Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Reading Wish-List

I'm not calling them goals, because, well, the likelihood of me getting through this list is pretty slim.

This whole year has been one struggle after another when it comes to reading for pleasure. First, it was all that assigned reading during the semester. But now that school's over and I'm clawing out of the brain fog that is a first trimester of pregnancy, I've found I have a new impediment to pleasure reading: my two-year old.

You see, just back a few months ago, he was a pretty quiet kid. I mean, his vocabulary and language skills were fine and average and nothing to worry about, he was just more of the strong (re: extremely chubby) silent type. He was pretty good at self-play and entertaining himself for little stretches of time, so I could listen to audio books while cleaning the bathroom or making dinner.

But here we are at nearly two-and-a-half years, and I find I have a little chatter box on my hands. Somewhere in the past few months, his language ability just exploded, and he has found the need to exercise his newly developed skill by talking. All day long. To me. Because there is no one else around. I'm not complaining here. His little chatter is completely adorable most of the time (even if it is a bit repetitive), and I'm thrilled to have this little human being actually communicate with me, but... I've found that he actually expects me to listen. And talk back to him. All day long. And this has really cut in to my ability to listen to audio books.

I'll be tidying up the bathroom and hear from the other side of the house, "Doing, Mama?" and if I don't shout back, "I'm cleaning the bathroom" that little kid will hunt me down and repeat his question endlessly until I finally pull out an ear-bud and talk to him. And this happens about every five minutes all day long. Most of the time, he doesn't ask questions, he just expects me to repeat back to him whatever he's just said simply to make sure I'm paying attention.

Ah, the price of being a responsible, involved parent. Can't just ignore my kid because I'm in the middle of a good book.

Also, I used to get a lot of good reading in during nap times and in the evenings. But I'm pregnant now. When my toddler sleeps, I sleep. So like I said, finding time to read has been a real challenge.

But! This new impediment has not stopped me from adding multiple books to my to-read list on the daily, and putting multiple holds request in at my local library. I've got high hopes for summer reading, even if my showing in May was abysmal. So, here's the dream list for those precious few moments when I actually have enough energy to sit down and read without falling asleep.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

I've mentioned before how both my husband and I are huge nerdy Brandon Sanderson fans. Well, this second book in his super-long high fantasy series came out in March, and you better believe we had it on pre-order. My husband devoured it in a matter of days, but I waited patiently until the end of the semester (how responsible of me). I'm actually already mostly through with it, but... the thing is a beast. 1,200 pages, almost. It's taking me a lot longer than it should (see all the reasons listed above), but I will finish the thing. Even if it kills me.

John Adams by David McCullough

If you remember, I started this one last year, and made it my New Year's Reading Goal to finish it by July. Which is now a month away. Gulp.
Cress by Marissa Meyer

Did this one really come out at the beginning of February? And I haven't read it yet? If you remember, I fell in love with this series last fall, and I've been dying to read this book since finishing up Scarlet, so if I don't get around to it soon I just might have to take some drastic measures. Like ship my kid off to the grandparents for a week or something.

The Gift of Giving Life by multiple authors

Yep, another pregnancy book. And there will probably be more before the summer's through. A friend lent this one to me and I'm kind of excited about it. From what I understand, it's a collection of essays on pregnancy and birth from an LDS perspective, and I've heard good things so I'm pretty interested.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

I've heard a lot of people recommend Kate Morton over the years, but I have yet to read anything by her. This is partially due to the fact that my local library seems to have a pretty pathetic selection of her stuff available for electronic download, so I finally bit the bullet and put the hard copy of this one on hold. We'll see if I find time for it, but I'm certainly interested.

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

I can't remember where I first heard about this one, but after reading the summary I just knew this was right up my alley. A traveling bookstore historical fiction novel? Sounds perfect. I really hope I get around to this one.

There are more, so many more on that darn to-read list of mine. Hopefully I will get through more than just what I've listed here this summer, but honestly, at my current rate of a book a month, it will be a miracle. Still, it's nice to have a list to motivate me.

What are you planning to read this summer?

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