In reading the origin stories over the summer, I notice how many of us entered the profession through a love of reading. For Allison Peters Jensen it was Ramona Quimby. Claire Hazzard was a vociferous series reader. For Rivka Genesen, a family history of library visits. Barbara Share was at the library as a child. Kate Hammond had a “right place, right time” experience. Katherine Smith Patin rounds out the group, proving that there are many avenues to librarianship.
Making Reading a Priority
For me, reading feels as vital as eating. I try to keep my reading diet varied —a little junk food now and then, and hearty, mind-feeding fare. Like everyone, my job with middle school and high school students has become more enmeshed in technology. I look at database usage and consider what to switch up. Teach search strategies, ethical use and information skills. Review DVDs and check out new apps. Experiment with ways to communicate with colleagues and how to make library interactions flow more smoothly. Continue to think about how ebooks fit into our library and curriculum. I read about the user experience, design thinking and collaboration. And yet, as the Trinity Valley School mission contains phrases like “wide, constructive interests,” “fulfillment at college” and “intelligent citizenship” I feel reading is a key, and modeling a love of reading is an important part of my job
Four Books Currently On My Mind
I start many more books that I finish. Time is short, and many times I am reading to get a flavor of the book, looking for titles to suggest to other readers. These four are currently in my mind.
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. It will have a place in our library, if for no other reason than it is by Harper Lee. If you wonder about the true story (if there is a single “truth”) behind its publication, her publisher says they will “speak candidly” about the subject at a webinar on August 19.
Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix. Spunky heroine, ye olden days, bits of magic. Nix started this book about 25 years ago, but it is just now coming out in hardcover via HarperCollins’ Katherine Tegen imprint. Easy to recommend to those who enjoyed Etiquitte and Espionage and Y.S. Lee’s The Agency series. Due out in October.
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands. This debut author hits the nail on the head with this tale of an apothecary’s apprentice and his adventures in London. Suggest to those who liked The Accidental Highwayman, The Hunchback Assignments and Jackaby. Due out in September.
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose. World War II continues to fascinate students and adults . This story focuses on Danish high school students who stood up in resistance to the Germans. Hoose makes the story accessible to ‘tween readers, with enough meat for older teens as well.
What are some of the books that have stuck with you this summer?
Great to see the titles/comments!
I love your reading diet metaphor and completely agree. A full time pizza party isn’t healthy for anyone. We need a colorful diet, a few literary vitamins from time to time in order to be healthy, wealthy, and wise…wait, that’s about getting enough sleep. Oh well. It works.
The books that I have read this summer that have stayed with me are “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes (my new favorite author, I believe). I too read “Go Set a Watchman”. Not sorry that I read it, it generated some good conversation, but wasn’t my favorite. I did really like “A Spool of Blue Thread” by Anne Tyler; such rich writing. “Girls of Riyadh” was good for some multicultural flavor. “Still Alice” has turned me into a hypochondriac, questioning every misplaced set of keys and lost word during a conversation. “Dark Places” was, well, dark, but I liked it if that makes sense? I was in the mood for it. Of the purely YA books that I read this summer, “The Beginning of Everything” by Robyn Schneider tops my list. “Vanishing Girls” by Lauren Oliver was just o.k. for me and “Saint Anything” was good in that typical angsty-Dessen fashion.
Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll add those to my list. I’m especially interested in the Hoose book.
I always feel like a slow reader when I find out how many books others read! Thanks for the great comments, Kate!
Thank you so much for the heads-up about the GSAW webinar, Maggie – signed up in the nick of time!