A Month of Favorites: Introduction

amonthoffavesGirlXOXO, Estella’s Revenge, and Traveling with T are hosting A Month of Favorites, a bookish December blogging event. I can’t think of much that I like doing more than reflecting on my year of reading, so I am hoping to join in a few times over the month. Visit any of the hosting blogs for more details about today’s prompt.

Today’s Introductory prompt gave me a great opportunity to reflect on what I’ve read so far and what I still need to read in order to meet my 2014 goals.

Nerdbery Challenge: 1/12 books

#MustReadin2014: 11/15 books

YA Shelf of Shame Challenge: 8/12 books

Professional Development Reading Goal: 11/12 books

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 109/100 books

Picture Book Reading Goal: 594/350 books

Chapter Book & Middle-Grade Reading Goal: 87/100 books

YA Lit Reading Goal: 43/60 books

Latin@s in Kidlit Challenge: 26/12 books

Number of Books Total (not counting picture books): 172/200

I don’t usually do any kind of favorites post this early in December because I still have a lot of reading to do this month. To meet my reading goals for the year, I still have nearly 30 books left to read—mostly YA, sadly, but equally sadly, also Newbery winners. Unless I cheat in my definition of YA, there’s not really any overlap there either. I often do marathon reading in December—both because I’m out of school around the middle of the month and have some solid, uninterrupted reading time and because I’m desperately reading to achieve my goals. I don’t mind if I don’t make the goals, but I like to give it my best effort.

I was over-the-moon nerdily excited this morning when I was crunching numbers and goals and discovered that I need to read 28 books in December to meet my goal of reading 200 books this year. AND I need to read exactly 17 YA books and 11 Newberys to meet those two goals. 28 books! When I told my husband about this, he bestowed such a wonderful word on it: COSMIC. Yes. This is clearly the cosmos intervening in my reading life.

That’s a lot of YA and a lot of Newberys to read in one month. It doesn’t make December sound like my favorite reading month, as neither YA nor Newberys tend to be my favorite reading material. I am guessing that my criteria for selecting Newbery winners will be length. I already have several YA graphic novels chosen too. Graphic novels are such a lovely way to pad a book count.

The genre I’ve read the most of is picture books—nearly 600 of them. And middle-grade: nearly 100 titles.

What have almost entirely fallen by the wayside for me are books for grown-ups, and in some ways I regret that. I’ve only read a handful of books for grown-ups this year, but at least two of them will be on my top ten of 2014 list. (This Is How You Lose Her and Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant?) One of my unwritten goals for 2014 was to read more books for grown-ups, but since it was more of a “hey, I’d really like to do that” idea than a concrete goal, it didn’t happen. I’m thinking about something Bob Probst said at NCTE (I didn’t attend this session but I read about it in someone’s blog): reading nonfiction changes us. Something is wrong if we finish a nonfiction book and we’re still the same. And it’s that kind of reading experience that I miss when I don’t read enough nonfiction for grown-ups.

The most beautiful place I read this year was definitely this balcony in Mexico, followed closely by one of the lounge chairs you can see on the beach.

P1020760 P1020762

But my favorite place to read is curled up on the couch with my son. He nearly broke my heart a few weeks ago when he told me we have to stop reading picture books together because “it’s time for me to grow out of that.” SAYS WHO? SAYS WHO???? (It’s still too tender of a pain to even blog about! No more picture books together?!) But he shows no signs of “growing out” of big fat chapter books. Little does he know that I plan to read to him every night until he goes to college!

I prefer to read in large chunks of time, which I typically have on Mondays and Fridays, though I all too often fritter the time away on the Internet. Even if I don’t manage to read much during the day, I always read for a few minutes before bed. I listen to audiobooks on my commute (120 miles round-trip). And I read with my son every morning over breakfast and every evening for at least half an hour before he falls asleep.

Although I started reading middle grade seriously in 2013, I would still say that’s my favorite genre discovery for 2014. I feel so at home in middle grade.

I don’t think I could ever choose one favorite book of 2014, but I will try to choose 10 or 15 by the end of the year.





5 responses to “A Month of Favorites: Introduction”

  1. Kristen M. Avatar
    Kristen M.

    Reading with my son at night (he’s 10) is always one of my favorite parts of the day and he still shows no signs of outgrowing it. In fact, it’s something of the opposite since every time I try to close the book, he asks for a few pages more. 🙂

  2. taylorlapp Avatar

    Awe your little boy is trying to grow up so fast. Such a bitter/sweet moment. Even though I am sure that he will realize he still loves reading picture books even though he thinks he is “too old” for them right now. I just want to take this time to thank you for introducing me to something great this semester, blogging! I can definitely say it is something that I will continue to do in the future. I can’t wait to make my own reading goals at the beginning of 2015 and actually stick to them! 🙂

  3. Tanya Patrice Avatar

    That commute is intense! And ooh that balcony in Mexcio looks like reading heaven 🙂

  4. Charleen Avatar

    I definitely prefer reading in large chunks too. Just five or ten minutes here and there… sure, I find out what happens, but it isn’t a good way to lose myself in a book.

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