Bookends: November 2012

It occurred to me that since reading is such a big part of my life, it might be nice to post a summary at the beginning of each month of what I read the previous month and what I plan to read in the coming month. I would love if this could become a conversation in the comments about what’s on your reading list, too!

This month, I read mostly kid books, but I got in a couple of grown-up books, too. Well, one grown-up book.

Here’s my list. Links are to my reviews, either on this site or on Goodreads (short reviews I don’t usually bother posting on this blog):

Grown-up Books:

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (the grown-up book for this month)

Kids Books:

Half Magic by Edward Eager (#1 in the Tales of Magic series, in which four siblings find an amulet that grants wishes by halves. Read-aloud.)

Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager  (#2 in the Tales of Magic series, in which two sets of siblings have adventures in a magical castle and dollhouse. Read-aloud.)

A Lemon and a Star by E.C. Spykman (in which four siblings have non-magical adventures in the turn-of-the-(20th)-century Massachusetts countryside. I was inspired to read this one by the review of The Wild Angel, second in this series, on Shelf Love (link is at the bottom of this post). I read this one on my own rather than aloud to my children.)

Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction by David Macaulay (a children’s book which recounts the construction of a French cathedral. It was illustrated with intricate drawings and gave me a chance to use my faux French accent as I read the book aloud to my kids. Read-aloud.)

Now, this list does not include most of the picture books that I read to my kids every day. I only include picture books if they really stand out as awesome (like Cathedral). If I listed every Maisy or Berenstain Bears or Dr. Seuss or Curious George book I read each month, the list would be overwhelming. And repetitive, because my three-year-old loves repetition in his reading list.

Since Wild is the only grown-up book I read this past month, I suppose it wins the award for my favorite grown-up book for November, but even if it had more competition, I think it would have been way up on my list. I quite enjoyed it, and I think about it often, mostly on the daily after-lunch walks my kids and I take around the neighborhood. The only similarity between these walks and a Pacific Crest Trail hike is that we’re using our feet to move over the ground, but I enjoy imagining that I’m on the side of a mountain in the Sierra Nevada rather than on a suburban sidewalk.

I’m currently reading Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, which is pretty much on hold indefinitely, and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, which I hope to finish before the discussion group meeting on December 5th. After that, I’m not sure. More kids’ books (the next books in the series by Edward Eager and E.C. Spykman, for sure), and for me? Maybe Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges. I want some fiction for December, but I have so much trouble choosing what to read next. With 551 books on my to-read list, I’ve got too many to choose from.

My birthday is this month. One day I hope to receive a combined birthday/Christmas gift that involves invisible servants bringing me a steady supply of books and food and tea so that, for about a week, I can just sit in my pjs and do nothing but read and maybe stretch every now and then.

What have you read the past month that you’ve really enjoyed? What’s on your to-read list for December? If you blog your answer, please post a link in the comments (or link back to this post, if you’re so inclined, and your link will show up as a pingback in the comments).

5 Replies to “Bookends: November 2012”

  1. Your preferred birthday present sounds awesome. I hope you get it! Or part of it at least. (and happy birthday in advance).
    The past month was taken up by mostly one book; Cloud Atlas, which turned out to be a great disappointment. I also read An Abundance of Katherines by John Green and liked it. 🙂 I’m still uncertain what to read this month. I have a pile of books and an even bigger collection of ebooks to sort through!


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