Ten Books I Want to Read RIGHT NOW


In grad school, I worked as a teaching assistant for a writing professor who always used to stop students after she would ask them to share their writing and they would start explaining and apologizing and contextualizing what they had written instead of just, you know, reading the writing. She would raise her hand and say, “No. Don’t apologize. Never explain.”

And she’s right, I know she’s right. Still. Before I get to my list for this week, some explanations and apologies and contextualization.

This week’s topic for the weekly Top Ten list hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is almost impossible: Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List. I get reader’s block just contemplating that list. Just ten? And just for spring? Does that mean now? This week? April? May? Because here on the Great Plains, it was 63 degrees today, and tonight we’re supposed to have 8 inches of snow. That frequently happens in May too. So spring is a fuzzy concept. Plus, I don’t really keep up with publication dates for books, so I never know what new titles I need to read until my nerdy PLN starts talking about them. Also, as a book hoarder, I have hundreds of unread books on my shelves that I want to read right this moment. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bought them. And then there are library books. There are piles of library books all over the house. Nerdy alert: I used to enjoy boasting that I had–and used–library cards in three states–big states too!–but now I have dwindled to library cards in only two states. And then there are the new books coming in. Do I need to buy new books? The hundreds of unread books on my shelves would suggest no. And yet, I order new books every month. (Well, more like every week. But I’m trying to cut back. Really, I am.) How could I possibly select ten books out of the hundreds that are currently vying for my attention?

So. Ten books. For spring.

Since I don’t know how to do that, here are the first ten books that popped into my head that I really, really want to read right now:

snicker of magic

A Snicker of Magic. Because my whole nerdy PLN is talking about this book.

grasshopper jungle

Grasshopper Jungle. Because my whole nerdy PLN is talking about this book too.


Drown. Because I loved This Is How You Lose Her so, so much. I reread it in January and can’t get those stories or Diaz’s voice out of my head.


Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Loved. Because I have been rereading Anne Fadiman’s other books and thinking about the pleasures of rereading.

what's your favorite animal

What’s Your Favorite Animal? Because I love so many of the illustrators featured in this book.

charm & strange

Charm & Strange. Because it won the William C. Morris Award and the reviews are really intriguing.


Mustache. Because it’s a Mac Barnett book that I’ve somehow missed!


Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau. Because Carrie Gelson recommends it.


Fossil. Because Mrs. Sokolowski’s class recommends it.

watermelon seed

The Watermelon Seed. Ditto.

18 responses to “Ten Books I Want to Read RIGHT NOW”

  1. Well I can vouch for certain titles here and say, yes, you should read them asap. Charm and Strange, The Watermelon Seed, What’s Your Favourite Animal, Mustache (hilarious) and of course, Manfish! I too want to read Fossil and A Snicker of Magic because it is EVERYWHERE! Happy Reading! And happy spring! Snow? Really . . . ?

  2. Seriously, when is the buying going to stop?! Because I only own a couple of these books I want to read RIGHT NOW. It’s so easy as a teacher to justify more book buying, because my students need these books too! Glad to hear Mustache is hilarious. I read two Mac Barnett books out loud in Children’s Lit today. So good! The big blizzard was a dud, thankfully. No more than a dusting!

    • LOL, I do worry about having too-high expectations for books that have gotten a lot of buzz. I started Out of the Easy and read a chunk and then quit. I liked it but…. I’m not sure what my issue was. I need to get back to it and finish!

  3. AH! I need to read Drown too. I LOVED Oscar Wao. I didn’t love This Is How You Lose Her as much, but Oscar Wao is one of my favorites. I do love that cover of Mustache.

    • I listened to This Is How You Lose Her on audio narrated by Diaz himself, and I loved his voice. That really made a difference to me. I am hoping to find Oscar Wao on audio too–maybe also narrated by Diaz?? I think Mustache is illustrated by the same artist who does Mac Barnett’s Count the Monkeys, which is my new favorite counting book.

    • I actually taught This Is How You Lose Her in my Contemporary Lit class this semester, and it’s a terrific book for discussion. I love what he is able to do with language, and I also find the stories the perfect mix of funny and sad.

  4. Make sure you approach Fossil as a fantasy and not a science text — I kept getting upset when it had facts wrong — which is very odd if you know the book.

  5. I’m just like you–I have dozens of unread books, yet I still buy more. I suppose we are cursed with this kind of existence! LOL. I have seen the Anne Fadiman book and am interested in that. I really want to read A Snicker of Magic after seeing it on several lists. You were right in your post–it’s hard to narrow this list down! 🙂

    • It is SO easy to justify more books when you teach the Children’s and Adolescent Lit courses. Because it’s not just for ME that I’m buying these books. No, I am buying them for my STUDENTS. I need this book for WORK. Too bad work doesn’t provide me with a budget line for book purchasing! I think you’d enjoy the Anne Fadiman. I still haven’t purchased Snicker of Magic, but it’s probably going to happen soon!

  6. Your top two are way high on my list, too. I am borrowing Grasshopper Jungle from our lit coach as soon as another teacher is done with it. I feel like one of my students who keeps asking me about his/her place on the Divergent reserve list. Lol!

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