Carrie at There’s a Book for That hosts a reading challenge I really enjoy: #MustReadin2015. As Carrie explains it:
For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books 5? 10? 20? 30? more? that you want to commit to reading in 2015. Books can be published in any year, be from any genre, and from any category -adult, YA, MG, Graphics, NF, etc titles. All that matters is that they are books you want to be sure not to forget as that TBR list continues to grow! These aren’t the only titles you will read over the year, but a list to help guide your reading.
A TBR list that never ends? That sounds like me!
For 2015, I also made a #MustRead list that apparently never ends. 31 books?! What was I thinking? I didn’t even manage to complete the 15 titles on my 2014 list, so what made me think that more than doubling that number was a good idea?
But that’s exactly what I did.
I made this huge list and then promptly forgot about it. So I was delighted to check my list over the weekend and discover that I’ve read three whole books and am halfway through a fourth. This isn’t exactly a record-setting or list-completing pace, but it’s a start.
Ava and Pip by Carol Weston was probably my least favorite of the three books I finished. It should have been ideal for me since it’s about an aspiring writer who loves words. But the love of words was part of the problem for me. Ava is obsessed with palindromes and every single one of them has to be repeated in all caps in the text. It drove me nuts. N-U-T-S.
The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney is a terrific verse novel about Amira, a twelve-year-old Sudanese girl whose family becomes a victim of the war in Sudan. Amira’s lot in life is to help her family on their farm, but she has the sensibilities of an artist and desperately wants to attend school and learn to read and write. There is much to interest readers in Amira’s life before the conflict hits her village. Pinkney’s rich descriptions and strong verse create a vivid picture of life in rural Sudan. After the Janjaweed militia sweep through her village and destroy it, Amira and her family travel to a refugee camp where they must learn to cope with their losses and figure out what’s next.
I can’t say enough good things about Jason Reynolds’s When I Was the Greatest. Such tender and believable characters. Such humor and warmth. Such a humane and generous perspective on people and life. It’s plenty page-turney, but plot isn’t the reason to read this book. The characters and their interactions with each other will stick with you. And I still say that cover is one of the best of 2014. I barely booktalked it in my Children’s Lit class before it was walking off the shelf.
Now that I’ve consulted my list and remember some of the titles on it, I’m hoping to make real progress and have more than three additional titles to show for myself at the next check-in in July. There’s something about committing to a list that diffuses some of my desire to read the actual books on it. I don’t know what that’s all about. Some sort of deep psychological failing, no doubt.
Happy reading to all!
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