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Member: callen610

CollectionsYour library (585), Favorites (20), Currently reading (3), To read (135), The Girls' Books (23), All collections (627)

Reviews17 reviews

TagsFiction (237), TBR (161), Non-fiction (115), Young Adult (103), 1001 Books (52), 2006 (47), 2009 (46), CNY Women's Book Club (43), 2007 (36), Audio (35) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

Recommendations1 recommendations

About meI am a 5th grade teacher. My husband is a professional book reviewer, and I try not to get too jealous that he gets paid to read. :-) We have two daughters - 7 and 5 years old. I usually read books based on recommendations from NPR, my family (especially my mother), my students, and of course LibraryThing members!

I am also the author of Mrs. Allen’s 5th Grade Files

About my libraryI rarely buy books for myself anymore - I've found that if I own them, they sit on my shelf. I do better with a little pressure from the public library. Now I mainly buy books for my young daughters. My library as listed here is composed of books I have read (and sometimes own) and books I want to read (tagged TBR).

Groups1001 Books to read before you die, 1010 Category Challenge, 50 Book Challenge, 75 Books Challenge for 2012, Atwoodians, Audiobooks, Book Nudgers, Books off the Shelf Challenge, Children's Literature, Happy Heathensshow all groups

Favorite authorsJane Austen, Bill Bryson, Nick Hornby, Barbara Kingsolver, David Sedaris, Jerry Spinelli, Sarah Vowell, David Foster Wallace (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresBooks End

Real nameCorrina

LocationCentral New York

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/callen610 (profile)
/catalog/callen610 (library)

Member sinceApr 18, 2008

Currently readingA Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
Teaching What Really Happened: How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks and Get Students Excited About Doing History (Multicultural Education Series) by James W. Loewen
1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann

Leave a comment


Thanks, Corrina, for suggesting The Penelopiad. You know, I was very interested when it came out, and I read a bit in the bookstore and it just didn't grab me at the start. You've now got me reconsidering. It helps to hear from someone who liked it. I'll take another look.

Hope you're having a good Sunday. It's frigid here in Chicago!

Best wishes - Joe
Thank you so much for the suggestion! We will check into it :)
Hello, Remember when you dropped by my profile? I had recommended A Tale of Two Cities as a good Dickens book? Well, I've re-read and reviewed A Tale of Two Cities recently and it has re-affirmed its place on my all time favorites list. Have you had a chance to get to Dickens yet?

If you're interested you can check out the review at my 50 Books Challenge thread here,

You are welcome! Happy New Year to you too.
Thank you so much! It really feels great when someone appreciates my little reviews. :-)

Glad you feel the same way about the book. BTW, did you read my review at the book’s review page? If you did, you may like to read my full rant on my 5o Book Challenge Thread, which is a little bit angrier, I believe!
Looks like we have very similar taste in books. Let me know if you ever find any books you just love, I always need recommendations.
Hi Callen,

Thanks for adding me to your Interesting Libraries list! I had followed your 50-book challenge until I started school in the summer, and stopped following anything. I found -- and starred -- you again. You've read some terrific books this year -- many that I've read, and many more on my lists. Congratulations on your new little one! I have two girls also. I found that I started reading again after my second daughter was born. Now they're old enough that I can read my favorites to them.
Happy New Year!
P.S. I added the book Never Work Harder than your Students... Thanks! B.

I actually read that Philip Roth book (The Dying Animal) mostly because I had been on a trip to St. Louis and found a neat little used bookstore (called Left Bank Books). I came across his little "area" and pick this particular book at random. I have since bought my dad The Plot Against America and he seems to be really diggin' it.

As for Nick Hornsby I have only read Being Good thus far but it really surprised me with its depth. I picked it up expecting sort of a "junk food" kind of read and it turned out to be a little more thought provoking than that. I'm going to try and lay my hands on a copy of About a Boy at some point in the near future and am looking forward to it.

Thanks for the reply, and sorry to shake up the Bryson world.

