Summer Reading Recap

23 09 2008

Way back in May I signed up for Necessary Chocolate’s Summer Reading Program. I loved the idea of a reading program for me vs. the kids. I also loved that it was very flexible and about moments spent reading, not how many books I could finish. Now that summer is officially over here’s my update:

  1. Quit reading a book that you don’t like – this is what won me over to do this program to begin with. I have a hard time stopping reading a book I don’t like. I keep thinking it will get better. Triggerfish Twist by Tim Dorsey never did for me. You see, my husband liked this book and I was trying hard to like the book too. In the end it was a little too twisted for me. I know I don’t need it, but it was like I had been given permission to stop reading it.
  2. Read in bed. Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman. If you think my parent’s basement is impressive you should see their mystery book collection!
  3. Read with a child – easy peasy. At a minimum we read 2 books to Seth and 2 books to Eleanor every night. I strongly believe this is the reason Seth, at 4 years old, can use the word cumulonimbus (a type of cloud) 5 times in a single sentence. He just LOVES words. Some kids collect cars, he collects words. His current favs are any Usborne beginners, Go Away Big Green Monster, and Fish is Fish.
  4. Admire great illustrations – with children’s book overflowing from our shelves this wasn’t hard either. Some of my favorites? Leo Lionni, Ezra Jack Keats, Barbara Knutson. I realize there are illustrators for adult books too, but these are still my favs.
  5. Return a library book on time – Really the library should take credit for this one. I just love how I can request, renew and check the status of my library books online. Not to mention how they email me when the due date is coming near. I had checked out The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Can you believe I had never read it before?
  6. Read a poem – I love children’s poems but struggle a bit with the adult stuff. I think I just need to find the right fit for me. As a reminder of poetry I used to enjoy I picked up my old copy of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. His lyrical, humorous poems reminded me that not all poetry has to be difficult to decipher. Now I’m reading a poem a night to Seth as well.
  7. Read before the dishes are done – Not to put too fine a point on it but this was beyond easy. No one ever has to encourage me not to clean. Sleeping in a Sack: Camping activities for Kids by Linda White.
  8. Read while you listen to the rain – my favorite time to read. The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory.
  9. Look at a new craft book or magazine – I recently picked up a copy of Debbie Bliss’s new mag. A fun peruse for knitters. I was especially inspired by her Gray Matters collection. Maybe I’ll actually get around to knitting a sweater for myself in the next year. (or so)
  10. Try a new recipe or cookbook – I love new recipes, some of my favorites this summer have come from Everyday Food.
  11. Wander through a bookstore – we did this on our anniversary last week. It was the first time in a long time I’ve been able to just wander and look at adult books instead of chase a child down in the kids section.
  12. Read while exercising – People Magazine. Trashy – yes, kept my mind off the burn – yes. Worth it. I realize this is the opposite of what the little ice cream sticker was suppose to symbolize. But for me it symbolized what I was trying to avoid.
  13. Share a book with a friend – Jen was gracious to lend me her copy of Lotta Prints. Incredibly inspirational and worth every penny if you want to try your hand at printing on fabric.

As you  might be able to tell I’m 3 shy of actually completing the reading program. No worries. I’m just thankful that it encouraged me to get a bit more reading that I think I would have otherwise. I also appreciate that it got me to take a step outside of the reading rut I tend to fall into. I still plan on finishing. Here’s what’s on the docket:

  • Read something more than 75 years old
  • Read outside
  • Try a new author

Any suggestions? For at least one I’ll download an audio book for free from my library. That way I can listen and workout at the same time. I just love it when I can multi-task.

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7 responses

24 09 2008
Jen

More than 75 years old – Dickens or Hardy. In fact “A pair of Blue Eyes” by Thomas Hardy is quite short and so a decent introduction to him. Try it, it’s tragic, but you might like it.

As for the others, I’m a bit lost, but I do love me some Hardy!

24 09 2008
painted fish studio

what a great summer project! i just don’t have time to read much any more, but do miss it. i’m happy that you’re passing on a love of reading to your children!

24 09 2008
christina

Oh, oh, I know! 75+ –how about Jane Austen? I’ve always found her easy to read and entertaining.

new author — I just found Karin Fossum, a Norwegian mystery writer. Only 4 books have been translated into English but I manage to devour them in a few days. She’s very good at character creation.

24 09 2008
vanessa

What a fantastic list, I am going to have to remember this for next summer OR just start it now! Admire great illustrations ..that might be my fav idea, leo lionni is one of my favs too and alison jay

25 09 2008
Anna Y

I personally like Kate Long for a good ‘English’ read. Books include Swallowing Grandma, Bad Mother’s Handbook, Queen Mum and Daughter Diary, has good humour and deals with crap family situations really well. (Eg Swallowing Grandma: parental abandonment and PPD.) Older if you are going to go classics, why not Jane Austin, specifically Pride and Prejudice (because I FINALLY got to see Mamma Mia. 007 just lost cred with me..)?

26 09 2008
smoothpebble

I’d give you suggestions, but it would be overwhelming…..there is the stack by my bed, the stack in the end table, the list written in a notebook, etc.
And why in the world does it take so long to realize there is no sense in finishing a book you don’t enjoy. Life is waaaaay to short, and there are waaaay to many good books out there.

26 09 2008
chelle

I just wrote you – but of course you came close enough to get a banner. What a great list of books!

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