Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Touch of Gold by Vivien Gorham

Touch of Gold

The ninth book I've read in 2017 is Touch of Gold by Vivien Gorham. It is one of the books nominated for the 2016-2017 Hackmatack Fiction award. I got my librarian to order the book in for me through interlibrary loan so that I could check it out and see if I wanted my daughter to read it. I loved it and handed off to my 11 year old who devoured it. We both highly recommend it.

If you haven't heard about the Hackmatack awards yet here's a blurb from their web site:

The Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award is a literary program designed for young readers in Atlantic Canada. Each year, thousands of children aged nine to twelve (grades four to six) read from the selection of outstanding Canadian books and vote for the winners.

I will be sharing more about the Hackmatack Awards in a future post, so stay tuned.

Canada Reads 2017 Shortlist!

The shortlist and the people defending the books was announced this morning on a post titled Meet Canada Reads 2017. Here's a screen shot from the page with the list.

I am so happy that I have already read three of these!

The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier

The Break by Katherena Vermette

Fifteen Dogs by Andre Ashby

Click on the titles to go to my posts where I tell you what I thought about the books.

I'm listening to the authors of these books share about their books on a FaceBook live event while I'm typing this. So interesting!

I'm still hoping to read the other two before the debates start on March 27.

Have you read any of them? What are your thoughts?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis

Fifteen Dogs

The eighth book I read in 2017 is Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis. I read it because it was on the Canada Reads 2017 long list. If it hadn't been on the list, I sincerely doubt it is a book I would have read. It's just not my kind of book. 

The first scene in the book had me wondering if I was even going to continue with it. It didn't get as weird as I feared it might, but it still was plenty weird, though I have to admit it was kind of funny, too, in parts.

The story begins with two gods - Apollo and Hermes - having a conversation. I did find this quote from their conversation amusing, because it is so true:

"Just listen to these people. You'd swear they understood each other, though not one of them has any idea what their words actually mean to another."

The gods decide to grant "human intelligence" to fifteen dogs, and the rest of the story is about how this affects the dogs.

The dogs define God as the master of masters; government as a group of masters deciding how a pack should act; and religion as a group of masters deciding how a pack should behave toward a master of masters. I thought that was kind of interesting.

It was interesting to see the dogs repeat much the same sentiment as the gods in this quote:

"Humans do not always mean what is meant by the sounds they make."

One of the dogs comes to this conclusion:

"...what humans called 'intelligence' (knowing the accepted names for things, performing feats that required a certain mental dexterity) was in every way inferior to the knowing he remembered from his previous life as a dog..."

I've seen the book classified as philosophical, and I guess it does have the potential to spark some philosophical discussions. Maybe if I read it with a group of people and had these discussions I would appreciate the book more, but as it stands on it's own, I'm not a huge fan of this book simply because it's just not my type of book.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)

My seventh book read for 2017 is The Bad Beginning. It is the first book in a series. I recently heard that there was a netflix series coming on based on the books and I decided to check it out to see if I might like to get Anna to read them and then maybe we'd watch the series together. I listened to an audio version of the book and I quickly decided that I would not be recommending them to Anna and we won't be watching the series in the near future. Maybe when she gets a little older but I think the series is a little dark for her right now.

The Break by Katherena Vermette

The Break

The sixth book I read in 2017 is The Break by Katherena Vermette. I decided to read this book because it is on the 2017 Canada Reads Longlist. There is a trigger warning at the beginning of the book stating that it contains scenes of sexual and physical violence, and it does, but really its just one main scene, and that scene is intense. There is also a family tree at the beginning of the book but I was reading it on my iPad and the tree was sideways and hard to pick out so I only discovered the family relations as I was reading. I think not knowing the family relations before hand made it more interesting and mysterious as I read it.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. There was a fair bit of swearing in certain sections, and I'm not fond of that, but it was mostly limited to one or two characters so it wasn't overwhelming. The topics dealt with in the story are heavy - physical and sexual violence and racial discrimination - but I think they are handled well and in a way that makes you think and evaluate your own attitudes and behaviours.

I took lots of notes. The following are quotes from the book that meant something to me, or I could relate to, or made me think.

We have all been broken in one way or another.

Somehow the act of making food always feels like doing something when we are helpless to do anything else.

(Character's name) answer to everything is always to check your gut.

That's how it is when something bad happens - nothing else seems wrong anymore.

That's how you get rid of shame, you be there for her.

I don't think we were ever supposed to know everything. No one said we were ever supposed to know why things happen the way they do. They only said we have to take it as it comes.

She has a practiced avoidance of any kind of vulnerability. Her voice might quiver, might even crack in ways she doesn't want it to, but her eyes will stay dry.

Good or bad, a neighbourhood is just a neighbourhood...It just looks different, but bad stuff happens everywhere.

I really hope this one makes it to the Canada Reads short list, but I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux

The fifth book I finished in 2017 is The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. I listened to an audio version with my daughter and we both loved it! Sadly I don't remember who I learned about it from. I think it may have been either Modern Mrs. Darcy or Read-Aloud Revival, but I'm not sure. The audio version we listened to was read by Graeme Malcolm and he did a great job.

These are the three doubled sided pages of notes I took while listening to the book. There's so much good stuff packed into this exciting story!

Here is a great quote I noted from the beginning of the book:
An interesting fate, sometimes involving rats, sometimes not, awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.
And here's one from a little later:
Stories that are not pretty have a certain value too...everything cannot always be sweetness and light
And another loose quote from a little later still:
when the powerful are made weak, revealed to be human, to have hearts, it is terrifying
And these powerful words of wisdom from the cook:
when times are terrible, soup is the answer

Seriously, this little book is so well written and has so many great literary techniques. The descriptions leave you seeing and smelling everything, but yet they are not tedious. The story is full of action and suspense.

This book is definitely at the top of our favourites list at the moment.

Check it out and tell us what you think.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What Makes Our Book Club Special

What comes to your mind when you hear Book Club? Most people think about a group of people reading the same book together and getting together to discuss the book they are reading.

Well, that's not how our book club works. The photo above of the notice I posted on Facebook about our group before our first meeting gives an idea of how our group works. We do not have a set book to read. We all read whatever we want, and when we get together we take turns sharing a bit about whatever we are presently reading, or have recently read.

One of our members recently posted the following quote from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to our Facebook Group Page saying that this sounds like our group, and it really does!

None of us had heard about the Guernsey book when we started our group but it has become a very special book to our group.

I read the book in November and shared it to the group. Since then it has been making the rounds in our group. Some of us enjoyed it more than others, but we can all see how certain quotes from the book apply to us.

I posted the following quote to our FaceBook Group page from the book while I was still reading it because it reminded me so much of what happens in our meetings:

When someone talks about a book at our meeting it makes others think of other books and by the end of the evening we have talked about a lot of books!

We call our group "Let's Talk Books!" because that's what we do.

Another really neat thing about our group is that we all have such different taste in books. We end up talking about historical fiction, science fiction, romance, non-fiction, etc. Every night a great variety of genres end up being discussed. You may see that more clearly in future posts as I am considering posting a list of the books we discuss each week.

While this type of book club may not be for everyone, it is perfect for us. We all love to read, and we don't want to be told what to read. We want to read whatever we want whenever we want, and this way we can.

That's what makes our book club special.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My First Juices and Smoothies by Amanda Cross

My First Juices and Smoothies

My fourth book for 2017 was My First Juices and Smoothies by Amanda Cross.

This book caught my attention when I was looking through the juvenile shelves of our local library looking for books for my daughter. My daughter gave me a blender for Christmas and we had been looking for smoothie recipes to try out so I decided to check it out.

In reality this book was mostly about juicing, with a small section on smoothies, but it did succeed in getting me interested in juicing. I did get some ideas for smoothies from this book, but not as much as I was hoping.

Do you have any favourite smoothie recipes?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hamilton: The Revolution

My third book read in 2017 was Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda. I listened to an audio version using the OverDrive app. The book was published April 2016. The hardcover of the book has 288 pages and the audio is a little over 6 hours of listening. It tells the behind the scenes story of the creation and production of the Broadway Musical Hamilton.

I learned about this book from Trudy Morgan-Cole's Top Ten Books of 2016. I have obviously lived with my head in the sands because I had not heard anything about the musical, but I decided to check the book out anyway.

I'm sure that if I knew more about the show and the people involved in the production, and even about the historical people and events the play is inspired by, I would have enjoyed the book even more than I already did, because I did enjoy it.

Part of the thing that I enjoyed was getting a look at the creative process play writers go through. I think this interested me so much because my youngest daughter joined a youth theatre group a couple of years ago and has acted in a few plays so I had some experience with some of the behind the scenes of plays but nothing of this magnitude.

Reading the book has made me want to learn more about the present day and the historical people connected to the play. I'd love to be able to see the show, but I know that is an impossibility. I have, however, recently discovered that our library system has the CD's of the play and I'm anxiously awaiting listening to those, though I know it will be nothing like seeing the play in person.

Thanks, Trudy Morgan-Cole, for exposing me to this book. By the way, if you haven't read anything by Trudy, you are missing out. I have gushed about Trudy Morgan-Cole many times in the past. Do yourself a favour - go check out her blog and her books.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt Cloutier

The Right To Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet

My second read for 2017 is The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier. I actually started reading it Christmas Eve, but didn't finish it until January 8. I read an ebook version on the OverDrive app.

I heard about this book from the Canada Read 2017 longlist. I didn't realize that it was non-fiction, really a memoir, when I started it, but it didn't take long to figure that out.

I took loads of notes while reading this. Loads. I learned a lot, and I'm left with a lot to think about.

The first quote I took was from the introduction:
To live in a boundless landscape and a close-knit culture in which everything matters and everything is connected is a kind of magic.
In the book Sheila explains a little about the magic of their way of life, until others came into the picture and things changed.

The following quote, also from the introduction, is the most succinct statement about the changes:
...while many of the changes are positive, the journey into the modern world was not an easy one - and it has let it's scars.
Sheila shares about how these changes affected her family. So many different factors that affected them in so many different ways.

Another quote from the introduction sums up another prominent topic in the book:
The land that is such an important part of our spirit, our culture, and our physical and economical well being is becoming a precarious place for us.
Sheila shares information about the roles she played in different organizations to help make people aware of the affects of global warming and climate change on the Arctic and trying to come up with plans to help protect it.

The following quote sums up the history and present day struggles of the Inuit in the Arctic:

Missionaries, fur traders and governments had fought over the Arctic for decades to further their own self-interest: converting us to their religion, pressuring us to build their trade or using us to establish their sovereignty. In the  process, our well-being and our way of life were sacrificed. Here again, scientists, consultants and lawyers were busy pushing forward their own agenda.

While I did find the book a bit tedious at times with all the detail and all the acronyms of all the different organization, I also found it interesting and informative. There are many more quotes I'd love to share, but I'll leave it at that for now.

I would love to see this as one of the books on the short list for Canada Reads this year because I'd love to hear some discussion about it.  I guess we'll have to wait and see if it makes it or not.

Friday, January 13, 2017

January Mindcraft Challenge Calendar

I have a girl obsessed with MindCraft. If I let her alone she would spend all day and night on it.

I can't make head nor tails out of it! It makes absolutely no sense to me.

Thanks to Pam Barnhill's Homeschool Solutions FaceBook page, I recently discovered a January Mindcraft challenge calendar created by Colleen, the blogger at RaisingLifelongLearners.com/. It is a printable list of challenges of things to create in mindcraft.

I'm using it as a bribe to get my daughter to finish her school work. She's allowed to work on the challenge for the day when she's finished her work. It's working like a charm.  😀

Thursday, January 12, 2017

How I Came to be Part of an Amazing Local Book Club

Have you ever been a part of a book club? I never have, but I've always wanted to be. Listening to the Canada Reads debates and the What Should I Read Next postcast made me want it even more. I really wanted a group of people to talk books with.

I tried to find information about a local book club but couldn't find any, so for a long time I just dreamed of being a part book club.

Then, one day, I decided to do something about it. August 24, 2016 I posted this to my FaceBook page:

Before the night was out I had 9 people express interest! I was so excited! Most of the people interested were from our community or a community close by, but some were further away. I quickly set up a Facebook group page for those that were interested to discuss and make plans for how we wanted to do things and told them about it in a comment on my first post.

Two days later I had set the date for our first in-person meeting at our local library. Our librarian had seen my post and messaged me to offer up the library as a place for us to meet. I decided to post to my page again sharing my excitement about the response and inviting anyone else that might be interested to join, either in person, or online, or both. A few more people did join us.

Our first meeting took place on a Tuesday night, but the next meeting was on a Thursday night and we've been meeting faithfully on Thursday nights every since. I think there have only been a few Thursday nights that we didn't meet.

Thursday became my favourite day of the week! 😀

Along with our in-person meetings, we also still make use of our FaceBook Group page. I'll share more about how we use that in another post.

If you carefully read the notice I posted to my FaceBook page about our first meeting, you'll see that our bookclub is not like what most people think of when they think of a book club.

I'll tell you more about that in another post too. For now, I'm off to enjoy my bookclub night!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Canada Reads 2017 Longlist

The longlist for the 2017 Canada Reads was announced December 23, 2016.  Here's a screenshot of the list from the Canada Reads website.

Fifteen books and I hadn't read one of them.

I was surprised by the variety of genres of books on the long list. They include fiction, memoirs, a poetry book, dystopian science fiction, fantasy, and a comedy.

I checked which ones were available from our library system on the OverDrive app. Only 5 available, and some of them were already wait listed. The five on OverDrive are:

The Break by Katherena Vermette

Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis

The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Today I learned it Was You by Edward Riche

Waiting For First Light by Romeo Dallaire

My plan is to at least read those five, but I won't get them all done before the short list is announced so we'll see what happens. So far I've read The Right to be Cold and I am presently reading The Break. I'll tell you more about both of those books, and any others I read, in future posts.

With the wide variety of genres on the list, it will be interesting to see which ones make the cut. Hopefully it will be some of the ones that I manage to read before the short list is announced. The short list will be announced January 31.

Have you read any of these books? Which ones do you think will make it?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things

My first book read in 2017 is Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

One of my friends listed this book as one of her favourite books read in 2016, so I decided to check it out. I listened to an audio version on the OverDrive app. The book alternates its point of view between the three main characters. The audio version is read by Audra McDonald, Cassandra  Campbell, and Ari Fliakos, each providing a voice for one of the main characters. There were lots of twists to kept my interest. This was my first experience with this author and I really enjoyed it.

The language, especially when told from the viewpoint of Turk, was a bit jarring at times, but I'm pretty sensitive to language.

If I had been reading, instead of listening to, the book I'm sure I would have had quotes to share. I thought there were lots of "quotable moments". I tend to not take notes as thoroughly, and sometimes don't take notes at all, when I'm listening to a book. The book gave me lots to think about regarding racism, right and wrong, and justice.

When I shared about the book at my recent Let's Talk Books bookclub meeting (you will learn more about the bookclub in a future post) I was surprised that many of the people present expressed a negative opinion of the author. My first experience with her has been great.

If you have read Small Great Things, or anything else by Jodi Picoult, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

What was your first read for 2017?

Monday, January 09, 2017

How I listen to the What Should I Read Next Podcasts

A few days ago in my post How a Podcast Got Me Excited About Reading Again I told you about my love for the What Should I Read Next podcast and I promised to tell you about how I listen to, and take notes from, the podcasts. Here's the scoop.

