Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Funnies #14

If there's one thing I've noticed since I've started teaching, besides my severe slacking in blogging, it's the severe slacking in grammar... More specifically in the ability to use a comma correctly.

I've always taught students that when composing a list you must include a comma after each item. This includes before "and" and your final item.

Example: Jane likes apples, bananas, and oranges.

I've been told this is incorrect. I've been told this is outdated. I do it anyway.

Recently, thanks to the wonder that is shared photos on Facebook, I've learned that my usage of that last comma in a list is called the Oxford comma, and today I'd like to dedicate my blog post to that endangered comma.

Oxford Comma, this one's for you!

And finally, I'd like to share the importance of all commas everywhere.

Enjoy your weekend! ... And SAVE THE COMMAS!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Funnies #13

I'm definitely in a school-work state of mind, so today's Funny comes from an old lesson I taught in a Gr. 12 English course. It's a Hamlet parody told through a Facebook Newsfeed.

Funny stuff for anyone familiar with the play. Enjoy! (It's a little on the small side here, but if you click it, it'll get much bigger!)

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Twosday Timeout

Well... Maybe we all saw this coming... But Twosday Timeout is taking a timeout.

Just until I can get better at juggling.

By throwing myself into this new job, getting all of the necessary preliminary wedding plans out of the way, and then just straight wanting to be a couch zombie for an hour or two before bed, I've pretty much retired my book to my bedside table.

It's a sad time to be a book blogger.

But I promise this feature will be back... As soon as I can figure out a routine that works for me.

In the meantime, keep reading, and keep sharing  what you're reading... I need to get my book fix from somewhere other than a textbook.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Funnies #12

I feel like I'm often celebrating things with my Friday Funnies. Today is no different.

Today we're celebrating the completion of my first week teaching full-time! It's been a great week, but certainly not without it's challenges. Students love to try to test the new teacher. Maybe it's retribution for all of the testing we teachers put them through during our careers.

Tests. The topic for today's Funny. Last month I posted a Holiday Gift Guide. In it, I spotlighted (spotlit?) a humour book called "F in Exams," a collection of hilarious and outrageous answers provided on tests by real students.

Clicking the photo links to an exerpt from the book.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Real Books

I'm a bit of a Twitter addict, and I follow more people I don't know than I actually do know. In other words, my timeline is usually full of celebritweets(I just made that word up now, and I love it).

Some are superstars and others not as super but still notable. Often, however, the less than-superstars post some of the most interesting and awesome things. (Maybe because they're not as busy as the superstars? I don't know). But my point is, one of those pseudo-celebs posted the video I'm about to share, and I thank him for it. I've been really absorbed in the super low prices and efficiency of my eReader and I forgot how wonderful a real book can be.

Thanks, Thomas Smythe! (Do you know who that is?)
And readers, if you're in the area, make sure to visit "Type," the bookstore on Queen W. in Toronto.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Twosday Timeout

Well, now that I'm back in the swing of working full-time and will soon be getting into the swing of planning a wedding, my reading time has suffered.

Today, on my drive home from work in Toronto traffic, I even considered the possibility of audio books to get me through the drive... But the drive isn't THAT long, and something about audio books feels like cheating when I blog about the joys of actually reading...

So for now, I'll stick with barely getting through a few pages a night as I fight to keep my eyelids from closing shut. Which means today's two come from only 13 pages beyond last week's two.

At seven p.m. that evening, when the rest of his colleagues had been spat out of the office building and then sucked in by the spreading Christmas mania outside, Lou Suffern remained inside at his desk, feeling less like the dapper businessman and more like Aloysius, the schoolboy on detention whom he'd fought so hard over the years to leave behind. [Whoa! Long sentence!] Aloysius stared at the files on the desk before him with all the same excitement as being faced with a plate of veg, their very green existence presiding over his freedom.

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern, page 113

Why am I still reading a Christmas-themed novel? Might need a reading binge this weekend...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Funnies #11

Today's Friday Funny is breaking all the rules. There's nothing literary about it (except for the fact that it's a TV sitcom clip, which means someone WROTE the script, which I GUESS makes it's literary... kind of... but I wouldn't make the "TV is Literature" argument in school, kids).

This just seemed like a great way to share my good news with my blog followers... (Who I'm sure mostly follow me on Facebook and Twitter anyway, so you probably already know, but I don't care. I'm too excited and sharing again, anyway).

Last night I got engaged to the most amazing man! (Hey, Rich!)

To celebrate blog-style I'm sharing my most favourite engagement moment in television/movie/literature history: The Engagement of Chandler and Monica from "Friends"

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Twosday Timeout

If for you, the holidays means a few days off work, with quiet nights spent cuddled up on the couch reading a book and sipping some hot chocolate, consider yourself living my fantasy.  For me, the holidays are a whirlwind of get-togethers with family and friends, filled with food, drinks, booming voices, board games, laughter, movies, and just constant moving.

Trust me, I'm not complaining.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

But I'm really looking forward to my last few days of vacation before I start my new job, because that fantasy of the hot chocolate, couch, book, and a roaring fire are very appealing after about 2 weeks of non-stop activity.

The last time I picked up my book was on the flight home 2 weeks ago

But there he was, swaying and happy, and there she was, static and deeply dissatisfied, wondering why on earth she had chosen to be the glue holding it all together. 'Dad!' Lou announced.
The Gift by Cecelia Ahern, pg. 100

Can't wait to get this book finished! How has your holiday reading gone?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Best on the Bookshelf 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays with friends and family (and family who are friends).

As promised so long ago I can't quite remember when I said it, I present to you:

Amanda's Favourite 5 Reads of 2011

5. Bossypants by Tina Fey: In this new year, I'd like to laugh more and take life a bit less seriously.  For anyone else looking to do the same, read more books like this one.  Any book that leaves me belly laughing is a sure bet to make it to the favourites list.

4. One Day by David Nicholls: Unconventional and unpredictable love stories are another sure hit on the list, so it's no wonder this little novel turned major motion picture finds itself coming in at #4 from all 23 novels I read this year.  It's funny, sentimental, heartfelt, and real, and that makes it worth reading.

3. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins: Based on comments, other blogs, and conversations I've had with other readers I think it's no surprise this trilogy has found its way to the list, but I do think the 3rd place finish might astound some. It owes its middle of the road finish to the rushed and unremarkable ending. BUT since the rest of the series is so exciting, inventive, and just plain good, it had to make the list for the simple fact that it gave me that Harry Potter/Twilight-like fix I've been craving since those series wrapped up.

2. Juliet by Anne Fortier: This novel could have easily taken the first position. So I guess there is no clear winner on the list, but Juliet is certainly a winning type of novel. With a romantic spin on a DaVinci Code-eqsue story, Juliet combines history, romance, action, mystery, and adventure to create a truly exciting novel. If you can get your hands on this not-overly-popular piece of fiction, my guess is you'll devour it in no time.

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett: I really grappled with this decision because it bothered me a little to put such a commerically successful novel in the #1 spot. But at the end of the day, there's a reason it saw so much success. The story has everything: sentimentality, importance, romance, heartbreak, disappointment, redemption, excitement, comedy... And it brings light to a piece of history in a way that doesn't take itself quite so seriously, yet still manages to enlighten readers on the severity of the issues. I'm happy to have read this novel, happier that it has inspired me as an English teacher, and happier still that I could share it with you. (As if you needed ME to bring this gem to your attention).

So, I guess that's it for 2011. I can't wait to see what novels find their way onto my shelf and yours in 2012.