Friday, January 13, 2012

What Are You Reading? Winter Edition

{The post in which I bog you down with too many titles.}

With Brian's seasonal work schedule-- ten months on, two months off-- we get a bit of a vacation in the months after Christmas.  While there are those who refer to the lazy days of summer, we have our own lazy days of January.  I guess they are not lazy days really, but the schedule is certainly more open and more relaxed.  One constant in our days is reading time. 

Let me take you back to my summer reading list.  At the time, I was reading voraciously to the kids, but having a harder time motivating myself to read anything more than the occasional magazine.  We had just moved to our new town (with a new-to-us library) and I had plans to jump back into reading with an eclectic list of options.  As it turned out, that was what I needed to get back into the habit again, and once I started, I haven't been without a book or two or three.  One of the best books I read during the summer was surprisingly Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About God, Dreams, and Talking Vegetables by Phil Vischer-- surprising because of how well-articulated it was and how moving the message. 

During the summer, we read aloud the entire 8-book Ramona series by Beverly Cleary.  Owen was reluctant to join us for a long chapter book, but he was hooked by the first chapter!  He and Maddie still play Ramona and Beezus or Ramona and Daisy or Ramona and Howie.  Sometimes they rope Alaine into playing Baby Roberta, too.  (Since we enjoyed the Ramona series so incredibly much, we plan to work our way through the 6-book Henry and Ribsy series in the spring)

Once we began our fall term of school, I expected my reading to slack off again, but I'm not sure it did.  On a recent Sunday afternoon dinner at my parents' house, we all discussed the best books we had read during 2011.  Among others, I mentioned Lynn Austin's latest Wonderland Creek, but hands-down the best book I read all year was The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I was a little daunted when I saw its thickness, but I read it cover to cover in four days. 

Anyway, so back to the present.  Reading time is part of every winter day.  I am currently reading the Samantha (American Girl) series to Maddie, but I have several little boys that seem to always be listening, too.   At the end of December, we started a short, but very detailed, book about Thomas Edison that Gavin received for Christmas.  When I realized that both fictional Samantha and real-life Edison lived in the early 1900s and that we were planning to begin the 1900s when we started back to school in February, I decided to get a head start and sneak a few books into our for-fun stack that double up as school books, too.    Over the next few weeks, we will read biographies of  Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, and George Washington Carver

While Brian is home this winter, he is back to reading aloud to the family.  Currently, we are enjoying The Adventures of Prickly Porky by Thornton Burgess.  (He did decided to wait a little while before beginning The Chronicle of Narnia series since we have a child who scares easily.)

I find that if I wait until the kids are in bed to do any of my own heavy reading, I am having to prop my eyelids open, so I try to read in snatches throughout the day-- a little in the morning, a little at naptime, a little while I'm nursing Alaine before bed.  I'm always intimidated to join any of the online book clubs I see popping up, but without pressure, I do average about four books a month.  I just finished an excellent book by Christa Parrish (a new-to-me author) called  Watch Over Me.  I'm excited to see she has another older book and a new book coming out in April.  Currently resting on my nightstand is Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler, but I have plans to read everything from Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James to Onstage, Offstage by Michael Buble to the final two books of the Shopaholic series

I want to slip in a little Sherlock Holmes somewhere, too.  After watching Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows in the theatre on a date-day right before Christmas, re-watching Sherlock Holmes (the 2009 movie) on Christmas Eve, and planning to watch Sherlock, Season 1 (the BBC series) which we are picking up from the library today, I want to read the original which I haven't touched since middle or high school. 

So, if made it this far...what are you reading?


  1. I love seeing what you're reading! Gives me stuff to add to my ever-growing "to read" list. I just read "One Bite at a Time" by Tsh Oxenreider and blogged about it. Excellent!! And I just started Gulliver's Travels. It's interesting in an old English kind of way. Lol! My dad just unearthed all my old American Girl books, and T begged to have an Addy book read to him. So we did! I felt a little strange reading the boys a "girl" book, but it really was a good story.

  2. I read The Help this past summer too! It was also one of my favorites. The Sherlock Holmes I just read was short stories, not the story line of the movies, which I was hoping it to be. Right now I am reading Mother Carey's Chickens. When I finish I will post a review on my blog. I haven't read thr Lynn Austin book you listed so that will have to go on the list for sure this year. I love her books. Too many books not enough time!

  3. I don't know if it's me or your feedburner, but I've stopped getting your posts in my email. :( I did get them back in October when I first signed up, but not now. So I un-signed up and signed up again and still nothing. Just letting you know there may be a problem.

    Happy reading!


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