The Unread Shelf Project, 2018

Dear readers, I have saved the best for last this week. We’re talking about The Unread Shelf Project and I couldn’t be more excited about this one.

Books breathe life into a home

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I am someone who dreams of living in Belle’s library. To be surrounded by walls and walls of books (and oh, that rolling ladder), and have the accompanying time to pore over them, is pretty much my idea of heaven. Well, that plus a giant cup of coffee, or a glass of champagne, depending on the time of day.

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That burning desire has turned me into something of a book hoarder. There are scores of books on my shelves I haven’t read.

Actually there are 183 books on my shelves that I haven’t read.

I know that because I counted them. It was the first part of The Unread Shelf Project 2018. Started by one of my favorite bookstagrammers, Whitney, this is a project with quite an enthusiastic following as of late December. The best place to follow along with me on this endeavor is on my Bookstagram account, but you know I’ll still pop over here with updates from time to time.

What I love so much about Whitney’s challenge is that she’s encouraging fellow readers by creating challenges, but not burdening them with too many rules. The challenge is what you make it. I posted my total number of unread books (183!) and can’t wait to see what else she asks us to do.

Of all the rooms in my future dream house, the library is the one I think about most. Would it have a mix of paperbacks and hardback editions? Or would ...read more

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Here are some of the guidelines I’ll create for myself as I play along, because who doesn’t love rules?

My goal is to have fewer unread books in my possession at the end of the year. I will count it as a win if I read a bunch, but also feel comfortable getting rid of some. I found a couple of duplicate titles that can go (an old, ugly cover of Jane Austen, when I have since gottenthese), and a few others that I used to be dying to read, but now feel simply “meh” about.

I still plan to check out anything I darn well feel like from the library.

I am not going to buy any new books in 2018. None! I will either wait for them to come in for me at the library, or I will wait till 2019 to see if I really want to make the investment. One of my general goals for the year is to work on being happy with what I already have around me, and that simply won’t be possible if my collection is ever-growing.

I will still absolutely by used books off the library’s shelf. More often than not, I purchase books I’ve already read and loved and wish I owned, and besides, the money goes to a good cause.

And lastly, I reserve the right to add or take away rules as the challenge evolves.

I’ve loved posting an unread book each day so far this week in my feed or stories, and I’m on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what Whitney challenges us to do next.

The 2018 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

We’re rounding out my three book challenges with what ended up being my least favorite this year. Not that I have anything against Book Riot, but there were several categories down here where I felt like it was beyond a stretch to find a book I wanted to read, or the books I picked don’t come close to matching up with my real reading goal for the year of quality over quantity.

This, with the bookshelf french doors idea (see other pin on board), and the book-drawers in the door (see other pin). :D

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In the end, though, I love finding potential titles for these challenges because of the way they force me to think deeply about what I’m reading. Since I started recording the possibilities a couple of years ago, I have picked up books I wouldn’t have otherwise at times throughout the years. I’m not one to force myself to read titles just because; to me that feels like something that should die after high school and college. But these little yearly lists definitely get me thinking about new books to read.

A book published posthumously – The Bright Hour, by Nina Riggs

A book of true crime –Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt

A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romace) – Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier (I add this to one list or another every year. It’s about time already!)

A comic written and illustrated by the same person – Pashmina, by Nidhi Chanani

A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries – State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett

A book about nature – Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv

A western – O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (A stretch in this category? Maybe)

A comic written or illustrated by a person of color – Malice in Ovenland, by Micheline Hess

A book of colonial or postcolonial literature – The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy

A romance novel by or about a person of color – Waiting to Exhale, by Terry McMillan

A children’s classic published before 1980 – Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

A celebrity memoir – Not My Father’s Son, by Alan Cumming

An Oprah Book Club selection – We Were the Mulvaneys, by Joyce Carol Oates

A book of social science – The Social Animal, by David Brooks

A one-sitting book – Heating and Cooling, by Beth Ann Fennelly

The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series – Emily of New Moon, by L.M. Montgomery

A sci-fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author – The Wrinkle in Time series, by Madeleine L’Engle (Which, yes, I put on every list, BECAUSE WHY HAVE I STILL NOT FINISHED THIS SERIES???)

A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image – Um, no thank you on the comic book front.

A book of genre fiction in translation – Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

A book with a cover you hate – The Best Advice I Ever Got, by Katie Couric

A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author – I’m skipping the mystery part, and we’ll go with The Lowland, which is what AGOMYR tells me I should be reading by Jumpa Lahiri

An essay anthology – Essays of E.B. White, by E.B. White

A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson (This may have just jumped to the number one overall spot on my list.)

An assigned book you hated (or never finished) – Everything I was supposed to read in high school. Or, just Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

The 2018 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge

Another day, another reading challenge? Can that be how we try our best to do 2018? Sounds great to me. This list comes to us from Modern Mrs. Darcy, and if you’ll bear with me, we’ve got one more reading challenge tomorrow.

Three reading challenges.

In the year I swore I wouldn’t do a reading challenge.

It’s perfect.

The Nursery Works Tree Bookcase is a modern bookcase that’s roomy enough to hold over 100 books on its stable shelves. This kids bookcase is crafted from durabl

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A classic you’ve been meaning to read – Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

A book recommended by someone with great taste – Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner (recommended by creator of this here book challenge, Anne Bogel, who used it with her book club)

A book in translation – Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (Do you dare me?)

A book nominated for an award in 2018 – TBD, because we’re not in 2018 yet

A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection – Upstream, by Mary Oliver

A book you can read in a day – Anything is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout

A book that’s more than 500 pages – Far from the Tree, by Andrew Solomon (been meaning to read it forever)

A book by a favorite author – Better than Before, by Gretchen Rubin

A book recommended by an indie bookseller or a librarian – TBD

A banned book – Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

A memoir, biography, or book of creative nonfiction – The Art of Memoir, by Mary Karr

A book by an author of a different race, ethnicity or religion than your own – Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds

The 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge

Happy New Year, dear readers. We’re starting 2018 (2018!) with one of my favorite posts of the year! In fact, we’ve got a couple straight days of nothing but books. If you’ll indulge me, let’s get at it.

It was at some point at the end of October last year when my reading goal for 2018 hit me over the head.

Quality over quantity.

For years, my goal has been around a number of books, or a certain website’s annual reading challenge. And I always start the year with a bang and taper off as soon as I’m home from the beach.

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If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

So I’m trying something different this year.

Sort of.

I’m going into 2018 with the quality over quantity mantra, and seriously hope I’ll prioritize some of the titles I’ve always meant to read and have never gotten to over choosing tons of quick reads in the name of meeting a specific number.

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But I’ve got to play along and at least share what I’d read from PopSugar’s list for the year. You know, if I planned to do it. Oh, who are we kidding, it’s such a habit to be checking this list all the time, I’m sure I’ll still be on board. I tried desperately to make them match up with my quality over quantity goal wherever I could.

A book made into a movie you’ve already seenEmma, by Jane Austen

True crime  American Fire, by Monica Hesse

The next book in a series you started – Anything is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout

A book involving a heist – Heist Society, by Ally Carter

Nordic noir – Eek, I’ve looked far and wide, and I just don’t know about this category. I’ve started The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo approximately 85 times. Stay tuned.

A novel based on a real person – Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

A book set in a country that fascinates you – L’appart, by David Lebovitz

A book with a time of day in the title – Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissinger

A book about a villain or antihero – Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte (or maybe The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith)

A book about death or grief – The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion

A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym – The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith (aka, JK Rowling)

A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist – Dreamland Burning, by Jennifer Latham

A book that is also a stage play or musical – The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you Anything by Jhumpa Lahiri; where do I start?

A book about feminism – Bad Feminist, by Roxanne Gay (I started this a million years ago and didn’t get very far. Time for another shot.)

A book about mental health – This Close to Happy, by Daphne Merkin

A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift – Americanah, by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie

A book by two authors – The Last Mrs. Parrish, by Liv Constantine (Which is a hybrid of two sisters’ names!)

A book about or involving a sport – The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown

A book by a local author – The Perfect Neighbors, by Sarah Pekkanen

A book with your favorite color in the title – The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

A book about time travel – The rest of the Wrinkle in Time series, by Madeline L’Engle

A book with a weather element in the title – Rain Reign, by Ann M. Martin (yes, that Ann M. Martin)

A book set at sea – The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi

A book with an animal in the title – Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM, by Robert C. O’Brien

A book set on a different planet – Space Case, by Stuart Gibbs (No, the moon is not, technically, a planet. Oh well.)

