On a trip to our public library a few years ago, one of the librarians commented to me when I checked out that she likes to look at the books I have been reading because I make such “interesting” choices! I took it as a compliment, but also thought it was a little odd. I read what I like, just as most people do. However, that list includes children’s books, teen novels, popular adult literature, and lots and lots of non-fiction – mostly on plants. Books fuel my insatiable need and sometimes lesson directed quest for knowledge.
Taking graduate courses does not always allow time to read for pleasure. Textbooks replace the self-indulgent historical fiction or new book on butterflies that I find myself reading for my own enjoyment.
When unable to read for pleasure, I miss it and invariably dive into a book when time (and the lack of school work) make it possible. A couple of days ago, I started “Hidden Figures“. Only 40 pages in, I am hooked! The history is fascinating. I am learning things about our country during the early 20th century that I never knew (or I have forgotten). Historical fiction is a genre I find particularly interesting.
Commenting to my 11th grader yesterday, I stated that I can see this book being used in the future for high school literature or even history classes. It has so many social issues imbedded in the story created by the place in time the events took place and the story is told. It is also written extremely well, using flowing prose with stimulating and enriching vocabulary. Certainly, not ordinary by any account. I could see some rich student discussions taking place in upper level, secondary classrooms.
Hidden Figures also interested me in that the profession of the chosen characters is that of being mathematicians. Math has become somewhat of another fascination for me in recent years. How math is taught, what can be done to connect the subject to real life activities for students, and decreasing the apparent math anxiety that has developed and is reinforced in our culture, are all subjects of interest to me in the fields of mathematics and education.
So, while I have a chance, I will be reading more of the “Hidden Figures” story today. Rainy spring days when one of my courses is winding down, provides me the opportunity to indulge in a good book. What are you reading these days?