This is a depressing list to make, because I definitely have not read ten books this year – unless I count children’s books. So, my list will be a bit of mix and will go back further than a year. I am trying to get my act together on reading adult books for my own enjoyment, but it is slow going. Here is my take on reading:
Reading is a habit. It also takes momentum. Once you fall out of the habit of reading, it becomes more and more difficult to get back into the habit. It seems difficult to “fit it in”. Unlike television, it can’t be a “background” activity (unless you do audio books, which I’ve thought about and even done a few times back in the days when I was commuting, but I like reading an actual BOOK). If you have not been reading regularly, it seems like it is slow going (having become used to the fast movement of television and movies). To me, reading has become like fine china that has been put to the back of the cabinet. Sure, it is made to be eaten off of, but it means getting it out, washing the dust off of all of it and then worrying about it getting broken or chipped. It seems like a lot of work. So, we reach for our tried and true day-to-day dishes. Why do we save the best and never get any use out of it? I love reading, but I have this vision of “savoring” my reading, so I don’t give myself a chance to even get started really.
So, for the next 28 days, I’m going to read for at least 30 minutes every day. It takes 28 days to establish a habit. And, I am convinced that once I get reading, the momentum will carry me to keep reading. I will see that the “fine china” is actually pretty easy to use once it moves to the front and gets used regularly. And it is pretty and fun and a gift to myself. But, until I establish that regularity, this list of my favorite children’s books of this year will have to do! In no particular order (and remembering that I have a five year old)…
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1. Ivy & Bean (Book 1) (Bk. 1) We have read the first two books in the series and I love them. They are smart, fun and the girls are interesting without being cutesy. I am looking forward to reading the whole series over the summer months! We read a few chapters a day when we’re reading them and my own “Bean” (which is why we started the series – the name) wants to finish as much as possible in as short of time as possible. A great sign for a five year old with a limited attention span!
2. Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown Ups Our library has an old, old, old copy of this book and it is amazing the things that appeared in children’s books in the 1950s! But, all of these are fun books to read and great for those learning to read as it introduces a number of words in each volume but repeats them quite often. And she is constantly in a lot of trouble! It makes my life with my daughter look easy.
3. I’ll Follow the Moon: (Mom’s Choice Award Honoree and Chocolate Lily Award Winner) I got this book on the Kindle and I absolutely love it. I can see what it has received the awards it has. It is beautifully illustrated and the story is wonderful. My daughter loves sea animals, so it was especially attractive to her, but I loved it for the story and sentiment.
4. When You Reach Me (Yearling Newbery) This was not a book I read with my daughter, but one I actually read for a book group. This book group chooses quite a few YA books to read and this was one of them. I really enjoyed it. The story was a bit quirky and I enjoyed the mystery feel of it. You can read my Goodreads review here.
5. Alphabet Adventure I am kind of cheating including this one since we definitely read it for the first time over a year ago. But, we have revisited it many times this year and I feel like as my daughter gets a better grip on pre-reading and sight words, the book takes on a whole new experience for her. The story is such a cute one and the characters (letters) are very memorable. It is an enjoyable read to do over and over and over and over again!
6. Our Husband: a humorous romantic mystery I did not think I would like this book at all when I started reading it. I started it looking for something light and easy to read. But, to be honest with you, I kind of “judged the book by its cover” and didn’t think it was going to be much of a read. But, as I got into it and met the characters, I really started to enjoy it and the mystery part of it made it all the better. I liked the relationship between the wives and the way the story included some tension and anticipation. It would be a great summer read.
7. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: or, On the Segregation of the Queen (A Mary Russell Mystery) This was another book club book that I loved. The combination of female heroine and Sherlock Holmes was almost too much for me! Such a great concept and good writing and story line as well! You can read my (very short) Goodreads review here.
8. The Fault in Our Stars Can’t say much that hasn’t already been said about this book. I loved it. Period. I also could really relate to it having a daughter with health issues. John Green is genius.
Okay – I’m going to have to stop at eight because I have a lot to do before taking off for five days tomorrow (sigh) and I think I’m going to go to bed early and get up early to do what needs to be done. But, I wanted to get this post up before the opportunity passed me by. What about you – do you have some favorite books from the past year (or two) that you have read (or read to someone)? Let me know in the comments. I am looking forward to establishing this reading habit!