A book with song lyrics in the title – Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger

A book about or set on Halloween – Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (This is absolutely not a Halloween book, but oh well.)

A book with characters who are twins – I Know This Much is True, by Wally Lamb (except I did not love She’s Come Undone, and it’s given me major pause when it comes to picking this up)

A book mentioned in another book – I’m going to wait on this, but I am reading My Life With Bob right now, and that will give me plenty of options.

A book from a celebrity book club – The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd (from Oprah’s Book Club; as if there is any other!)

A childhood classic you’ve never read – Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (I KNOW!)

A book that’s published in 2018 – Tell Me More, by Kelly Corrigan (Who is from my hometown!)

A past Goodreads Choice Award winner – Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

A book set in the decade you were born1984, by George Orwell

A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to – Halfway Normal, by Barbara Dee

A book with an ugly cover – Deep Work, by Cal Newport

A book that involves a bookstore or a library – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith (I only vaguely remember reading this in high school, so though it’s technically a reread, I’ll allow it.)

Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 PopSugar reading challenge – I’m going with “A book you’ve read before that always makes you smile:” and it’s the same dang book I meant to reread last year – The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin

ADVANCED

A bestseller from the year you graduated high school – Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer (I have culled these lists and dear readers, I have read everything I wanted to read that was an NYT fiction or non-fiction best-seller in 2002. What’s on the children’s lists you ask? Holes, Stargirl, and of course, Harry Potter. So I’m going with something from 2003, that is about 2001, and we’ll meet in the middle on the year I graduated.)

A cyberpunk book – Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place – Oooooh, we’ll see!

A book tied to your ancestry – Cheerful Money, by Tad Friend

A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title – Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg

An allegory – Watership Down, by Richard Adams

A book by an author with the same first or last name as you – A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan (or perhaps this autobiography of Jennifer Lopez? How many people can say they’ve read a book written by someone with their same name.)

A microhistory – At Home, by Bill Bryson

A book about a problem facing society today – Dear Martin, by Nic Stone

A book recommended by someone else taking the PopSugar reading challenge – TBD

October Reads

I try to stay current on about 4 or 5 podcasts. And because Gooplet developed an intense passion for the Moana soundtrack over the summer, I have fallen hopelessly behind on all of them. Anytime a noise-making device was on, said device was blasting Moana (make waaaaay, make waaaaay). But. We’re slowly diversifying our tastes, and I’ve even managed to keep a couple podcasts on here and there during the background of our days.

Wonderful mix of Puffin Children's Classics and Puffin In Bloom.

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The other day, it was a back episode of What Should I Read Next, and Anne said that she once heard that one of the worst things you can say about a book is “I liked it,” or, “I didn’t like it.” That’s not really what books are for, anyway. Books are for sharing glimpses into other worlds, in hopes that we come to see something, anything, in a new way.

Loved it.

Here’s what I read in October. I think I’m coming out of my slump.

Just Read:

Dear Fahrenheit 451, by Annie Spence – Such a fun book, which I wrote more about here.

Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson – If I was still in a fifth grade classroom every day, there is no way two years would have gone by before I learned about this book. But two years went by, and I didn’t know about it until it started popping up across the Bookstagram feeds I follow. Such a fun story, and I’m sure a hit with elementary schoolers everywhere.

All’s Faire in Middle School, by Victoria Jamieson – This is the second graphic novel by the author of the book before, and is just as charming. I always roll my eyes when I see people posting pictures from the local Renaissance Faire, but this was such a sweet peek at what happens behind the scenes there.

Reading:

My Glory Was I Had Such Friends, by Amy Silverstein – Oh, this one is beautiful. I find myself alternatively delighted and then frustrated with the narrator, but it’s like what I said above. This book is helping me trying to wrap my head around what life would be like on the waiting list for a heart transplant for a second time. And a quick story. As I sat down with this book–about the power of friendship–I started reading the description of the first friend, Joy. Hmmm, I thought, this Joy sounds a lot like my husband’s boss, Joy. Dear readers, one of the friends the author wrote about is my husband’s boss Joy. He’s always mentioned her utter dedication to friends and family, and there she was, on page nine of this book. What a small world, indeed.

