Friday, December 30, 2011

Reading Plans for the New Year

I love reading. I really do...but I have come to realize that I read fiction very quickly, but non fiction....very...slowly....and don't always finish the book. I like to savor them, think about them, but I don't always follow through. I have collected a bunch of non-fiction books that I have not read or finished. So this year, I plan to read more non-fiction. I will read and focus on one each month (still leaving time for more fiction love). Here are 6 I have found to start the first half of the year:
1. Quiet: The Power on Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. (For January) This is for my online book club, From Left to Write. I am excited to read this because I think I am much more of an introvert than an extrovert, though I really wish I was more outgoing...stay tuned for my post in the next few weeks about this book.

2.50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know by John Bridges. (For Feb.) Technically, this book was on my summer reading list, as well. I saw a great idea that some mom read this book to her boys, and had them journal about their thoughts. I really would like to do this!

3. Mamarazzi: Every Mom's Guide to Photographing Kids by Stacy Wasmuth. (For March) I have read about 1/3 of this book-love it! Now need to practice and do.

4. Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Road Map for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids
by Nancy Carlsson-Page (For April) The title is so intriguing. I read about 10 pages, but never picked it up again.

5. Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst (For May) I really want to work on my faith this year....

6. Playful Learning: Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl (For June-perfect for summer learning) The pictures are great, and I've already flipped through and skimmed through some of it.

Good thing is, I own all of these I can build up my supply for the 2nd half of the year. Wish we me luck...looking forward to sharing with you what I learn!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I have been reading A LOT lately....loving my time off! I did the 100 book Challenge through (the best site for book people!!) and I made it! Of course, some of them were picture books, but I read 110 books this year-or at least rated 110 books-teachers read a lot to kiddos! Here are my top ten (in no order)

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon-such a GOOD read-you must read it!!! A gothic mystery set in Spain concerning the unusual circumstances of a book and its mysterious author.

2. Cleopatra by Stacey Schiff...this took me a while to read, but was so informative and I learned a lot about the history of Rome and Egypt. I am slightly obsessed with that time period right now...

3. The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure...if you read and adored the Little House on the Prairie books, you will enjoy this true story about a woman traveling around to all the Little House landmarks.

4. In Stitches by Anthony Youn...funny, funny coming of age story about an Asian boy growing up in Michigan and going on to med school. Liked this a lot more than I thought I would!

5. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay I cried and cried reading this book (and still cry thinking about it), but it's worth a read. Heartbreaking, especially since parts are true-a World War II story in France (yes, it got ugly in France! I did not realize to what extent!)

6. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor-This is a children's chapter book, if you have not read it, go now. Young sweet, caring boy, runaway dog, bad owner...a GOOD book.

7. Savvy by Ingrid Law-another children's book, but with a dash of magic. The sequel didn't grab me as much as this one.

8. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. OK, I love this author-gothic mysteries...this year, I realized how much I love them. Kate is the queen of writing gothic mysteries...I adore all 3 of her books (though this one probably isn't my favorite!)

9. Their Eyes Were Watching Good by Zora Neale Hurston This took me a while to read-the language was difficult to read-but I can see why it's a classic. The story is amazing and Janie is a very endearing main character, through all of her tragedies.

10. I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridus I've also come to realize that I do like historical fiction this year. LOVED all the Italian history in this book, as well. Very thick-couldn't stop reading it.

What about you?? What are your top reads? Tomorrow, I will update with some of my books for next year, including my plan to read more non-fiction. As much as I love reading, I read non-fiction very slowly. My bookshelf is piling up with those books. I tend to buy those, where as most of my books I get from the library.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December, December...a busy time of year!

Whew...are you caught up in the hustle and bustle??? I am! Though I am slowing down a bit due to the stomach flu-yuck! It swept through our school-even derailed our Christmas performance of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Just as we were ready to start, one little boy threw up all over the stage-front and center-a few times! Started 20 minutes later-after a quick clean up and plastic tablecloth put down-and then someone else throws up during the show-several kids are crying so hard and even the adorable Grinch gets close to tears during his solo song and his teacher has to sing along with him...but the show was a success and my first graders (including my own Coop) were a hit! So, right now, day 3 of rest for me, it doesn't really feel like Christmas....gotta get back on the Noel Train!
We are officially on vacation! No big plans, just family and rest and fun. Love it. The boys have been video games-in their underwear-and enjoying lots of Daddy time. They are in heaven! My Grandpa is in town, too. Haven't had much time to visit with him yet, but looking forward to spending time with him. My sisters get here later this week-cannot wait! THIS is what the holidays are all about for me. Family time.
Here are some pics to to show you what we've been doing lately!