Monday, July 27, 2015

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

I still have four Bluebonnet Book nominees to read before August 25th (one of them is listed below), but I also feel the need to read some self-help and inspirational material as the summer is quickly winding down:

Are You Fully Charged?  The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life, by Tom Rath.  A couple of chapters into the book, I'm reading about the first key--finding meaning in what you do.  That's already a given for me; becoming a librarian has allowed me to focus on my passion of supporting literacy and lifelong learning for my patrons.  I'm interested in finding out more about the next two keys, which focus on dealing with other people and maintaining your physical health.

Epiphany:  True Stories of Sudden Insight to Inspire, Encourage, and Transform by Elise Ballard has become my bedtime ritual. Ms. Ballard has interviewed fifty people, ranging from the famous to the not-so-famous.  She shares a brief bio for each, how she connected with that person, and then the epiphany(ies) they've experienced.  Each story is only a few pages long, so it's the perfect "word bite" to read and inspire me before I turn off the light.

A friend of mine suggested Simon Sinek's Leaders Eat Last:  Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't.  She recommended downloading the Kindle version to have access to additional video content.  I started reading the preface, but my Android device can't play the videos (yet; I'm working on it!), so I got a bit stuck.  I really enjoyed Sinek's Start with Why, looking forward to continuing with his newest material.

Back to those Bluebonnet nominees...I'm currently reading A Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy, illustrated by Todd Harris.  If you've ever wondered about the Prince Charmings behind Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, then wonder no more--Mr. Healy will fill you in.  We get to know the "real" princes--Frederic, Liam, Duncan, and Gustav--and all their foibles.  I'm just getting to know Frederic, and it's pretty funny already.  Teachers, please be sure that your third graders-on-up who are reading this book know the stories of the original fairy tales first, so they get the humor!


Last week, I finished Quinny & Hopper by Adriana Brad Schanen, illustrated by Greg Swearingen.  It was a sweet story of new friendship between the title characters, who have polar opposite personalities.  As in Always, Abigail by Nancy Cavanaugh, it touched on the difficulties of fitting in at school.  It also speaks to being true to oneself, setting boundaries, and knowing your strengths.  The story is told in alternating voices, so it's great for character inference.  

I've only got a couple of weeks left before my work calendar starts, and three of those days will be in professional development!  That's one of the reasons I set aside Digital Leadership:  Changing Paradigms for Changing Times by Eric C. Sheninger; I'm going to wait until I'm over the beginning-of-year chaos before I try that one again.  I'm hoping to finish at least two of the above books before next Monday!


  1. Ooh! Epiphany sounds like a great "bedtime" book. I love books with short vignettes like that... well-- unless they get too serialized/trite -- which sometimes occurs with the "Chicken Soup for Soul" books, etc. I'm going to look for this one! Happy reading!

    1. The stories are very different, and more focused on personal insight and the ensuing action than on acts of goodwill. The one I read last night actually made me a bit angry, as I didn't agree with the woman's conclusions after her "epiphany" (that her husband was just the way he was, and she should be happy with her state in life...???), but hey, everyone's stories and boundaries are different!