am on the edge of my seat as well!

  1. June 5, 2013 10:19 am

    I love Gladwell, so I’m glad to hear this measures up! Thanks for the book recs! I am in the middle of re-reading Devil’s Brood about Henry II’s sons, because I bought the next two books (Lionheart is up next!) and wanted to go back to the (almost) beginning. Her books are DENSE but oh so good, if you like fiendishly researched, wonderful historical fiction.

    • June 12, 2013 7:46 pm

      I love historical fiction! I haven’t read this genre for a while. Thanks for the suggestion! xoxoxo

  2. June 7, 2013 11:18 am

    Congrats again on the job! What a story. I can’t wait to hear more about it, and also, what it’s like for you balancing the new job with family.

    I have some posts in the works but have been slow to getting back to blogging. Have been reading a lot! Read and LOVED Elizabeth Strout’s new book The Burgess Boys, and am currently reading the amazing memoir by Mira Bartok called The Memory Palace, about her relationship with her schizophrenic mother. It’s so so nice to have time to read. Will add these books to my list!

    • June 12, 2013 7:49 pm

      I haven’t heard of either of these books! I will add them to MY list. :)

      I have been reading now too. I need to get a new post out soon!

  3. June 24, 2013 6:47 am

    I’ve been so curious about Thinking Fast & Slow…. on my list (as research for a new book I’M WRITING *wink*) Willow got me Eizabeth Strout’s new book and I’m just about to dive into it. So excited. Strout is a favorite.

    I’ve made a goal I want to read 10 fiction books this summer. Fluff counts. :)

    • June 24, 2013 2:09 pm

      Fluff totally counts. Doesn’t it always? I still have to revisit Cutting for Stone. I think I will have to start over because I can’t remember where I was. Let me know how you like Thinking Fast & Slow. I am over the moon excited that you have started writing another book! So many good things Christina. So many! xoxox

      • June 24, 2013 4:15 pm

        I had to comment again because the same thing happened to me with Cutting for Stone! I started a library e-book and it expired when I was about 1/4 of the way through.

        I love reading about what you are reading!

        • June 26, 2013 6:34 pm

          OOOOOoooooo! Let’s read it together! It would be fun!

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