Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New Year, New Reads

What was on your Christmas/Holiday Wish List?

Mine was heavy hit with books. And boy oh boy, did I get some good ones:

As a homeroom teacher, my classroom library was one to rival the school library. "Treat books lovingly" has always been one of my messages. No folding back the covers or bending down the corners. Treat them as your friends!

I also always had the Harry Potter books in my class library. Gotta love Scholastic book points! But given I'm more of a fiction or non-fiction versus fantasy reader, I never read them. Nor did I see the movies: "It's not my genre," I always used to say.

But that was until this year, when my Middle School son started reading the series. Simultaneously, we made plans to go to Orlando's Universal Studios over Spring Break to Diagon Alley, Hogwart's Express, and all that's Harry Potter. With our plans to go, I did what I do: I started researching:
  • We started a week long binge-fest of watching 6 of the 8 movies.
  • This led us to a friendly family competition: who would finish Book #7 first. 
  • I started reading book #7 first.... then we went to Universal.
  • Then I started the series from the beginning and read all 7, while simultaneously watching the last 2 movies upon our return from Florida.
I. Was. Sucked. In!! And surprised. And stunned by some 20 year surprises that I'd never learned the spoiler. (My kids chastised me, saying, "Mom, where have you been...we knew that! Everyone knows that" How, I asked? You haven't seen the movies. "Mom! The Internet!" But of course! Given that, the philosophy and back stories fascinate me, and the illustrated trio of the first three books are just down right amazing. I'm starting my reread again!

From my techie side, I've got another trio of books. This set though is to help neutralize tech time (for both myself, my family, and my elementary school students), helping us all to balance out screentime in a positive way. I'm eager to dive into those 3 books: "The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place" by Andy Crouch, The Art of Screen Time: "How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real" by Anya Kamenetz, and "Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World" by Deborah Heitner.

All this leads me to my next set of books: More and more, I think the way to offset the over-techification of America is to got back to nature and environmental education. Upon reading Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods" as part of our school summer read, my school has created book groups with this and 3 other books in order to create a positive change internally within the school. I opted into a group centered around this book since I feel this and the "teching of America" are two sides of the same coin. Nature will help us neutralize the FOMO associated with technology, yet technology and innovation will help solve some of the environmental issues our world is facing. Given that I'm eager to read The Nature Fix and Love Earth Now: The Power of Doing One Thing Every Day.

And then there's Michelle Obama's book, which I did finish reading over break already. Always interesting to put yourself in someone else's shoes, to take a peak into the White House and see what it would be like learning yourself into being a member of the first family. It's always good to embrace hope and optimism too.

Clearly, I'm going to be busy for a while! But what's better than curling up with a good book? 

What's on your reading list for the 2019?

Photo from my camera of my reading stack!

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