Friday, December 23, 2011

Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I loved this book!
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive.
It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?
Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

One of the students at LPHS recommended I read this book. She told me it was one of the few books that ever made her cry and it was a must read. I immediately brought it home to read.
This was definitely not one of my favorite books. The author Jonathon Safron Foer wrote dialog without chnaging sentences/paragraphs etc. At times I found it hard to follow who was speaking in a back and fourth discussion. The plot was definitely interesting and it was unlike anything I had read before. It is currently being made into a major motion picture. I believe the movie comes out this month starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.

Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me by Mindy Kaling

I really enjoy reading books by comedians. I loved all of Chelsea Handler's Books as well as Tina Fey's Bossypants. I was very excited to read this as I think Mindy Kaling is hilarious. The book made me chuckle several times. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes reading funny books or is a fan of the office. It was a quick read and I was able to finish it in a day.

Smile for the Camera by Kelle James

I bought this book based on the cover. I have recently begun to love Memoirs. This was a woonderful real. The story is a Memoir of a model named Kelle James. The author focuses on a short span in her life for the memoir.
We first meet Kelle James as she begins her journey at 16 to make a life for herself as a model in New York City. Kelle runs into a string on kind strangers as well as some horribel people who try to take advantage of a naive 16 year old. I loved learning about her relationships and the different dynamics. This book stayed with me after I put it down. I felt compelled to google Kelle and the people she talked about in the book. If you enjoy memoirs, I highly recommend. Smile for the Camera.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fallen by Lauren Kate

If you like Twilight you will love this book. Eternal lovers who can't be together. Fallen Angels fighting among one another. Fallen is the first in a trillogy for the series.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life as We Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I loved this book. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed it. I felt like this was realistic science fiction at it's best. \
The premise of the book is life after a meteor hits the moon. The meteor knocked the moon off it's orbit which caused worldwide tsunami's. After the tsunami's devasted all land touching water the earthquakes started along all fault lines. If that wasn't enough volcanoes from around the world started errupting causing poor air pollution. This is just the beginning of the worldwide catastrophes that continued. Loss of power, electricity, gas, heat!
I could not put this book down. It made me want to prepare for a disaster!

Death Curse by James Dashner

Death Curse is the final book in the Maze Runner Series. I have been eagerly anticipating this book for over a year! Death Curse follows Thomas and his friends from The Maze and The Scorch on their final trial for WICKED. The book is a thrilling tale following all your favorite characters. Thomas and Teresa are in a spat over WICKED. Is WICKED good as Teresa believes or is WICKED evil after all the hurt and destruction they have caused? Will WICKED ever find a cure for The Flare and will Thomas help WICKED. Tune in to get all the answers you have been waiting for.

I am hoping for a prequel to detail all about the construction of the Maze. Fingers crossed James Dashner is writing one!

I just read online that there is going to be a prequel called The Kill Order, read all about it here

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Tina Fey is undeniably brilliant so I had high expectations for this book. If you are a Tina Fey fan, you will love this book. Fey talks about her childhood in rural Pennsylvania, her early start in Chicago and her years at SNL before 30 Rock. I enjoyed learning about Fey's career, both successes and failures.
Towards the end of the book, Fey discusses her reign as Sarah Palin. I didn't realize how hectic her life was during that time period. However, it made for great TV and Bossypants was an enjoyable read.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why I fight by J. Adams Oaks (Abe Book)

Why I Fight is the story of  Wyatt's journey with his Uncle Slade on the road. At age 12, Wyatt, is self sufficient. He prepares breakfast, lunch and dinner for himself and gets himself ready for school. It is typical for him to go days without seeing his parents. After a fire in his home, Wyatt and his parents end up staying in a shelter. Wyatt's Uncle Spade shows up and tells Wyatt to come with him. Wyatt, doesn't even hesitate before heading on the road with his favorite Uncle. The next few years are filled with long drives, different women and towns. As Wyatt continues to grow his Uncle Slade decides Wyatt would be an excellent fighter and begins to make money off of his nephew. This is Wyatt's story.

Overall, I thought they book was good. I had never read anything by this author before. Although the title seems geared towards boys I think both boys and girls would enjoy the story. Everyone deals with family drama at some time in their life.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Club meeting for November 30th

This month book club is reading two different books.
9th period will be reading Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
10th period will be reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon

World War Z by Max Brooks (Abe Books)

I have been reading World War Z for over a week. I still haven't decided how I feel about this book. It is being turned into a movie as we speak and I know several Librarians who LOVED this book.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks follows the progression of a fictitious war between zombified humans and the living. The narrator, a fact finder for the Postwar Commission, has compiled numerous interviews over the course of several years and has chosen to place them into a book for future generations to analyze the war. The stories, from all countries and all populations, show the true strength of humankind, and the powerful forces that guide all civilizations.
Max Brooks deserves credit for a new idea and innovative idea.  I have never read a book told in this format. There is no narrator in this novel. The books follows an interview format that slowly tells the story of how the Zombie War started, what happened among the chaos and how the war eventually ended. World War Z was definitely different, but I am still undecided on if I liked it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor ( Abe Book)

I have always been told not to judge a book by its cover. However,  I have been hesitant to read this book for months based on the cover. I finally read The Looking Glass Wars and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. The book is the tale of Alyss Hearts, Princess of Wonderland. I am not very familiar with Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland so I found the story to be surprising as well as intriguing. The book opens on Alyss 7th birthday celebration in Wonderland and ends with Alyss as an orphan arriving in a strange lane called England. The author toggles back and forth between our land and Wonderland until Alyss one day rejoins her Queendom, Wonderland.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

This is the first book the LPHS Book Club is reading.

Young and innocent, Richard Perry starts his journey toward Vietnam during the "conflict." Along the way he meets several characters, each of them in Vietnam for different reasons. He befriends Peewee Gates in particular and they stick together from start to finish.

Perry has left behind a mother and a younger brother, Kenny. Perry and his mother have never understood each other and she does not know why he went into the army. He isn't completely sure himself, but he wanted to go to college and couldn't afford it. Kenny really looks up to Perry and Perry wants to make him proud.

Another black man tries to bond with Perry and Peewee, but the bonds of brotherhood and friendship are not simply by race. After a lot of waiting and moving from place to place Perry and Peewee finally join the Company they are replacements for.

Let me know what you think of the book so far.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Matched by Allie Condie ( Book 1 in Trilogy)

Matched by Allie Condie is the first book in this popular new series. The sequel, Crossed comes out November 1st and I have already pre-ordered it for the library.

I loved this book! The author grabbed my attention within the first few pages and I couldn't put the book down. The books starts off with the main character Cassia, preparing for her Match banquet which happened to fall on her 17th birthday. Cassia and her bestfriend Xander are both attending the banquet. The society matches all 17 year olds with their perfect match. After some initial confusion, Cassia is accidentally Matched with two people. This begins the plot of the story. Should the Society select your perfect match or are people capable of finding the right match themselves?

***** One of my students just told me that Disney bought the rights for this movie******

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wish you were dead by Todd Strasser (Abe Book)

I loved this book. I have been saying for months that Maze Runner by James Dashner was going to win this year's Abe award, but I think Wish you were dead might be a close second. The day after a blogger wishes the most popular girl in school would die, she disappears. From that point on, every person she wishes dead also disappears. I was on the edge of my seat reading this suspenseful book. I finished this book in one day because I had to know the ending. Readers will not be disappointed with this book.
I loved it so much that I just ordered more books for the library from Todd Strasser.

Reality Check by Peter Abrahams (Abe Book)

Stephen King wrote on the book jacket of this book, "My favorite American suspense novelist." Before I read the book, I was prepared for a thrilling suspense read. I have to say my expectations fell flat. Reality Check is the story of a small town kid name Cody who is dating the wealthiest girl in town, Clea. After Clea, gets her first B her father is determined to send her as far away from Cody as possible. She is off to Hong Kong  for the summer and upon her return she is sent to a private Boarding School out East. Devasted, Cody breaks up with Clea seeing it as his only option. Cody injures his knee on the football season and realizes his chance of a scholarship are over and drops out of school. Without Clea and football, Cody is devastated. One day he sees the local newspaper and the cover is a picture of Clea with the caption MISSING. Cody knows what he has to do- find Clea!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I read this book in high school, but had no recollection of what the book was about. My friend and I thought it would be a good challenge to try and read some classics. The first chapter of the book did not grab my attention. It wasn't until I was 50 pages in that I started to be interested in the story. I was able to finish the book in two sittings, it was a quick read and I ended up enjoying the story. Most of the students at LPHS read this book for class so I thought it was a good plan to read it as well. Let me know if there are other books you read for class that you would recommend.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I am Nujood age 10 and divorced by Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui

The title of this book grabbed my attention. It has been on my "to read list" for quite some time. I finished the book in two days, it is simply a book you can't put down. Nujood, is a young girl in a large family living in Yemen. Struggling to pay rent and provide food for the family her father agrees to an arranged marriage to a man over 3x Nujood's age. Nujood has no true understanding of what is happening, what it means to be a wife and what will happen to her now. Her new husband beats her and rapes her every night. She pleads with him to visit her family and finally he relents. Once with her family her father and mother will do nothing to help her our of this arrangement. Her father's second wife (customary in the culture to have more than one wife) suggests she reach out to the courts. That is what Nujood did, and this was her story of how she found herself divorced at age 10.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan (Abe Book)

I did not know what this book was about. If I had looked at the cover perhaps it wouldn't have come as a surprise that this book is about the effect 9/11 had on three teenagers living in New York during the attacks. The story follows three characters: Claire, Jasper and Peter. As the book started to detail the shock, surprise and horror of the first two plane crashes tears streamed down my face. Every person has a story about where they were and what they were doing. It was an interesting start to a book and I felt as if I was experiencing the shock and surprise with each character. The story unfolds and the characters lives become intertwined, forever changed because of the events of 9/11. This is a quick read as well as very realilistic. I would definitely recommend this one.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Carter Finally Gets it by Brent Crawford (Abe Lincoln)

Carter Finally Gets it is a humorous account of a guy figuring his way through his freshman year of high school. With the help of his friends, parents and older sister. Carter eventually gets it and figures out who he is and who he wants to be. This is a humorous book and I think everyone would enjoy it and relate to Carter.

Before I Die by Jenny Downham (Abe Book)

                                       Before I die by Jenny Downham is an interesting read. Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. Her bestfriend attempts to help her complete the items on her list. First on the list is to lose her virginity.

Mexican White Boy by Matt De la Pena ( Abe Lincoln Book)

Matt De La Pena is a strong young adult author. This is a book for the boys and fans of baseball. To be honest, I did not finish this book as it did not peak my interest. As an Abe Lincoln title though I am positive that there are students at LPHS who will love this book.

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr (Abe Lincoln Book)

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr follows Deanna Lambert after she made a mistake when she was 13. Deannas father catched her in the backseat of her brothers bestfriends car and can't forgive her for her actions. Growing up in a small town, Deanna is branded as the town slut. Four years later and no one has forgotten, her father still won't acknowledge her and she finds herself working with the boy who ruined her reputation.  This is the story of a girl who made a mistake.

It's been a while

I had a busy summer spent teaching in the elementary school, traveling and lots of READING.
This Summer I read a variety of Young Adult Books and some Adult fiction.
Adult books
1. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
This was a lengthy read ( almost 1000 pages) but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It takes place in Europe in the early 1900's as Europe prepares and experiences the first World War. It is the first book in a new trilogy.
2. The Midwives Confession by Diane Chamberlain
I have recently discovered Diane Chamberlain and I truly enjoy her books. This book was filled with secrets and twists leaving the reader wanting more.
3. Somebody Elses Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage was an intriguing story about keeping appearances up towards the public and the secrets we all keep.
4. Room  by Emma Donoghue I heard very mixed reviews about this book so I was hesitant to read it. The first few pages it was hard to get into but I stuck with it and LOVED this book.
5. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff This was such an interesting story focusing on the early history of Mormonism and Polygamy Then and Now. I couldn't put this book down.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome Back

Summer has come to an end and it is time for school!. This summer I read several books that I am excited to share with all of you.

Beastly by Alex Flinn
Abe Lincoln Title
 If you liked Beauty and the Beast growing up, you will love this story. Alex Flinn wrote an updated version set in Manhattan for all those people who loved the classic tale. Kyle is the most popular boy in school and very goodlooking. However, he is very ugly on the inside. One day after being particularly cruel to another student, the student, who was really a witch, casts a spell on Kyle and turns him into a horrific beast. Kyle has to find someone who will fall in love with the true him if he ever hopes to break the spell. Tune in to find out if Kyle can learn from his mistakes. There is also a movie that came out this year starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens.

Along way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Ishmael Beah
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy SoldierI loved this story. Ishmael Beah's memoir of growing up in Sierra Leone is heartbreaking and unbelievable. The story is set in Sierra Leone in the early 1990's. The author, Ishmael, is just a young boy of twelve when his village is attacked by rebel troops. Ishmael finds himself orphaned and on the run in a war torn country. It seems there are no real safe places to hide. By the age of thirteen Ishmael is picked up by the government army. Once a gentle young man, Beah finds himself becoming a killer. Hopped up on marijuana, speed and a local mixture of cocaine and gunpowder, he carries his AK-47 with pride and becomes one of the deadly killers he has spent the past year running from. This is a gripping tale of war and the destruction of families and children in war torn countries.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman ( sequel to if I stay)

I finished the sequel of this book in one day! I absolutely loved it. The story picks up three years from where we left off in, "If I Stay". Mia is off in New York City at Juliard and Adam is a full fledged Rock Star. The story is told from Adam's perspective and goes back and forth filling in the blanks from the last three years. I highly recommed both of these books.

Monday, May 23, 2011

If I stay by Gail Forman(Abe Book)

I just finished this book over the weekend and I loved it. There is a sequel called "Where I went" that I started today and already know I will love it as well. The book follows Mia after a tragedy kills her entire family in a car accident. Mia is in a coma and experiencing an out of body situation. She can see and hear everyone around her, but she is invisible to them. Mia must decide if she should stay on Earth and wake up or if she should join her deceased family.
I highly recommend this one.

Friday, May 20, 2011

TWEAK by Nic Sheff (Abe Book)

I just finished TWEAK by Nic Sheff. All I can say is what an incredible memoir! How incredible for a person to share their story fo recovery, failure and finally recovery from Heroin, Crystal Meth and Crack. This book shows the truth and destruction of drug use. There is no winning, when taking drugs.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

I just finished reading Peeps, after a student insisted I check it out.

Two days after arriving in New York for college, Cal loses his virginity to a girl who picks him up. From this encounter Cal picks up an STD, but this is an unusual one: it turns its victims into "peeps" -- parasite positives -- raving cannibalistic monsters with unusual strength, night vision, heightened senses, and an affinity with rats (you may know them as vampires). Cal himself turns out to be immune, but he's a carrier -- he gets the strength and senses without the nasty side effects. But before he knows it, he has infected others. Cal is recruited by the Night Watch, a secret government organization that has existed for centuries to contain the disease and its victims. His first assignment is to capture all the girls he's infected. But soon Cal realizes that there is more going on than he has been told: the disease is changing in response to mysterious forces from under the earth that are waking up after centuries of slumber. (
I thought the book was interesting. The best part of the book is the science information on real parasites currently affecting animals and humans today. The author has clearly done his research on different parasites and I was definitely intrigued.
If you like sci-fi, vampires, or conspiracy theories I would check this book out. There is a sequel called "The Last Days"

Next Read- Tweak by Nic Sheff ( Abe Book)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson (Abe Book)

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in the War or Memoirs. Ryan Smithson does a wonderful job introducing the War in Iraq. Especially, for those of us who know nothing of what is going on in the middle east. Smithson made the war personal and detailed everything from his training to what soldiders are eating on a daily basis. I was fascinated while reading this book. I feel I can better relate to the young soldiers who are serving our country.

I just started Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, so far so good. I'll keep you posted when I finish

Friday, May 6, 2011

Compound by S. A. Bodeen (Abe Book)

I read this over Spring Break and really enjoyed it. For six years, Eli Yanakakis has lived three stories underground in a lavish fallout shelter. On his ninth birthday, his father ushered his family away from what he said was a nuclear attack and into The Compound. The door to the compound is sealed and set to open in fifteen years, enough time for the nuclear waste from the attack to become harmless. The only people Eli has seen or communicated with for years are his mother, father, and two sisters. He desperately misses hamburgers, his twin brother, Eddy, his grandmother, and his dog. Though The Compound seems stocked with everything he could ever want, Eli knows there are many faults in his father's plan for survival. Their food supply is not what it should be. He catches his father lying about the ability to connect to the Internet. As the book goes on, Eli learns that his father's ultimate plan for a food source, what they call The Supplements, is not the result of poor planning but of his father's near-insanity. Eli knows he has to get out, but only his father knows the secret code to opening the door.
This was a fast and exciting read. I highly recommend it. I'm finishing up Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson ( also on the Abe List) and going to start Peeps by Scott Westerfeld.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Club Book May 4th, 2011

The LPHS Book Club is reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman this week. This was a different genre than the book club usually reads. I would categorize Neverwhere  as Sci-Fi. I am typically a big sci-fi fan as well as a Neil Gaiman fan. Gaiman did not disappoint! From the first page I was hooked and trying to find out what was going on and who all these strange characters were.

