I’m Back – It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

I took a few weeks off recently to wrap up Spring Semester 2012. I’m officially finished with coursework for my Ph.D. and now have a whole lot of writing to do (more on that in future posts). I’ve enjoyed taking time in the past week to connect with my reader self.

Last week I read:

After Eli by  Rebecca Rupp was recommended by Paul Hankins on either Twitter, GoodReads, or Facebook (likely all three)! This did not disappoint. Daniel is trying to make sense of his brother’s death and growing up. His voice is thoughtful and honest, and brought me to tears a few times. This is the first complete book I’ve read on my new iP*d through NetGalley. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about reading on an e-device, but the story was so fantastic I barely noticed. Release date: Aug. 14, 2012

Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin - I’ve been on the waitlist at my local East Lansing Public Library for a while; and am glad that it finally came in! I remember distinctly sitting at dinner at ALA Midwinter reading Roger Sutton’s editorial mentioning this book, it was the first I’d heard of it. Less than 2 days later it was announced as a Newbery Medal Honor book. It’s one that I want to read a few more times and am thinking of pairing with the beautiful picturebook The Wall by Peter Sis. Lots to think about in the best possible ways.

See You At Harry’s by Jo Knowles – this one is getting it’s own review, check back tomorrow!

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle - This was on the “new books” shelf at my library and I thought I’d read something about it (can’t remember were). The dialogue is distinctly Irish, making me think of my father-in-law (born outside of Belfast), and my own Kelly & O’Malley relatives. Mary’s characters is multi-dimensional and the plot intriguing. Another book I want to reread.

This coming week I’m reading:

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinnaire by Mrs. Bunny translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath - My 2nd grade daughter and I are reading this adventure story together. She is quite enchanted with both Madeline (the main human character) and Mr. & Mrs. Bunny. We are looking forward to finishing it this week.

A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper – This is was recommended to me by a librarian friend who knows that I like historical fiction and am also looking for books to read by Australian authors in preparation for my first visit down under in a few months.

How to Write A Lot by Paul Silvia - A fabulous little book about academic writing. I’m rereading it for the third time as I return to the final leg of writing my practicum and begin to work on my dissertation proposal. This, along with Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird are my two favorite books about writing.

There will be more… but I’m not sure exactly what yet! I’ve been trying to hold off reading Insurgent thinking it would be good for the airplane trip to Australia, but I honestly don’t think I can wait that long. I’ve also got the 6th and final book in the Nicholas Flamel series waiting for me on NetGalley and am hoping to get Rebecca Stead and Sharon Creech’s newest titles soon as well.

School Libraries = Need (not a want)

My last post was about how much I love librarians. I also love the libraries they work in.

Just this evening my daughters and I visited our local East Lansing Public Library. Between the three of us we checked out:

  • 6 audio books: the 2nd grader’s new favorite thing
  • 3 movies: 2 for them, one for me
  • a book about writing for the 6th grader: Spilling Ink (it’s the 3rd time we’ve checked this one out)
  • other various “chapter books” from the children’s room
  • 2 books about statistics for me: I’m taking my LAST doctoral course!

My youngest daughter wanted a book that was out, she went to the circulation desk by herself and put it on hold. The girls played on the computers for a bit while I chatted with one of the librarians and put all three of the Newbery books on hold for my eldest and I to read. (We are 3rd on the waitlist!) I was struck by the diversity of resources we used and as always, glad to have the librarians their for resources.

My daughter’s school library, is a different story. Two years ago, the district cut the positions of the elementary media specialists. So while their building does have a library in it, there is not a trained professional to support the students or the teachers in the school. I understand the budgets are tight – but this is a problem. We know that the more children read the better readers they become. We know that for children to read more, they need to be motivated and interested to read. School librarians help these things happen!

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act is the main federal source of funding for school libraries. That funding is in jeopardy. Won’t you please go to http://tinyurl.com/needschoollibraries and sign this petition to send the message that ALL K-12 children deserve to have an effective school library? The website will explain more about the act and why it is important. Please also pass it along, they need 10,000 more votes by February 4th!