Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
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Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
An Educator's Reading List of Contemporary Literature, Literacy, and Reading Issues. Visit us at https://www.GoogleLitTrips.org
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Every Book Referenced On Season 4 Of "Orange Is The New Black"

Every Book Referenced On Season 4 Of "Orange Is The New Black" | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Orange Is the New Black book club, anyone?..
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
18 July 2016

I count myself as a fan of Orange is the New Black. Like many important issues it brought to our attention some of the most difficult issues not only within our prison systems, but also in the world at large.

Yes there were many very rough to face scenes. But Not turning away from that which we are uncomfortable being encouraged to consider is sometimes what it takes to face the truth that there is still much work to be done.

So, having noticed that many of the characters spent time reading, but the titles of their books flashed by too quickly to catch, I was happy to see that a complete list was provided for each episode of Season 4.

Haven't read many, but several were close to my heart including but not limited to Rainer Maria Rilke's Letter to a Young Poet, Ian Flemming's Casino Royale and Goldfinger (remembering fondly the master high school teacher who said I could read Ian Flemming for a personal reading projects as long as I read them all! My first author study and it was an eye opening experience), Chimamanda Ngozi's Americana;  L. Frank Baum's (the real) The Wizard of Oz, and of course Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. 

brought to you by GLT Global ED / Google Lit Trips

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51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature

51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
"At the still point, there the dance is." —T. S. Eliot
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

1 August 2015

 

PREFACE: This commentary rests upon a confession of sorts that I was a bit of a fool in my own school days. I prefer the term "late bloomer." A goofball nevertheless. However, I will remind the reader that I did later wind up becoming an actual high school English teacher and dedicating my teaching career to a high school English teacher who made all the difference in the world to me.

___________

There were times in my me-centric youth when almost nothing in school annoyed me more than being told by my English teachers that it is important to read between the lines in literature.

 

For example, as a freshman in high school, I was not even slightly interested in love. Cars, baseball, and horsing around with my buddies pretty much crowded wanting a girlfriend on my list of stuff I cared about off my list of stuff I cared about. In fact, among my buddies,  having a girl friend was setting oneself up for ruthless teasing. 

 

This did not mean that we had no interest in girls. But, that interest, although normal, was not focused upon love. Though we all enjoyed a wide variety of jokes based in the realm of lust. Nothing to be particularly proud of.

 

BUT, Romeo and Juliet was required reading nevertheless. Ironically, in general I was a pretty enthusiastic reader when it came to books I could choose myself. But the combination of Shakespeare's "torturous" language and the focus upon teens in love, pre-empted any chance that I would believe the play could possibly have any interest for me. 

 

I remember "cracking a joke" during one of our final class lectures about the play that played exceptionally well with most of my male buddies in the class and earned me mostly scornful eye-rolling from most of the females in the class and a few unwelcome words from the teacher both in front of my classmates as well as in private when the teacher asked me to remain after class that day.

 

The joke? The teacher, hoping to harvest expressions of gratitude for assigning the play, asked for our opinion about the play's "sad" ending. He got a few such comments from the students that I perceived as being the "goody-goody" students. When the teacher had harvested enough positive comments he made the mistake of "randomly" calling upon me for my thoughts on the ending. In the carelessly too-common way I had about such things, I responded, "Actually, I couldn't wait for them to kill themselves."

 

What I meant was that I couldn't wait for us to be finished reading the play because it was really hard to read and I perceived it to be a teen love story for which I had virtually no interest. 

 

This confession leads me to the reason I chose to scoop this particular article. 

 

The short reason being well-stated in the old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." 

 

The longer reason being that the beholder may or may not yet be ready to see or appreciate the beauty of a well-turned phrase, an exquisitely written poem, or a masterpiece of literary significance. This does not mean that the beholder and the "beholdee" might not come together at a later date when the beholder might have matured sufficiently to appreciate what he or she had not given a chance earlier.

 

_____

An interesting aside

My wife and I found our very first teaching jobs in the same district where I had gone to school. Mine was a long-term sub job at the very high school I had attended. My wife's was at the middle school I had attended.

 

Needless to say, I had had several teachers with whom I had suddenly become a colleague. And, my wife had to learn how to react  to her new colleagues, many of whom I had had for teachers, when they swallowed awkwardly, struggling for something positive to say, not comprehending how she could have married someone for whom their recollections were of a goofball class clown.

