I enjoyed reading my choices and the posts of others readers as they shared their summer read picks. It made a season of quarantine feel like it a had some sense of community.
For Summer 2021, I am eager to dive into my summer reads, but I’m going to challenge myself to 21 reads before September 1st! #20booksofsummer2021 +1.
As the volunteer librarian at my children’s school, I host a reading club each year, and I always try to include the books in contention for the Mark Twain Award. There at 12 books nominated each year, and I have yet to be disappointed whenever I read those nominated. Students love them and often make informal waiting lists on my library desk for the Mark Twain Award titles. These 12 titles will definitely make up part of my 21 reads this summer, so I thought I would kick the list off with the nominees.
#8 The Good Byline by Jill Orr(First of four very witty and well-written mysteries about Riley Ellison. All four could fit the bill for funniest reads with the online dating/lifestyle guru asides between chapters.)
#9 How Not to Be Old (Even If You Are) by Jill Orr(A non-fiction work of hilarity from the author of The Good Byline. This is now one of my favorite birthday gifts for friends as they meet milestone birthdays.)
#10 The Wonky Donkeyby Craig Smith(It is IMPOSSIBLE to read this book without laughing. IMPOSSIBLE.)
I realize my list includes books from diverse genres, but I think that’s what makes books so great. They do not have to fall into one category or another to entertain. I encourage you to pick up a funny book and add some joy to your day. I didn’t realize how tough it would be to make a list of Top Ten Funny Reads. I now have a goal to find new titles to read that will make me laugh.
Be sure to comment with your favorite funny reads or tag this post when you share your own Top Ten list.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. At least three of the books on this list were “borrowed” from my sister Olivia’s book shelf. She may or may not get them back.
I learned about this #20BookOfSummer20 challenge from one of my favorite book bloggers Fictionofile. The Reading Challenge was created by Cathy at 746books.com and I am excited to give it a go. I plan to double dip my reading though as I join my kiddos in participating in the local library’s summer reading program too.
The rules are simple:
If you want to join in, just nab Cathy’s Books of Summer image, pick your own 20 books you would like to read and link back to her Master post from 1 June to let her know that you are taking part. She’d love your support and hopes some of you will join in the summer reading fun!
Choosing your list of books is half the fun, as is following along with everyone’s progress on this years new #20booksofsummer20 hashtag.
The challenge starts off on Monday, June 1st and finishes on Tuesday, September 1st.
Because life is CRAZY I’m not sure I can pull off 20 titles before September 1st, but here are the books I hope to devour in my efforts:
*I hyperlinked titles to the Goodreads’ description for each book.
Books bring people together. I still love the practice of asking those I meet what they are reading. (Will Schwalbe is a genius.) I hope you find some quality reading time this summer and nurture your imagination and positive energy with some sweet or scary literature.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. What are you reading?
P.P.S. Be sure to share what you plan to read this summer.
Will has written: SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do it Better (2010), The End Of Your Life Book Club (2012), Books for Living (2016). He does a terrific job of making connections with his readers because of his writing style and powerful messages.
This question never fails to elicit amazing responses or conversations from those who are asked. Even if the person being asked isn’t a big reader, there are always books or stories from the past that seem to create connections for those in the conversation.
Recently our family took a trip to a state park. During a few of my MANY trips trips to our cabin, I noticed a gentleman reading outside his lodging. After the second day, I stopped and asked him, “What are you reading?”
“Oh,” he said, “nothing that would probably interest you.”
I said, “Try me.”
He was reading a Western novel by William Johnstone.
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is a book by Joshua Hammer. I learned about The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu on Goodreads and I want desperately to read it. However, after laboring through the first few chapters, I realized that I do not possess enough knowledge about Timbuktu, Mali, or the plight of the Islamic peoples as they have been tortured by Al Qaeda. The words of Adbel Kader Haidara, the original Bad-Ass, were beautiful, terrifying at times, and wonderfully descriptive, but my ignorance of how to pronounce and process many of the words left me feeling lost. After page 70, I put the book back on my “To Read” list. I just wasn’t smart enough for this book.
When I told my husband about being confounded by the book, he told me that I would get it; I just might have to read it a few times. He was hinting at the “Yet.”
A few days after re-shelving The Bad-Ass Librarians, I was speaking to my friend Donna. We were discussing The End of Your Life Book Club and the reads that were recommended in it. It was fun to compare what she had read to what I had read and what we both still wanted to read. It was then that I told her about Hammer’s book. I shared my disappointment in myself for not being educated enough to read the book. That is when Donna reminded me of the power of “Yet.”Continue reading “The Power of “Yet””→
There were so many things I wanted to title this post… “Long Live the Tree Books,” “Becoming a Watch Deputy,” and (the title that almost made the cut) “Buying Books We Knock Over.” (I call dibs on all these titles for future posts.)