Wild Things, by Bruce Handy – I’m not sure I love this book, but I’m going to keep reading it. The author is coming off as smug to me, but it’d be hard for me to put down any book on children’s literature.

Want to Read:

I don’t know! I’ve got my reading goal for 2018 already percolating in the back of my head, and I wonder if I’m going to spend the last 2 months of 2017 getting a jump-start on that, or if I’ll just see what strikes my fancy next. What have you been reading lately?

Books with Short Chapters

Dear readers, if you’ve been sitting around, wondering why a reading post didn’t go up on the 28th (because you know that’s when they go up, right?), I have to tell you the honest-to-goodness reason. I read nothing in September. Nada. That is so shameful for me. I cracked the cover of The Nightingale, which is on loan from a friend,* and I couldn’t get going with it. And here’s the thing. I’ve been in this too long enough to know it’s not the book in this case. It’s me. I have a dumb game I play on my phone at night while I watch Gilmore Girls. It’s such a mindless habit and I am in. Deep. It’s a hard cycle to break, the post-dinner mindless couch time. A first world problem of the highest order. Whenever I find myself in a reading rut, I reach for books with short chapters. Here’s what I’ve been working on lately.

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Read Bottom Up, by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham – I caught this on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Daily Kindle Deals email, and it sounded appealing. I checked out the reviews, and I liked the premise. I swear I read that the authors wrote this book exactly as it’s published – in real time email and text exchanges (though now I can’t find where I read it). It’s so light-hearted and fun; such a quick one to pick up and put down during small chunks of free time

One More Thing, by BJ Novak – Oh, how I love The Office, so I knew this would be a must read. This is BJ Novak’s collection of short stories, and while some fell flat for me, I was surprised at how funny I found some of the others.

Dear Fahrenheit 451, by Annie Spence – The author is a librarian, and she’s writing to her favorite, least favorite books, and everything in between. There’s a letter to Forever, because who doesn’t remember reading that book in a corner, mouth agape? There’s one to a cookbook about dieting for one (cracked me up), and her letter to the children’s section in the public library left me weeping in bed. It’s beautiful.

*I am the worst at reading books on loan from friends. AGOMYR, I know I have like 4 of your books right now, I promise I’ll read them soon! Maybe! Or just return them and buy copies for myself.

2017 Reading Challenge, an Update

Dear readers, when I went radio silent for what I thought was a month, but my dear sister-in-law told me was actually two (gasp), I failed to give you my annual mid-year reading update. I wouldn’t want to disappoint. Here is where I am with the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge. Nothing is linked because dang, that takes a long time. But my guess is if you found the blog, you can figure out where to find these books.

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A book recommended by a librarian:

A book that’s been on your TBR list too long:

Confessions of a Slacker Wife, by Muffy Mead Ferro

A book of letters:

An audiobook:

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by JK Rowling

A book written by a person of color:

The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas

A book with one of seasons in the title:

Summer Rental, by Mary Kay Andrews

A story within a story:

This is How it Always Is, by Laurie Frankel

A book with multiple authors:

The Happiest Kids in the World, by Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison

An espionage thriller:

A book with a cat on the cover:

A book written by an author who uses a pseudonym:

A best seller in a genre you don’t usually read:

A book about a person with disability:

A book involving travel:

My Year of Living Danishly, by Helen Russell

A book with a subtitle:

Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, by Mara Wilson

A book published in 2017:

Windfall, by Jennifer E. Smith

A book involving mythical creature:

Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate (Imaginary friends are mythical, no?)

A book you’ve read before that always makes you smile:

A book about food:

The Wellness Project, by Phoebe Lapine

A book with career advice:

Deconstructing Penguins, by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone

A book written from a nonhuman perspective:

A steampunk novel:

A book with a red spine:

Saving Red, by Sonya Sones

A book set in the wilderness:

Orphan Island, by Laurel Snyder

A book you loved as a child:

A book written by an author from a country you’ve never visited:

A book with a title that’s a characters name:

Juniper, by Kelley and Thomas French

A book set during wartime:

The Red Pencil, by Andrea Davis Pinkney

A book with an unreliable narrator:

You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott

A book with pictures:

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you:

When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon

A book about an interesting woman:

A book set in two time periods:

Towers Falling, by Jewell Parker Rhodes

A book with a month or day of the week in title:

Sabbath in the Suburbs, by Mary Ann McKibben Dana

A book set in a hotel:

Rose Harbor Inn, by Debbie Macomber

A book written by someone you admire:

A book becoming movie in 2017:

A book set around a holiday not Christmas:

The first book in series you haven’t read before:

A book you bought on trip:

A book recommended by an author you love:

A bestseller from 2016:

Today Will Be Different, by Maria Semple

A book with a family member term in title:

The Mothers, by Britt Bennett

A book that takes place over a character’s life span:

A book about an immigrant or refugee:

The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon

A book from a genre/sub genre you’ve never heard of:

A book with an eccentric character:

A book that’s more than 800 pages:

A book you got from a used book sale:

The Island House, by Nancy Thayer

A book that’s been mentioned in another book:

A book about a difficult topic:

Columbine, by Dave Cullen

A book based on mythology:

Traveling with Pomegranates, by Sue and Ann Monk Kidd

See my plans about the challenge here.

Want to see the books I read that don’t fit into these categories? Let’s be friends on Goodreads.

 

The Best of Summer Reading

I brought all of these titles to the beach, and, as so often happens, I read almost none of them. I’m such a right-place at the right-time reader, and I can’t decide what to read until I’m finished with what’s in front of me. Here’s my book report for the summer. The best, and only the best, of what I read.

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For Kids and Young Adults

Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate – Everyone loves her last one, The One and Only Ivan. I thought it was nice, but not amazing. Which is why it took me over a year to read Crenshaw. Mistake. This book is sweet without being cloying. It’s wonderful.

Orphan Island, by Laurel Snyder – Does anyone remember the book, Baby Island, by Carol Ryrie Brink. I want to say it was someone’s favorite book in The Babysitters Club. So I read it in fourth grade, and tried to make myself like it, but I just couldn’t. This book is about an island of babies and big kids, and it’s marvelous. A little Lord of the Flies, too, but none of the craziness.

When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon – Perfect light, frothy, YA read.

Windfall, by Jennifer E Smith – See above.

For Grown-Ups

The Wellness Project, by Phoebe Lapine – I love books like this because they make me stay on top of making healthy choices….for a couple of weeks. Most of what Phoebe did to lead a healthier lifestyle won’t come as a surprise (drink more water, anyone?), but again, these kinds of books always make me try harder to stay the course.

Summer Rental, by Mary Kay Andrews – My neighbor told me she was flying through this book, which is about a trio of high school girlfriends who rent a house in Nags Head for a month. I am a sucker for any book about friends staying in a beach house together, and this didn’t disappoint.

My Reading Life, by Pat Conroy – Pat Conroy is best known for his book, The Water is Wide, about his year teaching students on an island off the coast of South Carolina. I’ve got that bumped up much higher on my list after tackling this book. Some of the chapters were riveting (the chapter about Gone with the Wind was my favorite, and the one about the bookstore where he worked a close second), but by the end I was skimming and racing to finish.

The Mighty Queens of Freeville, by Amy Dickinson – Might be my favorite read of the summer, though not particularly a summer read. Amy spent most of her life raising her daughter alone, and this is her memoir about the town that shaped them. They spent time in DC as well, which was fun to read.

This is How it Always Is, by Laurie Frankel – Lots of people have been talking about this one, and I was happy I read it. I wonder if I would have liked it as much if I wasn’t a parent. That’s where the title comes from – the idea that as a parent, making decisions as best you can, even though the consequences might not play themselves out for years to come, is how it always is.

 

March Reads

Color Outside the Lines: Delays, Bookshelves, and Cowhides

I’m obsessed with these chunky built-ins. (image)

Just Read:

Columbine, by Dave Cullen – I’m going to gush about this book longer than I have about others. It’s so good. I have a lot more questions, and I would have read 500 more pages if Cullen had written them. I was in high school when the murders at Columbine High School happened. I remember turning on the TV expecting Oprah (as any 15 year old would), and getting completely sucked in to the media coverage. Cullen was a journalist on site that day, and after years of extensive research, he gives us an incredibly detailed account of what really went on not only that day in April, but years before, and years after. Spoiler alert: the media got a lot of it wrong. As I read, I thought for sure the story of the Lutheran minister who helped one of the shooters’ parents hold a private memorial service for their son would be the story that stuck with me. And then I got to the first day of the following school year. Hundreds of parents and community members formed a human wall around the high school to protect the returning students from the media so they could have their own moment walking through the doors again. I was sobbing as I read. But that was one of the few parts that brought me to tears. This is good journalism, and while I’d love to get Cullen to answer about a million questions I still have, many as foll0w-ups to what he wrote, this book is worth reading.

