As I mentioned in the Blog Refresh post, I’m currently trying to find time in my schedule to read 52 books in 2017 (I’ll admit, I started a little early
just to get a head start because I was so eager to get started) which amounts to one book a week. This post may be a bit longer than normal because I feel as though I need to get everyone caught up to speed. Future posts will only contain the books I’ve read between this post and the next scheduled one. Please, be a judicious and forgiving reader; read about the ones that interest you and skip the ones that don’t. Hopefully there’s something below for everyone.
A Book from a Non-Human Perspective (completed the week between Christmas and New Year’s)
Bailey’s Story: A Dog’s Purpose Novel by W. Bruce Cameron – I chose this novel because we named the puppy we got last May Bailey. I expected it to be the book version of the movie, but it wasn’t (there’s no reincarnation in this story, so there’s no sad doggy death). Instead, I read about how a dog probably sees everyday life, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I laughed out loud in some parts as I read what goes through a dog’s head when we yell at him/her for using the bathroom in the house.
A Book with Pictures (1/1/17-1/8/17)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – I follow Mr. Gaiman on Twitter, so I ordered this book when I saw it mentioned. I read Coraline several years ago and expected this book to be similar. It wasn’t…and yet it was. I was again amazed at Gaiman’s imagination as I became engrossed in the lives of graveyard inhabitants.
A Book that’s Been Mentioned in Another Book (1/9/17-1/14/17)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling – I probably cheated a little using this book for this category, but I wanted to read it! As a fan of Harry Potter, I couldn’t wait to read this screenplay, and I wasn’t disappointed. The hardest part was putting it down when I had other things to do. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I definitely intend to!
A Book with a Subtitle (1/16/17-1/21/17)
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff – My fiance’s daughter suggested I read this book last October, so I ordered it and started reading it as soon as it arrived. A chapter or two in, I abandoned the book due to lack of interest. At Christmas, she tried to “gift” it to me, so I decided to give it another chance since I had told her I already purchased it but “hadn’t had time to read it yet.” This book wasn’t for me, but I encourage anyone who wants to be inspired by someone’s else’s daring and devotion to give it a read.
A Book with a Red Spine (1/22/17 – 1/28/17)
Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions by Lori Deschene – I mentioned in this post that this book wasn’t what I expected. If I’d known then that there were so many books with red spines, I would have chosen another one.
A Book with Multiple Authors (1/29-1/31)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, Special Rehearsal Edition Script by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
Honestly, I ordered this book when it was published last July and couldn’t wait to read it. However, I started it and didn’t like it. I made it halfway through and abandoned it, which is the first time I’ve EVER done that to a J.K. Rowling book. But, after reading Fantastic Beasts, I was determined to give it another go. And, I must have stopped reading it right before the interesting part because once I re-started it, I couldn’t put it down! This is a must read for any Harry Potter fan.
A Book that’s Been on My TBR List for Way Too Long (2/5/17-2/12/17)
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff – After Buddhism, I decided to give Taoism a try. I’ve had this book on my shelf waiting to be read since Erica was a child, and I’ve just never gotten to it. I learned a lot about what I would consider to be the basics or foundations of Taoism and gained a new respect for Pooh and The Hundred Acre Wood characters. I definitely saw Eeyore, Owl and Rabbit in a new light.
A Book I Loved as a Child (2/12/17)
The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone – When I had my tonsils out in the mid-to-late 70s, my dad gave me this book while I was in the hospital (which was a huge deal because I never received books as gifts). I loved it then and loved it even more as a mother when I read it to Erica. As I reread it again, I couldn’t help but hear Grover’s voice yelling in my head, “You turned another page!”
In addition to the completed reads above, I’m also working on the following “in progress” books.
A Book Where the Main Character is a Different Ethnicity than Me (2/13/17 – ?)
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros – I taught this book to struggling readers in Maryland before I moved to Texas. I haven’t read it since, but I loved the short vignettes and the perspective that I’m sure that many of our students here at VC could relate to (in a more modern way). It’s been nice to revisit this novel again, and I can easily fit in several vignettes a day.
A Book with Career Advice (1/1/17 – ?)
One Year to An Organized Work Life: From Your Desk to Your Deadlines, the Week-by-Week Guide to Eliminating Office Stress for Good by Regina Leeds – Not all of my reads are for personal pleasure! This book takes each week of the month and assigns a task for eliminating office clutter. I’ll admit that I apparently have a good handle on this topic already as most of what they’ve addressed so far has not been an issue for me. However, after reading about having too many personal items (one item you collect is good; 15 is too much), I did take all of my hockey pucks home.
A Book Set in Two Different Time Periods (1/14/17 – ?)
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon – This is book two in Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Erica started watching the TV show and introduced me to the concept. We listened to book one last fall on our trips to Dallas and are currently working on book two. I’ll admit I don’t think that I could survive in the mid-1700’s after living in modern times.
An Audiobook (2/2/17 – ?)
Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin – I read this in 2013 and decided to revisit Rubin’s happiness experiments. One thing that I’m really trying – act the way you want to feel. Smile!
And, not on the 2017 Reading Challenge, I’m trying to find time at work (rather unsuccessfully) to read Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel. So far I’ve read about interleaving (which I’m not sure how to do successfully), retrieval practice, and why merely reading over notes is not a good study technique.
So, what have you read? Share your reading list in the comments below.