This past spring Aunt Carol recommended that I read TheEnd of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. The End of Your Life Book Club is a memoir of the books Will and his mother read and bonded over during her diagnosis and treatment for Stage IV pancreatic cancer.
I am not gonna lie. Reading this book made me feel smarter because Will and his mother Mary Anne read some AMAZING stuff. (I have an entire Goodreads book shelf dedicated to books I learned about in TheEnd of Your Life Book Club.) It wasn’t so much the knowledge about the books they read that increased my intelligence; it was the way Will conveyed the powerful life lessons fostered by their reading, conversations, and the tremendous responsibility assumed because of their reading that made me feel smarter.
Will was announced as the author of the 2017 Capital READ in June. I was so excited! The date went immediately on my calendar and I ordered a new hardback copy of The End of Your Life Book Club from Amazon Marketplace.
Often when I mention my blog, people tune me out. That’s okay. Many times when I invite people to read my blog, they smile and say, “That sounds cool, but I don’t have time to read,” and then they tell me about something else they read on Facebook. It’s okay.
If you don’t read my posts, it doesn’t hurt my feelings.
I write for myself and for those who do need the messages I compose.
I write for the opportunity to share my experiences and the lessons learned in daily events.
I write for other educators and farmers. We have the toughest careers there are. Someone has to get our message out there.
I write for the moms and dads who find joy and frustration in the role of parent and hopefully provide comfort in knowing that we’re not alone in our parenting struggles.
Goodreads.com is a home for book reviews, book recommendations, book lists, book clubs, and author bios and I am now obsessed with it.
If you already enjoy Goodreads, you might find humor in my newness or appreciation for the joy the site has brought to me. Please comment about any features you like or dislike on Goodreads. I had read about Goodreads from a number of other bloggers’ sites, but until our local librarian recommended it to me recently, I had not given it much consideration.
I checked out the site on Thursday and Friday created my account. Now I can’t stop reading reviews, searching for books that I have read or want to read, and am so enthralled by the give-aways, book clubs, and Goodreads blog that I am having trouble concentrating on what I wanted to type here.
There are many features to this site that I find beneficial. I love how the genres are organized. The search options are everywhere. I can even automatically search for the books I get from Amazon.
One of the best features for me is the ability to make a “Book Shelf.” I created a Book Shelf for the book club I sponsor at my kids’ school. I was able to find all of the book on the Mark Twain Reading list and add them. This will allow me to rate and review the books as soon as I read them. I can refer students and parents to this list and the sharing grows from there. Now I just have to get my hands on all those books. 🙂
I had the local library’s website open in split screen yesterday so I could start requesting some of the books that intrigued me from the Goodreads site. There is a way to find your local libraries and their catalogs through Goodreads and request your books. (I may wear out that Request button.) I still have to set the library request feature up on my account; searching for books and authors has prevented me from dedicating enough time to it.
At my old office, I surrounded myself with framed quotes. They helped motivate me and, I hope, inspired some of the people who came and went in the little non-profit I managed.
One of my favorite quotes was this, by William G.T. Shedd: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are for.”
I had to come to terms with my own “shipness” (it’s not a word, but I’m making it so) after the birth of my third child threw my work-life balance into an overwhelming tailspin. After weeks of crying in the daycare parking lot and crunching household budget numbers, it was made clear that something would have to give. That something? The job I’d loved for a decade, the one I never imagined leaving,
I saw a job ad for an adjunct communications instructor at the area technical college. I hadn’t applied for a job in more than ten years, but I enthusiastically submitted my name for the position. A part-time job would allow me to keep my professional life active and free up much-needed time for my three kids, including one with cerebral palsy who logs multiple doctor’s appointments each month.
While I waited, I continued to struggle in my full-time career. Even though I was stressed to the breaking point, I still didn’t know if I was ready to leave.
The day I finally hit a wall at work and came home devastated was the day I received a phone call about interviewing for the part-time teaching position. The relief and excitement I felt was the answer I’d been waiting for.
As soon as the interview was scheduled, I gave my notice at work. I didn’t even wait until I had the job, because I was that secure in the decision. I knew I could no longer “make it work” (said in my most exaggerated Tim Gunn voice). Continue reading “On Quitting – Thoughtful Thursday”→
I have read many reviews of literature and all are different. As I embark on the journey through my summer reading list, I have found some amazing works to devour. I would love to share my thoughts on these books but am looking for guidance on what makes a successful book review.
It is always important to know if the reader recommends a book, but is the moral of the story as important as the author’s ability to build characters or describe scenes?
Is it better to give away the majority of the plot or build suspense with a few small snippets?
Personally, I love when reviewers share their favorite quotes from books. Does this appeal to you?
What gets you to read a book or at least a book review? Please share!
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I love recommendations for books to read too. 🙂