Untangling the World of Books, Technology, and Instruction

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Best Books of 2013

I'll add to the list of blog posts on the topic of "best of" whizzing around the digital highway this week.  I love to read what other people choose as their "bests" because it provides some insight into what they love, read, and find important in their own lives.  In other words, I am nosy and it's like driving down the street at night and looking in people's windows.  Weird, but admit it, you've done it too.

My list stems not only from what I found to be my favorite books of 2013, but also, like anything I read, where I was geographically and mentally when I read it. Whatever I read becomes a part of my personal history.  I can always go back to my Goodreads list and say, "oh yep, I read that book, and I was on the plane home from DC when I read it. What an amazing trip to the Principal of the Year conference. I was so proud of Chris and I spent an entire day at the Library of Congress doing research!"(Butterfly Sister) or "Oh, I cried through that whole book, because I loved it and I was leaving my current job and I was so emotional, anyway." (Nubs - 2013 Golden Sower Winner)

Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld

Image Retrieved Goodreads.com
Such a simple and lovely book about the wonders of punctuation.  Did you ever wonder if the exclamation
mark felt out of place or lonely or confused? The world is full of period marks and they seem to have it pretty together. Such a nice book that not only teaches about punctuation use, but friendship and tolerance, as well.

Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

Image Retrieved Goodreads.com
I actually swiped Abby's Nook and lost her bookmark when I read this.  She was so mad.  This is a lovely, heart wrenching novel about love of all kinds.  The writing is so beautiful and reverent.  If you are a book lover, you totally get the passages about book repair and rescue.  The love involved in bringing an old, misused, or over loved book back to life is breathtakingly depicted in this novel. It's romantic and sweeping.

Image Retrieved Goodreads.com

Top Cat by Lois Ehlert

I love Lois Ehlert.  Her simplicity is so refreshing.  I chose this book because it depicts Vivaldi and Boo's relationship perfectly and Ehlert's cats are dead ringers for Vivaldi and Boo.  Vivaldi is the Top Cat and Boo turns everything upside down. She has no class or decorum, and Vivialdi lives by a gentleman's code (stalk it, kill it, present it, take a bath and a nap - you're welcome). I took it home and read it to the cats....and the family. The family thought I was weird, but the cats were extremely taken with the rustling pages.

Image Retrieved Goodreads.com

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I'll admit it. I was seduced by the movie and Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby. I re-read this classic and loved it more than when I read it a gazillion years ago. For once, I can say, see the movie and read the book.  They are both delicious.

Image Retrieved Goodreads.com

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

This was the last book I read in 2013.  It blew me away. I could put faces to the characters in the story.  Kids I have taught with nothing to call their own and hanging onto life by their fingernails came to mind as I fell in love with Park and my heart broke for Eleanor. I prayed Eleanor wouldn't suffer the abuse her mother took and hoped she would find some kind of life without fear.  I applaud librarians EVERYWHERE who have put this book on their shelves for their students.  There are kids out there who will never ask for our help, but they will find hope in this novel. I would rather they find what speaks to them in a library with adults who care than in the parking lot. (Did that make anyone in Minnesota uncomfortable? Oh sorry. Not.)

So there it is, folks.  Closing the blinds.