THE TALON

Teacher Book Club

Meet Three Members of the AMHS Teacher Book Club!

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We headed to the library to chat with Ms. Henley.

We headed to the library to chat with Ms. Henley.

We headed to the library to chat with Ms. Henley.

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As many of us students only see our teachers in a professional, academic setting, many of you may wonder what your teachers do outside of school. Do they gossip about students? Are they even friends outside of school? We’re here to give you a glimpse into your teachers’ lives outside of school.

After the legendary AP literature teacher, Ms. Woods, ended her teaching career at AMHS a few years ago, many of the teachers at AMHS decided to form a book club to keep in touch. Three years later, the AMHS teacher book club is stronger than ever. They meet at a different teacher’s house each meeting, and often have delicious meals as they discuss the books that they have read. The club meets monthly and takes a break over the summer, and the members include Mrs. Lankford, Ms. Hurt, Mrs. Bortz, Mrs. Grayson, Mrs. Peterson, Mrs. Henley, Mrs. Cornehl, Ms. Hooffstetter, Ms. Orr, Mrs. Galizia,  Mr. McCormick, Ms. Woods, Ms. Novinger, Dr. Altman, and (very rarely) Mr. Murphy. Before they left AMHS, Mr. and Mrs. Eicher were also members of the book club, and they are dearly missed. Currently, the book club members are reading Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. To learn more about the AMHS teacher book club, we chatted with several of the current members.

Ms. Hurt:

Ms. Hurt’s favorite books she has read with the club are The Husband’s Secret and The Underground Railroad, and her least favorite was Ken Follett’s Column of Fire. When asked what her favorite meal or snack was that she had a book club, Mrs. Hurt says “anything Ms. Woods cooks” is the best. In addition, Ms. Hurt claims she is “probably the only person who actually reads every book.”

Mrs. Lankford:

Unlike Ms. Hurt, Mrs. Lankford liked reading Column of Fire by Ken Follett. Column of Fire is the third book in a trilogy, and Mrs. Lankford was a bit disappointed in it because she really enjoyed the first book, Pillars of the Earth. In her opinion, Column of Fire did not live up to the standards of the first novel. Mrs. Lankford’s least favorite book that she read for book club was Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr. “The protagonist was just so arrogant, and I didn’t like him,” she explained to us. As a result, she did not finish reading Surrender, New York, but said that she has read all of the other books for book club aside from that one. She also believes that “If you don’t read the book, you should come and keep quiet.” Ms. Woods is apparently the most popular cook of the book club members, and Mrs. Lankford concurred with Ms. Hurt that anything Ms. Woods cooks is the best food. She also commented that usually the book club members start the meeting talking about the book, but usually the conversation leads somewhere else and people get off topic.

“If you don’t read the book, you should come and keep quiet!” ”

— Mrs. Lankford

Ms. Henley:

Some of Ms. Henley’s favorite books for teacher book club include Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. She said that she doesn’t have a least favorite book because she forgets the titles of all the books that aren’t her favorites. When we asked her about her opinion on the food, she said that they always manage to have good food at the meetings. “We do food well,” she commented. Specifically, she remembers that Ms. Grayson made gourmet pizzas before, and they’ve also had hors d’oeuvres and chili as well. She really enjoys teacher book club as well. She claims, “It’s fun to get together with people you work with outside of work. You get to know them better and it forms a deeper kind of connection.” There was only one time she didn’t read the whole book, but she does try to read the books most of the time because it’s more fun. Also, she agreed with Ms. Lankford that not as much time is spent dedicated to discussing the book as there probably should be at the meetings. She estimated that they probably spend 25% of the time discussing the book. She hasn’t yet started Silence of the Girls for book club, but she heard from someone else that they didn’t like it. “It’s a good thing I can read a book in one night!” she exclaimed.  Some of her favorite genres of books include murder mysteries and historical fiction novels, and she’s also part of another book club that she really enjoys with Itinerant Literate. She would love for more students at AMHS to do a book club as well, and she would be happy to contribute books suggestions and food to the book club discussions.

“It’s fun to get to know people outside of work. You get to know them better and it forms a deeper kind of connection.””

— Ms. Henley

Even if you don’t consider yourself a bookworm, we can all agree that AMHS Teacher Book club seems pretty fun. The next meeting will be held at Mrs. Lankford’s house. The club is looking to the future, with plans for a bookless Christmas Party and several books selected for future meetings. Ask your teachers about it if any of them are members, and reach out to Mrs. Henley if you want to start an AMHS student book club!

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