Book-of-the-Month.

Bites of Books, Yo.

SnapDragon shares her scattered, bite-sized-bits of reading.

Bit by Bit, 2020.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.
(Yes, those are scattered baby toys in the background.)

Hi! It’s time for Book-of-the-Month, yo!

Oh, wait.

I, um, (coughs) haven’t finished a book since I don’t know when.

(starts crying)

And so, I’ll fill you in on my three-page-at-a-time, four-books-at-once journey as of late:

Hood Feminism (Mikki Kendall, 2020)

I saw this on a suggested reading list at my work place, and immediately ordered it via the behemoth that is Amazon. So far it’s bloody-well on point. There are so many struggles in this world, friend. We have so much work to do. #educatetoliberate

The Best American Short Stories 2019 (Anthony Doerr, Heidi Pitlor, 2019)

Yep. Here I am again, making my way through this annual reading ritual, and pushing it right up to the new year. Man I love short fiction. It’s juicy. It’s succulent. It’s inspiring me to get back to my own work. #stopslacking

To a God Unknown (John Steinbeck, 1933)

I’ve said it many-a-time: Steinbeck is a slow burn. But I also must say: this might be the slowest. And of course, there are so many beautifully-soothing passages. I frigging love you, John Steinbeck. #namesakes

What to Expect The First Year (Heidi Murkoff, 2014)

I know, I know. Books aren’t a substitute for experience. But I’m an Academic, after all. I like to prepare myself. Baby Snap is almost a year old (gulp!) but is also kinda like nine months old. #preemiebaby

#idontevenknowwhyimallaboutthehashtagstoday

. . .

What’s on your reading list, Dear Reader?

C’mon! Leave a suggestion. It’s not like I have dozens and dozens of books on my shelf that I couldn’t possibly read in a lifetime.

Love you!

. . .

SnapDragon is a reader, writer, and chapstick-before-sleep kind of girl.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Book-of-the-Month.

Kindred Spirits.

It’s Book-of-the-Month Day, yo!

A short critique of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables

Lovely Little Morning, 2020. Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

Good morning, Dear Reader!

As usual, I intend to keep this review short and sweet.

Very sweet.

Because that is exactly how I would describe this absolutely lovely piece of literature.

. . .

I’m not really sure how this one escaped me all these years. As a white girl from the northeastern suburbs of the US of A, you’d think this novel would have stumbled into my backpack somewhere along the lines.

Anyway, you may know that Anne was one of the 100 selected for my 100 Classics Reading Challenge.

And this one’s a keeper, friends.

. . .

For those of you who’ve never actually met me, you need to understand something:

While I am very much an opinionated, embracer of curse words and rock n’ roll, I’d say 75% of me is a combination of librarian, Mother Goose, and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

Hot, I know.

I absolutely love “innocent” things, and Anne has a delightfully-innocent appreciation for. . . well, pretty much everything.

She gets excited about the weather. The trees. The possibility that each day brings.

She reminds me of everything I hope to be:

Optimistic. Loving. A gentle spirit.

And she has vibrant red hair.

. . .

Favorite passage?

“But Anne, with her elbows on the window sill, her soft cheek laid against her clasped hands, and her eyes filled with visions, looked out unheedingly across city roof and spire to that glorious dome of sunset sky and wove her dreams of a possible future from the golden tissue of youth’s own optimism. All the Beyond was hers with its possibilities lurking rosily in the oncoming years–each year a rose of promise to be woven into an immortal chaplet” (Montgomery).

(hugs herself and smiles thoughtfully)

Yes, Anne. Yes.

. . .

SnapDragon is a woman who refuses to live life in fear.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Want more Book Reviews? Check it out, yo.

The Art Corner.

Coffee with Pablo.

Delights, 2020.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

I get overwhelmed.

Too much noise. Too much clutter.

Too. Many. Books.

(gasp!)

Come on. You know it’s true!

I love love love to read.

But how will I possibly have time to read it all, my dear friend? I implore you!

news; magazines; fiction; nonfiction; blogs; self-help; parenting. . . Oh my!

Yikes!

Anyway, after recently reading a delightful blog by Sheree, all about the late great Picasso, I remembered yet another volume of interest that lurked on my shelf: The Picasso book I bought at the titular museum in Paris!

And so, I decided from this day forward, I will spend my mornings with Pablo.

Just ten minutes or so, as I sip my mug of steaming java.

It’s our little date, he and I.

I’ll read and peruse his array of curious works.

Surely, I can manage that.

. . .

SnapDragon is a crab on the infinite sands of time. She also doesn’t know what that even means.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Tuesday Talks.

Tuesday Talks: On Reading.

You’re here because you like to read, no?

So Little Time, 2020. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved.

