Sunday, May 23, 2010

I Am Not A Serial Killer

1 book you read: I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

2 words that describe the book: Unsettling, engaging

3 settings where it took place or characters you met:

  • Mortuary
  • John Wayne Cleaver - a 15 year old sociopath who lives in Middle America above the mortuary that his mom and aunt run. John believes that he is not like everyone else; he is obsessed with serial killers and believes that one lies dormant within himself. To keep the monster at bay John has created a rigid set of rules to keep him from doing something - anything wrong. Problems arise when a string of horrifying murders begin in John's hometown. John uses his special knowledge of serial killers to personally investigate the murders and try and stop the inevitable from happening.
  • Dr. Neblin - John's therapist. What a vehicle he was for pulling self-discovery from John throughout the story. Through their sessions John's rules were revealed. I enjoyed their interchanges and the calm that he brought. Typically I find that background characters slip through the cracks of my mind, yet I found this man both nondescript and memorable.
4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:
  • I liked John's rules of behaviour and living. I thought it was very revealing of someone his age and proclivity. It made me think about the rules that we probably all have for ourselves - diets, no pornography, personal integrity to build trust. It was an interesting fight he had with himself when he felt he had to sacrifice his rules to fight off a killer and save the community.
  • John’s narrative voice is real and personal in a way that hooked directly into the interest-center in my brain. That clear, distinct voice is what makes this book so worth reading. I was often repulsed and captivated by his inner voice.
  • We may all feel that there is something of evil to overcome in ourselves, to set aside and turn away from. I enjoyed that part of the book a lot. I had conversations with myself (I do that a lot!) about fate, overcoming the 'natural' man, and remembering that we can rise above ourselves. It was interesting how when John felt he had to relax his rules to catch the demon, that he becomes even more committed to them. The rest of the book was a lot like watching a car wreck. It was bloody and gory and not-too pretty. But I was mesmerized and couldn't turn away; I just don't think I was always happy about it.
  • John was very believable and basically had a good heart and soul. The book was a mix of mystery and some sci-fi genre mixing. That made the book better for me, but on the whole I found it more disturbing than anything else. At the end of the book I still don't know if I'm a better person for my journey with John. I know this is the beginning of a trilogy, I just don't know if I have the "guts" to read another.
5 Stars or less for your rating?
3.5 because it was just too unsettling for me. I admired the writing and deftness of the author, I just don't know if I can recommend it for much more than that.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Am

so fed up with my Spanish class that I could just flip! What an insane idea to do this in 8 weeks instead of 14 and in May, no less! Remind me to have my head examined. I am blogging right now rather than study and doing my bi-weekly test. It's only due tonight!

reading a great book, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. I think I'm in book-lust.

wishing that the Phoenix Suns would pull it together. C'mon guys, you can do it!

packing my classroom. How can I accumulate so much in the 5 years I've been in this classroom. I don't know where to start first ---

full after dinner at Cafe Rio!! Yumm!

starting to work on regular report cards. ELD report cards are DONE! Wahoo!

ready for a weekend, a pedicure (long overdue) and some swinging-time on the back porch.

anxious to get to the Book Group read - Sway; The Irresistable Pull of Irrational Behavior. Maybe I can explain to myself why I do some of the wonky things I checking out so many library books when I have piles at home. No, no, I know - why I started this Spanish class to begin with......

I Am crazy-loco!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gotta Keep Readin'

Absolutely my favorite in a long time!! I'm excited to try something like this next year with our school.....Hmmmm......


Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's Killin' Me!

Okay, I admit defeat!! The subjunctive tense, the reflexive verbs...they have me stumped. I am dyin' here... Why, oh why, did I think I could do this online Spanish class in 8 weeks? (Oh yeah, just to finish up my ESL endorsement by June, that's why!) Well, never do that again.

The end of the school year is always nutty and equally as busy as the beginning of the year. Just throw in the fact that we're tired AND there are report cards, promotions, parties, field trips, moving into a new class and a new grade - AND Spanish! ACK!

Just to add insult to injury the library called and three books from my Wish list arrived. Talk about bad timing. Look what's waiting....

Talk about temptation. I also agreed to read the Time Traveler's Gift for Jennie. It's my "travelin" book and is going everywhere with me (along with my Spanish book!) A girl has to have SOME fun! (What the heck, I even forgot about the bookgroup book, Sway, that I have to cram in. Gosh, I may have to become a Speed-reader.)

I'm trying to truly soak up all I can in these last few days of school (how many you ask?!?! 10!) I will be moving to 3rd grade for the next school year. I want to remember what a joy AND what a challenge it has been to be a 1st grade teacher for the last 5 years. It's a bittersweet change. My kiddos have surprisingly done very well. I have poured myself into them and we've all survived. I smile at that now, but there were days when I doubted it!

So bring it on Spanish, let's take another test so you can kick me in the patootie. It's May and summer freedom is just around the corner.

(I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

April Blew By

The month of April went so quickly but there was plenty to keep us busy!!

Rich decided that he needed to call a little attention to himself and pick up a bright green cast as a lovely accessory. He says that the biggest challenge is zipping his zipper! He's now onto cast #3 and it is a friendly shade of orange, neon that is. He resembles a human-highlighter! At least I don't lose him in the dark.

Three of the six grandkids have birthdays in April so Rich and I hosted a little party complete with "cars" to race, a bean bag toss and more. They loved it!! There were only 4 race cars but five racers. What to do? They decided, as a team, to share, take turns and not be jealous. I love problem solving grandkids!! I was so impressed with how well they took turns, helped as "pit crews" and played for hours. I think it was a great success. One of the 3 year olds wanted to race and race and race. Just burn off that energy, honey!!

See this gal here?? You are looking at a "find", a gem, if you will. I was her Young Women's leader about 20 years ago and I love it that I still get wedding announcements all these years later! She finally found the right man and it was a great day.

Now see this place??? It's a house!! The reception dinner and dancing was held here on the golf course of the Biltmore. It was the most incredible house I've been to in a long that - ever!! It was decorated in old Italian style down to the tiniest detail. There aren't words in my vocabulary besides, "wow!"

School days - only 19 left, but who's counting?!?!? I'm taking a last Spanish class to add to the insanity. We celebrated Spring Fling by finishing our Penguin reports and making tear art penguins. They loved it. Other first grade classes did Bee Reports and Frog Reports. I think ours rocked!! Look at the display my kids pulled off. One of the students said that there was so much "creative" in our class that it almost made his head explode!!

I read only 2 books as I started a new class but both were worth the time.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Heist Society by Ally Carter

May looks BUSY.... it's blowing in with a wallop and my head hurts just thinking about all I have to do. (Oh, maybe that's the no-sugar challenge that Rich and I started!) To top it all off I am changing grade levels and have to pack up and move from my old "home" in B5. Yiikes. I'm anxious to hear some authors coming to town this month, to celebrate another birthday (he's 24 so the cars won't really be needed), to visit a friend's classroom, to finish District testing, and the book group book, Sway, is waiting for me.

I will not make a will only make me nuts. So tonight I will read for a while and tomorrow I will greet May in all her madness!!

Currently Reading: I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells