Converted Skeptic

The following are books I was initially skeptical about, but which turned out to be some of my favorites of 2010.

Shaun Tan Tales from Outer Surburbia
I initially read a  few pages of this book and abandoned it, but I’m so glad I picked it back up. It beautifully weaves text and illustrations to tell out of the ordinary stories in the most ordinary of places. I’m using it as a read aloud in my 6th grade Language Arts classes; they love it!

Troy Hicks The Digital Writing Workshop
Because I already frequently use digital technology in my classroom, I doubted this book would be useful for me. I was wrong. What the book does well is to offer a conceptual framework for thinking about the use of digital tools in the writing classroom and connection to previous work on the writing workshop.

Paul Elie The Life You Save May Be Your Own
This book weaves together the lives of  four Catholic writers- Flannery O’Connor, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and Walker Percy. It’s a long read, but when you finish it, you feel like you’ve read four books instead of one.

Cormac McCarthy The Road
I tend to avoid reading books when they become pop sensations, and an Oprah book club nod is usually the kiss of death. A friend pressed into reading The Road, and I finished it and McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited in under 18 hours. Both are intense and beautifully haunting.

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