Well, thanks to a Miss Sarah I was introduced to a new years resolution that I never achieved…and thanks to a Mr. Harry Potter…I finally completed that new years resolution.
2011 was the first year I ever completed my new years resolution to read at least a book a month. With teaching full time, coaching, grading, and grad schooling, this was a slightly difficult task (thus why I failed for several years).
A few reasons why I think I achieved it this year:
- I wrote down every book I read on my bookmark with the intention of writing this blog post at the end of the year. As a lover of crossing out items on a to-do list, it felt really rewarding to write that books name down on my list.
- I gave up tv/internet two days a week during lent — reading a book with dinner = lovely!
- I gave in a finally read Harry Potter
So here we go, the run down of all the books I read in 2011:
WARNING: I make no bones about it…I love young adult novels.
1. Using Blogs to Enhance Literacy – January
Uhhh, I told you I was in grad school! Very basic read on blogging and the classroom. Ironically, I get better classroom blogging ideas via my ed tech blogs & twitter.
2. Don’t Bother Me Mom! I’m Learning! – January
“How computers & video games are prepping your kids for twenty-first century success!” Very interesting read on the effect of gaming on learning. Cool fact: most top surgeons were also heavy gamers — there is some links bw the hand-eye coordination. This book helped focus my graduate research topic on technology.
3. The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels – February
I had read most of this already via her blog, but theres much more added. I liked reading about the struggles & reality of her first year of marriage. I struggled finishing this book due to external life factors.
4. My Life with the Saints – March
In honor of my St. Ignatius year I wanted to read a book by a Jesuit–no better modern choice than Fr. James Martin! Easy peasy read — Fr. James picked about 12 saints, wrote the first few pages of the chapter on how he was introduced to this saint, then spent the majority of the chapter teaching on the saint, then ended the chapter on how he maintains a relationship with that saint. Great book to introduce people to the Catholic stance on saints, find out about some new saints, and fall back in love with your faves (St. Therese!). Book was just what I needed when I was having a lukewarmness in my faith.
5. The Film Club – March
Book has a cool concept: son struggles in school – dad allows son to drop out of school as long as he watches movies with him weekly — they discuss movies — learn about life. Buuuuut the book had A LOT of dry parts. Book has a movie list at the end…I wanted to watch a lot of the movies….never did.
6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – April
This was a re-read…I had read it in high school and loved. I actually have my grandmother’s loved copy from when she was a girl, thus I love snuggling up with this hardcover and thinking of grandma! If you had read & loved growing up, give it another read…its like chatting with an old friend, absolutely loved the second time. I’m considering making it an every few years read…
7. Teacher Man– April
I really wanted to like this book a lot more. I wasn’t expecting so many flashbacks & personal life stuff– and he dissed on the Church a lot. Kinda sounded like he didn’t even like being a teacher…
8. Sleepwalk with Me – May
Easy & fun read. If you’ve seen most of his stand up/moth/this american life…you’ve basically got the gist of it already.
9. Bossypants – June
Pretty sure I read this in 2 days, fun read. The end dragged on a bit with all her Sarah Palin talk…
10. Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt – July
A friend of a friend of a friend recommended this book. Note to self: don’t go down that far in degrees of recommendations…this book was so blahhhhh. I saw it on clearance at Borders, so I picked it up…that shoulda been another sign to stay away. Took almost all of July for me to read (granted I was also living in community at the Farm…always someone fun to play with!). Pretty sure I left this book on purpose at the Farm bc I was over it…
11. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone – July
Okay, Okay, I know I fought these books for so long — but when every hammock at the Farm is reading it, you get sucked in! I’m obviously like 10 years behind this trend too. I loved this first book so much bc it reminded me of my Roald Dahl books I loved growing up. I read this in a day, almost entirely in a hammock. : )
12. Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets – July
Funny how book #10 took me almost all of July, #11 took one day, & #12 took about 4 days (mostly bc it was an ordinary farm week so I couldn’t touch HP till 8pm). Loved reading about the bonding & growing friendship bw HP, Ron, & Hermione.
13. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban – July
I got really into the ending of this one — stayed up later than I should have to finish it. Rented the movie the next day because there were so many things I wanted to see on the screen…sadly the movie cut a lot of it out : (
14. Art of Racing in the Rain – Aug
This would probably be my top book recommendation after 2011. Just so good. Read it.
15. Nanny Returns – Aug
Boooooo! I loved the Nanny Diaries and was so excited for this sequel 12 years later…don’t waste your time
16. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire – Sept
Took a loooooonnnnggggg time for me to finally get into this one. I was never really into the quidditch plotline, so obviously that was a struggle in this book. The giddy girl in me loves all the Ron – Hermione awkwardness in this book.
17. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix – Oct
Took awhile for me to get into it again, felt bad for my HP though with all the Hogwarts corruption. By the end I was already a self-proclaimed member of Dumbledore’s army.
18. Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince – Nov
I think this one is my favorite. Loooooved the Voldemort back story. Love Dumbledore & HP spending so much quality time together. Love Snape plot as well. Genuine tears at the end. Started #7 about 20 minutes after I finished and sent out several texts.
19. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows – Nov
Obviously amazing. My favorite part is the return to Hogwarts, thats when the tears flowed. Only negatives: forest plot line went on FOREVER & I was frustrated between horcruxes & hallows…pick one and go with it!! Obviously the Theology teacher in me loves the Christian allegory angle & the Paschal mystery.
20. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?– Dec
I needed to book fast after HP, just to take it all in. I almost didn’t make my new years resolution– thanks to this easy read I made it happen.
So there it is, 20 books in 2011!
I’m already 2 books into 2012 — I may try to beat 2011 and go for 21 books, but no promises…
PS: If you read all this and you are not Laura Zerhusen…I’m impressed
(PS: this is my blog for grad school…)