Reading as a Punishment

Reading
Reading by Quinn Dombrowski

On February 8th the New York Times published Teenagers Who Vandalized Historic Black Schoolhouse Are Ordered to Read Books.  The article describes a crime, where 4 young boys, vandalized a historic black schoolhouse.  The judge of the case handed down a strange ruling.  The boys had to read.  For someone like me, this would not have been a punishment, but I also didn’t go around vandalizing anything.

USA Today article on the schoolhouse.

Pictures and more from Patch.com

Now, I don’t know if this will work.  If those kids see this as a punishment then maybe not, but if they take it as a learning opportunity then maybe so.  I’m not sure how enlightened kids that would do this kind of thing are, there is also their age to consider.

I did think that the list of books they were ordered to read was actually pretty well thought out.  It wasn’t just, we are going to give you a bunch of books to read as a pure punishment.  They thought about the books hoping to give the kids a little background and maybe teach them an understanding that they didn’t have and they weren’t learning from their parents or school.

For those of you interested (like me) here is the list:

The Color Purple,” Alice Walker
Native Son,” Richard Wright
Exodus,” Leon Uris
Mila 18,” Leon Uris
Trinity,” Leon Uris
My Name Is Asher Lev,” Chaim Potok
The Chosen,” Chaim Potok
The Sun Also Rises,” Ernest Hemingway
Night,” Elie Wiesel
The Crucible,” Arthur Miller
The Kite Runner,” Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns,” Khaled Hosseini
Things Fall Apart,” Chinua Achebe
The Handmaid’s Tale,” Margaret Atwood
To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Maya Angelou
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” Rebecca Skloot
Caleb’s Crossing,” Geraldine Brooks
Tortilla Curtain,” T.C. Boyle
The Bluest Eye,” Toni Morrison
A Hope in the Unseen,” Ron Suskind
Down These Mean Streets,” Piri Thomas
Black Boy,” Richard Wright
The Beautiful Struggle,” Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Banality of Evil,” Hannah Arendt
The Underground Railroad,” Colson Whitehead
Reading Lolita in Tehran,” Azar Nafisi
The Rape of Nanking,” Iris Chang
Infidel,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Orphan Master’s Son,” Adam Johnson
The Help,” Kathryn Stockett
Cry the Beloved Country,” Alan Paton
Too Late the Phalarope,” Alan Paton
A Dry White Season,” André Brink
Ghost Soldiers,” Hampton Sides

Meet the 4 year-old that has read more books than you

This little girls is now reading college level texts and her mother reached out to the library of congress to help her find new books.  When they heard about her they asked her to come spend the day.  What a nice story.  Read the whole ting from the Washington Post.

Reading While Recovering From Surgery

Me Reading Truthwitch on my Kindle while recovering from surgery
Me Reading Truthwitch on my Kindle while recovering from surgery

Several days ago I had ankle surgery on my right ankle.  For those wondering it was not related to an injury, just had a bum bone in my foot.  I’m enjoying all the time I have to read, but to be honest I am getting restless.  My foot needs to stay elevated to typing at my desk is hard, since there is no where to put my foot up.

I’ve read four graphic novels and that I got from the library and I finished The Color Purple.  I’ll write about them as soon as I can, but in the meantime.  I am afraid its back to my chair so I can put my foot up.  Hang in there with me and I’ll get back to regular post just as soon as I can.

Reading Log

Stockholm Public Library
Stockholm Public Library by Samantha Marx

I ran across a link to May McLay Patterson’s enormously long titled I Read 164 Books in 2015 and Tracked them all in a Spreadsheet.  Here is what I learned. article.  It starts of a little too wordy for me and then the first tip is not to finish every book you start.  So far, this sounds like the same advice I’ve heard from a million other people, most notably Nancy Pearl.

I track what I’ve read and what I want to read on goodreads, but I also have a spreadsheet.  Just something simple on google sheets.  In 2015 I was interested if I read more male authors work or female.  So I started tracking it (67% male).  Patterson mentions that Amanda Nelson of Book Riot not only records their gender but also their nationality, and whether or not they identify as a person of color.  I thought this is great finally a way to better my existing system.

I loved that Patterson liked Stacy Schiff’s The Witches: Salem, 1692 because that book is on my short list of to TBR.  It drives me crazy that I haven’t read it yet.

Last year, the BBC reported that translations comprise just 2 to 3 percent of English publishing, compared with 27 percent in France and up to 70 percent in Slovenia.

Wow!  I’ve read two books this year that are translations The Stranger and Missing Person.  Both, oddly enough French translations.  Go figure!  Make that three, I didn’t realize that Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist was a translation.

I’m reading the article as I write this.  Patterson is a librarian and the more I read of this article the more my desire to be a librarian increases.  I’ve known for several years that I would like to do that kind of work, but I haven’t acted on it yet.  To many responsibilities to try to make this happen right now.  Maybe much later?

At the end of every book I loved, I felt transformed. I wanted to tell everyone about it…

I find this frustrating as none of my friends read as much as I do.  The ones that come close are not people I talk to as often as I would like.  I work with them and I’m too busy at work to have a long book conversation most days.  This is frustrating, I assume if you are a librarian you get to talk books a lot more.  Again, jealous!

I’m done now, and I feel that you would do well to read this article if you are a reader of books.  I enjoyed it.  Have fun and keep reading!

100 Books in a Year

Stack Of Books
Stack Of Books by Indi Samarajiva

Now, I’ve never read 100 books in a year.  Well, I probably have, but I don’t count the books I read to my kids in good reads, so only 96 in a year a few years back.  So, when I saw Aliza Weinberger’s article, What happened when I tried to read 100 books in a year, I was intrigued.

I would have liked to see more reviews in the article.  All her ratings where listed but nothing too much about what she thought of the books.  Just a few little sentences here and there.  To me it was more about her journey reading 100 books and less about what it meant to her or why she was doing it, other than just to do it.

She does later say:

…this project wasn’t really about the number of books I could read. It was about finding books that made me feel what reading had always done for me: that connection, that sheer joy of reading a book that both entertains and moves me.

That was nice to see in there.  The worst part was all the little gifs and advertisements that popped up while I was trying to read the article.  I can’t take Mashable articles seriously with all this junk popping up while I’m trying to read a article that genuinely interest me.  Good content is not going to keep me on the site, if it is observed by all this other stuff.

I was going to read another article that Weinberger linked to on Mashable, but I gave up after having so much trouble loading the first article.  I hope they clean that site up, thy have some good content.

I don’t think I will have as rough a time reading my hundred as Weinberger did.  I know what I want to read, I have a TBR shelf of hundreds of books.  Getting through them all will be the tough part.  Wish me luck!