Monday, February 22, 2016

What I'm Reading...January 2016

Several of the homeschool bloggers I follow write a monthly post along the lines of "what we're reading". I read those posts and feel that my reading list is not nearly as impressive! My house is filled with books, and I have to step over several piles just to get into bed each night! So why don't I have a long and inspiring reading list?

When I thought about this for a moment, I felt a little better about myself. I am reading. A lot, in fact! I read daily to my children, and I always have a work of fiction going, as well as a devotional or inspirational title. Plus there's all the reading I do about homeschooling...and entertaining...and cooking. "See!", I told myself. "I do read!"

My problem is that I usually have too many things going at one time, and when I'm done, the titles tend to stay in my stacks and there's no real closure. So - I decided to be more deliberate this year in my reading. I've had the Goodreads app installed for years on my ipad, and I actually use it to keep a list of things I want to read. In fact, I currently have 271 titles on my to-read bookshelf. When I hear of a book that sounds interesting, I add it to the shelf for "one day". 

However, I wasn't utilizing the "currently reading" and "read" shelves. But late in December, when the 2016 Reading Challenge popped up while I was entering another title to my ever-growing list of "one days", I decided to be more deliberate about tracking and recording my reading this year. I'm an over-achiever, and I wanted to be successful in this endeavor, so I aimed low, allowing myself plenty of room for error. After all, I'm a busy girl! I challenged myself to read 24 books this year. That sounded doable!

I'm proud to say, I've already logged 29% of my goal! Challenging myself and committing to track my progress has pushed me to finish books and keep from having so many going at one time. It's also influenced me to put down the remote and pick up a book. Always a good thing. And as a result, my kids are reading more, too!

So, I'm going to add to my accountability by posting my own monthly "What I'm Reading" posts. I'm starting today by sharing what I read in January.


"The Twenty-One Balloons" by William Penn Du Bois. This is actually the second time I've read this. The kids and I read this our second year of homeschooling as a read aloud. We really enjoyed it, and it seemed to be a perfect follow-up to the unit I taught this past fall called "How To Build Your Own Country" in our homeschool co-op. I re-read it so I could lead the discussion with my co-op 5th and 6th graders. Young minds remember much more than mine, so I wanted to be prepared. It was a fast read. It's an adventure story that appeals to young and old, male and female.  


Next I read "Go Set A Watchman" by Harper Lee for my book club. In my opinion, it was not of the same caliber as TKAM, but, then again, it was different in so many ways. The time period was different, and the main characters were shifted as well. Actually, the thesis of the two books was different. That being said, I was fascinated with this book and the fact that the same author could give the same basic story two different treatments. However, it led to the most interesting book club discussion we've ever had!


Gerald knows I love history, and that I've been watching "Turn" on AMC. He bought me Brian Kilmeade's "George Washington's Secret Six - The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution" for my birthday. I loved it! It was a quick read, and it really was a fantastic overview of the Revolutionary War. The only negative thing was that it is based on the same "real life" characters as "Turn", and it gave away a little of what will happen to some of them next season! That being said, I highly recommend this book. It gives you a great appreciation for what it took for us to gain our independence.


Finally, I spent one afternoon reading S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders". Gerald and the kids were gone hunting, and I was looking for a quick read. Somehow I missed reading this one in high school, but I had picked up a copy because I was thinking about using it for a high school book club. It was a wonderful read! I instantly fell in love with these boys. They were such interesting characters, and I cheered for each and every one.

So that's my January list! February is almost over, so I'll share what I'm currently reading the first week of March.

What are you reading?

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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