#bookaday: this year I’m finally jumping in!

#bookaday

So, for a few years now, I’ve wanted to participate in #bookaday, a summer reading challenge devised by the great Donalyn Miller.  #bookaday is, essentially, a way for adults, generally in the field of education, to catch up on reading, celebrate books, and support each other as a community of readers.

Miller commits to reading a book each day of her summer break, and invites others to do something similar, but everyone is responsible for setting their own goals and parameters (guidelines can be found here, at the end of the post).  Since I learned of #bookaday a few summers ago, I’ve always had an excuse not to participate-a big move, summer classes and an intense graduate assistantship, job searching, etc.  This summer is shaping up to be equally busy-our school year isn’t over until June 19th, after which I’m heading out west for the ALA Annual Conference and a bit of vacation, and, at some point, I’m going to be moving AGAIN…but I decided that this year, I’m not going to let those things stop me.  Every summer is likely to be busy, but reading is a priority for me, and I’m going to make #bookaday happen this summer.

Even though summer break doesn’t start for a few more weeks, I’m going to challenge myself to read a book a day for the months of June, July, and August.  While I tend to focus on young adult books in my personal reading life, I imagine I’ll be reading a lot of picture books, early chapter books, and middle grade fiction for at least the first few weeks, while I’m still working.  I’m excited for this, because I love picture books, but don’t tend to spend a lot of time on them just for enjoyment’s sake-it’s more about finding the right one for a lesson, or deciding what to order for the library.

So from today, June 1st, until August 31st, look out for my #bookaday updates on Twitter.  I think I’ll probably try to post weekly (or maybe monthly) updates here as well, just to keep a record of all the great books I’ve read.

Let me know if you’re going to be participating in #bookaday as well, and happy reading!

TBR Thursday: Southern Festival of Books

Happy Thursday, friends.  This weekend I will be in Nashville for the Southern Festival of Books, so I thought I’d share with you a few books I can’t wait to read written by authors I’ll see this weekend.

1. Pure, by Julianna Baggott

Dystopian YA?  Yes please.  Also, requiring everyone to be trained as a soldier or be used for target practice, except those super special healthy people?  What could go wrong?

2. The Great Unexpected, by Sharon Creech

I actually got an ARC of this at BEA, but I gave it to a former student who shares my love of Sharon Creech, so I have yet to read it!  It sounds a little different from most of Creech’s work, with a little element of magic thrown in, but I’ll read anything she writes, because it tends to be amazing.

3. Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous, by Kathryn Williams

I haven’t read anything by Kathryn Williams, but this looks like a cute contemporary YA novel.  Plus, I love lists, so the title caught my attention.

4. Defiance, by CJ Redwine

A book that examines gender issues and features a kick-butt female main character who knows how to survive in the wilderness and use a sword.  Awesome.  I’m going to try my hardest not to come home with a suitcase full of books, but I might have to break down and buy this one.

5. Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys

Not to be confused with that OTHER book with the words ‘shades of gray’ in its title, this one is actually about a Lithuanian girl during Stalin’s purges.  I love all things Eastern Europe, and I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, so I think this will be a nice change of pace.

You can find out more about the Southern Festival of Books here (plus I’m sure I’ll have lots to say after I get back!).  In the meantime, do you have any recommendations for my TBR list?  Let me know!