Looking back on the past year, I wonder how I read 75 books. Teaching high school English keeps me busy, and I devote more time than I care to admit to TV (Chopped, Parenthood, The Big Bang Theory, Homeland, The Good Wife, SNL, Happy Endings, Elementary to name some series). Part of my secret is that I read quite a few poetry collections (14) and graphic novels (18). I recorded four picture books toward my goal, but I read more than that. During a drive to Kansas and back, I listened to a John Grisham audio book, and I checked out and listened to two YA audio books from the Edmond library over the summer. I also occasionally read with my students, but that is rare because most of the time, I’m having book chats with students during their 10 minutes of SSR at the start of class. Aside from those tricks, I simply carved out time to read–sometimes before bed, on weekends, on vacation. Almost anywhere I went, I brought a book with me.
According to Goodreads, I’ve grown in my amount of books I’ve read over the past five years. I think this chart also demonstrates my devotion to Goodreads, which I did not use much in 2008. I have been keeping a Word file on the books I’ve read since 2005, but now I’m pretty faithful to record my books in both the Word file and on Goodreads. I also keep a graphic reading history in Publisher and print off the titles to tape onto my classroom door. Each time I finish a book, I chronicle it 3 different ways! That might be too much. I could probably just use Goodreads to create my graphic reading history. Maybe I’ll try that this year to save myself some time.
My pages show growth as well, which shouldn’t be surprising.
Goodreads also gave me the option to see how I rated the books I read this year. Shout out to Claudia Swisher for giving me the idea to write about my ratings. (You should check out her blog!) Of the 75 books I read, I gave only 1 a score of 1 (“didn’t like it”). I gave 7 books a 2 (“it was ok”). I gave 19 books a 3 (“liked it”), 37 books a 4 (“really liked it”), and 11 books a 5 (“loved it”). That means my overall average rating for a book this year was a 3.67, which I think is excellent.
The above chart also shows that my longest book was Erik Larsen’s The Devil in the White City and that I categorized my books in a wide variety of genres/shelves. Currently on Goodreads, I’ve rated 620 books with an average overall rating of 3.59, so my 2012 ratings are close to my overall average. I’ve written 252 reviews for those 620 books, which I also think is pretty good.
I’ll wrap up this reflection by copying and pasting my 2012 book record from my Word file. I’ve selected 2 books from each of 4 different time periods to highlight as outstanding reads. I was very happy with most of the books I read this year, and I look forward to another year of reading in 2013.
2012 Reading History
- Scott Card, Orson. Ender’s Game. © 1985. 324 pages. Sci Fi / YA / Annoying.
- Dawson, Mike. Troop 142. © 2011. 150 pages. Lad Lit / Graphic Novel.
- Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. In Evil Hour. © 1979. 183 pages. Multicultural literature.
- Fey, Tina. Bossypants. © 2011. 275 pages. Memoir / Humor.
- Garfield, Simon. Just My Type. © 2010. 331 pages. Nonfiction.
- Macaulay, David. Black and White. © 1990. 30 pages. Children’s book.
- Janeczko, Paul. Requiem: Poems of the Terezín Ghetto. © 2011. 94 pages. Holocaust poetry.
- Rosenthal, Amy. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. © 2005. 225 pages. Memoir.
- Grisham, John. The Associate. © 2004. 434 pages. Legal thriller.
- Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. © 2012. 313 pages. YA: CRF.
- Whaley, John Corey. Where Things Come Back. © 2011. 228 pages. YA: CRF.
- Borden, Louise. His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue, and Mystery During World War II. © 2012. 131 pages. History: Children’s Book.
- Kohn, Alfie. Feel-Bad Education: And Other Contrarian Essays on Children and Schooling. © 2011. 204 pages. Education.
- Greenberg, Jan, Ed. Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art. © 2001. 73 pages. Poetry & Art.
- Kooser, Ted. The Blizzard Voices. © 1986. Poetry: Historical Fiction.
- Kooser, Ted. Bag in the Wind. © 2010. Children’s Book.
- Kooser, Ted. House Held Up By Trees. © 2012. Children’s Book.
- Sepetys, Ruta. Between Shades of Gray. © 2011. 341 pages. YA Historical Fiction.
- Kohn, Alfie. The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and “Tougher Standards.” © 1999. 237 pages. Education.
- Carson Levine, Gail. Forgive Me, I Meant To Do It: False Apology Poems. © 2012. 80 pages. Poetry.
- Applegate, Katherine. The One and Only Ivan. © 2012. 304 pages. Children’s Lit.
Summer Break 2012
- Wilson, Maja. Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment. © 2006. 109 pages. Professional.
- Morrison, Toni. Home. © 2012. 146 pages. Historical Fiction.
- Handler, Daniel. Why We Broke Up. © 2011. 354 pages. YA: CRF.
- Brosgol, Vera. Anya’s Ghost. © 2011. 221 pages. YA: Fantasy / Graphic Novel.
- Backderf, John. My Friend Dahmer. © 2012. 199 pages. Memoir / Graphic Novel.
- Kohn, Alfie. The Homework Myth. © 2006. 198 pages. Education.
- King, A. S. Please Ignore Vera Dietz. © 2010. Audio / 336 pages. YA: CRF / magical realism.
- Crawford, Brent. Carter Finally Gets It. © 2009. 300 pages. YA: Lad Lit.
- King, A. S. Everybody Sees the Ants. © 2011. 279 pages. YA: CRF / magical realism.
- Hinds, Gareth / Homer. The Odyssey. © 2010. 249 pages. Classic / graphic novel.
- Chast, Roz. What I Hate from A to Z. © 2011. 64 pages. Illustrated / Humor.
- Pyle, Kevin C. Take What You Can Carry. © 2012. 176 pages. CRF / Historical Fiction / Graphic Novel.
- Anderson, Jeff. Everyday Editing: Inviting Students to Develop Skill and Craft in Writer’s Workshop. © 2007. 158 pages. Professional.
- Ferguson, Craig. American on Purpose: the Improbably Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot. © 2009. 268 pages. Memoir.
- Palacio, R. J. Wonder. © 2012. 313 pages. YA: CRF.
- Tovani, Cris. So What Do They Really Know?: Assessment That Informs Teaching and Learning. © 2011. 156 pages. Professional.
- Herbach, Geoff. Stupid Fast. © 2011. 311 pages. Realistic Fiction.
- Martin, Walter & Paloma Muñoz. Travelers. © 2008. 81 pages. Art / Photography.
- Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. © 2003. 396 pages. History.
- Fies, Brian. Mom’s Cancer. © 2006. 115 pages. Memoir / Graphic Novel.
- Koertge, Ron. Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses. © 2012. 87 pages. Fairy tale poetry.
- Trethewey, Natasha. Thrall. © 2012. 78 pages. Poetry.
- Knisley, Lucy. Relish. © 2013. 173 pages. Memoir / Graphic Novel.
- Duffy, Carol Ann. The Bees. © 2011. 84 pages. Poetry.
- Thompson, Richard. Cul de Sac: Golden Treasury. © 2010. 197 pages. Comic Strip.
- Thompson, Richard. Shapes and Colors. © 2010. 127 pages. Comic Strip.
- Thompson, Richard. The Mighty Alice. © 2012. 128 pages. Comic Strip.
- Knisley, Lucy. French Milk. © 2007. 193 pages. Memoir / Graphic Novel.
- Anderson, Jeff. 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know. © 2011. 266 pages. Professional.
- Ronson, Jon. The Psychopath Test. © 2011. 272 pages. Nonfiction.
- Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. © 2010. 328 pages. Nonfiction.
- Heard, Georgia, Ed. Falling Down the Page: a Book of List Poems. © 2009. 45 pages. Poetry.
- Scieszka, Jon. Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories about Growing Up Scieszka. © 2005. 106 pages. Memoir.
- Bracey, Gerald W. Education Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality. © 2009. 259 pages. Nonfiction.
- King, A. S. Ask the Passengers. © 2012. 293 pages. YA: CRF.
- Forney, Ellen. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me. © 2012. 237 pages. Graphic Novel Memoir.
- Kittle, Penny. Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers. © 2012. 169 pages. Professional.
- Grisham, John. The Appeal. © 2008. Audio.
- Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: The Story of Success. © 2008. 285 pages. Nonfiction.
- Regnaud, Jean & Emile Bravo. My Mommy: is in America and she met Buffalo Bill. © 2007. 118 pages. Graphic Novel / Memoir.
- Ryan, Kay. Say Uncle. © 1991. 76 pages. Poetry.
- Hicks, Faith Erin. Friends with Boys. © 2012. 211 pages. Graphic Novel: CRF & Fantasy.
- Ruddell, Deborah & Joan Rankin. A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: a Forest of Poems. © 2009. Children’s poetry.
- Lee, Nelle Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. © 1963. 384 pages. Literary Excellence: Historical Fiction.
- Chaltas, Thalia. Because I Am Furniture. © 2009. 352 pages. YA CRF: Novel in Verse.
Winter Break 2012
- Yang, Gene & Thien Pham. Level Up. © 2011. 160 pages. CRF/Fantasy: Graphic Novel.
- Moore, Alan & David Lloyd. V for Vendetta. © 2005. 265 pages. Dystopian Graphic Novel.
- Gregorich, Barbara. Jack and Larry. © 2012. 92 pages. Historical Fiction Novel in Verse.
- Bingham, Kelly. Shark Girl. © 2007. 276 pages. YA CRF Novel in Verse.
- Zuniga, Lauren. The Smell of Good Mud. © 2012. 92 pages. Poetry.
- Bragg, Georgia. How They Croaked. © 2011. 161 pages. Nonfiction.
- Urban, Linda. Hound Dog True. © 2011. 148 pages. CRF Elementary.
- Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink. © 2007. 276 pages. Nonfiction.
- Juster, Norton. The Phantom Tollbooth. © 1961. 256 pages. Classic Fantasy Elementary.
- Newman, Lesléa. October Mourning: a Song for Matthew Shephard. © 2012. 91 pages. Historical Fiction Novel in Verse.