Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lost in a World of Books

I don't know if it's just that I've had time to pay attention to news this week or what but does it seem like there are a lot of uprisings and protests going on out there in the world? Yikes. This is exactly why I have chosen to spend my life totally wrapped up in fantasy worlds lately: books.

Obviously as a kindergarten teacher I spend a lot of time convincing children to love reading (and yes we teach reading in kindergarten now in case you are wondering). But, I'm not lying to them- I really do LOVE reading. I actually had a bit of trouble learning to read as a kid, but once I learned it was Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High books during all my free time. What? I didn't say I had sophisticated taste in books :)

My Latest Reads

This year I've set a goal to read 30 books for fun. This may seem like not a lot but when you are as busy as me (and sometimes just way too tired at night to think about a book) and you read WAY too many books on teaching, you'd wouldn't aim too high either. Here are the books I've read in 2011 so far.


This was a great book, told from the perspective of a dog... which is certainly unique. It's basically about the relationship between the dog and man. I've had my eye on this book for awhile but I was afraid it wouldn't be that interesting, somehow it was though.


This book was our Blogger Book Club book for January (ps. you should really join us). However, I have to say this is exactly why I rarely listen to book critics. This is supposed to be one of Anita Shreve's best books and I hated it. I couldn't stand the main character or really any of the characters which does not make for a good read. It was interesting to talk about though, I will say that.


I read this book directly after Weight of Water because I wanted to remember that I still like Anita Shreve as an author. This book was about a high school reunion of sorts, and how it brings up old memories. It wasn't my favorite book I've ever read, but it was definitely good.


This was our Blogger Book Club read for February and I liked it a lot better than January's book :) This book was about two sisters and their journey from "having it all" in China, to losing it all, to arranged marriages and coming to the US. I found the historical aspects of this story pretty fascinating. I would say I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the two girls, but I think when an author really develops the characters well, that's pretty inevitable huh?


This was my first book on the Kindle (more on this later) and I chose it because it was the #1 downloaded book and it was 99 cents. It ended up being SO good. I had temporarily forgotten how much I like a good "mystery" and I loved how I just kept wanting to come back to this book. I plan to read the others in this series at some point.


I downloaded this book after hearing about it on a Vermont episode of Chronicle. It's the story of a midwife who is accused of killing a mother while attempting to save a baby... from the perspective of her 14 year old daughter. Does that not sound fascinating? Well it is... It kind of reminded me of Jodi Picoult a little bit actually, but perhaps slightly better literature? (yeah right, like I really know what good literature is... I just FEEL like people who complain about Picoult may not complain about this... could be wrong though). I am definitely going to read more by this author as well. Ah, so much to read so little time.

Upcoming Reads

Truthfully I have a list of probably 40 books I want to read at the moment. But what I am seriously planning to read in the near future?

One Day by David Nicholls (actually I am on page 2 of this right now)

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (it's been on the list for awhile but recent recommendations from Amber and my friend Sarah have made me think I really need to just dive into it)

In the Woods by Tana French... our book club read for March!

Great Reading Websites

If you don't use GoodReads yet you really should. I love the fact that I actually have a somewhat organized list of books I want to read and books I already read (and I just added a books-I-didn't-finish section haha), plus I can get great recommendations from my goodreads friends about books I probably would never have known about otherwise.

I also just discovered (and by "discovered" I mean read about on Heather's blog another awesome site for readers: YourNextRead. Basically you can type in a book you like, and it will give you a list of books you will probably like based on the other book you liked. I know Amazon kind of does this and you can sort of do this through goodreads with some effort, but the organization of this site is great and you can really easily move between books and get ideas. Clearly I don't really NEED additional books on my "to read" list, but in case you do...

What's the best book you have read lately or what do you plan to read in the near future? Do you use any reading websites to keep track of books or get new ideas?

I'll be back this weekend with my review of the Kindle (Eric's mom let me borrow hers for my trip!) and a few more Sedona pictures from our last day in AZ. Eric and I leave Arizona tomorrow and I think Boston is getting a bit of a storm so let's pray my travel day is not anything like Lisa's was last Sunday!


  1. Thanks for the recommendations - I LOVE Goodreads!

  2. I hope you have a very uneventful trip home!! I saw on the news that your part of the country is getting a storm though... Stupid weather!

    The best book I have read lately is probably One Day or the book I am reading right now (The Invisibile Bridge). I hope you like One Day. It was easy to get into and I could not put it down!

  3. I woke up here in Ohio to TONS of snow and ice falling. Nick was going to ride his bike but instead I had to drive him, UGH. (we can only have one car at the place we work, because construction is happening).

    Anyway, I love it when you post books because I am always looking for new reads. Right now I'm reading another Jane Green book (I can't get enough of her books). I think Wedding in December sounds interesting.... but I think my next book will be "Planning a Budget Wedding for Idiots" ha! I'm not engaged, but I'm a planner!

  4. It is always great to hear some reviews of books.

    I am trying to read even a few pages before bed - right now I'm reading Stupid and Contagious which is very fast and mindless.

  5. Water for Elephants was SO SO GOOD!

    I am joining the book club this month! Just got a notification from my library that my book is there. yay :)

  6. i've read in the woods. it's a good book. and i LOVE lisa gardner. most of the books i read are mystery. so excellent.

    i should join a book club. it sounds like so much fun!

  7. I have not read The Art of Racing in the Rain (though I will look it up now), but it reminds me of one I read recently - A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. It was a great read!

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  9. Let me edit my ramblings! That was bad, lol! I'm starting to enjoy Goodreads too! I ordered the audio book of Alone for when my husband and I are on a road trip - it sounded like one we could agree on! The last one we listened to was Everywhere That Mary Went - I really liked it. Sail was another good suspenseful one. My favorite book that I read lately has been The Freedom Writers Diary. Have you seen You can trade books on it. I've listed the books we're never going to read again and then mail them to someone when they request it. You pay the postage and earn a credit. Then you can request books when you have a credit and that person pays the postage. I love it!

  10. Love love love Water for Elephants! I actually just re-read it, which I don't do too often, and I sped right through it. I also recently finished In the Woods and liked it, and just got the author's second book. I've read a lot of the same books that you have so I am definitely going to take your recommendation and read The Art of Racing in the Rain! :)