_____

 

Today, though remnants of the fun-loving goofball still exist, I do see much beauty between the lines of the 51 sentences noted in this scooped article. I realize that the beauty IS in what is actually between the lines. 

 

Though not every kid will be able to "see" the beauty between the lines, most will see that there is an intended message between the lines that is greater than the sum of the sentence's parts. They will be able to see that an intended bit of useful wisdom is there to see. 

 

So... How might I use this webpage in class?

1st: I'd share the webpage rather than copy sentences to paper. Paper triggers more "auto-reject" responses than a webpage. (sort of like reading Shakespeare triggers more "auto-reject" responses than experiencing Shakespeare as a play or movie. Keep in mind the "original sources" for interacting with Shakespeare was witnessing a performance)

 

2nd: I'd ask students to take some time to read all 51 sentences taking note of those that "appealed to them" because they could see and appreciate the "wisdom between the lines." I'd let them know that I was convinced every one of them COULD easily see the messages between the lines AND that I also realized that they would like some of them more than others and that this was OKAY.

 

3rd: I'd challenge them to focus upon five or so (arbitrary number) sentences that they found least interesting/beautiful and to see if they could articulate what those who liked those particular sentences might have liked about them. I'd clarify that understanding what others liked about sentences they themselves did not find that interesting does not mean that they had to agree with those who liked the sentences. It just means that they are able to understand what others might have liked about them. (This is basically a trick to get them to accept that people can have perfectly reasonable differences of opinion.)

 

4th: I'd offer an opportunity for students to give some thought overnight about other sentences or phrases they are aware of that speak to them between the lines. I'd encourage them to think of anything from bumper stickers, to slogans, to lines from a favorite song or movie or poem, to famous quotes, to advise they've been given by parents, teachers, spiritual advisors,  to __________ (any short string of words that spoke to them in important ways)

 

5th: I'd end with an open discussion on the meaning of INFORMATION and the meaning of WISDOM.

 

Perhaps a Venn Diagram might be in order.

 

Just sayin'

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trip an educational nonprofit

 

 

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Christopher D. Sims's curator insight, August 2, 2015 11:04 AM

1 August 2015

 

PREFACE: This commentary rests upon a confession of sorts that I was a bit of a fool in my own school days. I prefer the term "late bloomer." A goofball nevertheless. However, I will remind the reader that I did later wind up becoming an actual high school English teacher and dedicating my teaching career to a high school English teacher who made all the difference in the world to me.

___________

There were times in my me-centric youth when almost nothing in school annoyed me more than being told by my English teachers that it is important to read between the lines in literature.

 

For example, as a freshman in high school, I was not even slightly interested in love. Cars, baseball, and horsing around with my buddies pretty much crowded wanting a girlfriend on my list of stuff I cared about off my list of stuff I cared about. In fact, among my buddies,  having a girl friend was setting oneself up for ruthless teasing. 

 

This did not mean that we had no interest in girls. But, that interest, although normal, was not focused upon love. Though we all enjoyed a wide variety of jokes based in the realm of lust. Nothing to be particularly proud of.

 

BUT, Romeo and Juliet was required reading nevertheless. Ironically, in general I was a pretty enthusiastic reader when it came to books I could choose myself. But the combination of Shakespeare's "torturous" language and the focus upon teens in love, pre-empted any chance that I would believe the play could possibly have any interest for me. 

 

I remember "cracking a joke" during one of our final class lectures about the play that played exceptionally well with most of my male buddies in the class and earned me mostly scornful eye-rolling from most of the females in the class and a few unwelcome words from the teacher both in front of my classmates as well as in private when the teacher asked me to remain after class that day.

 

The joke? The teacher, hoping to harvest expressions of gratitude for assigning the play, asked for our opinion about the play's "sad" ending. He got a few such comments from the students that I perceived as being the "goody-goody" students. When the teacher had harvested enough positive comments he made the mistake of "randomly" calling upon me for my thoughts on the ending. In the carelessly too-common way I had about such things, I responded, "Actually, I couldn't wait for them to kill themselves."