While hiking the AT in the south you run in to people in the towns where Bryson stopped. They remember him, but no traveling companion. Also, Bryson has since admitted in interview that Katz was just an "alter ego". Talk to any AT hiker. Just about all of them have read the book. It was one of my first exposures to the trail. I thought I was picking up a book about an honest thru-hike. But, he hiked three hundred miles to Gatlinburg and quit. He hopped around through sections of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Maine. And he ends with a final sentence that is an insult to everyone who had the fortitude, determination and just plain good luck to finish with the line "I have hiked the Appalachian Trail." No he didn't, not even close. Worse than his claim to have hiked it is rudeness and general disrespect for other hikers and especially for people he met in towns along the way. He settles for cheap laughs at the expense of sharing an honest experience.

The one thing I will give him... the description of a blizzard in the Smokey Mountains... right on the money. Also, Gatlinburg is a cheesy tourist trap, but the people were salt of the earth. I was injured and needed x-rays while there. The people who gave me directions to a hospital and especially the cab driver who drove me to and picked me up from the ER in Pigeon Forge were wonderful. I was lost in what was essentially foreign territory... me, a snotty queer Massachusetts Yankee in "conservative" "Bible belt" Tennessee. To believe Bryson, I could have been lynched by a mob in white robes and hoods. I learned quickly to check my attitude and preconceived notions at the door. That is one of the biggest lessons to be learned and one you can't complete a hike without.

Sorry for the rant, but it's all true.
Hi Callen,

I'm doing my usual Sunday morning check-in. Thanks for adding me to your interesting libraries. What struck you about it?

I see you're working on your 50 books. Probably won't make it myself this yer, but fun watching my "completed" stack grow.
Thanks for putting up that BBC list. Hadn't seen it before. Made me feel better read that a lot of the other lists out there.

I see you're a Bryson fan. Hope you weren't put off by the rant in my profile. I tend to go off any time I'm talking about the AT and some one asks if I've read... well, you know the one.

Hi Callen,

That's so surprising that you're having more time to read with the new baby. Maybe I should gift my friend with a new book since she just gave birth yesterday... I never would have thought of it before!

I haven't read The Penelopiad, as The Handmaid's Tale was my first Atwood. I do have a copy of Alias Grace on my shelves, so that will probably be my next one. I'll put Penelopiad on my TBR right now *scribbles it down* with a note to let you know when I've picked it up.

Hoping you're getting a full 8 hours,
Have you read "Howard's End" by E.M. Forster?
I quite liked it and this is one of those cases
for me where I "piggy-back" books. I always read
"Howard's End" and "The Remains of the Day" back
to back with either one coming first.
Also I noticed that you had recently added "A Tree
Grows in Brooklyn" which is a marvelously wonderful
story. She wrote another that I enjoyed greatly
called "Maggie Now", although that one might be a
little dated for you.
Let me go in and take a peek at your library and see
if I can some up with some other suggestions.
Hi Callen,

Re: Reading In Search of Lost Time. I recently met someone through a mutual friend who is beginning the fourth volume of ISOLT and has become a bit of a Proustaholic. His enthusiasm is infectious and he's been gracious enough to "take me by the hand" in this Proust adventure. So far, I've barely begun Swann's Way and am reading Proust's Wa by Roger Shattuck, which is also helpful. I'll let you know how it goes!

Hi Callen

Thanks very much for pointing me towards the WAMU radio discussion on "I know why the caged bird sings".
It's given me a better idea on Maya Angelou's autobiography's place in American literature.

I read this book as part of a "bookring" on bookcrossing, so I've been able to make everyone on the ring aware of the audio program to.

Thanks for your consideration.

Hello Callen,

The group read of The Blind Assassin will now begin on Monday 9th March.

- TT
I haven't read "The Post-Birthday World" yet, but I'll let you know what I think when I do. I picked it up last weekend from the bargain table at Borders (5.99 for a hardcover!) because I've heard so much positive buzz about it here on LT. I think I will end up reading "The Brief History of the Dead" now - this sort of thing is exactly what libraries are for! That way if I don't like it, no harm done.
I know I'm at home when I go to a LT home page and find Anne Boleyn! She is my all time favorite historical character. And, she truly was a character!

