Friday, July 14, 2017

Reading & Loving It

This year I really wanted to get back into the world of books. I used to be an avid reader, devouring books left and right, and I found myself losing that drive several years ago. I honestly don't know if it was because I suddenly had my hands full with taking care of my child or if it was just the season that I was in, but the drive was gone and I found it very challenging to get back into the habit of it.

Back in January I made a list of some of the little goals that I wanted to accomplish this year. The first one was to read more books and I thought that joining a book club or starting a reading challenge would help me accomplish that goal. One of the things I have learned about myself lately is that I tend to work best with little, gentle deadlines. With this in mind I thought that by joining a book club or a reading challenge that it would be a way for me to have a task/deadline/list that I could follow and, hopefully, complete.

I am happy to say that I did both this year. I joined a Book Club and started a Reading Challenge with friends and, so far, it has been really rewarding. I have read 11 books this year and I have enjoyed all sorts of different genres including books that I probably wouldn't have normally picked up for myself. I have also had the pleasure of writing the title of the books down on my book chart upon completion - and that in itself, is so rewarding. I like my "gold stars." 11 books down and I have two on the go currently. Man, I am so happy with that number.

Of course, that number does not include the amount of books that I have read to my daughter through-out the year. Bug is definitely a lover of books and we have read and reread so many these past six months. One thing that I started doing with her was to read a chapter book before nap time. Something with few pictures, that she could just lay back and listen, ask questions if needed, and that we could continually come back to day after day. Our favourites have included Winnie the Pooh, Junie B. Jones, Jacob Two Two, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory & the BFG by Roald Dahl, and many more. Her favourite pictures books have included Franklin, Berenstain Bears, anything by Dr. Suess, and anything by Beatrix Potter. She also laughs a lot when I read Robert Munsch to her.

My thoughts between Book Club & Reading Challenge :

Book Club : Every month I get together with a bunch of ladies and we talk about the book we read the month before. Every lady gets a turn to host and a turn to pick out book options. Usually we vote on the books and that is how we decide what to read. This has definitely stretched me this year as there have been a few books that were so hard for me to get into from the beginning. I found myself stuck in a Fantasy rut, so "having" to read a contemporary novel or a classic, even, was challenging. With encouragement and perseverance I pressed on, and now I am so happy that I did. I feel as if my brain is finally able to accept that not all worldly book problems can be solved by the simple wave of a wand. I highly recommend a book club if you are wanting to stretch out and try new genres, but don't know where to start. Plus, everyone can have a different opinion, point of views, or pick out different things within that story - and hearing what other people have to say and think about from the same story is something that I definitely enjoy.

Reading Challenge : Two girlfriends and I are currently following this reading challenge. We decided from the beginning that we wanted to read a few of the same books that fit into specific categories, so that we could compare and talk about them together, but that overall we would create this challenge to fit our interests, to make it fun for us specifically. A reading challenge is a great way to stretch yourself into looking at books from all sorts of different categories while still being the ultimate decision maker as to which ones you would in fact read. I do still enjoy that I have two girlfriends who are doing the same challenge with me because, again, I love talking books. It is also a great way to encourage each other to complete some of the harder categories. I also enjoy the we don't necessarily have to talk about the books we have read at all, but that we can rejoice in the fact that we were able to cross off another category in our challenge.

~~My Top Four Books This Year So Far~~
A Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss 
The Wiseman's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline 
Cinder by Marissa Meyers 

I do still love a good Fantasy novel and my favourites so far show this. Rothfuss is amazing and I highly recommend his novels. If I had read his first novel in the Kingkiller Chronicles this year (The Name of the Wind) it would have also joined in on this list. Amazing storytelling, adventure, magic, with a little bit of romance. Perfect. My only issue is that we are still waiting for book number three to come out. Come on, Rothfuss!!

Cinder surprised me. I heard from a friend that it was good and as I started reading I distinctly remember thinking "this is cute, but I probably won't continue on with the series." However, things started to pick up and it became not just another Cinderella story. Sci-fi meets Cinderella meets quest and bravery! I cannot wait to continue on with this series now. 

Orphan Train was a book from my book club that I struggled with getting into. I remember talking about it with a friend who had already read it and she encouraged me to push on and continue. Once I got past my "but there is no magic" way of thinking I started loving the character. The story was wonderful and sad, and full of personal growth. Also a little mention of Anne with an E. I highly recommend it. 

~~Currently Bug's Go-To Books~~
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg by Gail Carson Levine
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Anything Junie B Jones by Barbara Park
Judy Moody by Megan McDonald
Usborne Aesop's Stories for Little Children

There was no way that I could get Bug to pick out four of her favourite books since they are constantly changing. I thought instead that I would make a list of the books that she continually asks for me to read to her at nap time. We cannot get enough of these.

~~Books I Want To Read This Summer~~

~~ Books I Want To Read To Bug This Summer~~
Thank you so much for reading. Has there been a book that you have been loving lately? Or your child? I would love to hear what you've been reading. xoxo  

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