 

What I meant was that I couldn't wait for us to be finished reading the play because it was really hard to read and I perceived it to be a teen love story for which I had virtually no interest. 

 

This confession leads me to the reason I chose to scoop this particular article. 

 

The short reason being well-stated in the old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." 

 

The longer reason being that the beholder may or may not yet be ready to see or appreciate the beauty of a well-turned phrase, an exquisitely written poem, or a masterpiece of literary significance. This does not mean that the beholder and the "beholdee" might not come together at a later date when the beholder might have matured sufficiently to appreciate what he or she had not given a chance earlier.

 

_____

An interesting aside

My wife and I found our very first teaching jobs in the same district where I had gone to school. Mine was a long-term sub job at the very high school I had attended. My wife's was at the middle school I had attended.

 

Needless to say, I had had several teachers with whom I had suddenly become a colleague. And, my wife had to learn how to react  to her new colleagues, many of whom I had had for teachers, when they swallowed awkwardly, struggling for something positive to say, not comprehending how she could have married someone for whom their recollections were of a goofball class clown.

_____

 

Today, though remnants of the fun-loving goofball still exist, I do see much beauty between the lines of the 51 sentences noted in this scooped article. I realize that the beauty IS in what is actually between the lines. 

 

Though not every kid will be able to "see" the beauty between the lines, most will see that there is an intended message between the lines that is greater than the sum of the sentence's parts. They will be able to see that an intended bit of useful wisdom is there to see. 

 

So... How might I use this webpage in class?

1st: I'd share the webpage rather than copy sentences to paper. Paper triggers more "auto-reject" responses than a webpage. (sort of like reading Shakespeare triggers more "auto-reject" responses than experiencing Shakespeare as a play or movie. Keep in mind the "original sources" for interacting with Shakespeare was witnessing a performance)

 

2nd: I'd ask students to take some time to read all 51 sentences taking note of those that "appealed to them" because they could see and appreciate the "wisdom between the lines." I'd let them know that I was convinced every one of them COULD easily see the messages between the lines AND that I also realized that they would like some of them more than others and that this was OKAY.

 

3rd: I'd challenge them to focus upon five or so (arbitrary number) sentences that they found least interesting/beautiful and to see if they could articulate what those who liked those particular sentences might have liked about them. I'd clarify that understanding what others liked about sentences they themselves did not find that interesting does not mean that they had to agree with those who liked the sentences. It just means that they are able to understand what others might have liked about them. (This is basically a trick to get them to accept that people can have perfectly reasonable differences of opinion.)

 

4th: I'd offer an opportunity for students to give some thought overnight about other sentences or phrases they are aware of that speak to them between the lines. I'd encourage them to think of anything from bumper stickers, to slogans, to lines from a favorite song or movie or poem, to famous quotes, to advise they've been given by parents, teachers, spiritual advisors,  to __________ (any short string of words that spoke to them in important ways)

 

5th: I'd end with an open discussion on the meaning of INFORMATION and the meaning of WISDOM.

 

Perhaps a Venn Diagram might be in order.

 

Just sayin'

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.org ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trip an educational nonprofit

 

 

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25 Signs You're Addicted To Books

The first step is admitting it. The second step is to keep right on reading.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

 Why Scoop an article that i found more annoying than interesting?

 

_____

 

But, first a concession. The "voice" of this article is not intended to be the voice of an educator. The intention of this article is not to engage reluctant readers. The intended audience for this article is probably those already engaged in a life-long reading habit. And, my criticism is probably more about the importance of considering one's audience than about the intentions of the author and receptiveness of her audience.

______

 

Okay, so why did I find the article annoying?

 

It wasn't the inclusion of a word too rude to share with students. It's easy enough to begin a scoopit comment with a warning in that regard.

 

It wasn't the use of the word "addicted" in the title. Though using words like "addicted" and "obsessed" as if they referenced something admirable is annoying to me.

 

It had more to do with portraying readers...

 

as weak

primarily women

choosing reading over responsibility

ridiculously emotional

incapable of reading without being emotionally wounded

snobs

mean

out of touch

snobs

afraid of the real world

snobs

lost in the real world

snobs

snobs

and did I mention snobs?

 

This is NOT a list of reasons to encourage young people to become readers.

