I’m adding a couple of fun things onto the blog that have been percolating.
The first is a Goodreads sidebar, inspired by Clix. As you all know, the key to robust independent reading for kids is an equally robust classroom/school library; so I’ve been looking for ways to consistently review and archive my YA reading for myself and other readers without taking up post space. Turned out nicely, don’t you think?
Second is the Sunday Song, a blogging segment I am ripping off my colleague Joe Henderson, with thanks.
Somewhere in late 2009 or early 2010, NPR profiled the band Mumford and Sons, and I fell hard. They were recommended again recently in my Facebook circle, which prompted me to burn their album to CD and listen to it incessantly all week.
They have an old-time, folk-roots feel which I love, as well as always looking endearingly like they’ve all been up all night. Marcus Mumford’s I-work-in-a-salt-mine-for-my-day-job vocals also lend the ring of truth to raw lyrics that might otherwise get dismissed as maudlin– speaking of truth, passion, love, calling, and freedom. Call it the Braveheart effect.
But mainly, English language lovers, this is your band. As Marcus, the front man, admits here, half the songs on their first and only album are literature-based. The title song and lyrics are drawn from Shakespeare’s _Much Ado About Nothing_; other songs reference _Macbeth_ and long-loved Protestant hymns; and two are inspired directly by the work of John Steinbeck.
“Timshel” is from this passage in Steinbeck’s _East of Eden_, a book which lives with about four others in the center of my heart.
Books and music make me happy. They’re part of the reason I teach– to share good brain food with young people. Getting them represented fully on the blog, and hearing reader response to them, makes me happy too.