In that post I explained a bit about the podcasts. Here's what I said:
Each week on the podcast Anne talks about books and reading with a guest. Most of the podcasts follow the same format. The guests tell Anne about three books they loved, one book they hated and what they are presently reading. Anne then recommends three books she thinks they might enjoy. That's at least eight books talked about in each episode, but they usually end up talking about way more than eight books.
I listen to the podcasts with my notebook and pencil in hand and record the books mentioned. I put a little heart with either the number 1, 2, or 3 inside it next to the guests 3 favourites. I put on x next to the one they hate, or dislike. I put RN next to the titles they are reading now. I put a circle with either the number 1, 2, or 3 inside it next to the books Anne recommends to them.

Once I have made note of the books mentioned in the podcast I check to see which of the books are available through our public library system and make note of that.

As I am mostly an ebook reader, I first of all check to see which titles mentioned are available through the library on the OverDrive app. (I share more about the app in my post How An App Helped Me Read More) I put an OD by the titles that are available as ebooks, and an "OD+a" if a title is available as an audio book.

Then I check to see which of the remaining books are available at our library or in our provincial library system. I note beside the title which library it is available from.

Whenever I need a new book to read I check through my What Should I Read Next podcast notes for suggestions. Many, many of the books I've read this past year have come from these notes.

I was debating punching all the info I recorded while listening to last year's podcast into a spreadsheet of some sort for easy reference. Then I thought maybe I'd just start doing that with this year's podcasts and not bother with going back to add in last year's podcast info. Then, when I settled in to listen to the first What Should I Read Next Podcast of 2017, I had another idea and I've completely changed how I do things! I'll tell you more about that soon.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Canada Reads, another factor in my revived interest in reading

Have you heard about Canada Reads? Have you taken the time to check it out?

WikiPedia says:
Canada Reads is an annual "battle of the books" competition organized and broadcast by Canada's public broadcaster, the CBC

It's been going on since 2002!

I'm not sure when I first heard about Canada Reads, but the last couple of years, especially, I have made it a point to check it out. Listening to the debaters talk about the books makes me want to read more, so I can talk about books like they do.

I know I watched the 2012 Canada Reads because I remember the debaters. I knew of Alan Thicke and Arlene Dickson before the debate started and enjoyed seeing them talk about books. I hadn't heard of Shad before but was really impressed with him in the debate.

I think the only Canada Reads book I read that year was Prisoner of Tehran, and it was the first book voted off.

It appears I first posted about Canada Reads on Facebook in 2014

I didn't know any of the defenders in the 2014 Canada Reads and I don't remember any of the debates, but I guess I listened to at least some of them because I posted that I was listening to them - unless I lied. 😀

The only Canada Reads book I read that year was Annabel. I chose to read that one because the author was a Newfoundlander, like myself.

In 2015, this was my only post on FaceBook about Canada Reads:

I remember watching at least some of the debates that year. Once again I hadn't heard of any of the 2015 Canada Read Defenders.

I read one of the Canada Reads books that year, Ru, and started to read The Inconvenient Indian but didn't finish it.

And then last year I was really trying to drum up some interest in Canada Reads amongst my FaceBook friends. I posted this the day the Canada Reads 2016 short list came out.

Once again I didn't know any of the debaters and hadn't read any of the books but I set to work.

I posted this after the first day of the debate:

And then this at the end of the debate:

I was really trying hard to get people interested!

I'll tell you more about the books I read for Canada Reads 2016 in another post as this one is getting really long.

The short list for the 2017 Canada Reads hasn't been announced yet, but they did post a Canada Reads 2017 long list on December 23, 2016. I finished one book from that list tonight. I'll tell you about it in another post.

So, have I stirred up any interest in Canada Reads? I promise you that you will here about it again on my blog because I love it! It has inspired me to get reading.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

How an App Helped me Read More

Have you heard about OverDrive? If you are a reader and haven't check it out, you are missing out. It's a great way to read, and/or listen to, books for free!

