Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

ready player oneReady Player One by Ernest Cline was on my I-think-I’d-really-like-this list for over 6 months before a good friend gave me a copy for Christmas. Hurray! Then it sat on my bookshelf for another 6 months while I desperately read library books the week they were due. (There’s nothing like a looming due date to get me reading.) Last week, I finally sat myself down and started reading.

Wade Watts, like many of the people living in 2044, spends almost all his time online in a virtual reality simulation known as OASIS. He attends school online, hangs out with his best (and only) friend in a private chat room, and spends hours each day scouring the school’s comprehensive online library since he lacks the digital or real money necessary to travel between the worlds of OASIS.  Continue reading

Picture Books of Instagram

picture books of instagramAt a church picnic yesterday, a friend turned to me and told me about a book she just read and loved. Having a friend (online or in-person) share book titles with me makes me happier than you might think for such a small thing. When it comes to picture book recommendations, though, I need more than any group of friends can supply. My girls can blow through even the most robust TBR list since they read 5 or 6 picture books in one sitting (sometimes more than once a day). I get most of my picture book ideas on Instagram these days. If you haven’t spent time perusing the kids’ bookstagram scene recently, it might surprise you how many beautiful pictures of books run through my feed every day. In case you need something else to look at in the middle of the night (why don’t my friends post updates at 2 am?!), here are some of my favorite Instagram accounts dedicated to children’s books and reading: Continue reading

9 Books for a First-Grade Classroom

9 books for a first-grade classroomOne of my very closest friends will be a first-year teacher (teaching first grade) this fall and is looking for suggestions for her classroom library. As you could probably guess, the first thing I wanted to do when I heard the news was hop on a plane and go shopping for books and shelving. We’d have so much fun setting up her classroom! Nevermind the desks, chairs, or learning stations. I want to buy knick knacks for her desk and line all the walls with books. Instead, I’m sitting halfway across the country perusing Amazon for my very best recommendations. Here are 9 that keep coming to mind: Continue reading

Reading the World: 8 Books I’d Like to Try

8 books I'd like to tryOnce a month, I make a list of the books I’ve been reading as a way to keep tabs on my reading and join in with other readers around the internet who participate in Ann Bogel’s Quick Lit. This month, I keep finding myself gravitating more to what I’d like to read than what I’m reading now. (Call it literary wanderlust, if you will.) Thanks to a side writing project I’ve been working on, I discovered both Ann Morgan’s TED talk about reading a book from every country in the world in a year and this world map made by an incredibly creative reddit user. First of all, I’d love to have a map like that on my wall. Secondly, it got me thinking about what I would do if I wanted to represent the world in books. What a daunting task to pick one book to represent an entire country! I’m far from making my own list, but I have enjoyed reading both lists and all the comments from readers around the world chiming in with their own suggestions. My international reading has suffered in the decade since college, so I’m gleaning ideas off both lists for my own TBR list. Here are the eight books that caught my eye first: Continue reading