Reading 2017

The past few years I have set and met a goal to read a book a week. This year, I’m working to slow down a bit, especially as I read fiction. My goal is to read one professional nonfiction book (writing or teaching) and one fiction book a month. Let me know what you’re reading!

Finished:
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner 1/5/17
Terrific YA book with unique characters and distinct voices

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 1/11/17
Suspense novel that proves bad choices can make great characters, and bad choices abound.

Unseen Motives by Joan Hall 1/16/17
Cozy mystery set in a small Texas town haunted by its past. Strong main character determined to clear her father’s name, if she can do it before someone’s threats end her time in Driscoll Lake.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine 2/2017
This was recommended by one of my students. I enjoyed the characters and the feel of the fairytale world.

Crimes Against a Book Club by Kathy Cooperman 4/2017
Quick leisure read about the antics of two friends and the lengths they will go to meet their goals.

In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell 4/2017
Confession: I may have a slight obsession with Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier, so this book was a great pick for me. The opening chapters will remind you of duMaurier’s haunting work. I enjoyed this heroine who found her way.

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti 4/2017
The story of a man, his teen daughter, and the history they share told in bullet hole scars. Beautiful prose, solid plot, memorable characters. One of my favorites this year.

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleishman 5/2017
Reread this as research on simple, but effective middle grade structures. A main plot and a single subplot, effectively woven together.

Drive by Daniel Pink 5/2017
Terrific book on motivation, highly recommended for teachers and leaders alike.

A Body in the Backyard by Elizabeth Spann Craig 6/2017
Love this spunky octogenarian protagonist. Great cozy mystery.

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin  7/2017
Astonishing short story collection. So many fine moments.

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris  7/2017
Fun cozy mystery from a master of the genre.

Minds Made for Stories by Thomas Newkirk 6/2017
This slim volume suggests that all effective writing is storytelling. I read this slowly this spring, savoring the ways he draws out the moves writers make to meet their purpose and audience. Will definitely reread.

Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins 6/2017
I had a student work on a project this spring about changing the stigma of the starving artist. I bought an extra copy to give him when I see him. Interesting study of why art, writing, music is valuable enough to be profitable.

The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop by Stephen Koch 7/2017
I was stuck at the beginning of July on revision, and the opening chapter was a kick in the tail to write through the problem instead of analyzing it to death. Also loved the chapters on revision. Will reread.

Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros 8/2017
I nodded my head through the entire book. Challenges thinking about education and the role teachers, tech, and innovation play in real learning. Excellent.

Reread with students this spring: A Raisin in the Sun, L. Hansberry; Fahrenheit 451, R. Bradbury; To Kill a Mockingbird, H. Lee; The Great Gatsby F.S. Fitzgerald

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Maloy 8/13/17
Enjoyed this vacation gone terribly wrong. Told in alternating viewpoints from the various family members and their missing children.

On the stack:

Make it Stick by Peter C. Brown
Falling Upward by Richard Rohr
Hunger by Roxanne Gay
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
How We Learn by Benedict Carey (reread)