What I'm Reading - Shanna Peeples, National Teacher of the Year

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket

If you wandered through my house, or grabbed my phone, you’d quickly discover that I stockpile books like some people stockpile canned goods against future emergencies. Books are piled in every room in my house, and even in my car.  On my phone, I have seven e-reader apps that cause me to fall down reading rabbit holes every day.

Here is what I'm reading now.

Fiction

The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

This graphic novel is what some fans refer to as the “Citizen Kane” or “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” of comics. Gaiman, author of Coraline and Stardust, creates a mythology of seven siblings who dabble in the lives of mortals, some beneficially, some with evil intent.

Nonfiction

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

This quasi-memoir from one of the funniest female actresses working today made me think and even cry as much as it made me laugh. Poehler uses lists, poetry, photos, mantras and advice to deliver her brutally honest, witty and touching observations on life, work and fame.

Internet

Instapaper, an app available for iOS and Android, is an e-reader for Internet content. It has a nighttime setting and you can highlight, annotate and comment on your saved articles and essays. Because I do quite a bit of reading on the Internet, Instapaper is a godsend. I use it to save what I don’t have time to read, but can download and access offline. 

Longreads is a website that curates fiction and nonfiction, particularly long-form journalism. Each piece comes with a word count and as well as an estimated reading time. I use it to find interesting content by topic or by expert picks. It’s easy to then add these pieces to my Instapaper account.

Town of Cats by Haruki Murakami via Longreads

Murakami, a Japanese master of the short story, often uses surrealism in his poignant tales of modern loneliness, much like Franz Kafka. In fact, if you are a Kafka fan, you will like Murakami. This particular short story uses the kernel of a sort of fairy tale about cats who take over a town at night, to describe the estranged relationship of a father and son.

The Body Behind the Little White Church by Alison Stine via Longreads

Stine, a novelist, poetically summarizes the brief life and violent death of Summer Inman in this virtuoso piece of narrative nonfiction. This story is unfortunately familiar, yet Stine finds a way to refresh it and recreate the dread and misery of such lives.

Photo credit: Amarillo Independent School District