At one point in the book I was worried the story was copying Wizard of Oz. Just as I was thinking that, Gaiman made a reference to Wizard of Oz. After the reference I knew something interesting was in store.
Also, the Chicago Public Library is using this book as One Book, One Chicago. Here is a link One Book, One Chicago

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

I read this over spring break and wasn't certain how I felt about the book. Initially, I wasn't liking the plot of the book, but as I continued reading I really started to like it. This definitely was not one of my favorite books, but I would recommend it.

The main character, Zoe, is a music therapist struggling to get pregnant with her husband of nine years. After two miscarriages and a baby born stillborn her husband has had enough and files for divorce. Zoe finds a new friend in Vanessa, a school counselor she has worked with before. Vanessa and Zoe's relationship blossoms and the two of them become a couple, eventually marrying in Massachusetts. Vanessa and Zoe decide to try and start a family with Zoe's remaining embryos. 
Meanwhile Zoe's ex-husband has found Jesus and become very religious. When he hears about Zoe becoming a lesbian and wanting to use the embryos he sues her for the rights. A trial ensues and the reader is left questioning who has the right to those embryos?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Break

Today kicks off our Spring Break at Lincoln Park High School. I am planning on reading while on vacation in Arizona. I am currently reading Columbine by Dave Cullen which is on the ABE 2012 List and planning on reading The Compound by S.A. Bodeen which is also on the ABE 2012 List. If I have time I would love to read Jodi Picoult's new book, Sing me Home. Picoult is my favorite author and I have been eager to read her newest book.

Let me know what you are reading over Spring Break

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


April 11th- April 15th is National Library Week
Lincoln Park High School is observing Library Week with activities EVERY DAY

Monday April 11th              Match the Fictional Character to the Book
Tuesday April 12th              Library Crossword Puzzle
Wednesday April 13th         Name that quote
Thursday April 14th             Book Word Search
Friday April 15th                 HARRY POTTER DAY

Invisible Bridge

I just finished the book Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer and I loved it. The book takes place in Budapest, Hungary in 1937-1945. The story follows Andras Levi on his quest to become an Architect. Because of the restrictions on Jews he is not able to attend Architectural School in Hungary and receives a scholarship in Paris. After two years in Paris, Andras is deported back to Hungary where he is put in various labor camps, starved and unaware of his families fate. I though the book was interesting and told a new story of the Holocaust I was unfamilair with. I wondered what life must have been like  for Jews living in Hungary when it was allied with Germany and Hitler from the very beginning of the war. The character development was so wonderful in this book. I felt like I personally lost family members along the way.

Next on my to read list is Columbine by Dave Cullen. Columbine is on the Abe Lincoln 2012 List.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Abe Lincoln 2012

Abe Lincoln 2012

March 30th- Just finished Will Grayson, Will Grayson

I Just finished Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. The two authors collaborated together rotating chapter by chapter to complete this book. The book focuses on two different Will Graysons. The first Will Grayson lives in Evanston and has lived in the shadow of his giant best friend "Tiny". The second Will Grayson lives in Naperville. After a chance encounter one night in Chicago the two Will Graysons meet and their worlds collide.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Recent Favorites

1. Maze Runner ( Book 1)  
by James Dashner
  Scorch Trials   (Book 2)
  (Third Book will come out in October 2011)
"If you like Hunger Games you will love The Maze Runner"-Miss M.
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.


2. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
    The Power of Next ( August 2011)
"I Loved this book and can't wait for the sequel"- Miss M.
 In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.


3. After by Amy Efaw
  "I read this book cover to cover, couldn't put it down"- Miss. M.

Devon Davenport is a straight-A student and prominent player on her school's soccer team, but when she is linked to an abandoned baby found in the trash she is accused of attempted murder.


  4. Ape House by Sara Gruen
     "I found this book to be fascinating and cool. I learned a lot about the Bonobo Apes and   how  smart they are" Miss. M.

Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, embarks on an adventure with reporter John Thigpen to rescue a family of bonobos that escaped from her lab and have been cast on a reality television program.

5. An Abundance of Katherine's by John Green
" Laugh out loud hilarious. I Loved this book" Miss. M.

Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.