What's on my Bookshelf - Summer Edition

This summer I have been doing some relaxing reading and some professional reading.....and even some trashy magazine reading (still counts!!)

I thought I would take a minute to share some things that I have been reading with you : )

First up, the very first week on summer vacation we went book shopping (cause end of the year gift card gifts burn a hole in my wallet if I don't spend them ASAP). While there we picked up the recommended reading list. I ordered all of the YA titles from our library so that my girls and I would have a stash of books to choose from over the summer.

Here are some of the YA titles I read so far....

This one is a new fantasy series. I enjoyed it.....but not sure if I am up for another YA series. It may be a stand alone for me (unless there are movies or my girls get into it, then, maybe). I really liked the aspect of the "girl" needing to save the boy - that is refreshing and makes it a good read for girls (well there are a few sexy things that makes it not really for "girls" but you know what I mean).

I really liked one of the voices in this one (Stewart) one half of the siblings in a new blended family. I liked the issues that it addressed (blended families, social awareness, bullying, homophobia) but I really struggled to like the other voice (Ashley). I have a hard time loving a book when I find little to like in one of the main characters - even if they do make a change at the end of the book (yes, I am harsh, like Mr. Darcy, once my good opinion is lost it is lost forever, not really but mmmmmm Mr. Darcy). The story good, the dialogue good, the themes good, ugh, I just did not like Ashley.

This one I LOVED. I had not read any of Sarah Dessen's YA but I heard many good things so I was excited to give this book a read. Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

See, a fun, relaxing, summer read.

Okay on to some professional reading. First up I read this...

Writing was definitely an area of struggle for me and my students last year. I had tons of take aways from this book. I made tons of notes and my brain started binging with ideas for next year. I love the advice she gives on how to avoid having students line up to talk to the teacher during conference time. If they need something they have to write it down and give you the note - see still writing and it may help some of my kiddos use other tools to solve their problems. I also like the idea of inviting students to join in and listen to a conference if you can tell they really need a break from writing rather than just stand in line and get silly with others.

Then I read this....

Again, great ideas I needed to hear again to get me focussed and thinking and planning for the new school year. I love the book recommendations and lesson ideas included. I love how she reminds the reader to focus on their beliefs about reading and children and act on them. My only problem, I kind of got overwhelmed between reading these two and thinking about trying to do everything I possibly can in reading and writing and math, so that is probably why...

this one is still on my bookshelf...

For some reason I is taking a lot for me to work up to reading it. I have heard a lot about it (all good, all good) and have done some PD on number strings and number talks. I am just having a hard time sitting down with it. But it is on tap this week!
Lastly, I have been reading this....
I do not read a lot (okay, any really) self- help like books or biographies or even memoirs but I kept seeing this book and flipping through it so I decided to give it a go. I was very worried that it was going to be too preachy or too far out of my world that I would not be able to relate (my problem with Eat, Pray, Love) but I have been very pleasantly surprised (you might even say happy : )  ). Gretchen is married with two kids (me too!) and she was happy (me too!) she just thought she should be more present in her own life, more grateful for what she had and less crabby. I can get on board with that. She almost lost me on the very first step "get more sleep". I like sleep, but I do not want to go to bed earlier, I like staying up late, I like napping, I did not want to read about how good she felt by getting a goods night rest BUT I kept reading and I found so much that made me LOL and nod my head and make me say hmmmmm, I could and should try that. I even took it to the beach to read with my friend and we laughed and shared stories, it was like she was talking with us!!
Like when she said she was the victim of  "freebie clutter" and "aspirational clutter" we could not stop sharing stories of all the clutter we have that fit into these categories. Or when she said she was the queen of making up games to play with her kids that involved her lying on the couch - I can not tell you how many times I have "played" hairdresser or salon with my girls - which involved me lying on the couch being pampered!! And when she said she LOVED her husband, would give him a kidney, but was not going to make him one more cup of coffee we KNEW she was talking to us (really, I do love my husband, donate an organ to him, save him from fire love him, lose my mind in a drive-thru cause he ordered wrong love him). Am I happier, well I was already pretty happy but this book does have a lot of nuggets that I will carry with me for a long time.

So there are some of the books I have been reading this summer. I would love to hear any recommendations (relaxing, professional, trashy) from you, so......

1 comment

  1. I'm ashamed of myself. I didn't read much this summer. I should probably get my library card taken away from me. The summer ran away from me.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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