 

DISCLAIMER: It's not that I can't take a joke or see an attempt to be humorous. But, with few exceptions, I can't help but see most of these as more similar to "dumb blond" jokes or "racist jokes." They do little to counter negative stereotypes.

 

And defending these self-deprecating attempts at literary humor as "just jokes" seems pretty much as irritating as those who defend racist and sexist jokes as "just jokes."

 

"Can't you take a joke?"

 

Not always.

 

As book lovers, of course, self-deprecating humor of this sort is easy to accept and even find amusing. And, perhaps that is a significant difference between we who are bibliophiles and our students who have not yet discovered adequate reasons to makee a committment to life-long reading.

 

What percentage of your students would find these "jokes" to be encouraging a love of reading? 

 

My guess is a higher percentage would be encouraged to ridicule their classmates who do like reading.

 

 

 ~ http://GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

 

 

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If Dr. Seuss books were titled according to their subtexts

If Dr. Seuss books were titled according to their subtexts | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it


(from Buzzfeed)

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

Who didn't love Dr. Seuss?

 

What a great introduction to an accessible learning experience of "reading between the lines." It's a classic frustration point that all too frequently leads to annoyance and reliance upon a "I'll never get it, but I can learn to fake it Thanks to Spark Notes Plan B" attitude for many students.

 

Having probably liked Dr. Seuss in childhood and gained a bit more understanding of the world by the time students reach high school, it might be quite a bit easier to only have to stretch one's Vygotsky borders by exploring the real-world references made in these retitled Dr. Seuss books. A bit of understanding of what the titles reference added to an existing recollection of fondness for these classic stories, might provide a pre-engaged interest in rereading the stories with more "grown-up" eyes.

 

A follow up exercise might be to employ the opposite strategy. Have students start with a different personal favorite childhood story and have them create retitled versions of the covers for those stories. 

 

Or have them choose a book they more recently enjoyed and have them create a retitled book cover. I would probably ask them to choose a book that they had chosen themselves rather than one that had been required reading.

 

I think the key is that they start with a book that they read and enjoyed rather than one they did not choose, may have had to struggle through because of a lack of pre-existing interest, challenging vocabulary, or plotline of no particularly attractive nature.

 

For example, a student may be a skateboarder who happened to read a book about Tony Hawk simply because the student thinks Hawk is pretty cool. That student might in retrospect see that the book might easily be retitled "Perseverance Pays Off" or "Fun Ain't Always Easy And Easy Ain't Always Fun."

 

It wouldn't need to be a time consuming experience, but maybe a single period early in the semester might be an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

 

An alternative followup might be for students to be invited and then scheduled to bring in one or two or more of their favorite childhood books on the same day. And, then students are given a chance to  blind draw one of the books brought in that day. I'd probably have a list of the titles they brought in so that those titles would be unacceptable for this single experience. So if they did happen to blind draw a title that matches one of the books they brought in they would get to draw again until they had drawn a book other than the one they'd brought in. They might then read the book cold and then try to draw a retitled cover.

 

 ~ http:www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

 

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11 Exercises That'll Make Book Lovers Excited To Work Out

11 Exercises That'll Make Book Lovers Excited To Work Out | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it

"Note: The following exercises were created for satirical purposes. But if you try these at home and get more fitness and reading in, email the authors so they can feel good about their lives."

GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
29 May 2016

Did you burn more calories than pages you read today?

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips an educational nonprofit
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16 Fancy Literary Techniques Explained By Disney

16 Fancy Literary Techniques Explained By Disney | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Because why waste money on an English degree when you can just watch Disney movies?
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

A challenge...

 

How much more than what is so clearly discussed in this article does EVERY student need to know about literary devices before we send them out into "the real world"?

 

I am not suggesting the the essence of understanding literary devices is unimportant. But rather that the basics of literary devices are so clearly explained here, that the vast majority of students might well "get it" and "get it well enough" to begin seeing these devices at play in the increasingly challenging readings expected of them in the upper grades. 

 

I've often, and as recently as in yesterday's post, posed a concern about the degree to which literary reading instruction succeeds or fails in creating life-long readers. Or, put more bluntly, the degree to which literary reading instruction encourages or discourages the creation of life-long readers.

