"Only in books has mankind known perfect truth, love and beauty." -George Bernard Shaw
A while back on one of those meme’s going around on Facebook or through email where you have to check off all of the things on a specific list that you had done at this point in your life, one of the listed items was “Read at least 50 books in one year”. I rarely complete those meme’s and I don’t think I did that one, but it got me to thinking about how many books I do and don’t read. I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever even come close to reading 50 books in a year. When I was younger I didn’t like to read that much. Oh, I read most of the Sweet Valley Twins books and all the Christopher Pike books I could get my hands on, but I just wasn’t a voracious reader. It might have been because I tend to be a slow reader, or the fact that I can’t have any distractions while I’m reading (I actually tend to listen to Jazz music with no words to help tune out any other distractions) or possible I just didn’t like a lot of the books I was “given” to read at school. Who knows, but then I worked at a book store one summer and each of the employees had to write up a little review of a book they liked to have it displayed on the “employee pick of the month” wall. So, I started reading more and fell in love! So, I decided that this 50 books in a year thing might be a fun challenge for me. It would have been a lot easier back before I was married and had kids and a full-time job because my “free” time was a lot more plentiful back then, but I’m still going to give it a try. What have I got to lose? Reading a lot more books along the way, of which I’m sure some will be wonderful and life changing, while others I’m afraid will be lacking. But how else will I ever find out.
I actually started this challenge back in February. So far I’m up to eight books! Since it is just for myself I’m making the rules however and I’m including books we read together as a family and books that I read with Ari. I am not however including books I read with Devyn...ha ha ha. I would be up to my 50 books in no time since I read multiple books a day to her. A few weeks ago Ari was complaining a little that I read at least two stories to Devyn every night at bedtime, but I don’t read to her anymore at bedtime. I kind of just thought she had gotten old enough that she didn’t care if I read to her anymore and she is a voracious reader herself so she if often trying to sneak in a few pages of whatever book she is reading at the moment at bedtime anyway. But, I decided since she asked it certainly couldn’t hurt to have a little one on one time with her so we started a book that she had gotten from a book fair some time ago but never gotten around to reading, The Giver by Lois Lowry. We also like to read together as a family, well the three oldest of us that can actually understand what’s going on in the story anyway, and we read all the time in the car instead of listening to the radio. Right now we are reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and I’m thoroughly enjoying them. That leaves 4 books that I read just for myself. The Book Thief, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Last Song and The Lucky One. I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns by far better than any of the rest…a must read in my opinion! If you would like to follow along with my reading journey I will be tracking all of my books on Good Reads. I only tend to review books if I have strong feelings but I do always rate them. Right now I'm reading four books, The 4th Percey Jackson book as a family, Gathering Blue with Ari, The Color of Water on my own and The Lost Symbol with Ken! Also, if you have any suggestions for must read books I’d love to hear them…I’ve got a ways to go to get to 50 books :-)
While I’m on the topic of book suggestions, if there are any teachers out there, or just anyone who knows a lot about books, I’m looking for good ideas for Ari. She is a very good reader. In fact while we were at her parent teacher conference the a couple weeks ago her teacher told us she had the highest Lexile level (just a way for teachers to determine a student’s reading comprehension ability) in her class…even higher than the teacher’s (although it’s a bit of a misnomer seeing as the teachers was rated at 1500+ and Ari’s is 1502). The problem with this is that most of the books that fit into her reading range either aren’t necessarily appropriate for her or they are just not interesting to her. She is only 11, but wants to start reading more “teenage” type books like the Twilight series. Most of her friends have read it, her teacher even has them in the classroom, but I just don’t think they are appropriate for an 11 year old (especially the 4th book) so I’m making her wait. I told her she can read them when she’s 13, which she’s not thrilled about. But how do I continue to encourage her love of reading and encourage her to read at a “challenging” level without compromising on what it is that I allow her to read? Any suggestions would be helpful!!!
You will love The Giver - very interesting book. I taught it to a group of 8th graders many years ago and never forgot the profound affect it had on those kids. Good luck on your quest to read all those books. I'm an English teacher and I don't think I could do it (shame on me) -- however, I am sure my husband could do it with no problem.
I'm a bad mom I guess because I let Jonah read all the Twilight books. He read all 4 in about 3 weeks at Christmas time. We had a "talk" about book 4 before he read it.
I am not good at updating my good reads, but I do update my books on my facebook. A new favorite of mine is The Thirteenth Tale. Loved it. Also any book by Barbara Kingsolver like Pigs in Heaven or The Bean Trees. I have liked every book she has written.
That is a great goal. Maybe I should do it too. Do Little Critter books count? :)
They might be a bit old-fashioned, but when I was Ari's age I loved reading the Anne of Green Gables series...and you won't have to have any Twilight talks. ;)
You are to be commended for your goal to read more books personally, with your husband, and as a family. Keep up the great work.
Heather - you are definitely not a bad mom, I just personally don't think that Ari needs to be reading about stuff like that so young...although that's tame compared to half the stuff out there. I'll have to check out some of your suggestions...I'm always looking for new books that I'll enjoy.
Shauntae - Anne of Green Gables is a great suggestion. It may be a little "old fashioned" but I like that idea better then the ones that require the "talks" first ;-) I know she's going to read books like Twilight and probably much worse, but I'd just like her to get a little older and gain a little perspective first, you know?
Has she read Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre? I think either would be great for her. They are old fashioned too but so fun to read. Kennedy hasn't read the books but LOVES the movies - even the PBS versions. I was surprised that she likes them as much as she does. Also, maybe some of the other classics like Where the Red Fern Grows. I remember my aunt reading that to me when I was 11 and I was enthralled. I recall very vividly staying up until late to get through it and sobbing with her and my cousin!
For you, have you read the Alchemist? It's a very easy read and SOO good - I finished it a couple months ago and it was a life changer for me.
I was going to suggest Jane Austing for you Persuation is my favorite but Emma is fun and so is Sence and Sensiblity, and Pride and Prejudice they also might be fun for Ari. Other books I have read that you might like are: The Secret Life of Bees, To Dance with the White Dog, The Alchemist( a must read in my opion), Crossing to Safty, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Jane Austen Book Club (if you like the Jane Austen Book I suggested) I also liked the Namesake but the bookclub I was in didn't. Had Ari read the Lemony Snicket Books I loved reading those. and I second the Anne of Green Gables I loved those books and I read them while in college. I have others I've read but that's my short list for suggestions right now.
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