Who is this guy?
My name is Mr. G, and I am an eighth grade English teacher in a college town in New Hampshire, a high school swimming coach in the same town, the proud, proud father of two wonderful kids, a committed coffee drinker, and a voracious reader.
If there is one thing that I hope my students will learn during their time with me, it is that I think it is vitally important as a student and even more importantly as a person, a human being, to read, read, read, and read some more.
I think that this quote from Checkov’s “The Bet” speaks directly to the possibilities and joys of reading:
“In your books I have drunk fragrant wine, I have sung songs, I have hunted stags and wild boars in the forests, have loved women. . . . Beauties as ethereal as clouds, created by the magic of your poets and geniuses, have visited me at night, and have whispered in my ears wonderful tales that have set my brain in a whirl. In your books I have climbed to the peaks of Elburz and Mont Blanc, and from there I have seen the sun rise and have watched it at evening flood the sky, the ocean, and the mountain-tops with gold and crimson. I have watched from there the lightning flashing over my head and cleaving the storm-clouds. I have seen green forests, fields, rivers, lakes, towns. I have heard the singing of the sirens, and the strains of the shepherds’ pipes; I have touched the wings of comely devils who flew down to converse with me of God. . . . In your books I have flung myself into the bottomless pit, performed miracles, slain, burned towns, preached new religions, conquered whole kingdoms. . . .
Your books have given me wisdom.”
Furthermore, reading should be fun. For those who don’t like to read, I say you just haven’t found the right book yet. And it is my goal to find that book for each kid. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t. But I will not give up trying. To that end, I read as much as I can, mostly young adult (YA) novels, but often adult stuff, too, so that I can make knowledgeable and thoughtful recommendations. I’m also always looking for new ways to bring a variety of books and reviews to my students, for nothing sells a book to a kid better than just talking about it.
So this blog will, I hope, be a place where I can share my thoughts about books I’ve read and either liked or disliked for both my students and the wider world. I will also, from time to time, throw in thoughts about the world as a whole and different ideas that are bouncing around my brain. I welcome comments about my reviews and other posts either agreeing or disagreeing with what I think. Many books I’ve loved, others have hated and visa-versa. That’s what makes this ball we’re spinning on such an interesting place, don’t you think?…