 

As English majors, I'm certain (?) that none of us could even imagine what is lost in reading among those who did not major in English and therefore are completely oblivious to the literary value of "Anagnorisis" in a well-crafted story.

 

"A-nag-or-is-it-what"?

 

No! "Anagnorisis," You know when a character who doesn't get it finally gets it. A character's important realization that he or she hadn't known what he or he hadn't known. You know. That sort of thing.

 

Of course, I'm cherry-picking one of the much more obtuse literary devices to make my point. Truth be told, I'm not sure that "Anagnorisis" is a term that I had ever run across before. And, yet it is the name, apparently, for a literary device that has been at the heart of discussion starters in my and probably your classrooms forever.

 

I've wondered aloud about whether our focus in literary analysis ought to be built upon a more delicate or fine-tuned balance between encouraging many more of our graduates to continue reading literature as an ongoing life practice and encouraging at least some of our graduates to have become so engaged in literary reading that they go on to major in English and even pick up the sacred torch of teaching literature.

 

Though both goals are worthy, I worry about the extent to which the latter focus might be counterproductive and dare I say fatal in the pursuit of the former focus for far too many of our students.

 

I have no doubt that the skills and appreciation for literary reading associated with literary scholarship can play a large role in achieving both goals. While at the same time, i can not help but be concerned about the point at which the extensive attention to the scholarly side of literary analysis also plays a major role in the declining interest in reading of many of our students as they transition from childhood stories to the literary challenges associated with stories taught in upper grades that have to be dissected at levels leaving too many students with a sense that the value of literary reading is trumped completely by the difficulty of seeing what it is that their teachers seem to see between, rather than in the lines "of last night's reading."

 

So even as a high school teacher, I might begin a course with this article as a discussion starter, followed by a brainstorming session regarding how many stories in print OR film OR around the Thanksgiving table when the old folks are retelling those old stories they enjoy telling and hearing no matter how many times they've sat round the Thanksgiving table boring the children to death with those old "alreday heard that one about a million times" stories.

 

I know my students, whether they were future English majors or not, could fill a few class sessions "seeing" these literary devices at play in all sorts of stories they had encountered.

 

And, by the way, as" just an aside," do you remember how much you looked forward to being promoted from the children's table at Thanksgiving to the grown ups' table? 

 

How great was that going to be?

 

hmmm... maybe ""Anagnorisis" is a more valuable literary device than I had thought it was way back when I began jotting down my thoughts on this artice.

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

 

GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips is an educational nonprofit

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20 Literary Facts To Impress Your Friends With

20 Literary Facts To Impress Your Friends With | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Aside from scoring book nerd points, these will also help you dominate on trivia night!
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

I don't know about you but I like these kinds of articles. As an English major and an English teacher for nearly four decades, I'm always pleasantly amused at the discovery of "new" back stories particularly about books I've taught repeatedly.

 

I don't know how many times I did dramatic readings of the entire Of Mice and Men complete with theatre style lighting in my classroom, dressed as a teacher sort of (denim jeans and shirt with tie and jacket... you know the look) and then as I began to read the story aloud I'd casually remove my jacket. A few minutes later I'd remove my tie, followed a few minutes later by rolling up my sleeves and then in subsequent several minutes gaps, I'd pull out a red bandana, wipe my brow and tie it around my neck. Another gap and I'd pull out my old cap just like the one I'd seen George wearing if one of the films. And then I'd hit the projector switch that was set to show a slide of the Salinas valley on the white board behind me.

 

Okay, I was really into it, and within a single class period the kids were locked into a genuine suspension of disbelief and they wanted to know what was going to happen next.

 

So when I saw the trivia point about Of Mice and Men in this article, I had to smile since Of Mice and Men was one of the several books that I had dug deeper into than any of the books I taught over the years.

 

I had no idea about the trivia regarding Don Quixote or Roald Dahl, a writer who I truly like but had no idea regarding the trivia  mentioned here.

 

This is also the kind of "back story" stuff that I found many students intrigued by as well. It's not quite the same as the historical background stuff we also share. There's something about the "did you know?" impact of author and book back story that has a different engagement factor for kids than the traditional academic back story stuff.

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

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Karen Chichester's curator insight, April 29, 2013 9:32 AM

Very interesting information. Complete with different backstories.