Friday, January 9, 2015

November & December Reads

I totally forgot to write about my reading for November... probably because it was pathetically almost non-existent. For the two months of November and December I read a depressing 3 books. THREE?!?! There have been weeks I've read more than that, and over two whole months I managed just four. I'm hanging my head in shame right now. I'm way, way behind my 30 book reading goal for the 2014-2015 school year. If one of my students had only read 10 books so far, we'd be talking about how much time they're reading at home and whether they're using our reading workshop time well.

9. Drums of Autumn by Diane Gabaldon
Another book in the Outlander series. So, again, it's about 1,000 pages. Diane is nothing if not verbose in her writing. Her books are long and complicated but also facinating and addicting. Not going to lie, the further into the series I get, the less can't-put-it-down I feel. Not sure if it's the change in the characters or if I'm taking so long to read them that I'm losing momentum. Jamie and Claire are still the two main characters of the story, but it's been 20 years since the story began and they've change a lot. There have also been tons of changes in their family, surroundings and conflict. In Drums of Autumn, the story centers less on Jamie and Claire and more on their daughter Brianna who is having to make some difficult choices of her own-especially around her feelings for Roger- the only person who knows where her parents really are. While I like the multiple perspectives being shown here, I miss the intimacy I felt with Claire when she was the one narrating the entire story.

10. What Research Has to Say About Reading Instruction by S.Jay Samuels and Alan E. Falstrup 
See? This book doesn't even really count. I mean, yeah, I read it, but it was required reading for my last grad school class. That said, it was super interesting, but rather difficult to get through. Each chapter is a separate topic related to reading instruction and full of information, strategies, and ideas about how to best meet the needs of students. BUT, it's wordy, complicated and sometimes rather yawn-inspiring. In discussing chapters with classmates, I got a lot of out of it, but if I were just reading it on my own I would have given up about 15 pages in and moved on. 

11. Remember Me? By Sophie Kinsella 
Sophie Kinsella's books are usually hit or miss for me. Sometimes I love them, and other times they just don't do it for me. Remember Me? was one of the loves. In this, the main character Lexi wakes up at 28, with her last memory of being 25. Last she remembers, she was out clubbing with her best friends and was broke, snaggle-toothed, and single. Then she wakes up to find that she is an important business woman, wealthy, and married to the perfect man... she just doesn't know how she got to this point. I found this book to be hilarious, because Lexi was just such a relatable and real character. I felt her frustration as she tried to figure out what on earth happened to the Lexi she remembers and I felt her pain as she realized her new, perfect life is actually anything but perfect. At the end, I just wanted it to keep going because I was enjoying it so much. 

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