professornana (professornana) wrote,

road work

Hubby and I are in Orange County this week. We flew in Wednesday. Yesterday I did two sessions at the UC Irvine Teacher Conference. Kelly Gallagher was the keynoter and, as always, he offered concrete ways to improve our teaching and our students' writing. I had the chance to sit and chat with Alan Sitomer, said HI to Sheridan Blau and then headed back to the hotel. Now, we have 4 days in front of us with no band rehearsal, no kitties up at 4 am. I brought some books along for the ride. However, I have not completed either the audio, SOMETHING ROTTEN, nor the book, THE SWEET FAR THING. I thought, though, I would do something different and make some comments before I finish the reading/listening.

Hurray for the first audio that I am not having to consider for the Odyssey Award (which means I can talk about it here). Welcome to Denmark, Tennessee, the home of the Elsinore Paper Plant run until recently by Rex Prince. After Rex's death, his widow Trudy married Claude, Rex's brother. Now Rex's son, Hamilton, has come home to see what is afoot. He is accompanied by his pal, Horatio. Hamilton suspects foul play. Perhaps the local theater's staging of ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD will reveal the truth? I am laughing out loud with this audio (and the people in cars next to me in traffic are giving me a wide berth: a bonus). I have booktalked it to English teachers with huge response. I hope it will find its way into classrooms at the very least as an intro to the play.

I read about half of Libba Bray's conclusion to her trilogy on the plane ride here and it was one of those rare times that I wished the flight were delayed so I could have continued reading more. How I adore Gemma and Fee and Pippa and Ann. From the opening chapter of A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY to the final scene in REBEL ANGELS, I have remained riveted with this story that combines elements of mystery, fantasy, and history effortlessly. This book, set to be released on Christmas Day, will (sadly) bring the story to its conclusion. My resident teens have moved from whining for me to finish reading and instead decided that they would go back and listen to the first two to prepare for the third book. I have promised them to be done when I get back home next week. Libba, a fellow LJer, is blogging about the book as the release date approaches. Check out her blog, too. And check back here for the final thoughts on each of these books.
Tags: audiobooks, reading, ya books, ya literature
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