I really liked your review of "The Brief History of the Dead". I heard the author on NPR last year too and I thought that the concept sounded fascinating. Now I'm not so sure.

Thanks for adding me to your Interesting Libraries List I do not know how you will have time to read come spring! Good luck! I belong to 2 book clubs. One is held at our local library, but is not led by a library employee. They let us use their space and before deciding what books to read, we make sure that they are able to get a good number of copies of the book for that month. We read a variety, but no fluff. The other club is very informal, we read all types of books, nothing too heavy.
P.S. I saw you added Ella Minnow Pea. I've read good things about it and would be interested to find out what you thought!
Hi Corrina! I read through Year of Wonders, but I'm not sure what I got out of it. Maybe I just have a hardened heart or something, but the descriptions of the plague just didn't get to me, not even the deaths. I guess I just felt like I didn't know the characters enough to care if they died. For example, when that man (George?) who had an interest in Anna died, I thought it was a pity, but really, what did I know about him? He'd just been introduced a few pages back. I thought there wasn't enough build up. I didn't really like the book, but that may be just because I have a bias against stories written in that era. I liked People of the Book MUCH better!

I just finished Chocolat and was slightly disappointed with it because it was recommended to me by a friend upon learning I'd loved Perfume. So I began the book expecting a lot, and it fell short of my expectations. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer was EXCELLENT, and if you haven't read it, you should! I loved it. I might pick up The Lollipop Shoes, but I have so many books on my list I don't know when I'll get around to it!

I read City of Ember early this month, and loved it! I never seemed to be able to completely leave behind YA fiction, but now that I have two stepdaughters (one of whom is 14 and LOVES to read), I have an excuse! I loved the book and am definitely going to get the sequels... when I find them and am able to justify spending even more money on books, that is... :D I'm not surprised your students loved it. I do wish the ending had been threshed out a bit more, though. I would have liked to hear the two main characters explain about the new world they'd found. Then again, it IS YA.


Reading 'Bleak House' is one of the Group Reads that the 75 Books Challenge group is going to do. Currently, we have 2 group reads going on: 'Don Quixote' and 'War and Peace'. Anyone is welcome to join in, so if you are interested, give any of them a shot!

Stasia, aka AlcottAcre

Thanks for adding me to your Interesting Libraries list.

I see that you are a memeber of The Coffee Trader group. It's a fun group of people.

See you there!


Hi Corinna,

"Collections" (on my profile picture) refers to a program being developed by LT's founder Tim in which our libraryThing collection will have the ability to be subdivided into separate "collections" without simply using tags. The most asked-for subset of our personal libraries is a wishlist, I believe, although each person will have the ability to create various subsets of his own library. "Collections" is a feature which has been a long time in coming and seems to be ready for imminent realease after some intitial testing. The picture was taken to tease Tim about the long delay in the release of this "collections" feature. No malice or griping was intended! All of us love Tim, his staff, and LibraryThing. :)

Corrina, Corrina..thanks for adding me to your interesting libraries. I'll be seeing you on the 2009 75 Book Challenge thread.
Welcome to The Highly Rated Book Group!

We are so glad you could join us for some great book reads!

Welcome to the 2009 75 Books Challenge group. Thanks for joining in!
Thank you! I am so glad that I found this site! I am also still in the process of adding books. I did really like Guns, Germs & Steel. It clarified a lot of questions I've had about why countries have developed so differently. I'll have to check out The Third Chimpanzee.

Hi CorrinaAllen,

I saw that you added me to your interesting libraries. I took a look at your library and we actually have more books in common than it says because I haven't added a lot of books to my list. It seems like we both have good taste & interesting libraries! How did you like [Guns, Germs & Steel]? I've been meaning to read that but haven't yet. I read [The Third Chimpanzee] by Jared Diamond and really enjoyed it. Anyway, welcome to Librarything!

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