Sunday, December 19, 2010

Goodreads / Reading recap 2010.

I have really recently started to enjoy Goodreads, a website for the nerdiest of nerds--a way to keep track of reading and to social network through BOOKS. I personally like it because, strangely, even though one spends hours involved in a book when reading it, I frequently lose the ability to remember what book I read when, or when I read what book. So keeping track via the site comes quite in handy. I've actually found myself anticipating finishing a book and being able to post it on the site--which makes me sound like I really need a life, I know, but I like the satisfaction of saying "I finished this whole book!" somewhere. Often, the feeling of, after finishing a book, just having to put it back on the shelf, is somewhat anticlimatic, so the satisfaction of posting on Goodreads helps a little. In addition, I get a strange thrill out of seeing who of my friends have also read the same book I just finished, and what they thought of it (generally, in number-of-star-terms).

I try to stay away from reading others' reviews of books on the site, mainly because I feel like people are often quick to jump and say how awful something was when I have just spent hours of my life really enjoying it. And, even though I know I should stick by my opinions/gut feelings on something, this experience often makes me feel remarkably crappy/doubt my own tastes. No thanks! (I need to work on it.) I obviously have issues with literary criticism, or all kinds of criticism really, and that is probably another issue entirely. But I occasionally try to articulate my own thoughts on books in my own personal "reviews," which are normally not necessarily actual reviews like other people write but my own short reflections. I have always liked just sticking with saying, "I liked it," about books, and that being that, because dissecting things seemed to take away from the beauty of the experience of reading. However, I am increasingly realizing that being able to articulate my thoughts about books is important, especially when I want to discuss them and recommend them with students and peers. So, in a small way, Goodreads is good practice.

In any case, I was inspired by my friend Jill D. in her wonderful blog, Looks & Books, to go through my Goodreads list for 2010 and do my own reading-year roundup.

Books read: 61

Children's or Young Adult Fiction, Short Story Collections, or Poetry: 46
(GLBT themed-literature included in those: 4)

Picture books: 3

"Adult" books: 3

"Classics": 2

Graphic novels: 5

Nonfiction: 2

Favorites so far:
- The Hunger Games trilogy (all three), Suzanne Collins
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Kate DiCamillo
- The Wednesday Wars, Gary D. Schmidt
- King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography, Chris Crutcher
- All of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians books I've read (still have to read the last one), Rick Riordan
- The Arrival, Shaun Tan
- Chains, Laurie Halse Anderson
- We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, Kadir Nelson
- When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead
- The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
- Parrotfish, Ellen Wittlinger
- American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang
- After Tupac & D Foster, Jacqueline Woodson

Even though there's constantly more I want to read, this has been a big year for me, reading-wise: the books I've read have literally helped me with figuring out what I want to do with my life and what kind of a teacher I want to be. Reading most of these books is not only immensely enjoyable for me, but I've gotten firsthand experience this fall with being able to connect with and relate to kids because of them.

That all said, this next year I want to try to sprinkle in more "adult" books, as well as more nonfiction--nonfiction aimed at children/young adults, AND for adults, including at least one book by Michael Pollan--as well as a lot more graphic novels. And I want to continue reading GLBT books and updating my website which is dedicated to the topic, which I have not added to since I made it, but which I have earnestly thought about working more on many a time this year.

And now, I have an important thing I must do--log off the internet, get in bed, and read a book.


  1. wohooooooooooooooooooo loves it!

  2. Holy Frijole! I can't believe you read 61 books! Here I was feeling accomplished about my measly 6 (not counting the short children's books I read every night). Thanks for the info about the website to post what you have read. I have a list on my computer and I am always so excited to add another title. Now maybe it will be more interactive :)