Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Out of my comfort zone… August 14, 2010

Filed under: audiobook,book reviews — bestbookihavenotread @ 10:34 am
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I started to listen to The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan, smack on the heels of finishing the audiobook of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I listen to them with teeth gritted, half-wincing

Here’s how turning The Forest of Hands and Teeth on for our last drive to Michigan for the summer went:

Hubby, hitting pause during disc 1. “You know this is a zombie book, right?” (Incredulous and excited that I would pick something so up his alley, and so not mine.

“What do you mean? Before we started the CD we talked about what Unconsecrated meant and never once did you mention Zombies!”

“Couldn’t you tell from reading the back of the book?”

“No! What clues are there that it was a zombie book? You know I’ve never seen a horror or zombie movie, much less read a zombie book! I just got over my vampire fear with Twilight! Werewolves-also okay because of Jacob. Faeries-fine, Harry-Potter like demons-no problem, but ZOMBIES??!! You know I never even wanted to see E.T. because the alien guy freaked me out!”

I did end up listening to The Forest of  Hands and Teeth. I couldn’t remember anything I’d read about it (obviously) but knew it kept coming up as a highly recommended YA book, often when dystopian or post-apocolyptic settings came up. I had to reserve it at the library and wait two months! So…I agreed to give it a try, even though it was so out of my comfort zone.

Despite my severe zombie-phobia, I did find the premise of the books interesting enough that I went to the library to check out the companion book within days. I say ‘interesting’ because I don’t “love” them or “enjoy” them, but I can’t stop because I need to see what is going to happen!

It’s funny, as educators, we are so often trying to get kids to read out of their comfort-zone genre, but are often unwilling to do the same thing ourselves.

First Light by Rebecca Stead-wouldn’t have read it if someone had told me it was “science fiction”. Loved The Last Town on Earth, even though I wasn’t in the mood for historical fiction.

What got me past my initial turn-off? Recommendations of friends and people whose reading opinions I respect.

So am I saying, yes, force kids to read genres they “don’t want to”?

No-I’m saying, never underestimate the power of an excited, sincere recommendation for a child when you tell them, “I was thinking of you when I read this book. I know it’s not your typical pick, but I really think you should give it a chance.”


January’s Books-On the Way to the Year’s Goal February 4, 2009

Filed under: books — bestbookihavenotread @ 1:02 am
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Books I read in January 

Picture Books: 

Put It on the List! by  Kristen Darbyshire My review 

I Want to Be Free by Joseph Slate My review

March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World by Christine King Farris My review

Posy by Linda Newbery and Catherine Rayner My review

Snow Show by Carolyn Fisher My Review 

The Snow Globe Family by Jane O’Connor

Fourteen Bears Summer and Winter by Evelyn Scott

Princess Peepers by Pam Calvert

A is for Art : An Abstract Alphabet by Stephen T. Johnson

The Big Elephant in the Room by Lane Smith My Review 


Middle Grade and YA Fiction:

42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer 

Along Came Spider by James Preller My review

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron My review

Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman My review

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester My review

Shoot the Moon by Francis O’Roark Dowell 

Ida B. and  Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disasters, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan 


Professional Books: 

Inside the Writer’s-Reader’s Notebook by Linda Reif

Assessing Writers by Carl Anderson


Adult Fiction: 

Nada-it WAS Newbery month! Ooh wait-I think I finished Mr. Pip by Lloyd James in January-very good book!