Literacy and Me

Sunday Stats is intended to give statistics (often straight out of the Houston Chronicle, Sunday edition) that made me stop and think that I wish to share with readers of this blog.

Here are some interesting stats on Hispanics in Texas and the upcoming election:

“…2020 will mark the first time in 200 years that Latinos return to their role as the largest population of The Lone Star State, a role they held transforming the landscape and history itself, from 1720-1820.”

Interestingly enough, “In this year’s elections and beyond, Latinos will, with their actions or inactions, determine the fate of the second-most populous state in the American democracy. Latinos will determine the outcome, too, for the world’s 10th largest economy.”

Politicians who are savvy will court the Latino vote, and Latinos who are smart will make their votes count in national, state, and local elections.

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Literacy and Me

I asked people why they don’t vote, and this is what they told meAt least 40% to 90% of American voters stay home during elections, evidence that low voter turnout for both national and local elections is a serious problem throughout the United States.. With …
This article was written by Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda, my former student and unofficial grandson. It is worth your valuable reading time.

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In 2018 and 2019, I read many books about bookstores, libraries, and books in general.  I enjoyed this so much I am going to continue in 2020 to read “books about books.” One of these I have read since New Year’s Day is Goodnight June by Sarah Rio. Yes, it is based on the children’s classic, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. This novel is based on Jio’s “take” on how the children’s classic may have come to be. The protagonist, June Anderson, librarian, inherits her Great Aunt Ruby’s bookstore which specializes in children’s books. June discovers letters written by her Aunt Ruby to Margaret Wise Brown written in the 40s that are the key to family secrets and will unlock a change in June’s character that will keep the reader cheering for the altruistic librarian. A touch of romance rounds out this author’s engaging tale and provides a “darned…

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THE CHRISTIAN ATHEST by Craig Groeschel: A Revew


Yes, the title sounds like an oxymoron, but it is really more of an exercise in finishing sentences. The subtitle is, “Believing in God But Living as if He Doesn’t Exist.” This “life- changing read” includes chapter  titles like:

When You Believe in God, but…

…don’t think He’s fair.

…still worry all the time.

…pursue happiness at any cost.

…trust more in money.

…don’t share your faith.

…not in His church.

This is a convicting read from a self-proclaimed recovering Christian atheist. The book attempts to help the reader move “toward an authentic God-honoring life.” Its relevance to current times and society makes it a very useful read to those hoping to grow their Christian walk.

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Saturday Series/Countdown to First Classes

From Saturday, January 11th through Saturday, January 18th, I’m posting a series, “Countdown to First Classes.” Each day I will report on what I did (or plan to do) to get ready for the Spring semester which begins, Tuesday January 21st. I am looking forward to the coming semester and seeing the new “crop” of writers I will have to work with.  I’ve roughed out my syllabi (two classes of Advanced Writing)  and thought about changes to make and things I will have to change in order to keep up with teaching two sections, something  haven’t attempted since 2014. I have a vague idea of what I want the students to do on the first day, but will use you, dear readers, as a sounding board for what works and what doesn’t, what sounds like fun, and what sounds like a great deal of “work,” a word students are sometimes allergic to. Consider this an invitation to help me plan the upcoming semester, one I hope will be the best semester in my 31 years of teaching Advanced Writing at the university.

THE NICKLE BOYS by Colson Whitehead: A Review


This was a 2019 publication in large print I checked out from the library.  Although I have The Underground Railroad by this author on my Kindle, I have not read it yet, but after reading Nickel Boys, I intend to.

Elwood, the protagonist is an upstanding 14 year old, who is ready to start college at the beginning of the story.  He has been raised by his grandmother, Harriett (named for Harriett Tubman), and raised on recordings by Reverend Martin Luther King. Unexpectedly and unjustly, Elwood is arrested and shipped off to the Nickel (a man’s last name) Reformatory in Florida. There he is beaten and tortured and barely survives. At the reformatory, Elwood mets Turner, a streetwise, daring rebel. It is he who convinces Elwood to join in an escape.

Fast forward to Elwood as an adult, owning his own moving company, and doing everything he can to “keep a…

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I plan to read as many books on my TBR shelves as possible in 2020 to make way for new arrivals. My goal is to read or at least give a fair try (before delegating to my Little Free Library in the yard) to one book a week for all 52 weeks of the coming year.


I plan to scan blogging friends’ posts this coming year for reviews and recommendations of books they liked. My goal is to read 20 recommended reads in 2020.

What goals are you setting for yourselves?

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