Happy 2015! Last year (yup) Geri Diorio posted a fantastic summary of the best young adult books lists from 2014 including Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal. My New Year’s resolution was to annotate a title selected from each list and/or category. No, I didn’t hit every single genre (sorry poetry). But it was great fun and I conclude that 2014 was definitely wonderful year for YA books!
Here are my selections, listed alphabetically by author’s last name.
From: Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Nonfiction, Female Author
The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia
By Candace Fleming
An examination of the Romanovs (Russia’s last imperial family), the country’s revolutions and political strife in the the years 1905-1917, and (in their own words) brutal accounts of what life was like for the common peasants of this time. Explores the notion of the “chosen” class, Russia’s last heir Alexei who was a sickly child affected by hemophilia (a secret closely held from the Russian people), and the mystery surrounding the children’s missing bodies from the grave discovered in Koptyaki Forest. Visual source materials also help portray this gripping account. Continue reading Best Of 2014 Lists: Selected Titles
Reading for your own enjoyment takes practice. I know it sounds a little crazy– but folks practice their hobbies all the time and why should recreational reading be any different? It can be hard today to turn off distractions and just read. So here is a practical guide; follow it and you will soon find yourself enjoying reading. And for those of you reading this post who don’t need any help in this regard, I invite you to share your tips for happy reading.
Step 1: Pick book.
This is one of the hardest steps of the process. But fear not, you can handle it. There are so many ways to choose a book: pretty cover, friend recommendation, favorite author, saw the movie, library/book store display, read about it somewhere (twitter, instagram, facebook, tumblr, pinterest), heard about it somewhere, random browsing, librarian recommendation, teacher recommendation, it’s your favorite book and you want to read it for the tenth time darn it, read a review, literary awards, found it (in a rental vacation house and in the plane seat flap next to the barf bag perhaps), it’s a classic you’ve been meaning to read, and so on… Point being, any reason to pick a book is a good one if it works for you. Some other resources that are helpful in finding books:
As you are selecting books, keep an open mind (even on books you did not like in the past.) Continue reading How To Read: Step by Step Instructions to Pleasure Reading