Wha’cha Reading Good?
Years ago our district started a reading program, and now thanks to that and wonderful teachers like my friend and critique partner (read: unpaid editor), Erin Valentine, our teens are reading maniacs. In one of our junior highs, EVERYONE read during reading time, including the principals. Not only did this up our test scores, promote literacy, and make us all around-cooler, but it gave us all something to talk about. It was nothing to have a kid ask a principal what she was reading. The conversation usually started with, “Whatcha reading that's good?” a buzz-phrase Erin started that led to many awesome conversations.
Even though I no longer teach English, I still maintain a classroom library in my room just for the joy of loaning out book recommendations and getting to talk books.
While on vacation a few weeks ago in Georgia, I made myself read a few things I normally wouldn't. (Meaning, put DOWN the YA!) I thought I'd share what I've read lately, but THESE ARE NOT NECESSARILY RECOMMENDATIONS.
I'm currently reading this, after a tip from my friend Wise Lizann (of the painting advice).
I can't recommend it enough. SOOOO good. It's about how small we live and how God wants us to be lion chasers and do big, gigantic things. Lizann loaned me her copy, but it was so great, I had to order my own.
Okay, I caved and read one YA, but it's been on my TBR pile forever, and since the sequel just hit the NYT list, I thought I had better catch up.
It was an interesting read. I could really see a specific group of my teen girls liking it, as it is about a girl who falls in love with a wolf. I hate it when that happens. Excessive facial hair is so obnoxious on a date. Probably for the mature teen in terms of content. And fur.
I read this on the recommendation of Natalie Lloyd, who has the best book recs.
Isn't it a beautiful cover? The fun thing is they had a little dilemma choosing the cover, and you can see some of their choices HERE. It would've been hard to pick. (Thanks to Natalie for sharing that as well.) This book didn't grab me right away. The writing did (beautiful and worth reading just to absorb it and learn), but the plot didn't immediately take me in. I like a fast-moving book. But after talking to Becky at Thomas Nelson, who also has great reading taste, and she mentioned the book, I thought, I have to finish that thing. So I did. And I'm so glad. It's a great book. It is not a YA book, so this is not a recommendation for those of you who might be a bit young for it. But I'll definitely be checking out more of Allen's books. This one is mainly about two characters–one woman and one teen, and how their lives intersect in this small town where strange things happen. Emily is trying to fill in the blanks of her deceased mother's life, and grown-up Julia just wants some peace as she comes back to face her father's old restaurant, her high school love, and secrets she left behind. Recommended!
I'm blowing this cover up because I LOVE it.
Just looking at these beach house colors makes me happy. This also is NOT a book for teens. I would call this book sweetly disguised Southern chick lit. Dempsey's life falls apart, and so she heads to Georgia to fix up the old family place her father inherited. Of course, it's a total dump and comes complete with a mysterious vagrant. She meets Tee, a handsome and noble lawyer, becomes one with the town, and learns DIY is more about fixing up a house. This is a light beach reach, and I think I enjoyed it even more reading it from the shore of Tybee Island, where I know, according to my Better Homes and Gardens magazine, the author has a beach house. I tried to find it and stalk her, but I think we all know how effective my stalking skills are. (Exhibit A: Chris Tomlin is now engaged. Thank you reader and friend Bethany for breaking my heart the news.) On a side note, I ADORE the skirt in the cover. And her vintage suitcase. And the chippy pink paint. Because paint and I–we are one.
How can a book with a frou-frou puppy on the cover be anything but grand?
Before my vacation, I had not really read Ms. Macomber. This is also a light read with a fairly large cast. It's a sweet book, and though it's not Christian fiction, it has a few powerful messages, including one of faith. The characters, all widowed women, decided to make a list of 20 things they wish for, hope for, dream for, aspire to. It can be something simple like have one good belly laugh to something big like to go to Paris with someone you love. It can be specific like learn a new language or general like find happiness. The ladies get together from time to time to eat and discuss their progress, much like a book club. They also scrapbook their journey, which I thought was a clever idea, even for someone like me who is not a scrapper. (“Are you a scrapper?” Name that movie!) I'm passing this book on to friends because I thought the idea of Twenty Wishes was so inspiring. Recently my hairdresser told me it wasn't until she started writing her life goals and dreams down that she started achieving them. And how much better to have a group of friends to hold each other accountable?
That's some of my summer reading so far.
So. . .whatcha reading that's good? I'd love to hear it!