Sunday, January 2, 2011

365 Days of Reading - Days 1 and 2

So far so good on my challenge to read every day with my kids. We've had a lazy and rainy weekend, perfect for sitting inside and reading. I still feel kind of icky about referring to my children by name on the internet, so for now, they're Lady B and Lord X. Yesterday, Lady B and I read lots of books together.
Two of note include Mo Willems' We Are in a Book!, and Mary Pope Osbourne's Magic Tree House #45: A Crazy Day with Cobras.

 We Are in a Book! is the most recent of Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books. In the book, Gerald the elephant and Piggie the pig realize that they are being watched and soon learn that the watcher is a reader and that they are in a book. They decide to make the reader say something out loud and choose the word "Banana!" As they begin to crack up over making the reader say banana, Lady B started snickering, which made me snicker until we were full on belly laughing. It's a super super book.
(Source of book: Purchased a personal copy)

We're just starting on our chapter book journey. I've read a few out loud to Lady B, and so far, she definitely enjoys listening to them. This is our second Magic Tree House book. This one, A Crazy Day with Cobras, is set to release on January 11, and in it Jack and Annie visit ancient India in search of an emerald that can help break a spell. We've only made it through the first chapter, but I'm a real fan of the Magic Tree House books, and this one is great so far.
(Source of book: Review copy received from publisher)

Now, with Lord X, I have board books scattered in easy-to-reach spots throughout the house. I can hardly get him to sit still for more than five minutes, but while he's playing I'll pull a book out and read the words. He's still in the "book-eating" phase which is why I continue to be a huge proponent of board books. A favorite he loves is The Very Hungry Caterpillar; he especially loves poking his fingers through the holes in the food the caterpillar ate through. He loves the book so much that he will have a caterpillar-themed first birthday party. I'll attempt to make a caterpillar cupcake cake. Anyone have a good cupcake recipe? Lady B has specifically requested chocolate cupcakes.
(Source of book: Purchased a personal copy) 

Now for me - I'm trying to make more of an effort to read for myself this year. Last year, I'd be so tired at the end of the night that I'd fall asleep after having read five pages. I got a Kindle for Christmas and have it loaded with some classics and other books. My reading habits are odd, and I'm normally working on five or six books at a time, reading whatever I'm in the mood for. So, right now, I'm reading two nonfiction books:

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller - This is the author's narrative of his thru-hike of the Appalachian trail. He decides to quit his mundane office job to hike the entire trail. He goes by the name of AWOL during his hike and records his trials, struggles, and rewarding moments on the trail. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the book, and it's a super fast, exciting read. I bought the Kindle edition of this book because I'm a lifelong resident of VA and have been on the Appalachian trail in various places in VA. I'm not certain I'd ever want to hike the entire trail. I'm not a fan of roughing it. However, even though AWOL suffers a few injuries and hikes through bad weather more than a few times, I find his motivation inspirational. He also does a great job of describing the other hikers he meets along the way, and I'm finding myself hoping to read of more encounters with certain hikers.
(Source of book: Purchased the Kindle version) 

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

Inspired to learn more about Washington after a fall visit to Mt. Vernon, I downloaded this book to my Kindle. I'm only in the early stages of his life where he has just inherited Mt. Vernon from his brother, but so far, it's been a detailed and engaging read. I often find that biographies are hit or miss, but Chernow's narrative is compelling, and I'll continue to read more.
(Source of book: Purchased the Kindle version) 

I'm also reading two fiction books:
American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman
I'm sort of ashamed to admit that the only work of Gaiman's that I've read is The Graveyard Book. Since reading that book, I've been following his blog and tweets and have wanted to delve more into his books for adults. I thought I'd start with American Gods because it's the one I see most people referring to when they talk of Neil Gaiman. I'm about three chapters in, and am loving it so far. It's dark, strange, and has a lot of supernatural activity - right up my alley.
(Source of book: Purchased the Kindle version) 

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Now that I have my Kindle, I couldn't resist downloading a free copy of this book. I absolutely love the story, and now that I can highlight and make notes without destroying a book, I'm really enjoying digging through and marking my favorite passages. I'm also trying to find words to explain why I love this so much and why it affects me the way it does, so maybe I'll share some of my favorite passages as I come across them.
(Source of book: Downloaded the Kindle version) 

So, that's what we've been reading over the past two days. Tomorrow, it's back to the real world, and it will be more of a challenge to continue reading every day, but I'll make every effort to do it.

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  1. My family love We are in a Book. It's such a great book to be silly with. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying American Gods? I read it last year and loved it so much. Happy New Year!

  2. We just posted about reading three Elephant and Piggie books this week too! I wanted to read the Book one, but I let my son choose, and he picked three others. I have wondered when to try the Magic Treehouse series. I'm guessing he's still a little young.