There is something to be said for diving into a book and staying there until you finish it. Few of us have the time to do this on a regular basis but I highly recommend it once in a while. In my experience, it changes the relationship you develop, the almost kinship to the characters and their lives that can emerge from total immersion. I was fortunate enough to read The Brothers Karamazov this way. I was home for the summer and was able to read every day for big chunks of time. I believe the immersion enhanced my enjoyment and understanding of the story.
I just finished reading a truly wonderful new book called Pax by Sara Pennypacker. I was able to sit and read this book in two days. I felt like I was living inside the tale. The characters became special to me in a way that I have to think was a result of that “total immersion”. Now, to be honest, Ms. Pennypacker wrote a story that could not be put down, yes, it is that good. But I do feel fortunate to have been able to walk right along with the characters the way I did, totally immersed!
Oh, and yes, I will be reading it to my class. It really was so incredibly good!