Last year I rediscovered my love for reading.
When you homeschool, run a house, and work at a job as well, it is often hard to find time for yourself. Over the last few years, I'd splurge once or twice a year and sit down with a book and do nothing but read for a few days. These marathon sessions were my only reading other than Go Dog Go for my toddler or a 'required' book for an older kid who needed reading aloud.
It wasn't satisfying overall though. It would be like gorging at a buffet for a few days followed by weeks of starvation.
Last year I discovered a Summer Reading Guide and it intrigued me. I don't have a ton of time to devote to books and part of my struggle was not wasting that time. This guide was helpful as it gave me a glimpse of why I might enjoy a particular book and also expanded my reading life with titles I'd probably never have tried otherwise.
This helped me to see how important and necessary reading was to me personally. I wanted to be a reader. I wanted the focus reading brought me along with the perspective it gives as well.
When I took my break from the internet, I used the time to start reading more and regularly. I studied how to make the most of my time in general.
I felt that reading wasn't like other media. Holding a book doesn't distance me from my household. It isn't a mindless activity, but one that engages me. It has value.
The books I've been reading lately are kind of an eclectic mix. I've slowed down a bit with the addition of other activities to my life, but I do have set reading goals for this year.
I'm doing the Modern Mrs Darcy Challenge for this year and have other personal goals as well. This list hits a few of the Challenge goals along with my own.
Remember, I'm not a writer and don't aspire to be one. Check out the Goodreads links (and feel free to friend me there) for a real synopsis.
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim was a choice for the reading challenge as a book published before I was born. This book written in 1922 was a look at how we can get bogged down by our lives and circumstances. It was pleasant and engaging with interesting characters that is full of "wisteria and sunshine". It helped to remind me that life doesn't have to be cynical and dark.
The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home drew me in with the title. This is a great non-fiction book by Dan Ariely that looks at how we make decisions and why. He has studies that he has performed, and don't think this is a dry abstract... he makes science interesting and cool, and you learn that negatives are really often opportunities if you allow them to be.
After You by JoJo Moyes. This is the follow-up to Me After You which was my MMD Reading Challenge choice of "book I've been meaning to read". After all, everyone says this is a great book, be prepared to cry the last third, blah, blah, blah. Now there is even going to be a movie.
That alone should have told me to run from it, but I read it anyhow. Me After You was predictable and I pretty much knew what would happen from page 10. My take home point was that if you were a selfish jerk to begin with, circumstances wouldn't change you. What kept me engaged was that while the story was overall stale, the characters and writing was so good. I also appreciated that some of the deeper issues this book addressed were presented so well. Maybe it is my background as a nurse, but there were few places to go with this story and I found it predictable.
After You was a continuation of the story and again, it was well written. Again, it was not hard to see how the story would end, but it was still told well with great characters.
The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny.... August 30, the release date for the next book in this series, cannot come soon enough. I have been spacing out these books so that I wouldn't go into Gamache withdrawal, but I couldn't wait. If there is a series that I love and recommend over and over, then this is it. Mrs Penny has created a wonderful community where you love the people and the places despite their humanity. I have learned more about myself and who I want to be through this series.
This is the 11th book about Inspector Gamache with each book taking a different theme. There is no retelling of the same story. You learn and see new things within yourself with each of these books.
Vogue Sewing: Revised and Updated and The Complete Book of Sewing are additions to my library as I have returned to sewing. I've never been great at it, but I feel that this, in part, is due to not practicing or studying the subject. I've always been a 'lazy' sewer and taken the easy way or stuck to simple things. I'm at a point to where I want to push myself. I want to learn the 'right way' and theory behind it.
This is part of the reason I've slowed down on my reading in the last few weeks. I have been investing time in sewing. These books are very complementary to each other with the Vogue book building on The Complete Book. I've been getting lots of use from both of them as I practice and study this skill.
What's on your reading list?
This post is linked with the MMD Quick Lit post for May.