Posted in 3 things, books, Uncategorized

3 Things

1

I was sick yesterday, so I’m typing and posting this today/Monday. I was thinking of skipping this week because of that, but with holidays approaching and everyone talking about best books of the year, I thought I’d use this week’s 3 Things for that.

2

I’ve read quite a few good books this year. But there are some that have stood out as something special. Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen was my favorite book of the year. I finished the book feeling so satisfied. My second favorite that I feel like is so buzz worthy, but getting so little to no buzz is Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera. I’ve seen a lot of people request diverse books to read and Juliet Takes a Breath is the one I can’t help, but recommend to everyone. It’s just that good.

These are the other best books of my reading year: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, Jam on the Vine LaShonda Katrice Barnett, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, Leave Me by Gayle Forman, Uprooted by Naomi Novik and Difficult Women by Roxane Gay.

3

I don’t want to leave children’s books out of best books of my reading year. Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk is a sweet book for babies and toddlers. One series that I really enjoy for myself, but my son also likes is Maple and Willow by Lori Nichols. I also personally enjoyed Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke and Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty. I asked my son which story book was his favorite and mentioned some titles. His response is, “sharks”. We’ve read several shark books this year. So, I guess my son recommends reading a shark book of your choice.

Posted in 3 things, books

3 Things

1

It’s December now and I’m seeing  a lot of best books lists. I used to love these lists because it gave me more books to add to my list and I love hearing about books I wasn’t previously aware of. But this year I’m feeling frustrated and thinking I should stop reading those lists. I now am well aware of all of the hot books because of literary Twitter and reading about books from many other sources. And those lists just talk about the same hyped books that have gotten attention all year. Often, those hyped books aren’t even the best books published that year. Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen and Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera should be getting a lot of love, but I haven’t seen either book on a single list.

2

I’m not sure how many more of these 3 Things posts I’ll be doing this year, since December is a particularly busy month for me with a birthday and anniversary, in addition to Christmas. So, I’ll share at least one of my New Year resolution ideas. I’ve used Goodreads challenges to keep track of what I read for the year, but I’ve decided starting in 2017 I want to record in a special book journal. Right now I only keep track of the books I read for myself and finish. In the 2017 book journal I plan to keep track of the books I begin, even if I bail on them. And I’ll also record the books I read to my son. Plus I’ll do a rating system of some sort, though I’m not sure if I’ll go Goodreads style with stars or Litsy style with pick/so-so/bail symbols. If the book is particularly special or if I just feel like it, I’ll probably also add a short review. I’m not usually creative, but I’ve always liked stickers, so maybe those will make an appearance.

I feel like having a more permanent and easily accessible record of what I read might be important. I think that the books one chooses to read show where their mind and heart are at that time. When I first had my son, I read more books that featured young mothers or non-fiction about motherhood, especially feminist non-fiction analysis about motherhood. This year I decided I need to make more of an effort and a priority to read diversely, which I think is reflected in the 2nd half of the 2016’s reading.

3

My son is still in love with non-fiction books about bugs and sharks, but he’s more happily reading story books. I was wondering if it was wrong to force him to choose 2 story books and not let him just check out non-fiction from the library, but now I feel better about my decision. Non-fiction is good to read, but story books can teach things that non-fiction books can’t. My story book pick for this coming week is Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty. I really like it, though it’s a little too long for my son, so we read it together half of the book at a time. (I’ve also read it completely by myself once.)

Posted in 3 things, books

3 Things

1

This election has left me sad and wanting to do what I can to make the world a better place. I’m not the only one and Book Riot has had some good essays on what book lovers can do or where they can donate money. I found them helpful, so I’m going to share them here.

Bookish Ways to Fight the Good Fight “Since Tuesday, many of us are looking for more ways we can stand against racism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, ableism, and any other form of bigotry or lack of compassion…You can vote, write letters, volunteer for or donate to civil/human rights organizations, and much more, but if you also want to take a page out of Emma Watson’s playbook and fight back in a bookish way, here are some suggestions.”

What You Can Do: Bookish Charities You Can Donate to Right Now

“It’s been a long and ugly election. No matter who you voted for, or didn’t vote for, or voted against, the election was excruciating. The days after have been particularly miserable, and for many, it seems as though we’re descending into an age of willful ignorance. But we can do something to help. There are lots of good people out there who are putting books into the hands of children, teaching grown-ups to read, getting literature into prisons and helping deployed military personnel read to their children from overseas. We can help them do that.”

What You Can Do: 6 Volunteer Ideas for Bookish Citizens

2

I mentioned in the last 3 Things post that I need to read the books I own before I buy new ones or check out more books from the library. I plan to start doing that after I finish my current library book (The Graces by Laure Eve) and continue with it at least for the rest of this year. We’ll see how good I am at that goal, though. I’m counting current egalleys from NetGalley in “books I own” to read. Out of 3 books, I need to read at least one of those before the end of the year.

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This week’s personal picture book pick is Red Wagon by Renata Liwska. The boy picked a lot of non-fiction animal books again. My favorite non-fiction books that he tends to pick are National Geographic books. The pictures are high quality and writing is interesting, even for adults.



