I don't know if it's just that I've had time to pay attention to news this week or what but does it seem like there are a lot of uprisings and protests going on out there in the world? Yikes. This is exactly why I have chosen to spend my life totally wrapped up in fantasy worlds lately: books.
Obviously as a kindergarten teacher I spend a lot of time convincing children to love reading (and yes we teach reading in kindergarten now in case you are wondering). But, I'm not lying to them- I really do LOVE reading. I actually had a bit of trouble learning to read as a kid, but once I learned it was Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High books during all my free time. What? I didn't say I had sophisticated taste in books :)
My Latest Reads
This year I've set a goal to read 30 books for fun. This may seem like not a lot but when you are as busy as me (and sometimes just way too tired at night to think about a book) and you read WAY too many books on teaching, you'd wouldn't aim too high either. Here are the books I've read in 2011 so far.
This was a great book, told from the perspective of a dog... which is certainly unique. It's basically about the relationship between the dog and man. I've had my eye on this book for awhile but I was afraid it wouldn't be that interesting, somehow it was though.
This book was our Blogger Book Club book for January (ps. you should really join us ). However, I have to say this is exactly why I rarely listen to book critics. This is supposed to be one of Anita Shreve's best books and I hated it. I couldn't stand the main character or really any of the characters which does not make for a good read. It was interesting to talk about though, I will say that.
I read this book directly after Weight of Water because I wanted to remember that I still like Anita Shreve as an author. This book was about a high school reunion of sorts, and how it brings up old memories. It wasn't my favorite book I've ever read, but it was definitely good.
This was our Blogger Book Club read for February and I liked it a lot better than January's book :) This book was about two sisters and their journey from "having it all" in China, to losing it all, to arranged marriages and coming to the US. I found the historical aspects of this story pretty fascinating. I would say I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the two girls, but I think when an author really develops the characters well, that's pretty inevitable huh?
This was my first book on the Kindle (more on this later) and I chose it because it was the #1 downloaded book and it was 99 cents. It ended up being SO good. I had temporarily forgotten how much I like a good "mystery" and I loved how I just kept wanting to come back to this book. I plan to read the others in this series at some point.
I downloaded this book after hearing about it on a Vermont episode of Chronicle. It's the story of a midwife who is accused of killing a mother while attempting to save a baby... from the perspective of her 14 year old daughter. Does that not sound fascinating? Well it is... It kind of reminded me of Jodi Picoult a little bit actually, but perhaps slightly better literature? (yeah right, like I really know what good literature is... I just FEEL like people who complain about Picoult may not complain about this... could be wrong though). I am definitely going to read more by this author as well. Ah, so much to read so little time.
Truthfully I have a list of probably 40 books I want to read at the moment. But what I am seriously planning to read in the near future?
One Day by David Nicholls (actually I am on page 2 of this right now)
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (it's been on the list for awhile but recent recommendations from Amber and my friend Sarah have made me think I really need to just dive into it)
In the Woods by Tana French... our book club read for March!
Great Reading Websites
If you don't use GoodReads yet you really should. I love the fact that I actually have a somewhat organized list of books I want to read and books I already read (and I just added a books-I-didn't-finish section haha), plus I can get great recommendations from my goodreads friends about books I probably would never have known about otherwise.
I also just discovered (and by "discovered" I mean read about on Heather's blog another awesome site for readers: YourNextRead . Basically you can type in a book you like, and it will give you a list of books you will probably like based on the other book you liked. I know Amazon kind of does this and you can sort of do this through goodreads with some effort, but the organization of this site is great and you can really easily move between books and get ideas. Clearly I don't really NEED additional books on my "to read" list, but in case you do...
What's the best book you have read lately or what do you plan to read in the near future? Do you use any reading websites to keep track of books or get new ideas?
I'll be back this weekend with my review of the Kindle (Eric's mom let me borrow hers for my trip!) and a few more Sedona pictures from our last day in AZ. Eric and I leave Arizona tomorrow and I think Boston is getting a bit of a storm so let's pray my travel day is not anything like Lisa's was last Sunday!