Brrrrrr!

What a week! Two snow days and now bitter cold. For me it’s been all about reading and movie viewing? How about you? I hope students took advantage of the extra time to study for midterm exams.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Book CoverThe book club met and discussed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.  This is one of my favorite titles and it was a hit with the book club at my last school in Columbus, OH. I believe of all the books we read in that club this was the one book we were unanimous on. It’s the story of Christopher, a teenager who has Asperger’s Syndrome, and his quest to solve the mystery of who killed a neighborhood dog. Christopher is a complex character who is extremely likable. He’s a Math whiz who’s studying for a big exam so there are problems interspersed throughout the book.Because I had already read the book I decided to listen to it this time. I found it just as enjoyable (though you don’t get to see the Math problems). Maybe it was the British accent of the reader/actor!

The WHS book club has chosen an interesting title for next time.It’s House of Leaves by House of Leaves Book CoverMark Z. Danielewski recommended by book clubber Stephen Brikiatis. This is the first sentence from the Amazon.com review, “Had The Blair Witch Project been a book instead of a film, and had it been written by, say, Nabokov at his most playful, revised by Stephen King at his most cerebral, and typeset by the futurist editors of Blast at their most avant-garde, the result might have been something like House of Leaves.” Intriguing, right? Pick up a copy at the library if you’d like to join us.

What am I reading now? The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It’s a fascinating book written in a well-paced, journalistic style that chronicles the elusive search for a cure. I found it interesting that in the beginning of the book there are links to my hometown of Buffalo, NYSidney Farber who developed the first successful chemotherapy for childhood leukemia, was born in Buffalo and founded the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation in 1947 which is now the renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The research of Roswell Park of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo is also written about. I’ll never forget my elementary school field trip there. We saw rats with cancer and the smoking machine that “smoked” 200 cigarettes at once. The machine in the image below is similar, but much smaller.

Cigarette smoking machine image from Life.com via Google images

Life.com photo of Dr. Evarts Graham, founder of thoracic surgery, conducts research on cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

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