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About Us - Jen

About Jen

While books definitely consume much of my life . . . and much of the space in my house!, I do have a few other interests.  A very few.  My sweet, silly boys make every day interesting for my husband and me.

Likes & Dislikes

I love . . .

  • Hamilton and all things Lin-Manuel Miranda. I therefore can't wait to see the upcoming adaptation of Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind series!

  • the National Book Festival. Best free event EVER.

  • ​spreadsheets (especially color-coded spreadsheets!)

  • flowers and plants.  (I know this is an anomaly, but I seriously do love when it's planting and landscaping time in the spring!)

  • the Morning News Tournament of Books.

  • stories of all sorts: books, magazines, podcasts, movies, tv shows.  I'm basically a big ol' consumer of stories. Lots and lots of stories.​

I dislike . . .

  • undone things, like unread stacks of books and magazines or unwatched shows on my TiVo.  These things cause me serious stress (though I know it's ridiculous!).

  • People magazine. I somehow had a free subscription for it and hate-read it for a year (yes, I know that's silly, but see my note about "undone" things.).

Teaching Background

After growing up in small-town WV, I attended Bridgewater College . . . and stayed put in the Shenandoah Valley.  I earned my MA in English at JMU, teaching English 111 and 112 during my second year.  After that, I taught English to juniors and seniors for 16 years.  I then gave up my beautiful(!) classroom library to begin my new path as an ITRT.

During my time as a teacher, I launched a student book club and my school's first film club, delved into 20% time, and wholeheartedly embraced student choice in reading . . . hence the classroom library! 

Favorite Books & Authors

I'm guessing that all of us will bemoan the difficulty of choosing our favorites here.  So let me just share some that I really, really like, okay?  In no particular order. Really.

​Rainbow Rowell (especially Fangirl!). F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Sarah J. Maas. Stephen King (saw him speak at the National Book Festival!). Margaret Atwood. Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain. Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Khaled Hosseini. The Harry Potter series. John Green. Hamlet. Louise Erdrich. Song of Ice and Fire series. Norman Maclean's A River Runs through It. Alice Munro. Leigh Bardugo. N. K. Jemisin.

Here's my arbitrary stopping point.  Ugh. I've left out so many. :(

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