Today’s Tuesday Talk Question:

What is your favorite book of ALL TIME? Yes, you can only choose one! Tell us why you love it more than all the rest. And who knows? It could be Snap’s next Book-of-the-Month! (high five)

Remember to be kind in your responses! (And, you know. In life in general.)

Okay. Ready, set, go!

. . .

SnapDragon is a mom, homemaker, and certified book worm.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more (like book reviews, yo!) on Snippets of SnapDragon.

My Ultimate Library: Part 2.

My Ultimate Library: Part 2.

Get ready for the second installment of Snap’s favorite books!

Here we go, friends. Another collection that just had to find a spot on the shelf.

Just as a reminder, these are books I hold very near and dear to my heart. My Ultimate Library is, well, just that.

These are my literary babies; they’re family. The books that make the cut are those that have stayed with me, long after their final pages.

May these stories continue to be told, forever.

SnapDragon’s Ultimate Library: Part 2.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Holes by Louis Sachar

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The Pigman by Paul Zindel

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

. . .

Now if you’ll pardon me, it’s time to light a candle and dive into the glorious world of fiction.

Happy Reading!

Two-Bit Musings.

Nevertheless, I Liked It.

A Short Critique of Alec Baldwin’s memoir, Nevertheless

Little Gems, 2019. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved.

Alec Baldwin’s Nevertheless (2017)

Here we are again! It’s Book-of-the-Month Day here at Snippets of SnapDragon.

Are you excited? Did you wake up early, frantically checking your feed to see if Snap’s review was up and ready for your viewing pleasure?

No?

Well, nevertheless, here it is.

(Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

. . .

This is another book that found itself in my hands without pomp and circumstance. In fact, it was in the bargain bin for a meager six dollars and change. (It’s a hard-back!) Anyway, I’ve always had a bit of a crush on Baldwin, what with his whiskey voice and weathered face. Plus, whenever I see him I instantly think of Beetlejuice, which transports me back in time to VHS tapes and the magical time of my childhood.

So I bought it.

In a word, it’s good. Not great, but good. Baldwin begins his memoir by warning the reader of pretty much just that. He wrote the book because he was paid to, and he approaches the task with humility and honesty.

While I grew a bit weary of his frequent name-dropping of film execs I’ve never heard of, he does sprinkle in beautiful moments of his love for acting, particularly in the theatre. He recounts each of his major movie roles, and I appreciated the thoughtfulness behind each one. I never doubted his candor for an instant.

Additionally, he spoke of his family with tremendous love. I enjoyed the description of his youth, and his complicated relationship with his parents.

But I think what struck me most was his more than thirty-year commitment to sobriety.

After a terrifying episode of substance abuse, he called it quits and never looked back. February 23, 1985 was his last bout with drugs and alcohol.

Needless to say, I really respect that.

Favorite passage? Hmm… There truly are many little gems throughout.

(Side note: I enjoyed hearing his voice as I read. It reminded me of The Royal Tenenbaums.)

How about this one:

“Campaign finance reform is the linchpin of nearly every problem we face as a nation, just as our oil-based economy is the linchpin of our issues abroad. If the first issue is not addressed, we will continue to see the US electoral system gamed by insiders who put forth enormous amounts of money on behalf of any candidate who will read from their script in order to get the role of a lifetime. Even if that candidate is a foppish casino operator who had heretofore shown no interest in national politics” (Baldwin).

Well done, Alec.

I like you.

My Ultimate Library: Part 1.

My Ultimate Library: Part 1.

SnapDragon lists her tried-and-true, doesn’t-remember-life-without-them books.

Take a Quiet Moment, 2017. California. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved.

My signature move at parties is to ask people to list their favorite things–movies, bands, desserts–without overthinking their response.

“Ready, gut-reaction, go!”

So in fairness, I’ve decided to list my all-time favorite books using this method. No second-guessing. No re-dos. Just what comes to mind as I type this, all in one sitting.

These are the stories that have shaped me; they without a doubt make the cut for Part 1 of My Ultimate Library.

It should also be noted that for Part 1 I am only listing works of fiction.

So. . . Ready, gut-reaction, GO!”

SnapDragon’s Ultimate Library: Part 1

Animal Farm by George Orwell

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Native Son by Richard Wright

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Different Seasons by Stephen King

. . .

All right! So, I just paused for a significant moment. I suppose that indicates the conclusion of Part 1.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Happy Reading, friends.

The 100 Classics Reading Challenge: The Books.

The 100 Classics Reading Challenge: The Books.

Here they are! The 100 volumes that made the cut.

(If you haven’t already, check out my selection process on my previous post. Check it out here, yo.)

A few notes:

-Almost all of these are novels, but I included some poetry, essays, plays, and short story collections, as well.

