I love reading! Always have. I enjoy reading different types of novels, everything from scary Stephen King stories to the magic of Harry Potter. But I also read a lot of nonfiction: history, biography, books on education (of course). So I thought it might be more interesting to divide this page up into the different genres that I enjoy reading. Let's start with:

Education (Yes, I know it's not necessarily it's own genre, but I read so many of these that I thought it should have its own category)


The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Finished!)

It appears this summer will involve a lot of vampires! Here's what Amazon.com has to say about The Historian:

If your pulse flutters at the thought of castle ruins and descents into crypts by moonlight, you will savor every creepy page of Elizabeth Kostova's long but beautifully structured thriller The Historian. The story opens in Amsterdam in 1972, when a teenage girl discovers a medieval book and a cache of yellowed letters in her diplomat father's library. The pages of the book are empty except for a woodcut of a dragon. The letters are addressed to: "My dear and unfortunate successor." When the girl confronts her father, he reluctantly confesses an unsettling story: his involvement, twenty years earlier, in a search for his graduate school mentor, who disappeared from his office only moments after confiding to Paul his certainty that Dracula--Vlad the Impaler, an inventively cruel ruler of Wallachia in the mid-15th century--was still alive. The story turns out to concern our narrator directly because Paul's collaborator in the search was a fellow student named Helen Rossi (the unacknowledged daughter of his mentor) and our narrator's long-dead mother, about whom she knows almost nothing. And then her father, leaving just a note, disappears also.

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A Light in the Window by Jan Karon (finished!)

Last summer I read the first book in the Mitford series, At Home in Mitford, and was surprised at how much I loved it. There's no violence, no swearing, no grand adventure (unless you count a search for a long lost dog as adventure). It is just a nice, sweet story about a preacher named Father Tim who lives in the small town of Mitford. I grew very fond of all of the characters and their eccentricities, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series, starting with book number two, A Light in the Window.

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by Stephenie Meyer (finished!)
All year long sixth and seventh grade girls were bugging me to start reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I promised them that I would start reading it as soon as they left me on the last day of school. While I didn't exactly start it the minute they left, I did start reading it that afternoon. I've just finished reading the book and can understand why all those girls were urging me to read it. Wonderful story! It has everything: a plucky female main character (the book is written from her point of view), an irresistible male love interest (who just happens to be a vampire), and the requisite drama, angst, and even a chase scene or two. I highly recommend it and am ready for the next book in the series, New Moon.

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Setting the World Ablaze by John Ferling
My first history book of the summer is called Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson and the American Revolution by John Ferling. Yes, I know, it's a very long title for a rather long book, but it's the first history book I've had a chance to read in a few years so I'm loving every word!

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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
I guess I can't just read one history book at a time, so I've also started 1491 by Charles C. Mann. I've only just started reading it, but it promises to be a fascinating look at what the Americas were truly like before Christopher Columbus and the Europeans arrived.

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Brain Rules by Dr. John Medina

I've joined an online educators' book club this summer. Our first book is called Brain Rules by Dr. John Medina. In the book, Dr. Medina provides twelve principles for how the brain works and how we can best use these principles to our advantage. According to Amazon.com, in this book you will discover how:

- Every brain is wired differently
- Exercise improves cognition
- We are designed to never stop learning and exploring
- Memories are volatile
- Sleep is powerfully linked with the ability to learn
- Vision trumps all of the other senses
- Stress changes the way we learn

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If you'd like to learn more, please visit www.brainrules.net.