Feeding My Reading Addiction

haulin netMedia coordinators–or as we used to call them back in the day:  librarians–are perfect suppliers for an admitted bibliophile.  I have had the good fortune of working with media coordinators in our school system since 2000.

This relationship has done nothing but increase my exposure to and appreciation of the written word.

Three years ago, while I was at WCHS, media coordinator Tiffany Mayo was my main supplier.   She conjured up for me some outstanding, avant garde Young Adult Fiction titles such as Octavian Nothing (Anderson), Sunrise Over Fallujah (Myers), Prep (Coburn), and Rash (Hautman).

Last year, while I was at ECHS, media coordinator Jane Burbella was my go-to.  Including the “take-home bag” she sent with me for the summer, Jane led me to the following 15 books in her media center:

  • Octavian Nothing:  The Kingdom of the Waves (Anderson)
  • Code Talkers (Bruchac)
  • The Glass Castle (Walls)
  • Cape Fear Rising (Gerard)
  • Nickel and Dimed in America (Ehrenreich)
  • Carriers (Lynch)
  • Shooting at Loons (Maron)
  • The Greatest Generation (Brokaw)
  • The Book Thief (Zusak)
  • Simple Genius (Baldacci)
  • The Fifth Horseman (Patterson)
  • The Prince of Tides (Conroy)
  • Train Man (Deutermann)
  • Raney (Edgerton)
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Albom)
  • You can tell a lot about books by their covers; you can also tell much about individuals by their reading pursuits.   In the above list, you will notice North Carolina, coastal, mystery, spiritual, YA, and real-world themes.  Check out My Reads for the comprehensive reading list I’ve been keeping since about 2005.


    I especially enjoy what I call situational reading.  That is, being in the geographical area while reading the book.  The setting of Shooting at Loons is Harkers Island and Beaufort, for instance.  So, it was a no-brainer to read that while at East.  I finished Cape Fear Rising–about the Wilmington Race Insurrection of 1898–while in scenic Southport.  And I just finished The Great Wide Sea while looking out at the same.

    The Great Wide Sea is a great pick for the Croatan summer read.  Of course, the nautical setting is a perfect match for our location.  And though I’ve only been sailing once, I could appreciate the experience vicariously through the author’s technical lexicon and vivid descriptions/details of the sailing process.

    Of greater application, though, is the sense of independence and accomplishment of the three young brothers at sea after their father’s mysterious disappearance.  Without divulging the plot, I can assure you that successful people in life are self-reliant, savvy and connected to others–just like the brothers.

    The only difference is they had to get to that point sooner than many.  Through unfortunate circumstances, their parents just were not there to orchestrate and manage (sometimes to a fault) their daily comings and goings. If they were not only to survive but also to thrive in this world, it would be on their own.

    If anybody wants to borrow my copy of The Great Wide Sea, give a shout.  There is still plenty of time left to join the OneRead.

    In fact, as an unreformed reading addict, I confess that I am now lurching headlong into last year’s OneRead:  Hunger Games.  In the main character, a teenage girl who is an expert hunter/forager, I  already notice a similar thread:   relentless teenage independence, self-sufficiency, competency, and connection to others.

    As a Croatan OneRead, this book–with a main character similar in ways to the main character in Great Wide Sea–is not coincidental.

    Clearly, these winning attributes coupled with the wherewithal to persevere through difficult challenges are hallmarks of accomplished sailors, hunters and Cougars.


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