Did you see that? Enjoy books for FREE!

I do most of my reading on Overdrive. I love it!

Read on to learn more.

From the OverDrive site:
OverDrive is a free service offered by your library or school that lets you borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and more from their digital collections. Every OverDrive collection is slightly different because each library or school staff picks the digital content they want for their collection.
All you need to get started with free digital titles from OverDrive is an internet connection and a library card or student ID.
Did you notice that very exciting part? Let me repeat it -
All you need to get started with free digital titles from OverDrive is an internet connection and a library card
While I use the OverDrive app, you don't have to download an app to enjoy OverDrive. You can just use the website on your computer, as explained in this quote from their site:
For many eBooks, audiobooks, and videos, you won't need to install any extra software to start reading, listening, or watching what you've borrowed. With OverDrive ReadOverDrive Listen, and OverDrive's streaming video, you can just open and enjoy these titles in your browser.
As I said, I use the OverDrive App. It's a free app that can be installed on most handheld devices.
Another quote from their site:
Install the free OverDrive app to find, borrow, and enjoy titles on popular devices, including:
I've been using the OverDrive app for over a year now and I seriously love it! I can get all kinds of books on all kinds of topics without leaving my house, and for free! As soon as I finish one book I can download another to start right away.

Now, if you're not a fan of ebooks, you might think that OverDrive is not for you, but wait!

One of my favourite ways to use OverDrive is to listen to audio books. I'm in the process of trying to figure how many of the books I enjoyed this year were actually audio books. I didn't always specify the format when I added them to my list of books read. And, yes, I do count audio books as books read. Some people don't, but I do.

I listen to books while I'm cooking, housecleaning, driving, etc. I love it! I think sometimes listening to an audio book is even better than reading the book. I'll probably share more about that in another post sometime, but for now just know that even if you don't like ebooks, you still might enjoy OverDrive.

I would never have been able to read all the books I did this year without OverDrive.

If you haven't already, go check it out. Let me know what you think.

Friday, January 06, 2017

French Fun on Friday!

I absolutely adore alliteration. 😀

We had so much fun today learning French! Actually, with this new way that we've been doing some French learning lately, we have fun almost every time we do French.

Let me explain.

I live in Canada. Canada has two official languages - English and French. I would love to be fluent in both languages, but I'm not.

Recently I came up with a fun idea to include some French learning into our day. And it's so simple!

We borrow a French children's book from our library and use Google "French to English Translation", pictured below, to translate the book from French to English one sentence at a time.

It might sound a bit tedious and boring, but we are loving it. First we try to guess what the sentence might say before we type it in to find out what the translation actually is. We are slowly starting to recognize more and more words.

When you type in a word, phrase, or sentence, you are also given the option to listen to it spoken. We listen to it and then try to repeat it. We have to listen many times and often break a longer sentence down into single words or phrases to make it easier to pick out, but we are really enjoying it!

This is the book we are presently working on translating. It's a book of poems. We haven't made it all the way through our first poem yet but we have picked up words and phrases from it that we are trying to incorporate into our day.

It's a slow and steady progress, but we are enjoying it, and as we learn to recognize more and more words it will get faster and easier.

Plus, it gets us reading more books, and French books at that! 😀

Thursday, January 05, 2017

How a podcast got me excited about reading again

Have you heard about the What Should I Read Next podcast? If not, you are missing out.

I was lucky enough to discover the What Should I Read Next podcast just when it started, and I have been a faithful listener from the beginning.

The first episode of the What Should I Read next podcast was broadcast January 12, 2016. I debated waiting to post this post on the one year anniversary date, but I couldn't wait.

This was my FaceBook post on January 13, 2016

This was my post a few weeks later:

Clearly, I was hooked.

Each week on the podcast Anne talks about books and reading with a guest. Most of the podcasts follow the same format. The guests tell Anne about three books they loved, one book they hated and what they are presently reading. Anne then recommends three books she thinks they might enjoy. That's at least eight books talked about in each episode, but they usually end up talking about way more than eight books.

