Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Brush Up Your Shakespeare...

High school English is an interesting creature. My job requires that I teach a group of hormonally driven, confused, but well-intentioned young people about literature and the fundamentals of writing. This becomes especially challenging when you throw parents into the mix.

I recently fielded a phone call from a concerned parent. The issue: The Taming of the Shrew contains lewd scenes and inappropriate innuendo. The suggestion was that we do one of Shakespeare's less offensive plays.

Maybe Midsummer Night's Dream? Or perhaps Hamlet?

An old movie version of Shrew has a comical dance number performed by two thugs in which they sing "brush up your shakespeare, start quoting him now." After reading Midsummer this spring my junior's adopted "tawny tarter" as the new dis*. But really how often do you quote Shakespeare?

Do you even know when you are doing it? Shakespeare invented or coined somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500 words.

*Teen term for disrespect or put down.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Review: Death of a Six-Foot Teddy Bear

I'll be honest...when we first picked up this book, we were skeptical. I mean, the title sounded like a toy-based horror flick and the first chapter contained as many clich├ęs as a dog has fleas.

However, after I respectfully decided to give Mrs. Dunn the benefit of the doubt, I was caught...hook line and sinker.

This story is the second book in a series following Ginger, Suzanna, Arleta and Kindra in their quest for bargains and the adventures that seem to follow them. In a manner reminiscent of Diane Mott-Davidson's character Goldie Bear, Mrs. Ginger Salinski is an unlikely hero with a cadre of loyal friends.

However, unlike Goldie, Ginger is portrayed as a strong Christian with morals and values to match. Throughout the book, Ginger's decisions, actions and attitudes reflect her faith, a trait not often seen in a mystery novel hero.

This book is a playful whodunit with a twist. I recommend spending an evening with Ginger and the rest of the Bargain Hunters Network. I know that after reading this one we'll be looking for the first book in the series, Death of a Garage Sale Newbie. We'll be looking for a sale-priced copy...gotta find those bargains!

And you can take that one to the bank.


Sharon Dunn is the author of Death of a Garage Sale Newbie, book one in the Bargain Hunters Mysteries, and the Ruby Taylor mystery novels including Sassy Cinderella, which was voted Book of the Year by American Christian Fiction Writers. She earned a BA in television production and a master’s in history Sharon lives in Bozeman, Montana, with her husband of twenty years, three children, two cats, and lots of dust bunnies.