Friday, January 2, 2015


Must Read 2015 logo

2014 really went by in a blur.  I joined Twitter Dec. 26, 2013 and entered the blogging world January 2014.  One of my first posts was a #mustreadin2014 post.  Prior to 2014, I had been reading kid lit, but not with the same passion I was about to.  I didn't realize the world I was entering as I started reading and reading and buying and borrowing.  I know I am a better teacher because of the amount I've read.  I know I've changed students' lives by being able to talk to them about books, recommend books and share our reading lives. I have helped by suggesting books to buy for our school library and suggesting books for teachers to have in their classroom libraries.  Not only has reading made an impact at school, it's made a difference at home.  My daughter has always been a reader, but we've both had fun reading together and talking about books.  I love this is something we can share together.  She loves reading a book before me and getting the opportunity to recommend it to me first.

Before putting my #mustreadin2015 post together, I wanted to take a minute and reflect on what I've learned from my 2014 reading life.

* Kid lit books are so much better than adult books.  They are shorter so I feel like the character development has to happen quicker, but better.  Plot has to be developed, tighter, and better.  The threads need to be woven in a way that makes it understandable and not drawn out.  Bottom line, it's better writing.  It's not to say I won't read any more adult books.  It just means I'm going to be more careful.  I still have some adult books that I had or purchased this year that I did not get to.  I know there will be more published in 2015 that I will want to read.  I'm going to put the books I'm hoping to read on my #mustreadin2015 list, but I know I'm not going to worry if I don't get to them.

* This year I set a Goodreads goal.  I really had no idea how many books I would read.  I met my goal before the first half of the year so I changed it.  And then I never really looked at it again.  At some point I noticed I had met it, but I didn't really try.  I could use the number of books I read this year and make a new and higher goal, but I'm not going to.  It's not about the number of books. I know I read (a lot).  I'd rather make sure I read the books I want to instead of how many.  I'm going to continue to make a #mustread list and I'll continue to track my reading, just not worry so much about quantifying it. 

* When I think about my reading, I know people look at how much I read and think I read all the time.  I do, but I don't sit for hours at a time and read.  Except for the last couple of days when I've tried really hard to get a few more #mustread books in.  But normally, I just read in the edges (I like Donalyn's term).  I read when I fit it in.  I probably read the least amount of time right before bed.  I'm watching the news, I'm checking my phone one last time, and reading a bit.  I try to get a little caught up on the weekend when I might have an hour in the day to sit down and read.  I try hard to make kids understand this.  I think it's a hard thing for them to internalize.  I think parents need to think about this more.  People think they just don't have time.  They do.  They just need to look at their time with a new lens.

* When I thought about my #mustreadin2015 list, I thought that I was not going to put a lot of books I already own on the list.  After all, this year I did that and I did not get to all of them.  But the books I have are books I want to read.  They should go on the list.  Especially the ones I'm thinking about that I really want to get to.  So what if I don't end up crossing them off.  There needs to be no book shame in not finishing your #mustread list.  It shouldn't be a goal, as much as a plan.  A challenge.  Where the prize is you still have books to read!  Yea!  Good prize! (and a whole new year with more books being published, yea!)

So, here's my #mustreadin2015 list.  Ready?  Read!

Books that are coming out in 2015
Wish Girl by Niki Loftin read 5.14.15
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven read 1.21.15
The Way to Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood read 1.04.15
How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel by Jess Keating read 1.02.15
Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper read 2.04.15
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John read 2.23.15
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume read 7.13.15
Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks read 12.31.15
Jack by Liesl Shirtliff read 5.07.15
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart read 12.23.15
Cody and the Fountain of Happiness by Tricia Springstubb
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff read 11.04.15
Mark of the Thief by Jennifer Nielsen read 3.05.15
The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein listened to 10.30.15
The Quirks and the Quirkalicious Birthday by Erin Soderberg
All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan read 5.01.15

Books that are part of a series
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle listened to 6.19.15
That Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen read 2.22.15
Countdown by Deborah Wiles read 6.13.15
Revolution by Deborah Wiles read 6.21.15
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Villainous by Matthew Cody
The Riverman by Aaron Starmer read 4.10.15
Always Abigail by Nancy Cavanaugh
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Books that are on the IL 2015 Bluestem list
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick read 8.29.15
Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean read 4.04.15
Amulet The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi read 3.27.15

Books that have Newbery buzz
Greenglass House by Kate Milford read 1.29.15
West of the Moon by Margi Preus

Books that I haven't read and I really want to
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner read 1.10.15
Glory Be by August Scattergood listened to 8.27.15
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer read 10.03.15
The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Blakemore
The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
Rules by Cynthia Lord read 6.23.15
How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
The Nightingale's Nest by Niki Loftin
The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern
Nest by Esther Ehrlich
Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana
The Power of Poppy Pendle by Natasha Lowe

Young Adults
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson read 7.01.15
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson read 6.27.15
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

Transitional Chapter Books
Lulu's Mysterious Mission by Judith Viorst read 3.24.15

Adult Reads
Wild Things! by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, Peter D. Sieruta
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes read 8.22.15
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Best to Laugh by Lorna Landvik

Well, if I'm to get through all of them, I have to read at least 1/week, some weeks reading 2.  Yikes.  Time to go read!


  1. Love, love, love this list! Lots of great ones. Some will be on my list. And some I can rave about like all of those YA titles and Glory Be and How to Steal a Dog! Happy, Happy reading and I hope to link all of these soon!

  2. I saw several titles on your list that I meant to put on mine but then I have book stacks all over the house and missed a few that I fully intended to include. Oh well. I can still read them, LOL. I really enjoyed reading your reflections on your 2014 reading. I agree with you about kids books. I find them, on the whole, to be much more tightly written than adult books. I definitely plan to read more books for adults this year, but I suspect most of those titles will be nonfiction and poetry, because I have very little patience for much adult literary fiction, where beautiful sentences too often take precedence over plot and character. I appreciated your thoughts about finding time to read as well. We all have the same amount of time--it's all in what we choose to do with it. Sometimes my colleagues will say to me, "Oh, I wish I had time to blog" or "Oh, I wish I had time to read that many books." Next time I hear that, I think I'm going to say, "You do."

  3. There are several books on your list that I have on mine! I can't wait to compare notes. And like Elisabeth, there are a few that I ALMOST put on mine, and now I am having second thoughts! AHHHHHHH!

  4. I write Amen in the margins after I read your comments on the quality of kid lit. I absolutely feel that way about YA too. You have some amazing books on your list. You've got some that I've read and loved, and others that I hope to read this year. I look forward to reading your responses to them. Good luck with your goals this year.