Reading Wrap-Up: December Reads

December reads

December reads? December rereads, more like. Six of the 10 books I read were books I’ve read before … in some cases multiple times. The holiday season is a time for nostalgia, apparently.

December reads

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan

This completed my 2017 rereading of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I’d forgotten how cleverly done the last book was. The first four draw on Greek mythology in fun and silly ways. The last book uses character development and plot to engage with ideas and questions ancient Greek mythology wrestled with and explored. My favorites: Your fatal flaw can also be your greatest strength. And: Is it possible for heroes to survive their own hubris? Continue reading “Reading Wrap-Up: December Reads”

The unabridged list of books I read in July

July was a slow but satisfying month of reading for me. The highlight for me: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

My July reading highlight was finally reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and seeing how Rowling continued her story into the next generation.It felt like a slow month of reading for me. For good reason: It was. With six books read, July was my slowest month of reading this year. And it’s even slower than it looks since I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in one day, that day being July 31.

On the upside, my low reading tally is the result of spending loads of my free time with friends and family. And you definitely will not hear me complain about that! Continue reading “The unabridged list of books I read in July”

Why I’m rereading Harry Potter, again

The world of Harry Potter shows me how to choose love, beauty, and meaning even when the world feels very dark indeed.

The Harry Potter's world reminds me of the power of choice - that I can choose joy, beauty, and love even when the world feels very dark.I’ve mentioned before that I first discovered the Harry Potter series when I was looking for a children’s book to read in Greek. This is because reading children’s books is one way I maintain my language skills (or try to, anyway).

The book engaged me so much that I ended up consuming it in one giant gulp, in English, before returning to work my way slowly through the Greek version, dictionary in hand. But it wasn’t until reading the third book, the Prisoner of Azkaban, that I well and truly fell in love with the series. That was when I began to see it as an allegory about growing up and becoming a grown-up, which has to do with taking responsibility for your life and choices, especially when they’re imperfect and undesirable. Continue reading “Why I’m rereading Harry Potter, again”

Do some books make better listens than reads?

Audiobooks: Station Eleven

My journey to embrace audiobooks has been a rousing success so far this year. Granted, we’re not quite three months in, but I’m hopeful.

I’ve been thinking about the degree to which this may be a case of necessity being the mother of invention: My committed desire to really, really find an audiobook I could stick with created the favorable conditions for that to happen. Continue reading “Do some books make better listens than reads?”

Hallelujah! I finally discovered audiobooks I love!

A God in Ruins

If I seem unduly excited about audiobooks, it’s been a long road: I’ve been trying to get into them for three years. This is because reading is my favorite pastime, but I also need to exercise. Or so they tell me.

Ergo: Listen to audiobooks while exercising. A match made in heaven! Except …

I like to go at my own pace. I hear something I want to pause and think on, but the narrator keeps yammering on. Plot points are missed. Confusion abounds. Crankiness ensues.

But I was determined! Because cardiovascular health. Continue reading “Hallelujah! I finally discovered audiobooks I love!”

#BBAW: 5 books that inspired me to do and be better

Fireside reading

Today I feel inspired by The Estella Society’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week, going on Feb. 15 – 19. The day one challenge: “Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.”

Beautiful old booksI love this because it feels so impossible. At first, I couldn’t think of any books and then I couldn’t narrow down the list. In the end, I picked five whose characters and stories have inspired me to do and be better, in some way. In my heart of hearts, I’d like these books to represent me as a person, but I’m happy for them to represent what I aspire to live up to and be. Continue reading “#BBAW: 5 books that inspired me to do and be better”

Bookish Literary Characters: A Baker’s Dozen

We have quite a snowstorm underway here in New England. Outside my window, it’s all blankets of white draped across the landscape, swirling winds and snow. It makes me think of gingerbread houses encased in a snow globe.

In other words, it’s the perfect day to curl up under a cozy blanket with a good book and a steaming mug of hot chocolate. And if that book were to feature a bookish literary character, the kind that feels like spending time with a like-minded friend, well, so much the better. Continue reading “Bookish Literary Characters: A Baker’s Dozen”

Rediscovering (Almost) Forgotten Book Treasures

Children's Christmas Books

My friend Jessica Collins writes a beautiful column called “On the Children’s Shelf” over at Books, Ink. In it, she explores the value of reading children’s books (at any age) and shares the great books she discovers. After rediscovering a treasury of (almost) forgotten books last week, I asked Jessica if I could guest write today’s column, and she generously consented. Continue reading “Rediscovering (Almost) Forgotten Book Treasures”