Saturday, February 1, 2014

32 Books: Chapter 17: Book #14: No Vampires or Monsters or Ghosts

I choose Book #14 up because the title and graphics promise this book will be sharp and profound. I start the book and then stop after three words.  My brain is sore, like I've done 1,000 squats, mentally, and didn't stretch.

Every day in class before lecture while students file in and try to figure out whether to focus on their phone or the actual classroom I give them updates on my reading adventure and ask who's read this and who's read that and people ask me what I've read and generally there's a great talk.

 Exam #1 is next week, and I try to give a pep talk on how to study. Type up your notes.  Make note cards. Take lectures apart, put them back together. Tell stories. Look up what you don't understand and read it until you understand it. Make connections.  Explain your notes to a friend and have them explain it back.

A student comes into my office hours with questions. This is awesome, she took her lecture notes apart, typed them up, and wherever it doesn't connect she  left a blank so she'd know what to ask me.  In less than three minutes I've answered all her questions and she starts to repack her backpack.

Where are you going?

To the library. If you can read all these books, I can read one.

Find one that calls to you. you'll know it when you see it, like pirates treasure!

She smiled and left. I'm ready read to read my book.

A few minutes later I pick Book 14 up again and fall quickly into this story, not knowing if it would be a horror story, a love story, a dirty story or even if there would be vampires.

This book was magical without magic, taking the reader into a story about friendship, honesty and freedom between two people as they set out on a great adventure.

I finished this book too quickly, and if I could, I would pass it to you to borrow and make sure you know I need it back next week so I can give it to this person and that person. I might even buy a few copies and give them out as graduation presents or to cheer up and entertain students who feel stuck in life.

 This book is both deep and easy, fast and slow, smart and accessible. Take this book with you the next time you're going on a trip and you want a book to keep you company and make you think.

Oh, by the way. I later asked the student what book she checked out. I forget the title but it was non-fiction, a how-to book. Awesome. I hope she learns what needs to learn, brings the book back and gets two more.