Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Reading Year!!

Welcome 2014!

It is so hard to believe that another year has come and gone.  It was a wonderful year for my family and me.  

This year I look forward to many things. I look forward to my daughter turning 12 and my son turning 8.  My step-daughter will be 18 and will graduate from high school.  My husband and I will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. 

I also look forward to another great reading year.  On Monday, I posted some of my favorite books from 2013.  It was a great year indeed.  I have enjoyed reflecting here on y blog and on Facebook and Twitter over the last few days, but now is the time for looking forward.  

Today I will share some books I am looking forward to reading in 2014. They are in no particular order. Click on the pictures to learn more about each book. 

Picture Books



Middle Grade and YA





I'm sure there are WAY more that I have left out.

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?


Monday, December 30, 2013

Slicing About My Resolution Resistance

Each Tuesday Ruth and Stacey at Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life Stories (SOLS). This is where bloggers link up to share anything they would like to share about what is happening in their lives. 

Resolution Resistance

I have a confession to make...I hate making New Year's resolutions! I have realized that I have many goals in my life, but as soon as I quantify them, no mater how small, they become another obligation and a source of self-deprecation.   

I often find myself making comparisons to other people that seem to have everything in their lives together. I use negative self-talk frequently. Why can't I exercise more? Write more? Read more? Others seem to do it but, in my eyes, I fall short.  I tell myself (and society reinforces) that I should be a better mother, wife, teacher, daughter, sister, or friend.  My house needs to be cleaner, my body thinner and my clothes trendier.  

This year will be different.  I resolve NOT to make any resolutions. Does this mean I am giving up on self-improvement? Not by a long shot.  I have many goals both personal and professional. But this year I will work toward my goals and try not to beat myself up. I will be kinder to myself, starting by recognizing when I start to make comparisons and talk to myself negatively and do my best to change these habits. I will celebrate my successes and give myself a break when I can't do everything I want to do as perfectly as I'd like to do it. Sounds simple, but it will certainly not be easy. I'll keep you posted throughout my journey. 

I saw this great post on Facebook recently about comparisons that really put things into perspective. 

I wish you all the happiest and healthiest of New Years. May it be all you want it to be and more!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading-December 30, 2013

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.

Even though it has been vacation week, I have not really read as much as I would have liked.  I did read a picture book called Clara's Crazy Curls that is due to be released in January.  Click here if you'd like to read my review.  I am also currently reading Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy which is sure to be a hit with middle graders in 2014 (review later). 

So I thought I would use today's IMWAYR post to reflect on my reading in 2013 by choosing my favorites in each category. 

I have read more books this year than any other.  I surpassed my goal of 300 books by reading 332 books! They are here if you'd care to see. 

So here they are, my favorite books of 2013!

Fiction Picture Books

Nonfiction Picture Books

Graphic Novels


Middle Grade Novels

Upper Middle Grade/YA Novels

Professional Books

So there you have it folks. 

Upcoming posts:
Tues. Dec. 31-Slice of Life, Resolutions
Wed. Jan. 1- Books I'd like to read in 2014!
Thurs. Jan 2- Book Blast Giveaway-Winter Reads Boxed set.

I am giving away a copy of Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larsen. The giveaway ends at midnight EST on Jan. 1. Click here to view the giveaway.