01 January 2015

Book a Week 2014

Update: You can read a reflection of my 2014 journey here and you can see the complete list of books I read below OR you can check out this Google Sheet to see book titles, format & why/how I selected each book. (Thanks to my friend Cherry for inspiring me to create this sheet)
My book a week journey is just that--a journey--and not an obligation, so if I take a detour down a different path in a particular week--that's okay.  The overall goal will be to read 52 books in 2014.  When I see many of my Twitter PLN members reading a #bookaday, I always wonder how they have the time, but I suppose the answer is just the same as how I will have the time to read a #bookaweek.  I will prioritize reading in my life because I enjoy it, it's good for me, and it's good for my children to see me reading too.  I am also choosing this journey because I want to continue improving as a writer, and we all know better writing comes with intentionality and lots of reading.

My journey into reading a book a week started in late November/early December when I read Jumpha Lahiri's newest novel The Lowland in five days.  After that I decided to read a book a week for the remaining 4 weeks of 2013.  When I achieved that goal, I knew it was possible, so I decided to extend it with a goal of consistently reading a book a week in 2014.  52 weeks.  52 books.  And, it is about the journey, not an obligation, so I'm exploring all my favorite genres,  authors, themes and topics on this quest.  Since nonfiction is my favorite, but I treasure fiction as well, I have no established plan for what percentage I will read of each, I'll just read what I'm in the mood for in a given week.  I won't write reviews of the books, but I will share my reflections and reasons for choosing to read them in my blog posts.  Most of the time I read paper books because I tend to prefer them to my e-reader on the iPad, but I'm also trying to branch out with more e-reading as well, especially when I'm traveling.  A somewhat odd thing I noticed is that I can't read fiction on my e-reader.  I've tried and keep trying, but so far I've only been successful with nonfiction e-reading.

December 2013 (the month that convinced me this goal is possible)
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I am MalalaThe Girl Who Stood Up for Education by Malala Yousafzai
Invent to Learn by Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez

January 2014
The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
46 Days:  Keeping Up with Jennifer Pharr Davis on the Appalachian Trail by Brew Davis
Called AgainA Story of Love and Triumph by Jennifer Pharr Davis
Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala

February 2014
The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
Monkey Mind:  A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel Smith
Hatching Twitter:  A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton
Formative Assessment:  Making It Happen in the Classroom by Margaret Heritge

March 2014
Thinking in NumbersOn Life, Love, Meaning, and Math by Daniel Tammet
Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Won't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul) by Ruth Soukup
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

April 2014
Perryville Under Fire:  The Aftermath of Kentucky's Largest Civil War Battle by Stuart Sanders
A Sliver of Light:  Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran by Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd
Poetry Collections
Ultima Thule by Davis McCombs
We Sinners by Hanna Pylväinen

May 2014
Become Your Own Great and Powerful:  A Woman's Guide to Living Your Real, Big Life Barbara Bellissimo
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
Things a Little Bird Told Me:  Confessions of the Creative Mind by Biz Stone
A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
My Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer

June 2014
Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly
A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure
Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots by Kim Ferris-Berg and Edward J. Dirkswager
The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit

July 2014
My Salinger Year by Jonanna Rakoff
Behind Rebel Lines by Seymour Reit (read aloud with my younger son)
The Interpreters by Ben Anderson and VICE News
Lord of the Flies by William Golding  (re-read because my son was reading for summer reading)

August 2014
Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy
The Myth of the Garage by Dan Heath and Chip Heath
Crafting Digital Writing by Troy Hicks

September 2014
The Common Core: Teaching Students in Grades 6-12 to Meet the Standards by Maureen McLaughlin and Brenda Overturf 
Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, John Christensen, and Kenneth H. Blanchard
Escape by Carolyn Jessop
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

October 2014
In My Father's Country by Saima Wahab
Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary Confinement with the Bard by Laura Bates
The International Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget by Susan Haskins
The Vacationers by Emma Straub

November 2014
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek and Steve Friedman
Eaten Alive on the John Muir Trail: Section H of the Pacific Crest Trail by CJ Hernley
Mrs. Hemingway: A Novel by Naomi Wood

December 2014
The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir by Cylin Busby and John Busby
A Random Act: An Inspiring True Story of Fighting to Survive and Choosing to Forgive by Cindy Broaddus
Between a Rock and a White Blaze: Searching for Significance on the Appalachian Trail by Julie Urbanski
A Long Way from Nowhere: A Couple's Journey on the Continental Divide by Julie Urbanski and Matt Urbanski
Running Away: A Memoir by Robert Andrew Powell