Friday, December 27, 2013

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: December

After missing the Coffeehouse for so many months in a row (mostly because I wasn't really reading anything) I feel I am back with a vengeance!

The first book I finished was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.  Our host, The Armchair Squid, has a wonderful teaching partner that I have come to consider a friend over the past year.  He gave my son a copy of the book for his birthday back in July.  My son tried but couldn't get into it right away.  I made some head way over the summer.  Once the new school year started, I was really pushed to finish it when I discovered several of my new student's were really into it.  I'm glad I went back.  I'm getting a LOT of pressure to try the sequels/continuation of the series, but I think I will wait a little bit.



The next book I finished was Heck by Zander Cannon.  It was a gift for ME from our host for my birthday back in October.  (Click HERE to discover our host's connection to the author!). I will admit I was initially skeptical about diving in.  Heck is not my "normal" sort of comic work.  I am so glad I dove in.


The book introduces us to Hector Hammerskjöld as he returns to his hometown after his father died. He bumps into an old flame at the funeral. Being "home" stirs up lots of conflicted emotions in our "hero". He inherits his father's house where he discovers a gateway to Hell in the basement!

When I was younger, I attempted to read Dante's Inferno after I was exposed to it via X-Men King Size Annual 4.  Cannon entitles a chapter where Heck visits Dante's famous city "Dis Must Be The Place." I love puns!

My teaching partner handles 85% of the ELA work load and asks our students to create book projects when they finish a book.  I did my first project this year on Heck!  I sketched one of the scenes from a slightly different angle.  The kids loved it!

My cousin recently posted a quote that I love.  ("Nobody is going to get any points in heaven by slogging their way through a book they aren’t enjoying but think they ought to read.” -Nancy Pearl.)  I didn't think I "ought to read" Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan but I really wanted to like it.  I like him and my mom was keen to share it with me.


Instead, it joins by Goodreads shelf of "Abandoned Books".  It just didn't click for me.  I was expecting funnier and it just didn't merit my time.  In fact, it stopped my reading resurgence cold!






The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.  Please join us:

1.The Armchair Squid2.Scouring Monk
3.Huntress4.mainewords
5.Wishbone Soup Cures Everything6.What's Up, MOCK?!
7.The Writing Sisterhood8.A Creative Exercise

17 comments:

  1. Hooray! Glad you're back. Pull up a chair...

    I've never read Ender's Game. I've been getting snippets recently as the above-mentioned teaching partner is reading it to his middle school advisory.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed Heck, too.

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    1. I would revisit the world of Heck....I'd like to see where things go next.

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    2. I know they're planning more Double Barrel but I don't know if Zander's planning to continue that particular story. I'm sure he'd appreciate the encouragement.

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  2. I liked Ender's Game but it didn't stick with my like a *really* good book does. It makes me feel like the geek in the corner who doesn't 'get' it. *sigh*

    I wonder if Dad is Fat is anything like Sh** My Dad Says. Now THAT book was hilarious!

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    Replies
    1. The person who gave me Ender's Game is so very passionate about it. As The Squid says above, he is reading it to his students. While I enjoyed it, I'm not sure I will revisit that universe.

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  3. Gaffigan was a favorite of a team I worked with at a bookstore, especially the hot pockets bit we kept referencing. Maybe the book isn't so great, but he's a pretty funny guy all the same.

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    1. I think Gaffigan kills with his stand up and as a guest on some podcasts to which I listen. I think that is why I wanted to like this more.

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  4. Not read a book by Gaffigan, although his comedy routines are hilarious.
    Ender's Game was good but not great. Still not sure why it was such a best seller.

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    1. It might depend on when one reads Ender's Game. I get the impression that the person who gave it to me read it when it first game out...when he was looking for more "NEW" sci-fi and was an impressionable young teenager.

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  5. Not sure if I'd read any of these, especially Gaffigan's after seeing how lackluster it is on the comedic end. (Although, I always thought he was a funny guy. Too bad his writing doesn't match up.) I've heard tons about Ender's Game (even have a friend who named her son Ender). Have you seen the film? I heard it flopped and didn't quite make the grade. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. I want to see the movie, mostly for Harrison Ford...I am curious to see how they translate some of the more...cerebral scenes.

      When he is on, Gaffigan is hilarious. This was too serious for me.

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  6. Ender's Game has been my official 'Best Book Ever' since I discovered it in summer 2001. BEST BOOK EVER.
    I buy extra copies of the paperback so I can give it out to people who haven't read it yet.
    I would absolutely read all the sequels. It actually branches out into two categories, the Ender's Shadow series, and the Speaker For The Dead series. Both are excellent. If I remember correctly, not only did Ender's Game win the Hugo, but so did Speaker For The Dead, and also Ender's Shadow.
    Sorry for the long comment...give me any excuse to talk about one of my favorite subjects and I WILL, LOL!

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    Replies
    1. I have a student in my class who is begging me to read the book that tells this same story from Bean's point of view. I find that VERY intriguing.

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  7. Ender's Game is definitely on my list, but has been for a long time. And I really should get into that habit of not reading books that I am not enjoying. I just always feel the compulsion to finish reading so I can give a fair review.

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    Replies
    1. It was a tough thing for me to decide, but once I felt okay with abandoning a book, I became a much happier reader. I don't do it often...I will come back and try again before making the decision.

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  8. I've read Ender's Game a few times now; first for myself, and then for my kids when they got to the right age. I can't quite bring myself to see the movie, though, since Orson Scott Card chose to air his rather unfortunate political views. Still, I did enjoy a few of the sequels: "Speaker for the Dead" especially, though the entire planet colonized by OCD people in the Ender book "Xenocide" ... that is a concept that has stuck with me for years. I liked some of the Bean books, too. (Those depart from the Ender story.)

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  9. Of all of these the Heck tale appeals most- also it is ridiculously difficult not to finish a book. I did it recently with Joyce's Ulysses: finally had to admit I didn't like the characters. Still feeling a bit guilty...

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