Occasionally there is a special episode that follows a different format. Every once in a while she does an episode that features feedback from past guests about what they thought of the books Anne suggested.

Listening to the discussions about the guests reading habits and the books they read got me excited about reading, and also gave me ideas of books to read. Many of the books that I read last year I learned about on the What Should I Read Next podcasts.

If you are looking to kick start your reading and get some ideas of what to read, check it out. I'd love to hear what you think.

I haven't missed an episode of the podcast, and I have notes from most, if not all, of them. Be watching for a future post where I outline just how I listen to, and take notes from,  the What Should I Read Next podcasts.

Edit: As promised, here's my post about How I Listen to the What Should I Read Next Podcast

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Today's Library Loot

We went to the library today. This is what I came home with.

Get Well Wishes by June Cotner - we try to do some poetry reading every day, that's the reason for this book.

365 Stories and Rhymes for Girls - another book to use for poetry reading time.

My First Juices and Smoothies by Amanda Cross - I got a blender for Christmas so I'm on the lookout for smoothie recipes.

Haunted Canada 3 by Pat Hancock - Anna wanted to get this one but I wanted to check it out first.

Poemes des Villes and Poemes Des Champs by Edith Bourget - yes, that is a french book. We've been having some fun adding some french to our days by getting a french book and using google to help us translate it. It's also a poetry book so it serves double purposes.

I may share more about these books individually after I've read them. Then again, I may not.  :-)

(Way back in January of 2010 I started doing Library Loot posts inspired by a meme another blogger had started encouraging bloggers to share books they'd checked out from the library. Back then the majority of the books I checked out were children's books to read to my youngest, but occasionally I'd get a book or two for me. My youngest now checks out her own books, but the books I check out are still often ones I'm checking out for her. I did the meme fairly faithfully for 2010 but that was it. Preparing for this post I researched to see if the meme was still going and found it is, though it now has different hosts. You can find the Library Loot meme by clicking on the words. I've decided not to participate in the meme but I will borrow the phrase as a title for my posts occasionally.)

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

How getting riled up led me to my best year of reading

Exactly a year ago today I posted this to my FaceBook timeline:

Shortly afterwards a FaceBook friend posted this:

I have no idea if this post was a reaction to my post or not, but I took it that way.

Being the sensitive soul that I am, I felt a little snubbed by this reaction.

When I read the comments to the FaceBook friend's post I felt even worse.
Someone responded:
Someone else responded:

And someone responded to that response with:

Now, in all fairness to the commenters, none of these remarks were directed at me, but they stirred up a fire in me. It's amazing how off-handed remarks can do that.

I was tempted to respond, but I restrained myself. The funny thing is that I really think that that whole thing helped me to have one of the best years every in regard to number of books read.

There were other factors that led to my great year of reading, and I'll share more about them in other posts, but for now, I just needed to get this off my chest.

I know that there are people that read a lot more than me, and there are people that read a lot less than me. It doesn't bother me one way or the other. I would never belittle someone for their reading goals. I think it is important to encourage everyone to simply read. It doesn't matter what you read or how much you read. Just read.

I looked on the challenge I posted not so much as a challenge to read 12 books but as a challenge to read a variety of books. 

I have always loved to read. I have seldom set reading goals, last year, however, I decided to set a goal. I reactivated my GoodReads account and set a goal for the 2016 Reading Challenge. I think I did originally set my goal at 12 books, but I kept changing the goal as I surpassed it, until I finally decided I didn't care about the goal, I just wanted to read, so I stopped changing my goal and just read. In the end I ended up reading 104 books! And I read a wide variety of books.

So, having such a great year of reading is great, but here's the important lesson in all of this - If you are riled up about something, put the energy into accomplishing something rather than responding in a negative way. You'll be so much better off for it.

And another thing, why not consider setting a reading goal this year, even if it's just to finish one book this year, or one book a month, or whatever will get you reading. That's the important thing. Not how many books you read, but just that you read.