Happy New Year!
I’ve been thinking the past few weeks about what I wanted to accomplish with my blog and reading over the next year. I’ve enjoyed keeping this blog and reading close to 50 other blogs each day – I think it’s made me think more about what I’m reading and I’ve certainly become more aware of the new young adult books available. In the past I’ve read simply what’s in my library in school, so most of what I’ve read is more than I year old by the time it arrives (I spend my entire budget in one lump sum because I’m always afraid of losing it if I don’t spend it when it’s allocated to me). This year I’ve bought a number of the books I’ve read about on the blogs. This has not been great for my personal budget, but it has been a lot of fun. Many of those books that I’ve read are more appropriate for high school students, and I’ve really enjoyed reading books at this level. I don’t think I want to teach high school, but now I have some titles to recommend to students who are ready for more mature reading. I have several teachers who also love young adult novels and they have benefited from my recent personal purchases.
Two areas of children’s literature that I see as a weakness in my personal reading are picture books and early chapter books. I haven’t taught at the elementary level in 18 years and I’m really ignorant about what’s out there for this level. I’ve never read Clementine (had never heard of it until this summer), Spiderwick, or many other books that students come into my school talking about. I hope to rectify that this year. I don’t know exactly what to do about the picture book dilemma except to go to my local bookstore and take the time to read several and make notes about them.
All of this said (and it was longer than I planned), here are my reading goals for 2008:
Children’s/ Young Adult books
Last year I read 85 children’s and young adult fiction books and 14 nonfiction books. I think that’s about right number wise. I would like to increase the nonfiction total to about 20 – 25 books. I do think it’s vital for me to have a number of nonfiction books to booktalk. I would like to read at least five biographies this year. I also would like to read Clementine, and a few other early chapter books. Any suggestions?
I’ve had The Historian on my to-read shelf for more than two years. It’s time to read it.
Each summer I read a Jane Austen title. This summer it will be Persuasion. Last summer I also started reading a Shakespearean play. I think this summer’s title will be The Taming of the Shrew. I would also like to read The Man in the Iron Mask and The Age of Innocence some time during the next year.
I’ve had The Middle East by Bernard Lewis for more than seven years. This will be the year I read it. I also want to read Truman by David McCullough, a book that my mom gave me for Christmas. Finally I want to read another title by Michael Pollan, probably In Defense of Food.
In all I read 125 books this past year. I’d like to increase the total to about 150 books for this year.
I don’t blog about every book that I read, although I do blog about most of the young adult fiction that I read. I do post both positive and negative reviews, because I appreciate reading all perspectives in the blogs that I read daily. I don’t pretend to be a great analyst of literature but I can tell you whether I liked a book and usually I can tell you why I did or didn’t like it. I would love to have at least 7 posts a month but I don’t know if I’ll make that in my busier months at school.