Once again, I failed to read three books for the month. I just couldn’t find anything that hooked me. I honestly got through half of a book called Here Lies Hugh Glass by John Coleman, but it just didn’t retain my interest…whereas my Nintendo DS did.
But here’s what I did fill my time with (other than “In the Kitchen with David” on QVC).
Macbeth – the Graphic Novel: by William Shakespeare – Yeah no really, it didn’t specify the name of an editor so apparently Shakespeare came back from the grave to write a pretty decent adaptation of his classic. I assigned this book to a group students to read and so of course I made sure to read it, too. At almost 200 pages, it’s much heftier than the Illustrated Classics many of us grew up with. Although some of the artwork is a bit cheesy, I felt that this version does a good job of integrating some of the original’s lines along with some modern explanation. My students were reticent when I hnded them something by Shakespeare, but they universally loved the novel (what 6th grader doesn’t love blood and murder?).
The Giver: by Lowis Lowry – That’s right. It’s a youth book club kind of month. Another teacher scheduled all of us to see the play of The Giver and although I know everyone else seems to have read it, I never had. I had read a synopsis here and there (and knew it was up my alley) but never officially got there. That being said, it turned out to not be my favorite. With stories like Hunger Games and Divergent so popular right now, we should all appreciate Lowry’s vision of dystopian society from 20 years ago. But I felt like the main character, Jonas, was a big whiner. I couldn’t connect with him. My students were split pretty 50/50, as well, but they really connected with the play and are excited for the movie (August this year).
The Silence of the Lambs – Yes, I’ve seen it many times, but not for many years. Recently I listened to a podcast on The Moth where one of the actors who played the paramedic told a pretty hilarious story about his very short scene. Knowing the backstory of this scene, I knew I had to see the movie again. ESPECIALLY since I’m spending my Wednesday nights in the FBI Citizen’s Academy. Man this movie is great! I love the way Jodi Foster’s character, Clarice, is constantly being diminished and marginalized by almost every man in the movie, and yet she becomes our ultimate heroine. Meanwhile, Hannibal Lecter is the only man who does not treat her like a lesser person, and for that reason, coupled with his eccentricities, he somehow becomes a bit of an antihero. For a woman who has frequently felt the subtle condescension of men in the workplace, I was hooked by her vulnerabilities and determination. If you haven’t seen it for awhile (or ever – gasp!), it’s available on Netflix right now.