Library Blog

Ryan Tahmaseb

Reading History Interview #1: 
Mr. Dave Lauten

Below is our first interview with a Meadowbrook faculty member about her or his relationship with reading over the years. Mr. Lauten, longtime 5th grade teacher and current Middle School English teacher, met with Mr. Tahmaseb to discuss his personal history with books.

***

Mr. T: Was there a particular person (or multiple people) in your life that sparked a love of reading? If so, who were they and what did they do? If no one else really encouraged you, how did you develop a love of reading on your own? 

Mr. L: At bedtime, my mom read The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting and Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers to me and my sister, who is two years older. I look back on those bedtime stories as one of those early magical times when you realize words can create entire worlds. This seemed to me to be such a powerful, wonderful thing. Also, I attended a Waldorf School, so I had the same teacher for five years, and one of my teachers read aloud The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I loved that one, too.

Mr. T: Did you (or do you) ever spend time reading in libraries? Why/why not?

Mr. L: I go to libraries all the time to work, not to read. I enjoy the quiet work environment that libraries offer because I can’t get any work done at home. I read at home, though sometimes I’ll go to Starbucks.  

Mr. T: What did you enjoy reading as a young child?

My favorite book as a young child was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I read it for the first time by myself and I was completely taken away. It felt like magic. I loved it. 

Mr. T: What did you enjoy reading as an adolescent? 

Mr. L: I had some good English teachers in high school. I remember reading and loving Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain  in 8th grade. It was a tough book in some ways, but my teacher at the time knew when to point out when things were funny. There was something about that mix of humor and pathos that was genius. I knew not everybody could pull that off. I loved how Huck, as narrator, would reveal a truth without realizing it. 

Mr. T: What do you enjoy reading now?

Mr. L: Now, when school’s in, I like to read short stories because they’re manageable. The last novel I read was Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. I like reading anything by Ron Rash, a writer from the South. Also, a friend recently recommended that I check out Stephen King, so I read a collection of his stories, two of which served as the inspiration for the films Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption.

Mr. T: Do you prefer to read books or e-books? Why?

Mr. L: (Laughs.) You know how I’m going to answer this question. I love books.  I tried my wife’s Kindle one time and did not enjoy the experience. I like to know what page I’m on and being able flip back. I like holding the the book and using bookmarks. I like living in the company of books in my house. 

Mr. T: Can you point to a specific book that changed your life in some way?

Mr. L: I haven’t read it since college, but Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was a big one for me. It taught me a little about not always having complete trust in authority. Also, the role that chaos plays is so interesting. Things just happen to characters in that book. It also had really edge humor in that book. That book was really something. 

Mr. T: Do you have any particular books that you’d recommend to the Meadowbrook community (students, faculty, and/or parents)?

Mr. L: I have an author that I’d recommend to all teachers: the short stories of Tobias Wolff. He writes beautifully.

***

Mr. L at last year's Medieval Assembly.

Ryan Tahmaseb

Right outside the library, we have a new display that includes many of the books featured during Friday's wonderful Mask Assembly. Also, we have some of the masks themselves on display. Feel free to come check them out. Happy reading & viewing!

Ryan Tahmaseb

Wellesley Books is hosting Aly Raisman, a native of Needham, at Rivers School  at 7pm on Thursday, November 16th to discuss Fierce: How Competing For Myself Changed Everything, her new memoir that chronicles her journey from childhood to Olympic success.

Click here for more information about this event. 

 

 

Ryan Tahmaseb

The Boston Book Festival is this weekend. It's a free city-wide event that includes all sorts of workshops and special events, including (but definitely not limited to) the following:

 

Discover the Magic of Children's Book Making

Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2017, Somerville-based independent children’s publisher Candlewick Press has become an industry leader in producing high-quality books for young readers. President and Publisher Karen Lotz (Meadowbrook parent!) and Creative Director and Associate Publisher Chris Paul will be in conversation with some of their acclaimed authors and illustrators.

Join the Search for Waldo!

It’s Waldo’s thirtieth birthday, and he just keeps getting better at hiding! This time he’s hiding at the Boston Public Library, and we need your help to find him. Pick up an entry form from one of our volunteers in Guastavino Hall, find the three Waldos hidden throughout the Boston Public Library, and return your completed form for a chance to win an amazing prize from Candlewick Press!

YA: Truth and Consequences

Growing up is all about making choices and dealing with the fallout, but for the protagonists in the latest novels by these three YA rockstars, the stakes are incredibly high. In A Line in the Dark, the latest novel by Morris Award and Lambda Literary Award finalist Malinda Lo, a young woman finds herself enmeshed in tangled loyalties and knotty secrets...and then the murders begin. In Printz Award and National Book Award finalist E. Lockhart’s cinematic thriller Genuine Fraud, a young woman decides to reclaim the roles available to her, no matter the personal toll her choices take. And Andre Norton and Morris Award finalist Kristin Cashore’s inventive, genre-defying standalone Jane, Unlimited is all about choices, taking its inspiration from classic Choose Your Own Adventure novels.

The Complete Works of James Joyce in 44 Minutes

The work of James Joyce, one of the most celebrated (but also most inaccessible) authors in English, comes to life with the Here Comes Everybody Players performance of excerpts from "Finnegans Wake" and "Ulysses," complete with audience participation and music.

Boston By Foot Tour

The Boston Book Festival and Boston By Foot were meant to be together! These two BBFs are teaming up to offer a free walking tour of Copley Square’s literary neighborhood. This mini-tour dips briefly into the Back Bay neighborhood to taste Boston’s rich literary heritage. From the filling of the actual back bay about 1860 through today, connections with literature and writers of all flavors have flourished here. This sampling aims to whet your appetite for more!


Major authors attending and speaking at the Boston Book Festival include Tom Perrotta, Jacqueline Woodson, Claire Messud, Maureen Dowd, Dennis Lehane, and M.T. Anderson.

Here's the complete schedule for the weekend.  There's definitely something for everyone!

 

Ryan Tahmaseb

There's a free event this weekend for graphic novel fans of all ages at Lesley University in Cambridge.

Check out the Massachusetts Independent Comic Expo (http://www.micexpo.org/) sponsoring two days of workshops, demonstrations, and discussions about all things comic-related. 

A number of your favorite authors including Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet series), Jason Shiga (Meanwhile) and Mark Siegel (American Born Chinese)  will be there!