Tale of Two Teachers Online Book Club

So we’ve had a little project in the works and now we are making it official!

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Our first book will be announced on February 14th so get ready! All it involves is reading the book in a 6 week period (first session stretches over Spring Break in our district!) and then joining our online discussion. There will also be a face to face meet-up option for those of you in the Victoria area.

If you are interested in joining us on our little adventure here please let us know via comments, Facebook, Twitter, or email: taleoftwoteachers@gmail.com

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Book Tale: Daring Greatly

If you are ever interested in buying any of the books we talk about through our Amazon store you can find the link under “Book Tales” or here it is.

Ah Brené Brown… sigh… If you have been following us for a while you have probably heard mention of this author before. She was well connected with the research project I worked on and I’ve been trying to read her book for about 6 months now. Well I finally just made sure I left it by my bed and read a bit each night (not because it was hard to read, just because sometimes I find it hard to make time to read!)

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This is honestly one of the best books I have ever read. It’s in the self help section but its so much more than self help. It’s self help. It’s teacher help. It’s family help. It’s relationship help. It’s community help. It’s world help… And I just can’t get enough!

She refers a lot to her previous book “The Gifts of Imperfectionism” but at no point did I feel lost having not read it. This book is about living wholeheartedly and fully living life. It focuses on vulnerability and fear, and how those affect every aspect of our lives.

There isn’t a lot that I can say about this book because I am far from eloquent when talking about these same issues but I will say that it has been a cause of transformation in my life – meaning that it made me stop and think about what I am doing and why and change a lot of my thoughts and actions. It has made me start to me compassionate to myself – something I’m realizing that I wasn’t very good at.

I do not read non-fiction very often, besides shorter articles. And I don’t even know if I can say I’ve ever been engrossed in a non-fiction book before? But this book I read from cover to cover and was hooked. I started going to bed early (not normal behaviour for this girl!) every night so that I could get a few extra pages in.

Just read it. Please.

Meaghan

Book Tale: The Secret Life of Bees

So this is one of my all time favourite books – I think I did a book report on it in grade 11?

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It has been made into a movie since but as always (even though the movie is well done) you MUST read this book! It is absolutely beautiful! The story is about a young girl who finds an unexpected family back in 1964. I don’t want to tell you too much of the plot because I really want you to read it and be enthralled like I was… it is about love, acceptance, and the family that you choose.

Here is my favourite quote from the book, I vividly remember my mom reading this quote to me while we were sitting in the living room of our old house so much beauty in just a simple quote:

“You know, some things don’t matter that much, Lily. Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But liftin a person’s heard – now, that matters.” (p. 147)

Meaghan

Book Tale: First They Killed My Father

In 2007, while traveling through South East Asia with my husband, I discovered an amazing woman called Loung Ung.  Loung was born in Cambodia and survived Pol Pot’s regime and the Khmer Rouge’s genocide.  Many members of Loung’s family did not survive the Khmer Rouge’s atrocities, but Loung was able to make her way (with her eldest brother and sister-in-law) to a refugee camp in Thailand, and later was sponsored to move to the USA.  I got my hands on a photocopied version (the only version I could find!) of Loung’s first book, “First They Killed My Father”, when we were traveling through her native country, Cambodia.  I actually bought and read her second book, “Lucky Child”, while in Cambodia, too.  Reading Loung’s life stories while traveling through her home country was a powerful, life changing experience for me.  Because I was in Cambodia (specifically Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and Battambang) while reading Loung’s recollections of the Khmer Rouge and the genocide, her experiences were literally at my fingertips.  Talk about bringing the (true) story to life!

LoungUng This book is an emotionally taxing read, but it’s well worth it.  Loung describes her experiences living in and surviving Pol Pot’s regime.  She also tells of memories with her family and the struggles they endured to try and stay together during the Khmer Rouge invasion.  Since “First They Killed My Father”, Loung Ung has written several more books about her experiences (including moving to the USA and meeting and marrying her American born husband).  Loung is a renowned human rights activist and lecturer and has worked for various organizations such as the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She is changing the world with every word she speaks. If you enjoy learning and reading about human rights related issues and stories, you will love Loung Ung’s work!

Karley

Book Tale: Indian Horse

Back in December, I read “Indian Horse” by Richard Wagamese. It is honestly one of the best books I have ever read and I have recommended it to so many people since I read it – by recommend it I mean that I put it in their hands and said “Read this! We will discuss it in a few weeks, no excuses.” It is so beautifully written and I think it should be a mandatory read here in Canada. It tells the story of Saul Indian Horse as he recounts his journey through life as a northern Ojibway. There is joy and laughter in the book but it also shows the depth of grief and hurt like no other book I have read. It was eye-opening and it has really changed my perception on a lot of things. So now I’m telling all of you – Read this! We will discuss it in a few weeks, no excuses.

Indian Horse

Meaghan

Book Tale: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

One of my favourite books is “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver.  I ate up everything this book had to offer during my first read through, but now that I have a giant yard and garden of my own to cultivate, the second reading is even more meaningful.  Kingsolver aims to encourage people (North Americans in particular) to observe their food purchasing and consuming habits, while documenting and striving to feed her own family on homegrown and local foods.  This book also serves as a cry for curriculum change in schools.  As Kingsolver says, “If this book is not exactly an argument for reinstating food production classes in schools (and it might be), it does contain a whole lot of what you might learn there” (p. 9).

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Even more beautiful sans price sticker!

Karley