Author Archives | tbergsonmichelson

Four to Read More — New Points of View

Four to Read More — New Points of View

And now we present Four to Read More, mini collections of four books that share some common theme, whether it’s the name of a character, a cover design quirk, or something else. Inspired by Kelly Jensen’s “Three on a YA Theme” series at Book Riot (take a lookwe’ll wait!), this series will highlight some books you may have missed on the shelves.

To kick off the school year, we are looking at novels offering new perspectives on classic stories. They are books that let us into the point of view of characters other than the original narrator. Gregory Maguire’s Wicked one example of a book using this device, building backstory for The Wizard of Oz. Here are four others that you can find in the library.

March by Geraldine Brooks

The Third Witch by Rebecca Reisert

march cover third witch cover
Throughout Little Women, Jo and her sisters pine for their father. This book follows Mr. March through his experiences as a soldier in the Civil War.
(available in print)
Shakespeare’s Macbeth, from the point of view of one of the witches.
(available in print )

Grendel by John Gardner

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

grendel gardiner cover wide sargasso sea cover
Perhaps Beowulf‘s Grendel just needs someone to hear his side of the story….(available in print) In this prequel to Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester’s first wife tells of her childhood and early marriage.
(available in print)

Do you have an idea for a Four to Read More theme? Email us and let us know!

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Upcoming Bay Area Literary Events

Upcoming Bay Area Literary Events

As you get ready to start the new school year, be sure to schedule time to visit with some of your favorite authors, too!

September 4, 7:00pm, @ Kepler’s
Are you waiting to find out what happens next with Trial By Fire’s alter-egos, Lily and Lillian? Hear from author Josephine Angelini and check out the sequel: Firewalker.

September 11, 7pm, @ Books Inc.
Nicola Yoon shares her debut novel, Everything, Everything; and David Levithan discusses Another Day, his sequel to Every Day. In San Francisco.

September 18, 7:00pm, @ Kepler’s
Cassandra Clare and Holly Black come together at Kepler’s to discuss their latest book, The Cooper Gauntlet.

September 22, 7:00pm, @ Kepler’s
Rae Carson, author of Girl of Fire and Thorns, is visiting to discuss her hew novel,Walk on Earth a Stranger. Following a young woman with magical powers through the California Gold Rush, Carson said of this book that she wanted to explore a rare time and place in history when women had financial power equal to men.

September 28, 7:00pm, @ A Great Good Place for Books
Ava Dellaira celebrates the paperback debut of Love Letters to the Dead.



Have you gone to one of these events? Tell us about it!

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Thank You To All–Another Successful Edible Book Festival!

Thank You To All–Another Successful Edible Book Festival!

Credits: Eva S., Anna P., Robin S. '19; Sarah R. '21; Margot B. '21, Caroline H.  '18

Credits: Eva S., Anna P., Robin S. ’19; Sarah R. ’21; Margot B. ’21, Caroline H. ’18

Yesterday, Casti celebrated our 2nd annual Edible Book Festival. We played literary games, decorated cupcakes, and viewed (and then ate) many very edible books!

Without a doubt, however, the highlight of the afternoon was viewing the Edible Book Contest entries and voting for favorites. The almost sixty creations submitted made it difficult to chose, but in the end all the ballots were submitted and counted.

Congratulations to the winning entries, selected by popular vote:


Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 9.07.30 AM

“Harry Squatter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets” by Linnea L., Mackenzie F., and Laura-Ann M. ’21

Best Food Eaten in a Book

"Canary Creams" by Lauren B.-R. '20

“Canary Creams” by Lauren B.-R. ’20

Technical Mastery

"Romeo and Juliet" by Riona Y. '19

“Romeo and Juliet” by Riona Y. ’19


“Where the Wild Greens Grow” by the Casti Middle School Gardening Elective

Best Simple Idea


“A Mango Shaped Space” by Kendall T. ’21

Most Original

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 9.44.11 AM

“Eat Me, Drink Me” by Margot B. ’21

People’s Choice

"The Fault in Our Cake" by Kelly Y. and Honor P. '21

“A Fault in Our Cake” by Kelly Y. and Honor P. ’21

And the special add-on category: Most Othello-licious

"Othello" by Jessa M. '18

“Othello” by Jessa M. ’18

A huge thank you to all our wonderful parent volunteers, and to our planning committee, all of whom made this event possible! Our committee this year: Honor P. ’21, Mabelle P. ’20, Sam N.-L. ’19, Arushi G. ’18, Molly L. ’16, and winner of Best Committee Chair, Jessa M. ’18! Also, we want to express our gratitude to the Food Service and Maintenance teams, who offered us such amazing support.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 11.45.17 AM

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The Edible Book Festival is here! Once again, there will be butterbeer!

The Edible Book Festival is here! Once again, there will be butterbeer!

Edible book festival examples 2014

On Monday, March 30, the library will celebrate its 2nd annual Edible Book Festival. Everyone in the Casti community is welcome to join us from 3:30-6:00 for literarily-inspired games and food. Everyone who comes can vote in our Edible Book competition! All members of the community are also invited to donate non-perishable foods to the We Won’t Stop club’s Edible Books Middle School Food Drive.

Community members are invited to create entries for the competition. The rules are simply that all creations must be made out of edible components and must either illustrate a concept from a book or be food that appears in a book. Families or groups of students are welcome to collaborate on entries. They may be dropped off in the morning or just before school ends for the day. Please label all entries with creators’ first and last names, and bring in the book that inspired your creation, or a printout of the cover. Check out these examples from last year.

