Thursday, March 19, 2009

#31: Mr. Kohler, Data Coach

I recently finished reading "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin. I was given this book by my sister for my birthday. I of course accepted the book with grace and gratitude but thought that I was being handed another sappy story ala, "Mr. Holland's Opus" because I was a teacher and this book was about education. What a cynic I was! I love this book! From the first page to the last page I was totally engrossed. This book taught me about the struggle of a people and a culture, I am ashamed to say, I saw as my enemy face.

Three Cups of Tea is about Greg Mortenson a climber who failed to summit K2, the second tallest mountain in the world. On his way down he gets lost and wanders into the town of Korphe, Pakistan. Here he meets the village elder, who opens his house up to him and nurses him back to health. In this small village confronted by the incredible kindness of his hosts, Mortenson develops the idea of building a school for this village. Little did he know that this would become his lifelong mission.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

#30: Mrs. Timmons, Science

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by Dave Sedaris

I posted a review on Dave Sedaris not too long ago, so I apologize if I sound a little redundant. Dave Sedaris writes short stories, and his books carry with them a quirky and quite funny sense of humor. When you read Sedaris's books, it's like you are getting an opportunity to listen to his thoughts. His thoughts can be somewhat demented and the dialog between himself and the characters within his life are many times laugh-out-loud. There are times where his thoughts mirror those of your own, allowing you to say to yourself, "Yeah! I wonder the same things sometimes!" While in other instances, his thoughts/analogies are NOTHING like the ones your personal mind experiences. You can tell that his stories are also taken from his real life. From shenanigans while growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina to living next to this grouchy old woman in his apartment building in New York City. None of his stories seem too far fetched or ridiculous to be true. Mary Newcomb (IB 7/8 Math) can vouch for some of the stories from Raleigh, as her brother actually lives in the house Dave Sedaris grew up in.

If you would like a great book that will literally have you laughing out loud and is convenient (you can read a few chapters and then set it down for a month without losing your place), then this is a book for you. I would recommend his other books as well, as the stories are all intertwined and build off of each other. His other books include Barrel Fever, Me Talk Pretty Someday, Naked, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and a personal favorite, Holidays on Ice.