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James Chester
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Sunday Salon: Two Things I Learned This Week
1. Libba Bray's novel Going Bovine is not suitable for 7th graders. 2. I really should always read the novel before I buy it for class book clubs. Anyone have four copies of The Schwa Was Here they'd like to swap?  

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Dr. Sleep by Stephen King
This is the final installment of my little Shining project.  Based on how much I enjoyed the move Room 237, which is about people who are obsessed with Stanley Kubrick's movie version of The Shining , I re-read the original Stephen King novel which I loved ...

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Suday Salon: Spys are Looking at my Grade Book
Back in the days before we all had computers, when I first started teaching, we all kept our grade books on paper.  Some of us had to submit them to the principal at the end of the year, but even then we knew that no one would ever look at our grade books u...

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Death's Dark Abyss by Massimo Carlotto and Monsieur Pain by Roberto Bolano
Two odd bits of noir for a Saturday morning. The first is Death's Dark Abyss by Massimo Carlotto, translated from the Italian by Lawrence Venuti.  There is a bank robbery in the prologue to the main story.  While fleeing from the scene, the two bank robbers...

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Deal Me In!
One of my long-time blogging friends Gautami Tripathy pointed me towards a reading challenge in a comment yesterday.  I was whining about how few people seem to participate in reading challenges these days, usually complaining that they never finish them as...

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The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson
I fear that comic strips may soon become a thing of the past since daily newspapers seem to be finding fewer and fewer readers.  Once those few left who read print newspapers are gone, will there be a place for the daily comic strip? Comic strips are not re...

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Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
I will confess that last year I watched the Kevin Bacon series The Following all the way to the end.  While the show started out well--excellent acting, a fascinating premise, loads of plot twists, intelligent scripts--it soon descended into sheer stupidity...

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Sunday Salon: There is Still Time to Sign Up for the TBR Triple Dog Dare
The TBR Triple Dog Dare officially begins on January 1, 2014 so that means there's just a few days left to sign-up.  Here are some endorsements from celebrities who have participated in past TBR Dares: " The TBR  Dare helped me put the little pieces of my l...
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