All attendees will get to vote to award prizes to their favorite entries…and then eat the creations!

This year’s prize categories are:

  • Most original
  • Best food eaten in a book
  • Healthiest
  • Funniest/punniest
  • Technical mastery
  • Best simple idea
  • People’s choice

Whether you create an edible book, want to play literary games, do word-inspired art, or admire the creative work of our community (and groan over bad puns), we look forward to seeing you there!

When: Monday, March 30–3:30 to 6pm

  • Contest entry registration all day    7:45am-3:30pm
    • be sure to register all entries before 3:30
  • Voting   3:30-4:15
  • Snacks  4:00
  • Games and Edible Book Festival creation-viewing throughout

Where: Espinosa Library

Who: Students, family members, adult members of the Casti community and their families

What: Games, projects, treats, and voting!



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Non-Perishable Food Drive by WWS Club-Part of the Edible Book Festival

Non-Perishable Food Drive by WWS Club-Part of the Edible Book Festival

wws photo

Do you remember the Edible Books Festival that the library hosted last year? Well now it’s back, in all of its glory, but with an awesome, community action themed addition! The We Won’t Stop Club, working in collaboration with the library, is hosting a book themed food drive, with proceeds going to the Ecumenical Hunger Program.

You, the students, will be able to give back to the community by voting for your favorite books, through your food donations. To vote, simply drop your canned or boxed nonperishables into the container representing the book that you like best. We will have competitions between Out of My Mind and Wonder, Divergent and The Hunger Games, and the ultimate competition between The Fault in Our Stars and Harry Potter. The food collection containers will be outside of the library, middle school lobby, and the green doors.

The foods most needed by the Eccumenical Hunger Program are canned soup, boxed milk, nuts, vacuum tuna or tuna salad kits, ready-made meals, pop top cans (especially chili and soup), oatmeal, and crackers.

The food drive will start on March 16th, and finish the day of the Edible Books Festival, March 30th. Get excited to show some literary spirit and contribute to a fantastic organization!

by Sophie N.L. ’19 and Claire S. ’19

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Bibliophiles’ Mutual Aid Society: Finding time to read

Bibliophiles’ Mutual Aid Society: Finding time to read

"Minute to Midnight" by Gunter on

“Minute to Midnight” by Gunter on

Last week members of the Casti community gathered to brainstorm strategies for having a rich life as a pleasure reader. Here are the ideas shared by students and adults in our community. We would love to hear your strategies for finding time to read in the comments below!

Finding time to read:

In addition to the recent post, Five Steps For Making An Intentional Practice of Reading, community members suggested:

  1. Listen to audio books while commuting, exercising, etc. (check them out from your public library)
  2. Sit on the heating vent–very cozy!
  3. I schedule time on my calendar.
  4. I have a Goodreads account, so I can look for books that I want to read and mark books I have already read.
  5. I use Novelist (through the library databases page) to find new books, and the library Pinterest page, too.
  6. I am attempting to read 50 books in 2015–setting goals helps.
  7. Do the library reading challenges.

How to stop reading when the time is right:

    1. Don’t plan to stop at the end of the chapter. It will be a cliffhanger. Instead, plan to stop mid-chapter.
    2. Set a timer to ring when you need to stop. Leave it across the room, so you need to get up and turn it off. Put the book down when you get up to turn it off.
    3. If you are the kind of person who reads random pages in a book before you even start, read the end of the book when you know you are going to need to stop in the middle. That breaks you of the “need to know” and will allow you to enjoy the rest of the book at a reasonable pace.
    4. Read different types of books at different times-ones that are interesting but can be read in small chunks during the week/school weeks, a whole pile that I cannot put down for weekends/vacations.
    5. If you are eReading, use an app like Time Out to grey your screen and make you stop.
    6. Play some non-booky music. (Maybe set a device to start playing it when your reading time is up?)
    7. I always read over breakfast — it’s a short time span, with a hard stop, as I must get up and come to Casti! I’ve ceased worrying about making it to the end of a chapter, who cares.
    8. Listen to audio books while commuting, exercising, etc. (check them out from your public library).
    9. Read in a public space like The Circle or a community area in your home like the living room or kitchen-where distractions will come up and you’ll be reminded to look up and smile at someone getting a snack, say hi to a family member, or admire the beautiful blue sky.
    10. When you want to stop reading, take a break to do a mindfulness activity (such as a short meditation, apps like Stop, Breathe, & Think can help; Headspace is another) to get yourself out of the book, calm your mind, and ready yourself to shift gears.

Sometimes, if I really need to read for relaxation, I:

  • Re-read books I have read before;
  • Read something that I want to read, but know will not hold my attention for long; or
  • Read humorous essays that are just a few pages long, short stories, poems.
  1. Opening the shades and get lots of light in the room.
  2. Set page limits.
  3. Put an action item on your bookmark–get up and get a snack, do ten jumping jacks; you can list all the things you want to get done.
  4. Put a timer on your reading lamp.
  5. Choose books with dense action–even when you read a bit, you feel like something happened!
  6. Read when I have time to sit down and do it!
  7. Read realistic fiction–there is no action, so no suspense!
  8. Come to the library, and leave the book there when you leave–what you read in the library, stays in the library.
  9. Read with a buddy, parent, sibling – you can discuss the book, and you won’t want to get ahead of the other person.
  10. Read aloud (as a family) over dinner.
  11. Stop reading when you feel tired.
  12. Read a mixture of different genres–poems, short stories, essays, and magazines (that you can now check out from the library) are all things that are short.
  13. Take the train to school! That gives you time to read in both directions!


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