Saturday, October 29, 2016

Reading Challenge: Alphabetically Yours

For our newest reading challenge, let's read at least one book from every letter of the alphabet (by author's last name). For an extra challenge, try to complete in alphabetical order rather than skipping around. My plan is to read fiction and non-fiction for each letter, for a total of 52. You can do what you want.

I am thoroughly enjoying all of the extra free time I have these days. I'm finally getting around to reading some of the books that have been on my shelves for longer than I'd care to admit. I also have found a classroom teacher who happily takes books after I'm done with them. It's great to be cleaning clutter from my shelves and only keeping the books that bring my joy.

If anyone is reading along with me, I'd love to see your progress in the comments.

I will update my progress below. F=fiction / NF=nonfiction


A--Adoff, Jaime (The Death of Jayson Porter) F
     Albom, Mitch (The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto) F
     Alender, Katie (Bad Girls Don't Die) F
     Anchor, Shawn (Before Happiness) NF
     Atwood, Margaret (Hag-Seed; The Heart Goes Last) F
B--Baker, E.D. (The Wide-Awake Princess) F
     Beals, Melba Pattillo (Warriors Don't Cry) NF
     Berry, Julie (The Passion of Dolssa) F
     Binetti, Marianne and Beck, Alison (Edible Gardening for Washington and Oregon) NF
     Bray, Libba (The Diviners; Lair of Dreams) F
     Brooks, Geraldine (People of the Book) F
     Buckley, Michael (NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense
     Society; Nerds: M is for   Mama's Boy) F
C--Cameron, Julia (The Artist's Way) NF
     Carman, Patrick (Skeleton Creek; Ghost in the Machine; The Crossbones) F
     Carlin, George (Brain Droppings) NF
     Carlin, George (Napalm & Silly Putty) NF  
     Childs, Tera Lynn (Oh. My. Gods.) F
     Clement-Moore, Rosemary (Prom Dates from Hell; Hell Week;
     Highway to Hell) F
     Collins, Ross (Medusa Jones) F
     Creech, Sharon (Hate That Cat; Love That Dog) F
D--Davis, Sampson, Jenkins, George, and Hunt, Rameck [with Sharon Draper] (We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Lead to Success) NF
     de la Pena, Matt (Ball Don't Lie) F
     Dessen, Sarah (Keeping the Moon; This Lullaby; The Truth About Forever; Just Listen) F
E--Elliott, L.M. (Give Me Liberty) F
     Elliott, L.M. (Annie, Between the States) F
     Esquith, Rafe (Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire) NF
F--Felin, M. Sindy (Touching Snow) F
     Ferguson, Alane (The Christopher Killer; The Angel of Death; The Dying Breath) F
     Fisher, Catherine (Incarceron) F
     Fitzgerald, F. Scott (The Great Gatsby) F
     Fitzpatrick, Becca (Hush, Hush) F
     Fletcher, Charlie (Stoneheart; Ironhand; Silvertongue) F
     Ford, Christopher (Stickman Odyssey) F
     Freedman, Rory & Barnouin, Kim (Skinny Bitch) NF
G--Gerber, Linda (Trance) F
     Gaiman, Neil (American Gods) F
     Gaiman, Neil (Norse Mythology) F
     Gay, Roxanne (Bad Feminist) NF
     Gilbert, Elizabeth (Big Magic; Eat, Pray, Love) NF
     Gilbert, Jack (Collected Poems) F - POETRY
     Girard, M-E (Girl Mans Up) F
     Gordon, Roderick & Williams, Brian (Tunnels; Deeper) F
H--Haddix, Margaret Peterson (Shadow Children series, books 1-5) F
     Hassler, Christine (Expectation Hangover) NF
     Hayden, Torey (Ghost Girl; The Tiger's Child) NF
     Hemenway, Toby (Gaia's Garden - A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture) NF
     Hitchcock, Bonnie-Sue (The Smell of Other People's Houses) F
     Hoffman, Alice (Green Angel; Green Witch) F
I--Ishiguro, Kazuo (The Buried Giant) F
     Ishii, Takayuki (One Thousand Paper Cranes) NF
J--Jamieson, Alexandra (Women, Food, and Desire) NF
     Jensen, Derrick & McMillan, Stephanie (As the World Burns) F
     Johnston, E.K. (Exit, Pursued by a Bear) F
K--Kerman, Piper (Orange is the New Black) NF
     Krosoczka, Jarrett J. (Lunch Lady series, books 1-9) F
L--LaCour, Nina (Hold Still) F
     Lewis, John (March boxed set, books 1-3) NF
     Lu, Marie (The Young Elites; The Rose Society) F
     Lyga, Barry (After the Red Rain) F
M--Maihack, Mike (Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice) F
     Marciuliano, Francesco (I Could Chew on This) F
     Mazer, Anne [Editor] (Going Where I'm Coming From) NF  
     McGinnis, Mindy (The Female of the Species) F
     Meyer, Marissa (Cinder; Scarlet; Cress; Fairest; Winter) F
N--Nancy, Ted L. (Letters From a Nut) NF
     Nix, Garth (Sabriel; Lirael;Abhorsen; Clariel; Goldenhand) F
O--O'Dwyer, Bridget (Celtic Night) F
     O'Neill, Louise (Asking for It) F
     Ottaviani, Jim & Wicks, Maris (Primates) NF
P--Paige, Danielle (Dorothy Must Die) F
     Palmer, Amanda (The Art of Asking) NF
     Park, Barbara (The Graduation of Jake Moon) F
Q--Quindlen, Anna (How Reading Changed My Life) NF
     Bodega Dreams (QuiƱones, Ernesto) F
R--Rice, Ann (The Witching Hour) F
     Riotte, Louise (Carrots Love Tomatoes) NF
     Ritter, William (Jackaby; Beastly Bones) F
     Rowling, J.K. (Harry Potter, boks 1-7) F
     Rufus, Rob (Die Young with Me - A Memoir) NF
S--Satrapi, Marjane (The Complete Persepolis) NF
     Sepetys, Ruta (Salt to the Sea) F
     Shusterman, Neal (Scythe) F
     Simon, Matt (The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar) NF
     Smith, Matt (The Tale of Despereaux - The Graphic Novel) F
     Smith, Michael (The Alchemyst, The Magician, The Sorceress) F
     Stambach, Scott (The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko) F
T--Telgemeier, Raina (Sisters) NF
     Turner, Ann (Maia of Thebes) F
U--Uglow, Jenny (George Eliot) NF
     Ursu, Anne (Breadcrumbs) F
V--Van Draanen, Wendelin (Confessions of a Serial Kisser) F
     Venkatesh, Sudhir (Gang Leader for a Day) NF
W--Weingarten, Lynn (Wherever Nina Lies) F
     White, Kate (Eyes on You; Hush) F
     Wolters, Cleary (Out of Orange) NF
X--Xander, Tianna (Time Temptress) F
     Xenophon (The Art of Horsemanship) NF
Y--Yolen, Jane (Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood) NF
     Yoon, Nicola (The Sun is Also a Star) F
Z--Zailckas, Koren (Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood) NF
     Zentner, Jeff (The Serpent King) F

