Sunday, November 29, 2015

What I've Been Reading From My Shelves

This year I upped my Goodreads Challenge goal several times because I count all books including picture books I read to my son. While I wasn't paying attention, I apparently surpassed what I thought would be my final goal of the year -- 300 books. I still have a whole month left (and a giant stack of Christmas books!) but I think I'll just leave things as they are for 2015.

But as I was looking over my challenge list, I realized the vast majority were borrowed from the library. Don't get me wrong, I love my library and feel very strongly that libraries are invaluable resources for the communities they serve. But the more I think about my reading life and how fortunate I am to be able to buy books in the first place, I've been reminded of how many great books are waiting for me in my own home library. So I thought I'd highlight a few of my (relatively) recent reads that actually came from my own collection.

The Night Sister, by Jennifer McMahon

Last year's The Winter People is still my favorite of this author's books, but this one did not disappoint. A perfect creepy, spooky book I read around Halloween that had just the right mix of mystery, family secrets, and the supernatural. There are multiple story threads and sometimes I confused the various sisters, but the more I got into it, the better I could keep track of everyone.  

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Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume

This was my first ever Judy Blume and I'm so glad I've finally started reading her even though I'm now much older than her target audience. Her characters are just so real and I love how they navigate the issues of growing up. This is a YA/middle grade classic and definitely deserves that designation.

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Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume

My second Judy Blume and another great read. This one is a bit longer and heavier in subject matter. A young girl and her family deal with the tragic death of her father. Blume really knows how to capture the voices and emotions of teenagers. Another classic and deservedly so.

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Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

I bought this one for my husband who is really into video games because I had heard so many good things about it. I didn't think I would read it myself, but it was chosen for my book club and I will admit I was very curious to see what all the fuss was about. I thought the beginning was rather slow, but overall it was a good read and we had a great discussion about it at our meeting. I am hopeless at popular culture and trivia, so I was afraid half the book would be lost on me, but I was happy to find a lot more of it was explained than I expected. If you're a gamer or into 1980s stuff, definitely check it out.

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The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness

This was another book club pick and I bought the whole trilogy because I had heard such good things about the author. It's a real chunkster and I should have given myself more time to read it before our meeting. (I still had about 30 pages left when people started arriving!) I didn't love it as much as I thought I would, but am curious to see how the rest of the series plays out. I just haven't been as compelled to continue as I thought I would be.

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Several of these books I chose for Lisa's Shelf Control meme. If you are a blogger and you'd like to focus more on the books you already own, I highly recommend you join in! Making my selections has really helped me narrow down my choices when it comes to reading from my own shelves.