Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Road - Book Review

I just finished the latest Oprah book club selection, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, and I'm amazed at how different it is than the stereotype of what her book choices are. It's a far cry from Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie or Night by Elie Wiesel.

As readers of All the Pretty Horses know, McCarthy isn't the cheeriest writer on the planet, but his new book does an amazing job capturing the horror and desperation of a post-nuclear world.

McCarthy's spare style is a perfect parallel to the isolation felt by a father and son, known only as "the man" and "the boy," as they walk alone down the titular road. The themes of the role of the family, the decadence of the world, and the search for one's place in the world are all explored in a new way in this book.

I wouldn't recommend this book to young students as it does depict some terrifying scenes of cannibalism and brutality, but if you have a class of mature students looking for something contemporary to read, this would be an engaging choice.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Prestwick House in Your Mail Box

Keep your eyes open-- the Prestwick House Fall Update is officially in the mail -- if your school opened before Monday the 20th, you should receive your Fall Update Catalogue any day now! It's packed with lots of great new materials for your classroom this year.

If you'd like to request a Prestwick House Catalogue, click here to make sure you receive one ASAP.

Also, check your E-mail inbox, because we're launching our new Prestwick House E-mail newsletter, Footnotes*, this month. In each month's newsletter, you'll find out about new products, interesting projects, and you'll get a special discount code valid on our site for Footnotes subscribers only. Click here to sign up for the Prestwick House Newsletter.

*If you've been a Prestwick House customer for a while, you may remember our old physical Footnotes newsletter: filled with articles, contests, and editorials on our favorite new classroom books.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Delaware Shakespeare Festival

Last weekend, the author of Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots and I went up to Wilmington to check out the Delaware Shakespeare Festival's production of Richard III.

First of all, I've got to say that the Delaware Shakespeare Festival has one of the best locations to see a play, and we caught a perfect night-- cool without a cloud in the sky. Rockwood Mansion serves as a fantastic backdrop to a nice night of Shakespeare. You can bring along a picnic blanket and sit under the stars. The performance is outdoors with a solid lighting system and great sound.

As for the play, they did a very good job. I'm always a bit of a perfectionist geek when it comes to editorial cuts, but they did a good with a play that I've always felt has most of it's great dialog early. The director did manage to cut one of my favorite speeches, Clarence's Dream, in which he describes to his jailer his nightmare of drowning. It always haunts me as a high water mark in this play.

In any case, the actor playing Richard, David Stradley, completely owned the show. He did a fantastic job dominating the stage in the way that Richard is written to dominate the play. Every other actor is left with fairly weak roles to do their best with, and most do admirably well. You both loathe and feel empathy for Richard, one of Shakespeare's most intriguing characters.

If you're in Delaware or Philly, and looking for a nice night out this weekend, I'd highly recommend heading out to see the show's last weekend. At only $10 for tickets, it's a bargain for a nice night out.

Note: Sorry for the lack of a lot of recent blog entries, but I've been putting the final
touches on our fall catalogue, which should be hitting the mail in a few days. We've got LOTS of new products in this catalogue, so keep your eyes on your mailbox. If you don't think you've ever seen our catalogue before, and you'd like to request one, Click here to get our Fall Update Catalogue.