Posted in 3 things

3 Things

1

I almost forgot to do the 3 things post this week. It’s been a stressful week with the elections. And yesterday my husband got home from a business trip. So, we’ve been a little busy. This year feels like such a wild one for many reasons.

2

This year I’ve been trying to be an activist consumer, as a book buyer. I’ve started using trips out of town as excuses to visit independent bookstores and purchase at least one book, if possible. And most of my book purchases have been diverse books. The problem is that I don’t tend to read the books that I buy. There’s no due date and I think I need that as a motivation sometimes. I see books at the library that look good (and do have a due date) and I sometimes request eARCs from NetGalley. I do check out diverse books from the library, but I need to stop adding all of the hyped books onto my TBR of Goodreads and Litsy and just read what I have.

3

Story books are getting to be a tiny bit more popular with my son. He loved NanoBots by Chris Gall. And he eventually warmed up to my pick of Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, which I really like. He has stated that he hates my personal picture book selection this time, though, Maple by Lori Nichols. I like it, though I’m under no illusion he’ll warm up to this one, since there are no creatures. But it’s nice for me to be able to read at least one sweet story book a week and not just non-fiction bug books.

Posted in 3 things, Uncategorized

3 Things

1

I like the Goodreads Challenge. I fail a lot of my new year resolutions, but I love to read so that goal setting, if done right, is possible to achieve and fun for me. Originally I set a goal of 52 books. But then I realized this year, especially the first half, would be a very busy one for me. So, I adjusted it to 24. I thought that I should be able to read 2 books a month and if I didn’t, that’d be kind of sad considering how much I love to read. Well, I just completed my goal. It helped that I read some novellas this year. I didn’t set out to read shorter books, but it just worked out that some of the ones I was interested just had fewer pages. I think it also helped that I joined Litsy (a wonderful bookish app) . The Litsy community is a great collection of book lovers and they don’t tend to steer me wrong on book recommendations. (Not a sponsored post. I just really like Litsy.)

2

I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve read almost no non-fiction this year. Unless you count magazines and newspapers. That changed due to a lot of love I was seeing on Litsy for Upstream by Mary Oliver. I posted my review yesterday for that book, which is lovely. I’m a nature lover and she’s a good writer, so we’re a good match. Based on the books I need to read either from the library (recently picked up Another Brooklyn and Dark Matter) or NetGalley, I don’t think I’ll be reading anymore non-fiction this year. Hopefully, though, I’ll read a few non-fiction books next year. I have read a lot of children’s non-fiction since my son is in a non-fiction animal books phase, but I don’t count the books of his I read to him.

3

My son and I have very different reading tastes, which makes me a little sad. One of the great things about being a parent to a child who enjoys books is reading to them. There are so many great children’s books that have been published. So, it’s frustrating when you have a child with a narrow set of book preferences. I love that he loves books and when he reads to himself, I hope I’m good about respecting his reading choices, but there are so many wonderful books I want to read to him and can’t. At our last library trip, I decided to select one picture book that looked good to me, but was not one my son chooses. I knew it was unlikely he’d enjoy it, but if nothing else, it let me look over books to see if they were good enough to buy as gifts for my niece, nephews, or little cousins. I picked Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke and I really like it. The illustrations are good and the story is cute. It doesn’t get my son’s approval, but I think I’ll be buying it for a birthday gift for someone else.

Posted in 3 things

3 Things

1

I’ve seen other people, via newsletter or blogs of varying types, do a 3 or other numbered post. I thought I’d do the same here on Sundays when I can as a week in review of sorts. I realize that technically the week begins on Sunday, but I’m used to thinking of my weeks beginning on Mondays. And Sundays are a more relaxed day in my household, so it’s a good day for this kind of post.

2

Last week I started back up with NetGalley. I don’t usually like to read ebooks. It’s just not as enjoyable a reading experience. I also feel like I don’t quite throw myself into a book mentally as easily with an ereader, like there’s a biological as well as psychological difference to reading an ebook vs a paper book. But I do enjoy getting to read books prior to publication and they are free. Last year I was new to blogging and requested more books than I could read, especially given how busy the first half of this year was for me. Now, I’m trying to be better about only requesting books that I truly think I will be able to review and hopefully will enjoy.

3

As the mother of a 3 year old, I read a lot of picture books and have started reading some beginner chapter books. I’ve always enjoyed sweet stories like Winnie-the-Pooh and Francis the Badger books. But I have a boy who has very different reading preferences than me. First, he really seemed to enjoy stories that featured trucks or vehicles of some sort. Then, he wanted stories that featured dinosaurs. Now, he doesn’t usually want to read fiction at all. He just wants to read non-fiction books about animals. Part of me thinks I should fully respect his reading choices, but I also feel like he shouldn’t just read non-fiction. So when we go to the library, I have him select two story books which often end up unread or only read once (unlike the many times the non-fiction books get read). This week I might have finally found a fiction book that he enjoys called Bonesville, which is perfect for Halloween, a holiday my son loves.