Showing posts from January, 2021

Review: The Midnight Library

If you had a chance to "fix" your life by changing decisions you made, would you? Matt Haig gives Nora Seed that chance — a happy life and redemption for perceived past mistakes — in The Midnight Library , and the outcome will change the way you see your own life. More importantly, Haig understands depression, and demonstrates that to his readers on every page. As humans navigate through the real-life terror of a raging global pandemic — and, in America, an unprecedented threat to the foundation of our once-lauded government — we face uncertainty and fear. That, and the unknown future, have stressed every aspect of society. Many are struggling, and are facing mental challenges and mental illness. Haig personifies such challenges with respect and empathy. While no one has a flawless life absent of regret, Nora's life is — well, a complete mess. She has opportunities in her life to excel, learn, take adventures, connect with other people, but she turns away from them all,

Review: The Unteachables

I read pretty much all genres, all age levels — but I am discerning. Like the child I once was, who would have picked up this book in a heartbeat, I read what I consider quality writing and illustrations. So I know what I like — and I truly enjoyed  Gordon Korman 's  The Unteachables . It is a delightful and worthy read, even for those close(r) to (early) retirement.  Zachary Kermit can see early retirement from his desk at Greenwich Middle School. While his classroom changes every year, his goal does not. Early retirement has been his goal for decades, as he was moved from classroom to classroom, subject to subject, after a crushing disappointment in his early years of teaching. And what a teacher he was! Fierce, engaging, supportive, and driven. Nothing like the silent, coffee-swilling shell of an educator sitting at the front of the class in Room 117. School Superintendent Dr. Thaddeus, worried about budgets, sees Mr. Kermit's family's longevity and cringes: the school d

My 12 Favorite — and Two Least Favorite — Books of 2020

In the Reading Year 2020, I read nearly every genre in every medium. I read all over the calendar, today's newest fiction and books from days gone by; I'm never sure what will truly captivate me on the page. I read text in print and ebooks, and I listen to books on my daily run. (I am an equal opportunity consumer.) 2020 was not a typical year of reading for me, at least at first. The pandemic coupled with short staffing at work made reading difficult — but never impossible. I need to read as much as I need air and sunshine (but not nearly as much as I need sleep, apparently). Halfway through the year, I recaptured my reading momentum, and I didn't look back. I read 95 books in just about every genre. Some of the books were modest in length — some were graphic novels, and a few were picture books — but the biography of Queen Elizabeth topped the scale at 721 pages, so I was no slacker. According to Goodreads, I averaged 245 pages per book.  I had a very rewarding reading ye