To our Readers.

Beyond the oceans and seas of student’s papers to mark, teachers do, in fact, engage in more mundane activities. One of which is reading. All of us here in Knightly News know very well how ardently our readers enjoy a good book, so we asked a few teachers for some titles they feel are worth the read. Read on!

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini , recommended by Miss Keister, “takes place in the 40 years surrounding the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan. It follows the story of of a wealthy boy and his best friend who happens to be the son of his father’s servant.  The story revolves around their relationship from childhood to adulthood.” Here’s why Miss Keister thinks you should read this book: ” This book punches you in the face and the gut which I realize isn’t a reason to read a book, but the depths of suffering that occurs sets up this (dare I say) beautiful story of redemption.  I am pretty sure that I read all 400 pages in about 2 days because the story is ridiculously compelling.  I also was shaken by the cruelty of the Taliban who I had previously only known from the newspaper.  There’s some pretty dark themes so you should only read this if you can handle some harsh realities of how the world can work.  But if you have the stomach, READ IT.

Suggested by Miss Keister

Suggested by Miss Keister

 

Miss Lafferty also has a couple of books she wishes to suggest to you.

First: “Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller: This book changed my life. I know that’s a big statement, but it is true. Blue Like Jazz is a semi-autobiographical book that Miller has sub-titled “Non-religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality.” It is basically a bunch of essays and anecdotes about Miller’s life. He writes beautifully and powerfully, but I also found myself laughing out loud with him. It is worthwhile if you are trying to figure this whole “God thing” out or if you want to introspect. If you want to be a better writer, reader, or if you want to know yourself better, I would recommend this book. I have it in my classroom library if you want to check it out!”

blue like jazz

Another book you can check out is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: If you like dystopian literature (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, etc), then this is a book for you. It is about a dystopian future in which all books are burned. The main character, Guy Montag, starts the novel with a job as a “fireman” which is someone who is called to burn books rather than to put out fires. It is a fascinating read and a social commentary on the importance of education and just books in general. I also have several copies in my classroom library.

fahrenheit 451

 

Our very own Miss Shang also gave us a few…or rather, five books for our readers! Here’s what she suggested:

Fiction
Stargirl byJerry Spinelli
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
These are short, children’s books that everyone should read. Especially those of us who are growing up. No one likes stodgy adults. And these will invigorate some life into you. Three reasons why I love each of these books:
Danny: Poaching (aka stealing). Father-son besties. Sticking it to the man.
Stargirl: The horrid power of the masses. The beautiful power of kindness. Ukulele.
The Horse: NARNIA. NUFF SAID.
 
Non-Fiction
Prodigal God by Tim Keller
This book is for everybody, but particularly those who have grown up in Christian homes. We’ve all heard the story of The Prodigal Son. He was reckless and rebellious. And just straight up wrong (by asking for his inheritance, he essentially was telling his dad, “I wish you were dead”). Then he came to his senses while feeding pigs and was forgiven and thrown a party. The end. But wait. What about the other brother? The elder brother who did everything “right”. What’s his story? What’s his relationship with the father? Why aren’t we given a resolution? What if, in his “obedience”, he was actually as rebellious as (if not more than) his delinquent brother? Also, what does “prodigal” actually mean? Why do we describe the younger son as one, yet the title of this book ascribes it to God? So many questions. All answered in a very small, but poignant book.
Tim Keller expounds that this isn’t a story about ONE lost son, but TWO. Here’s an excerpt:

“Neither son loved the father for himself. They both were using the father for their own self-centered ends rather than loving, enjoying, and serving him for his own sake. This means that you can rebel against God and be alienated from him either by breaking his rules or by keeping all of them diligently. It’s a shocking message: Careful obedience to God’s law may serve as a strategy for rebelling against God.

I read this as a sophomore in college and it left me pretty shaken up. It sparked a great deal of questions and searching. Lots of searching. If I called myself a Christian, then fundamentally, I needed to be able to answer: what is the state of my heart with God? Why did I obey Him? Because it was convenient or habit or right or better to be moral? Or something else entirely? What is this idea of living a repentant life every single day? It was like a DTR with God. Except, you know, this was my soul at stake here.
 
Nerdy
Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre
Mark Twain once said, “the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightening and a lightening bug.” This book is for those who are concerned with both the beauty and function of words. Here are two of my favorite excerpts:

“Like any other life-sustaining resource, language can be depleted, polluted, contaminated, eroded, and filled with artificial stimulants…with the loss of such subtleties (of words like agreeable, amiable, affable, genial, and kind), we become more confined to the kinds of broad strokes that make us careless and so make us care less.”

“…the act of reading itself is not only intellectually and emotionally engaging, but morally consequential. How we choose to read, how we submit to or question or resist the terms set by the writer, are choices that shape the habits of our minds and the habits of our hearts. Those habits determine the degree to which we are open to truth in its various guises, and capable of discerning the difference between the ring of truth and the metallic clang of lies.”

She says, “In this age of information and the Internet, there is noise everywhere. How are we to know what to listen to? How arewe to be heard? Read well. Write well. Speak well. Change the world. Boom.”

 

We also asked Mr. Stern for his input and thankfully he was free enough to reply me, despite the oceans of APWH papers and books to plow through. He gave us four books we think you may want to look up! Here’s what he had to say:

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants is a non-fiction book written by Malcolm Gladwell and published by Little, Brown and Company on October 1, 2013.

I have only read a couple of stories in the book, but it is good since it , like the title suggests, is about how the little guy beats the big guy.
Now, I think too, that God DID help David defeat Goliath, but I also think that David trained–he was good with a sling shot (one person suggested this is equivalent to a .45 caliber gun).  Anyway, it repeatedly speaks of how the underdog capitalizes on his strengths in spite of apparent weaknesses.  In essence chutzpah!  If you are not familiar with chutzpah it essentially means audacity.  I think it is a good read as it gives me hope and should also give you hope!  Plan, prepare, do what you can, put it in God’s hands and then capitalize on your strengths and go slay your Goliath!
Fate of Empires by Sir John Glubb
I read this article over Christmas break.  The best part is if you Google it you can get a free PDF.  Essentially in under 30 pages. Glubb gives the run down of why empires collapse.  I find his analysis compelling and all my AP World students will soon have a opportunity to read this article too.  I believe this simple article helps create literacy about issues that affect us today–why do empires collapse and the fact they are not as monolithic as we think!  It also dovetails nicely with econ as I am finding that econ is a huge part of why empires do or do not make it!
Here is the write up at Amazon.com about this book.  Mind you I found it online as a PDF from the Mises Foundation which is the Austrian School of economics…Saying this, my econ students will also have the pleasure of reading this one… Essentially, McKay gives the nuts and bolts of how money works without all the blah blah blah.  It is a super compelling read that has helped me to understand many issues.
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy  Richard J Maybury 
I am having my econ students read this.  If you read this, it will give the basics of how money works and the issues facing the economy. Unfortunately, econ has turned into a mystery meat subject that for whatever reason doesn’t make much sense.  You read this book, you will get it…
Also, thanks to this book, I am going to get a tattoo of:  TANSTAAFL   Ask an econ student of mine and they will be able to tell you the meaning!

Feel free to ask any of the teachers for any book recommendations! Hope you have a chance to check these books out!

Keep reading, ICS!

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