-I consider this list to be High School English-Teacher approved. There are a few Young Adult reads included.

-I listed the original publication date, just for fun. (PS: My new pet-peeve is when newer publications leave off the original copyright date. Why? It’s lazy, and in my opinion, irresponsible.)

They are listed in no particular order, love.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these!

SnapDragon’s 100 Classics Reading Challenge List:

1.The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911)

2. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (1922)

3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1955)

4. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2013)

5. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (1826)

6. Tess of the D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (1891)

7. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (1947)

8. The Oedipus Cycle by Sophocles (429 BC)

9. The Things They Carried by Tim O’ Brien (1990)

10. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (1950)

11. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (1915)

12. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (1952)

13. The Piano Lesson by August Wilson (1990)

14. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (1894)

15. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005)

16. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

17. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines (1993)

18. Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad (1899 & 1910)

19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (1930)

20. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936)

21. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)

22. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)

23. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943)

24. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (1952)

25. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (2007)

26. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (1931)

27. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1957)

28. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo (1831)

29. Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

30. The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942)

31. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

32. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (1865 & 1871)

33. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)

34. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (1999)

35. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (1908)

36. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)

37. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (1911)

38. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (2015)

39. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1967)

40. Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1969)

41. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)

42. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (2005)

43. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)

44. for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange (1975)

45. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1862)

46. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (1876)

47. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884)

48. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (1387)

49. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)

50. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852)

51. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)

52. Beowulf by an unknown author (1000 AD)

53. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869)

54. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726)

55. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (1925)

56. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

57. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass (1845)

58. Night by Elie Wiesel (1958)

59. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (1997)

60. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1955)

61. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)

62. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (2007)

63. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (1946)

64. Aesop’s Fables by Aesop (1912)

65. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (1965)

66. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)

67. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)

68. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)

69. The Chosen by Chaim Potok (1967)

70. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (1928)

71. Don Quixote by Cervantes (1605)

72. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)

73. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George (2015)

74. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois (1903)

75. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (2013)

76. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2003)

77. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (1897)

78. Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin (1952)

79. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (1997)

80. White Noise by Don DeLillo (1984)

81. Ruby by Cynthia Bond (2014)

82. Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe (1719)

83. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (1998)

84. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (1967)

85. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (1988)

86. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (1989)

87. The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer (762 & 750 BC)

88. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1320)

89. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1844)

90. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1962)

91. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (1976)

92. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’ Dell (1960)

93. The Collected Jack London by Jack London (various)

94. The Complete Stories by Flannery O’ Connor (various)

95. The Signet Classic Book of Mark Twain’s Short Stories by Mark Twain (various)

96. The Penguin Arthur Miller: Collected Plays (various)

97. Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry (various)

98. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (2002)

99. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (1916)

100. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)

The 100 Classics Reading Challenge: The Rules.

The 100 Classics Reading Challenge: The Rules.

See SnapDragon’s selection process for her Ultimate Library.

Heaven at Home, 2019. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved.

So you like to read, eh?

Then welcome to Snippets of SnapDragon’s newest feature:

The 100 Classics Reading Challenge!

(cue ribbon cutting and confetti cascades)

As a certified high school English teacher, a post-graduate of English studies and creative writing, and just a bonafide lover of fiction, I decided it was time to create. . .

The Ultimate Library.

So I asked myself, “What are my favorite novels of all time? What are my favorite novels to teach? What are some novels, new and old, of critical acclaim?”

I envisioned a wall of empty shelves.

What to choose? There are so many novels I haven’t even read yet! (Gulp.)

So I decided to give myself some homework, by creating one doozy of a reading list.

The Rules:

  1. I decided to select 100 volumes for this venture. I say volumes because some of the titles are a part of a set, or trilogy. (For example, The Iliad and The Odyssey came in one volume. So while these are two separate novels, they only fill one space out of my designated 100.)
  2. All 100 volumes are works I have not yet read. As I said, I realized that there were so many “classics” that I’ve never even cracked open. So like a kid in a candy shoppe (or… me in a candy shoppe) I went on a book-buying binge.
  3. I’m a Formalist. Simply put, I want a story to speak for itself. While historical context and the author’s biographical influence can add layers of meaning to a work, that is not how I judge a novel. These 100 volumes were selected by title alone, and therefore do not meet certain quotas based on an author’s gender, race, age, or philosophy.

So there you have it!

My shelves are stocked, yo.

I began this challenge on my 30th birthday, and vowed to finish all 100 by my 40th. Considering I’ve only made it through three so far, I have my doubts about this timeline. (I like to read other stuff, too!)

But I shall not give up!

Check out my next post for the full list!

Happy reading, friends.