Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Reading Resolutions

Yet another cold winter's day here on the prairies. What could be more wonderful then brewing fresh pot of tea, and spending time with all of you? Thanks to the generosity of loved ones (who know me so well) I have amassed a wealth of tea over Christmas to enjoy from Teavana and David's Tea so I'm all set. This is the sort of day for strictly cozy things: curl with a pile of books for company, maybe some yarn and knitting needles too.  After all, I did laundry and grocery shopping yesterday, right? Sadly, Tuesdays are lovingly known around here as our "day of insanity" . There's piano lessons, Scouts and Cubs, plus my yoga class. Let's just savour things for this one moment then, shall we? Throw something into the slow cooker, sip something hot, and grab your duvet (if you can). I shall keep my bunny slippers on for a little bit longer, and before we deal with everything else in our day, let's talk about books...glorious books.

'Tis the season for goals, isn't it? For those of you following my Twitter account, you already know not only of my fondness of Goodreads, but also of my reading goal for the year. Along with my other New Year's resolutions I always like to set myself a goal of how many new books I want to read in the year. When I say "new", I mean "new to me". Otherwise the temptation to simply reread old favourites keeps me in a reading rut. A happy rut, but a rut nonetheless. 

Last year my goal was to read 150 new books. In this matter at least, here was one New Year's resolution that I excelled at: I ended up reading over 200. Here's the books that I cannot wait to share with all of you, the best culled from a great abundance of good books.

My Top 10 of 2016

1. "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo
Tidiness is magical. To be honest, it was the book's serene cover (isn't it beautiful?) and intriguing title that first caught my eye. I was feeling jaded after the holidays when this little book flew into my life with its KonMAri method, and rather like Mary Poppins brightened things up for the better. Permanently though, which is where the magic comes in! As the author puts it, this books has "sparked joy" in my life and continues to do so. Read the publisher's blurb is here.

2. "The Martian" by Andy Weir
I never would have read this one without the prodding of my book club, and I'm very grateful that they did. Knowing how much I was loving the book, my dear Mr. Tilney bought the movie but my response was unexpected: "No! We can't watch that yet! I haven't finished!" He patiently waited, and then read it himself. Who knew that being stranded on a distant planet could not make for drama, and excitement, but funny? Here's the synopsis.

3. "Phoebe and Her Unicorn" by Dana Simpson
Here's the unexpected surprise book that delighted the entire Bookaneer crew (and please remember, I'm the only girl in the lot!). "Now that I'm grown and can have what I please" I can unabashedly admit that I love unicorns. Usually though, books with these magical creatures are too insipid to be read cover to cover. This series (with four to date, and another on its way) turns that upside down.Simpson's magic is not to be missed.

4. "Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics" by Wendy Mullin
One of the great things the KonMari inspired is the frightening idea that I would like to sew my own clothes. Thanks to my sister Emily, a sewing goddess, I found this book. I thought it would aid me dip a terrified toe into those scary waters, instead it inspired a cannonball and I never want to leave the water. Sew (ha! I'm so "punny"!)much fun.

5. "The Book Whisperer" by Donalyn Miller
More adults need to read this book! At least it should be required reading for teachers, but we all would benefit from this. Donalyn Miller, teacher and book enthusiast extraordinaire is serious about encouraging her students to read. Once she explained why both novel studies and book reports stifle real reading I wanted to hug this woman. Her wisdom and insight is here for your perusal. 

6. "Adulthood is a Myth"by Sarah Andersen
A cartoonist that can make your period seem hilarious? Now that's talent! I'd been eagerly following her comics online for months, so when I learned that she was publishing a book, well! You can imagine my excitement.  I had to fight my nearest and dearest to actually get a turn to read it.

7. "Steelheart" by Brandon Sanderson
The one book that lead to others, plus many happy hours of book bliss! Desperate for some decent books for our epic summer road-trip, my sister Lucy recommended this. A whole new perspective on the superhero genre, for what happens when those with superpowers aren't here to save you? I read it obsessively and repeatedly on my trip. This book made me a big fan of a previously undiscovered author.

8. "Ollie's Odyssey" by William Joyce
William Joyce has long been a favourite author of mine, but this one was something very special. I'm a sucker for toys, but add that to a book that makes me both laugh and cry? Bliss. Ollie is a favourite toy who has to suddenly become the hero of his own story. Adventure, new friends and villains await.  I don't have this book on my bookshelf yet, but it's really only a matter of time. This is a terrific read, but if at all possible, read this one with a child sitting on your lap.

9. "Friends with Boys" by Faith Erin Hicks
Graphic novels are a real treat, but especially when they're written by this talented author. The sole girl in a family of boys (I can relate to that), starting high school can be terrifying for enough without everything else Maggie is grappling with. All the usual struggles of adolescence, in an original and brilliant story.
10. "Let's Play!" by Herve Tullet
You know a book is good when after you've read it aloud, your audience clamours "Again!" A colourful, interactive book that even my older Bookaneers enjoy, usually sitting down to listen when I read it to their younger brothers, or quite unabashedly  curling up to read it themselves. Storytime is more fun than ever.

Whew! This has been a long one. Happy reading to you all.



  1. Those are all excellent picks. Your mini class on tidying up inspired me to read it. Can't wait to try out your recommendations that I haven't read yet.

  2. Ooh! Love that the Martian made the list! It was so good! Also we just got Theo "let's play" for Christmas and it has been a hit here too!

  3. I have some new books to add to my list!