Tuesday, December 30, 2008

'09 Reading

My reading intents have been an abysmal failure this past year. No matter how carefully I planned any reading I intended, I failed. My goals have always been longer than my accomplishments which is okay---I'd rather my intent be more than I can do. (I will worry if I ever get to the point that I never have ambition toward any list.)

Most of my reason for Reading Failure '08 is too much to do. I spend almost every waking minute throughout the week, including the weekend, doing all-things-school. Even when I watch a movie or special television program, I have my work in my lap. Next year, I tell myself, I won't have to do this, speaking of typing review questions. It's true; if I stay at this present school, I will reuse current review questions and tests. Undoubtedly, I will amend and add, tweak and refine, but I believe, the most time-consuming part will be already done. (Telling myself this gives me comfort and keeps me going.

So, when bedtime comes--my favorite reading time--I am already so tired that I often fall asleep within two pages. That makes for a long time to get through a book. And the book type makes a difference. It must be light, but engaging, easy to drop in and drop out. This past school year, I have enjoyed a couple of books in the light, enjoyable Gervase Phinn series--Head Over Heels in the Dales and Up and Down the Dales>. At the insistence of my sister, I read Alan Folsom's The Exile. At 700 pages, I laughed that it would take me the rest of my life to finish it at my current rate. Nope; it was a thriller, a page-turner, just what I needed. Finishing it just before Christmas, I picked up the next Folsom, The Machiavelli Covenant, another thriller and equally as engaging. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World is currently on my nightstand and definitely a light, enjoyable read. Next up is Ben Carson's Take the Risk: Learn to Identify, Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk.

On tap for my Winter Reading List (the quantity is not worthy of calling this a challenge, though it probably will be with all else to do) are:

Racing Odysseus: A College President Becomes a Freshman Again (Martin) I've already begun this on impulse, and it is proving to be intriguing.

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations (Harris) I chose this because of the many students who avoid all-things-hard and difficult.

Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality (Murray) Where exactly this book crossed my path, I'm not sure. But reading the description, it sounds like my kind.

Since I like to arise early (o' Dark-thirty), I frequently find myself grading papers with my first cup of morning coffee. Hopefully this practice will cease. Any lengthy devotion or morning Scripture reading needs to be shorter. Any self-education reading needs to be shorter to get done. With that decision, I will simply read through the Psalms, one per day and pray. Any self-education reading I will simply read short excerpts (they are more like short quotations) from Great Treasury of Western Thought: A Compendium of Important Statements and Comments on Man and His Institutions by Great Thinkers in Western History (Mortimer Adler) on specific topics, beginning with education and learning. I love to put quotations on the board, and this will be a great source.

Maybe this next year will be more productive in terms of reading and thinking than the last two have.


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

This has been one of my worst years for reading in YEARS.

I'm not certain exactly why but I do know I haven't made time for reading like I used to do. It seems so many other things get priority.

I need to change that in 2009.

I read all your posts, just don't get a chance to comment often.

magistramater said...

Janie! Janie.

Your comments resonate on the sounding board of my soul. Your reading lists always seduce me to add to my own reading lists.

I love that you have a sister who insists that you read a book. I love relatives like that!

It's always a treat to stop by Seasonal Soundings.

Sherry said...

The Saturday Review at Semicolon this Saturday is dedicated to book lists. You’re invited to share a link to yours on Saturday.

DebD said...

I heard an interview with the author of Racing Odysseus on NPR not too long ago. It sounds like a fascinating story.

Enjoyed your list no matter how short.

TTA said...

DebD, Thanks for the heads-up about the interview on NPR. I will have to look it up and listen. It does sound fascinating -- something that I think I'd love to do! Thanks for stopping by!