Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.
While summer is not officially over yet, our Summer Reading Club 2016 has ended. I haven’t really updated my Goodreads account online. I’ve casually browsed it in the app that’s installed on my phone. I was surprised to see the new layout, which I actually like!
Sadly, I haven’t made a lot of progress in my reading, but I’m glad that despite the busy schedule (sleepless nights included!), I’m still 13 books ahead of schedule, putting me at 94/125 in my reading goal!
My main goal this year has nothing to do with numbers. I want to read more novels. While I love picture books — and I intend to read them forever — I really wanted to go back into the juvenile/YA/adult vibe, if you know what I mean. Picture books are expensive, so it helps a lot that I work at the library. I am able to check out up to 99 items on my card and have access to thousands of picture books in our catalog, both in-house and online! That being said, most of the books I’ve acquired this year are novels. (I have a few picture books that I was able to buy from the book sale.)
I was looking at my 2016 reading history and I think I’m doing pretty good despite the constant life interruptions. Below are four of the books I’ve read since my last update on Summer Reading Club 2016. If you haven’t read any of these, I hope you find them interesting enough to add to your own reading list!
I came across this book while handling returned materials at work. I initially thought that this was juvenile non-fiction, but Catherine Reef’s The Brontë Sisters is shelved under “teens.” The language used was simple, with a slightly bigger font, but the story of the Brontë family is darker and more complicated than that. While I’ve only read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, it was definitely fascinating to see how a writer’s life heavily influenced his/her writing. The stories are sometimes depressing but this is offers a nice introduction on the Brontë family.
|“I decided that there might be things I would never understand, no matter how hard I tried. Though try I would.
“And that there would be people who would never hear my one small voice, no matter what I had to say.
“But then a better thought occurred, and this was the one I carried away with me that day: If my life was to be just a single note in an endless symphony, how could I not sound it out for as long and as loudly as I could?”
Lauren Wolk weaves a beautiful story about kindness and quiet courage in Wolf Hollow. Told in the perspective of almost-twelve-year-old Annabelle McBride, Wolf Hollow illustrates the implications of lying and passing judgment on others. Readers will fall in love with Annabelle as she learns to navigate adolescence, stand up to bullying, and “earn [her] keep” in this world.
Aaaaaahhh!!! This is such a beautiful book. It’s heartbreaking, yes, but it’s beautiful in every way. Paul Kalanithi dedicated years and years of training to become a neurosurgeon and view the fine line that separates life and death. And then, he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. What happens when the doctor becomes the patient? What happens when you’ve spent your entire life trying to understand life only to be cast in front of death’s door? Told in first person narrative and written sometime before he died, When Breath Becomes Air is Paul Kalanithi’s personal examination of what makes life worth living. Should you decide to read this book, make sure to grab some tissues and prepare your heart and soul to be shred into pieces.
This book, though! I’ve seen this book so many times at the library and I finally managed to borrow a copy. Wow, what a read! Like The Brontë Sisters, Candace Fleming’s The Family Romanov is a good introduction to the, well, Romanovs, whose imperial rule in Russia lasted for more than 300 hundred years! I knew little about Imperial Russia so this was truly an eye-opener. I felt anger and disgust while reading this book. I can’t even find the right words to describe what I’ve read. I will never watch Disney’s Anastasia the same way again. On a side note, I enjoyed Candace Fleming’s writing so much that I ended up getting two more books that she wrote: Amelia Lost and The Great and Only Barnum.
Summer Reading Prizes
This must be my lucky year. I was selected to pick a Summer Reading prize not just one but three times! Third time is, indeed, a charm, considering that this is my third year of joining. I got free copies of Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist and Lois Lowry’s Son for my first and second Summer Reading years, respectively. Below are the prizes I got this year.
Affinity Konar’s Mischling is an advanced reader’s copy.
The book is set to be released on September 9, 2016.