Making Plans and Setting Goals
I am obsessed with setting goals. Always have been. So every year I make a New Year’s resolution to read a certain number of books. I set my yearly reading goal in January and track it throughout the year. I typically aim to read a book a week so I usually set my goal around fifty books per year. My reading goal has been much lower the last couple of years thanks to grad school. My graduate studies require me to read a great deal but I usually don’t count those books towards my yearly reading goal since I almost always don’t finish the required books or I skim a large portion of the book.
I graduate in May and I am so excited to be finished with required reading for college. I am looking forward to being able to read the books that I want to read instead of what needs to be read for class. As I do every year, I have set a yearly reading goal. My goal for 2017 is to read fifty books. That is roughly a book a week and I am already behind. I have faith that I will easily catch up once I graduate in May.
I had intended to share this list in January but life got in the way. This list is in no way comprehensive. I will undoubtedly pick up random books at bookstores and grab new releases throughout the year. Also, many of the books on my list for this year are not recent releases. While there are some current and new releases that I am looking forward to, grad school has kept me from reading the past two years so I plan to catch up on some older books this summer.
2017 Reading List
So, without further ado, the beginning of my 2017 reading list:
- The first book on my list is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. I bought a hard copy of this book when it came out last summer and then the babies arrived. It sat on my nightstand patiently waiting for me to pay attention to it. I included it on this list since this is a list of books that I plan to read in 2017 but I actually ended up reading this book in January. (Review coming soon!!)
- I have jumped on The Fixer Upper bandwagon. Chip and Joanna Gaines seem to be so genuine so their book The Magnolia Story is on my list. My husband bought this book for me for Christmas since he knew it was one that I wanted to read this year. I started it right before my spring graduate classes started but I haven’t had time to finish it. I’m hoping I will get to finish before the end of February.
- Wonder by R. J. Palacio is about a young boy who was born with a facial deformity and how that deformity affects his experience as the new kid at school. This book is geared towards young readers. My nine year old daughter recently read this and has been begging me to read it as well. My daughter is quite a reader and she enjoys it when I read the same books as her. I think she is starting to appreciate having someone who can discuss books with her. I think this book may also work for some of my students who have lower reading levels. I’m sticking it on my list to read this year so I can discuss it with Emily and make genuine recommendations to students who I think it could work for.
- The fourth book on my list is one that I’m not sure how I feel about. A couple of years ago, the school I work for hosted a program for our students called Rachel’s Challenge based on one of the victims of the Columbine shooting. The program was geared towards encouraging students to be kind to one another and help end bullying. As I was sitting in this program, I realized that I really don’t know that much about the events that happened at Columbine. I was only 12 when the shooting occurred and I’m sure the adults in my life sheltered me from that event. However, now that I am an educator at a high school, I often feel consumed with the possibility of a school shooting. On a weekly basis, I find myself running through my own personal plan of action and how I would react to help my students if something were to happen. As a historian, I believe that some of the best preparation is studying what happened in the past. I bought Columbine by Dave Cullen after that program was held at our high school and it has sat on my bookshelf for two years. This year I am finally going to read it. I’m hoping that, while it may be a difficult read, it may make me more aware of my students and my own kids.
- The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb is next on my list. I intend to read this one shortly after I read Columbine. The subject matters of the two books are related. While Columbine is nonfiction, The Hour I First Believed is a fictional account of one of the school nurses at Columbine High School that fateful day. I have heard good things about this book and about Wally Lamb as an author. I have never read any of Lamb’s work so I am excited to check his writing out.
- My mom text me a few days ago and told me that I needed to read The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck. I had honestly never heard of this book until I received that text but it was published in 2012 and has TONS of positive reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads. The book summary compares this book to To Kill a Mockingbird and The Help, two books that I love so I’m hoping that I will love this one as well. Sometimes, you just have to trust your momma!
- Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Yance is a memoir of the author’s experience growing up in a middle-class, white, working family that started out poor. I have heard many people discussing how this book relates to America’s current political climate and provides insight to how the current president won the election. I’ve heard and read rave reviews on this book so I’m looking forward to digging into this one.
- Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone is about a junior high school suffering from mental disorders that she hides from those around her. Samantha’s mental struggles are intensified by the social struggles that many high school girls often face until Caroline befriends her and introduces her to a group of misfits that help Sam to begin to feel more “normal.” I think mental health is such an important topic in our culture right now. I’m excited to read this book. I have several students who have read or are reading this book and I think it resonates with so many of them. I’m hoping that by reading it myself I will better be able to identify students who might need a book like this in their lives.
- The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney was published last year and I’ve heard quite a lot of chatter about this one. This book is about four adult siblings who share an inheritance. Even though all four are at different places in their lives and have different goals, they must work together to decide what to do with their shared inheritance. This seems like an interesting story about a dysfunctional family which has been the premise of some of my favorite books.
- Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent trilogy, is at it again. The first book of her newest series, Carve the Mark, was released in January. I honestly haven’t heard much about this book but I really liked the Divergent series so I’m excited to see what else Veronica Roth has to offer.
What are some of the books that you are hoping to get your hands on this year? What does your 2017 reading list look like? Drop me a comment and give me some more ideas and suggestions to fill out the other forty books I need to read in order to reach my goal of 50 books in 2017!