Since I couldn’t be at BEA this year I joined Armchair BEA, an event thrown by five wonderful bloggers, to celebrate books from the comforts of home.
Today I’m interviewing Carina from Reading Through Life. Carina is a 20-something English teacher who lives in downtown Toronto. Carina is a life-long reader with eclectic taste that’s reflected in her reviews.
1. On your blog I read that while you were in school, reading for pleasure was rare. How has that affected how you teach English and what you teach?
This has definitely affected how I teach English because I don’t want my students to end up hating reading. I read a book a few months back (Readicide) which talked a lot about how teachers tend to teach books and reading, and how we often end up turning kids away from wanting to read once they’ve finished school. I really try not to do that – I want kids to read things that interest them but also challenge them. At my current school, I guess I’m “lucky” in a way: even though my students have very low literacy levels and interest in reading, I can work on improving their level of engagement by allowing – and encouraging! – them to read books that catch their interest, without having to worry about incorporating “required” books into my courses. I’m a firm believer that people can read almost anything and learn something from it, so I would much rather have my students reading young adult books or “fluff” than not have them read at all.
2. You’ve only been blogging for a short time but you’ve been pretty prolific with reviews. Can you tell what are a few of your favorite books so far this year?
Some of my favorite books so far this year have been:
- Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
- Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat
- In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
- The Lit Report by Sarah Harvey
- The Shepherd’s Granddaughter by Anne Laurel Carter
- Watchmen by Alan Moore
- Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner
I’ve read a lot of other great books this year too, but that’s a good sampling of what I’ve really enjoyed.
3. Do you have any other hobbies outside of blogging?
I have a lot of hobbies, but only a few that are really consistent. I absolutely love salsa dancing, though I don’t get to spend enough time doing it. There’s just something about the music and the fluidity of the steps that really helps me relax. Sports are very reminiscent of my childhood, when I played softball during the summer and figure skated during the winter. During the warm months, I tend to bike a lot as well as spend a lot of time at softball diamonds. Skating tends to have gone by the wayside a bit, but I still love watching! I really just love to do anything that keeps me busy and interested in what I’m doing, especially if I can do it with a couple of fiends and out in the sunshine.
Thanks, Carina, for the great answers!
Stephanie over at Laughing Stars interviewed me about blogging, kids, and reading. Please head over and visit her blog. I had a lot of fun answering her questions. Are you participating in Armchair BEA?