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Books, books, and more books

February 8, 2017

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What better time than February to do a “reading goals for the year” post?  I hardly read anything in January anyway.

I remember years when I had such big goals for reading books: a book a week, or the 888 challenge.  Those were the days.  I think it was baby #5 that kind of killed that.  Now that I look back, 2014 was the last year I actually kept track of books read, and I finished 26, so not bad.  Most of them were with the boys though, either for school or our book club.  Somewhere along the way I forgot how to read for myself.

2015 was terrible as that was the year we dejunked, moved half our life into storage, remodelled and sold the little downtown house, and moved.  Last year my big goal was to read The Iliad and The Odyssey with A and C, and I am so thrilled that we did it!  It was a huge accomplishment for all three of us.  I then spent the rest of the year reading fluff!

Actually, I’ve gotten into a series by Charles Todd (a mother/son duo) about Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge in the years following WWI.  I’ve enjoyed many of them, but the writing is uneven.  Some will be fabulous, then the next few are quite tedious to get through.  I finished up the last five or so in November and December when I didn’t feel like doing much of anything else, and the mysteries seem to be getting more complex and enjoyable.  A new one comes out this summer, so I’ll see if the trend continues.  They write another series about Bess Crawford, a nurse during WWI, but the last few have been so outrageously unbelievable that I don’t think I’ll continue to read those.  I think that sums up my reading for 2016 besides our book club books (which are hit and miss sometimes.  I should do a post about my favorites sometime)

Now that I’ve come out of the fog of morning sickness, I’ve felt a growing desire to do more with my brain, plus a growing stack of books next to my bed, so I figured why not try a list again this year.  It’s a goal to work towards even if the titles are somewhat random.

  •  The War That Saved My Life–We read this for book club in January, which then got cancelled because of illness.  It was interesting but just ok. I didn’t love it, despite the rave reviews.  I’m still wondering why if they were evacuating children from London at the beginning of WWII, these two were sent to Kent, which puts them even closer to the coastline and the Germans.  If you want to read about evacuees, I’d highly recommend The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe instead.
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind–I just finished this today for book club and it was excellent!
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn–We finished listening to this last week.  It started out as a read aloud, but I finally gave up as it was so tedious trying to wrap my mouth around Mark Twain’s dialogue with all the different accents spelled out. We listened to Elijah Wood read it instead, and it was thoroughly enjoyable.  I don’t think I’ve ever read all the way through the unabridged novel before.
  • The Freedom FactorA and C read this over Christmas and I finally finished it last week.  It’s about a young senator’s aide who gets thrown into an alternate USA where the Constitution was never ratified.  It was entertaining, and some of the issues of liberty and freedoms and government’s role are the very same ones we’re considering today.  I had to laugh though when he had to go to his upstairs neighbor to borrow an encyclopedia. (It was written in 1987.)  I take google for granted these days.

Those are the ones I’ve read so far.  Here’s what is on my bedside stack.

  • Women in the New Testament-a new Christmas book
  • Remember-a book from last Christmas that I still haven’t gotten to
  • Miracle at Philadelphia–A, C, and I are all reading it this month for history
  • The Well-Educated Mind–I’ve read it before, but this new edition has a new section on science books, plus the whole book is always great motivation for why (and how) a mother should read.
  • Our Lost Constitution–by Senator Mike Lee
  • Teaching from Rest-for homeschool inspiration
  • The Story of Science–There’s a read-along challenge on the 52 books in 52 weeks blog for this starting next month I think.
  • The History of the Ancient World–I meant to start this at the beginning of the school year, but better late than never, I suppose.  I have a schedule figured out (with note taking and timeline writing) so I can finish it and move on to the History of the Medieval World next fall when D and E start medieval history.
  • Symphony for the City of the Dead–about Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad (which I am highly fascinated by)

Not pictured:

  • Fahrenheit 451 (with the boys)
  • The Boys in the Boat (our next book on tape)(on phone actually; everything’s digital these days)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (book club in March)
  • Lincoln’s Grave Robbers (book club in April)
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People (DH’s suggestion for the boys)(and me)

I still need to pick a few books for A’s literature this year (we’ve been doing short stories), and then in the fall we’re going to do some classic British Literature together that is yet to be decided.  I’m looking forward to it.

What are you reading this year?

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