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas – Another one about a shooting, but this is a YA novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. It debuted at number 1 on the YA best seller list, which is a giant deal. I ordered it the next day and gobbled it up. I feel about it the way I feel about Wonder, which is to say it is nowhere near flawlessly written, but it is a book that everyone should read. I’m still turning aspects of this one over in my head and I finished about two weeks ago.

Shrill, by Lindy West -I dont’ know. It’s a collection of essays, and there are some winners. But also losers. The first couple chapters had me laughing out loud, but sometimes I found her more whiny than she was making her point.

Hungry Heart, by Jennifer Weiner – Winner. Total winner. Another series of essays, almost all fantastic, from someone who is truly a grounded, and confident person. Loved it. Recommend it, even if you’re not into her chick lit. Though, she’ll tell you to stop looking down on chick lit!

The Red Pencil, by Andrea Davis Pinkney – A middle grade novel, written in verse, about a young girl escaping the horrors of Darfur. I enjoyed it, but I kept thinking, would my students?

Reading:

Etiquette and Espionage, by Gail Carriger – I have done a wonderful job staying on pace for 52 books this year, but a terrible job at consciously fitting them into the Pop Sugar categories. So I’m attacking this steampunk novel because it’s part of the challenge, and because it was just sitting on the YA shelf waiting for me to pick it up. It’s definitely different, and may serve as both my first and only steampunk novel, but I can commit to finishing.

Want to Read:

In The Great Green Room, by Amy Gary – because I have read Goodnight Moon infinity times (I love it, though, it never gets old to me).

So You’ve Been Publically Shamed, by Jon Ronson – because everyone on the internet raves about it.

February Reads

Guys. My New Year’s resolution was to read every day. I have read every day. It has undoubtedly been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There have been only 3 nights I’ve read a single page (That’s what I told myself. At least one page. Every day.) There have been a wealth of nights I have thought, “It’s just going to be a one-page night,” and I read so much more. Those people who say to start small when you’re trying to change a habit might be on to something there.

Ideal Bookshelf 974: Feminists

(Jane Mount’s Ideal Bookshelf – Feminist Edition)

Just Read:

Find the Good, by Heather Lende – Short, sweet, and worth a quick read.

Deconstructing Penguins, by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone – I had this on hold at the library for years, years! Not because a million people were waiting, but because there was one copy, and I’m assuming it got lost. I finally broke down and ordered it. While I didn’t agree with everything the authors taught or chose to read with their book clubs, there’s a lot of good here.

You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott – Total quick-read, page turner, in the unreliable narrator, and creepy situations genre that has taken the book-world by storm in the last couple of years. I thought it was (seriously racy) YA, but turns out, Megan Abbott is shelved in the adult sections of both the libraries I’ve visited. I swear Anne referred to it as YA in Episode 63, and I swear The Skimm called The Fever YA when they picked it as a Skimm read. Know that it follows both adult, and young adult characters, if that makes a difference in your selection.

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon – Classic YA. Completely predictable plot. So good anyway. Short chapters mean you can plow through it quickly.

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal – I love, love, love Amy Krouse Rosenthal. She is equally adept at writing for kids and grown ups. This is a grown up volume, and oh-man, does Amy have a was of noticing the little things that might otherwise slip by unnoticed.

Sabbath in the Suburbs, by Mary Ann McKibben Dana – The idea of sabbath is a fave of mine. This is written by an associate pastor at a church in Northern Virginia, about her family’s experiment with Sabbath and rest. Such a quick read, and I found myself highlighting lines on almost every page.

Reading:

The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon – Consensus on my bookstagram feed is that this is the better of Yoon’s two books. Loving it so far.

Want to Read:

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood – I’ve never read it and I want to watch the series on Netflix. But, of course, gotta read the book first.

Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow – I have plans to go see it (again – love this show) in D.C. this spring and it’s about time I read the original story.