Whew! I did it--I read at least one fiction and one nonfiction book by authors with last names starting with every letter of the alphabet. Of course, I would have finished much faster if I'd stuck to only two books for each letter, but I can never seem to do anything by half-measures, especially when it comes to reading. Instead of reading 52 books, as planned, I read 153. 

I discovered (and rediscovered) books to love, as well as books that I happily donated or traded back to my local bookstore. In case you're looking for recommendations, here are my favorites. My full reviews are on Goodreads.

Collected Poems by Jack Gilbert
Love That Dog; Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech 
I Could Chew on This (companion book to I Could Pee on This) by Francesco Marciuliano

Historical Nonfiction:
Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals

Personal Development Nonfiction:
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Big Magic; Eat, Pray, Love by Liz Gilbert
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Books about Reading:
How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
Touch Magic by Jane Yolen

Feminist Essays:
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

Historical Fiction:
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks 
The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Realistic Fiction:
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (kind of hard to classify this retelling of The Tempest - get the audiobook)

Magical Realism:
Green Angel; Green Witch by Alice Hoffman

Science Fiction:
Scythe by Neal Schusterman
Cinder; Scarlet; Cress; Fairest; Winter by Marissa Meyer (These are fairytale retellings, but Cinderella is a cyborg.)

Fantasy (my favorite genre):
Sabriel; Lirael; Abhorsen; Clariel; Goldenhand by Garth Nix
Jackaby; Beastly Bones by William Ritter 
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
The Young Elites; The Rose Society by Marie Lu
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Stoneheart; Ironhand; Silvertongue by Charlie Fletcher
The Diviners; Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (best on audiobook)
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom (best on audiobook)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Now that my move is complete and life is settling into some semblance of a normal routine, I'm finally feeling like I have time to read again. In the spirit of reducing the time I spend in front of a screen and increasing the time I spend in front of a page, I have created my own reading challenge for 2016. 

I've called it "Get Out of Your Comfort Zone" because the focus is on expanding your perspective and being more open to ideas that are different from your own. I believe the world would be a much kinder place if we could all be more empathetic and understanding of others' opinions and life experiences. Even where we differ, humans all have the same basic need to connect with each other and to find meaning in life. 

I'd love it if you'd read along with me and let me know how you're doing!

2016 Reading Challenge: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

o  A book that teaches you a new skill
o  A book that inspires you
o  A book about creativity
o  A book about relationships
o  A book about science
o  A book about a spiritual tradition different from your own
o  A book written from a political viewpoint different from yours
o  A book about one of your personal heroes
o  A book featuring a topic that piques your curiosity
o  A book featuring one or more LGBTQ characters
o  A book with a female protagonist
o  A book by a female author
o  The first book in a series
o  A book set in a foreign country
o  A book not originally written in your native language
o  A book that transports you to a faraway place and/or time
o  A book with gorgeous cover art
o  A book with a green cover
o  A book with green in the title
o  A book written by John Green
o  A classic you SHOULD have read in high school
o  A book you loved as a child or young adult
o  A banned or challenged book
o  A book you are embarrassed to read in public
o  A collection of short stories
o  A book of poetry
o  A mystery
o  Historical fiction set in a time that fascinates you
o  A fairy tale retelling
o  A genre-bending book
o  An award-winning book
o  A book by an author who shares your first or last name
o  A book by an author you would love to meet
o  A book by an author you would NOT want to meet

Here's the printable version of the list in one page and printable bookmarks.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Debate Process

I created this meme to sum up the difference between the Republican and Democratic debate process: