2017 Reading Goals (a post of lists)

Thérèse RaquinMy 2017 reading goals are a little more focused this year. I didn’t meet my Goodreads reading goals last year. In fact, I read fewer books in 2016 than I have read in previous years. It’s disappointing, but it happened. I was very much involved in other things- social justice, working for a horrible company that took advantage of me and did not pay me, and trying to refocus our financial security so that it was more of a blanket and less of a fire alarm.

This year, I wanted to try something different. Rather than setting my reading goals based on a random number, I made a list of all the books that I want to read and decide how many books that I would complete this year based on that. Choosing a random number is far more stressful in the long run. Continue reading

Brave New World In Our Messed Up World

As part of the Back to Classics Challenge, I chose to reread Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I first read this novel in 8th grade at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in NYC, however, I do not think I fully grasped the ideas presented in the book at that age. I do remember feeling torn apart by the ideas of controlled destiny.

I grew up in a home where I was always fighting for control. I often felt that I needed my mother’s permission to simply exist. By high school, I longed for the freedom to be flawed. This battle had a devastating effect on me, and I spent much time withdrawn and creating drama where none existed just to have a reason to rage. Continue reading

Back to the Classics Update

My original post about this Back to the Classics challenge is on my now defunct personal blog, but all future updates will be here. It took me a while to finish  Brave New World as I had forgotten how intense the narrative is and how much it can drain me while reading. I love the book, but it is deep!

All books that have been read have been striked-through. Books that I am currently reading are in RED.

Here’s my list:

1.  A 19th Century Classic – The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (CURRENTLY READING)

2.  A 20th Century Classic – The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (CURRENTLY READING)

3.  A classic by a woman author – We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (Completed: Review Here) Continue reading

6 Amazing Read Aloud Picture Books (and 1 Independent Reading)

*Originally Published on Forloveofeducation.com. Published here with permission.

I absolutely love the blog, I Capture the Rowhouse, and Farrar’s frequent posts about what her family is reading inspired me to share similarly here. We read a lot and I really want a better way of keeping a record of what we are reading. As I look for a way that works for our family, I will share some of the books we’ve been losing ourselves in for hours at at time. Continue reading

30 “Classic” Must-Read Books

A friend’s post on Facebook sparked this blog post. I’m often surprised by how many people have not read novels that I thought were middle and high school staples. And I’m even more shocked by those people who have gone to college, and graduated from, college without having read Orwell’s “1984” or “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.

This list began as a top 10 list of my favorite classics and then morphed (after several edits) into this one. I am planning several follow-ups to this list because my personal list is too long. Continue reading

Book Review: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Originally posted on  Kristinabrooke.net

A Classic Written by a Woman

Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of Shirley Jackson. While I did enjoy “The Lottery” in the past, something about her writing has always bored me to tears. Maybe she is too descriptive? Is that possible? My vivid imagination prefers to do the work and weave the images in my mind. She gives me too much. At any rate, I’ve avoided reading anything by her since completing a book of her shorter works back in early 2000. I did choose  We Have Always Lived in the Castle for the Back to Classics Challenge after reading some positive reviews about it on GoodReads.

Continue reading