Long time, no blog! Probably… because I have been in Alaska on a cruise ship. Favorite Alaska port? Skagway. With Juneau and Sitka coming in at a close second. Followed, of course, by Ketchikan. Glacier Bay was also gorgeous, although no getting off the ship there! =)

I am feeling a bit behind in my reading because of working all summer, but I tried. Below is a list of books I read during my Alaskan Adventures of 2009, as well as some quotes that really spoke to me as I was reading.  Enjoy!

1. Pretty in Pink (Princess Diaries Series)–I worked with kids, what can I say?

2. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel–LOVED it!

3. The Body Artist by Don DeLillo–aMAzing!

4. A Man Without a Country by Kurt V.–Who doesn’t love Mr. V?

5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury–Possibly my favorite book all summer.

6. The Shack by Wm. Paul Young–Changed my mind. This was my favorite and not for any literary reasons. Purely because I needed to read it.

7. White Noise by Don DeLillo–Not as good as the first one I read, but still quotable.

8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling–I hadn’t finished the series. And here… you will begin to see a pattern.

9. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

11. The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz–Love his language. Want to read more!

12. Life of Pi by Yann Martel–Wouldn’t suggest this one be read on a cruise ship.

13. Bagombo Snuff Box (Short Stories) by Kurt Vonnegut–Read through this one throughout the summer. Finished it up during my last week.

And some quotes…

“The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per squire inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more ‘literary’ you are. That’s my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” Bradbury, p. 111

“The world system is what it is. Institutions, systems, ideologies, and all the vain, futile efforts of humanity that go with them are every where, and interaction with all of it is unavoidable. But I can give you freedom to overcome any system of power in which you find yourself, be it religious, economic, social, or political. You will grow in the freedom to be inside or outside all kinds of systems and to move freely between and among them. Together, you and I can be in and not of it.” The Shack, 183.

“I sometimes think that good readers are poets as singular, and as awesome, as great authors themselves.” Borges.

“What people in Exodus fear most immediately is that those in positions of authority will long since have fled, leaving us in charge of our own lives” (Don DeLillo).

“I am only a visiting lecturer. I theorize, I take walks, I admire the trees and houses. I have my students, my rented room, my TV set. I pick out a word here, an image there. I admire the lawns, the porches. What a wonderful thing a porch is. How did I life without a porch to sit on, up till now? I speculate, I reflect, I take constant notes. I am here to think, to see… I won’t let up.” (Don DeLillo).

“The very best thing you can be in life is a teacher, provided that you are crazy in love with what you teach, and that your classes consist of eighteen students or fewer. Classes of eighteen students or fewer are a family, and feel and act like one.” Thank you, Kurt Vonnegut!

“Never try to understand the students. They hate it. The would much rather be tragically misunderstood.” J.K. Rowling. Ironically, I can remember feeling this way as a student. High school, of course.

“Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house; then the King will desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, bow down to Him” Psalms 45:10-11.

“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to your name; For you have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.” Isaiah 25:1.

“What is it with Dictators and Writers anyway?” Diaz.

“Long story short. Upon learning of the dissertation, El Jefe first tried to buy the thing and when that failed he dispatched his chief Zuazgul to NYC and within days Galindez got gagged, bagged, and dragged to La Capital, and legend has it when he came out of his choloroform nap, he found himself naked, dangling from his feet over a cauldron of boiling oil, El Jefe standing nearby with a copy of the offending dissertation in hand. (And you thought your committee was rough.)” Diaz =) LOL!

“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” Martel.

“He was very kind. He served me tea and biscuits in a tea set that tinkled and rattled at every touch; he treated me like a grown up; and he told me a story. Or rather, since Christians are so fond of capital letters, a Story.” Martel.