Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: March Update

Still progressing well with my goal of reading 100 books in 2015. I read a total of 10 books in March which puts me on track.

I am very much enjoying my reading challenge because it reminds me to read when I have free time. It is too easy to get distracted by the internet and not even think about picking up a book. I do absolutely love to read. So, for me, the goal gives me that little bit of encouragement that I need to choose a book over other distractions.

Here's what I read in March.

The Together Teacher - Maia Heyck-Merlin
Since my time in France is ending, I've started to prepare for teaching in the US again. I had seen reviews of this book before, and I have to say that I was not disappointed. It is an excellent resource for teachers who need to get organized. Yes, there are plenty of books on organization and time management, but a teacher's day is so different from other professionals. This book has strategies that work for teachers. I will be using the techniques in this book. If you are a teacher, or you know a teacher, this book is very much recommended.

My Week with Marilyn - Colin Clark
This book has been on my to-read list since I saw the movie. How could anyone not enjoy a book with a personal account of time spend with the movie star Marilyn Monroe? While not quite as charming as the movie, the book is an interesting read.

Shades of Milk and Honey - Mary Robinette Kowal
I've accidentally started a new series. This book is a fantasy novel (points since I enjoy fantasy.) As I was reading it, I kept feeling that it resembled a Jane Austen novel. So, I was pleased in the acknowledgements to read that the author was inspired by Jane Austen (more points because of Jane Austen.) Also, since I caught the Pride and Prejudice theme, I thought I knew which character the main character would end up with, but it turns out I picked the wrong one as being Darcy. So it's a fantasy novel with Jane Austen elements that is cleverly written. Basically, everything that I want in a light read.

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
This book was on my reading list because I've heard it described as a new "classic." The story of adventure and personal discovery is interesting. The writing style is enjoyable. But. It didn't have a profound influence on me. It is good, but for me not as amazing as I had been led to believe. Which is fine.

The Perks of Being  a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
A friend recommended that I read this book. Quite frankly, I still don't know how I feel about the book. It deals with a difficult subject. Emotionally, it was difficult for me to read. I know that lots of people love this book, but for me, it was too much at once.

Beauty and the Werewolf - Mercedes Lackey
I'm still reading the Five Hundred Kingdom series. This is the 6th book in the series, and as the title implies, it is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (with a little bit of Little Red Riding Hood and plenty of other fairy tales mixed in.)

Prince - Kiera Cass
Prince is a novella in the Selection series. The story is told from Prince Maxon's point of view as he deals with the idea of meeting and choosing a girl to marry during the selection. Since I like Maxon's character, I liked having his point of view on the proceedings. While it isn't necessary to understanding the plot of the series, it is a good read while waiting for the rest of the series to be released.

Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry
This is the second book in The Giver Quartet. I liked reading The Giver in high school, and it is interesting to read the rest of the series now. I still haven't figured out yet how this book is related to the first one, but I think that the two collide somewhere later in the series. It is an intelligent dystopian novel. There is less drama than in some of the current popular dystopian novels aimed at young adults. I'd definitely advise adding this book to your to-read list.

Harry Potter et le Prince de Sang-Mêlé - J.K. Rowling
If you've been following these updates, you'll know that I've been trying to finish all of the Harry Potter books in French before I leave France. I know that I've said it before, but these books are so good. I remember very little from the first time that I read them (it's been a while), but I am so impressed by the quality of the plot and the writing.

Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year - Esmé Raji Codell
I finished off the month with some more non-fiction. In this work, the author recounts some of her experience during her first year of teaching in a difficult school. For me, it was good to read and relate to some of her struggles during her first year. Her story was inspirational to me as well. I certainly did not handle my first year teaching in the same way that she did. She has an unconventional approach, and while my approach to teaching differs some, I will definitely be trying to keep the same spirit that Esmé has while teaching.

Those are the books that I read in March. I have quite the mix of styles of fiction and nonfiction, but I think that it's more fun to read as many different types of writing as I can. In the upcoming months, I'll be reading more books about teaching and books aimed at teens since I will hopefully be teaching high school or middle school English in August (not that I will complain if I manage to find a high school French job.) My goal in April is to read as many books as possible because I know that things will get extremely busy once I start my summer job in May and my teaching job in August.

All of these books are available on Amazon. It's an affiliate link, so a portion of the price of anything that you buy after clicking on the link will go to support this blog and allow me to buy more books to read!

What did you read in March? Do you have any suggestions for my reading list?


  1. Wow 10 books, I thought I was doing good with 5!!

    1. I've been lucky to have a lot of free time lately.

  2. I posted what I read in March today too! You read way more than me though. Perks of being a wallflower is one of my all time favorite books, but I totally agree that it deals with some hard stuff. I have the Harry Potter series on my reading list for the year (just in English).

  3. You read so much, I need to do that too! I might have to check out some of these books.



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