There are so many things I love about summer – grilling out in the backyard, enjoying beautiful mornings under the gazebo, going out to lunch, laying by the pool, and most of all – reading!
When I was in my Masters program at the University of Nebraska – Omaha, my favorite classes were Children’s Literature and Young Adult Literature. In both of those classes, I was assigned to read books. For a busy teacher (who is always finding things to do for school), it was wonderful to essentially be forced to read. I didn’t feel bad about it – it was an assignment! Normally during the school year, if I pick up a book, I feel this pang of guilt in my stomach. And I hear Shirley’s voice (see previous posts) in my head. She says things like, “Hey, don’t you have papers to grade?” or “Are your lesson plans done yet?” Usually (through grumbles and groans), I listen to Shirley, put the book down, and get to school-work.
But not during the summer!
Oh sure, I still do things for school. I think of things I’d like to change, I have new ideas for projects and activities (I always tell my students, “I can’t possible have all of my good ideas in ONE YEAR.”), and I think about the ways I can best educate the new crop of kids coming my way, but I don’t feel as guilty. Shirley’s voice isn’t as loud either. If anything, she starts harping on me about my writing instead of school work (I just can’t seem to get rid of her.) Without those immediate demands on me, I am able to enjoy the time and actually pick up a book and read it (all the way through, even!)
So far this summer, I have finished four books (I think). Here is a list of what I’ve read so far, and what books are waiting on the shelf, itching to be grabbed and cracked open!
Kingdom Keepers: Disney at Dawn by Ridley Pearson – I love these books! They make me feel like I am back at Disney World, but allowed to see and do things that normal patrons can’t. This is the third in the series, and each book seems to be better than the last.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett – This was a book club read, and I absolutely adored it! Though I’m not normally a fan of historical fiction, this book plunked me in the middle of 1963 Jackson, Mississippi and I wasn’t in any hurry to leave. The fictional perspective of race relations taught me a lot and hurt my heart. It’s beautifully written; a fantastic first novel for Stockett.
The Time Travelers (Book One of the Gideon Trilogy) by Linda Buckley-Archer – This series was recommended to me by one of my 5th graders (and he even let me borrow the books!). It allowed me to follow two children back in time (to 1763 London) and watch as they dealt with the exciting, frightening, and funny situations that came with traveling 250 years back in time (back when America was simply a nuisance to England).
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer – A very quick read (as a novella, it’s bound to be), which helped me remember some of the events of Eclipse. It was a very interesting peek into the newborn vampire’s perspective. I especially enjoyed reading Bree’s observations of the Cullen family.
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – This was our summer pick for book club, and I am so grateful! I’m a fan of Dan Brown and enjoy trying to figure out the mysteries within his books right along side of Robert Langdon. The fact that this installment was set in Washington, D.C. made it even better. I had my computer sitting right next to me so I could Google the artwork and buildings discussed in the book, and even talked with my brother (a former US Capitol tour guide) about what was included. Lots of fun!
(Currently re-reading) Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer – Yes, yes, yes. I’ve already read the entire Twilight saga, but I could not resist reading Eclipse once more before the movie hits theaters. I know it’s dangerous (and I may be disappointed since the book will be so fresh in my mind), but since I met Peter Facinelli last weekend (It’s true!), I felt compelled.
Waiting on the Shelf
The Time Thief by Linda Buckley-Archer
Sisters Grimm: The Inside Story by Michael Buckley
Archenemy by Frank Beddor
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
I’d list more of the books I’m planning to read, but I think it’s time I stopped typing…and starting reading!