Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Favorites From 2014

smile bookAs I reflected on my reading in 2014, I wanted to pick out some that really stood out to me. I went through my list on Goodreads to refresh my memory about what I read at the beginning of the year. I just wrote down picture books, chapter books, nonfiction books, and graphic novels that really spoke to me. While I was going through the list I had a lot of Book Smiles as I remembered the books that I read. When I was finished going through the list, I was surprised that I listed more chapter books than anything other type of book. So below are my lists, in not particular order.

Picture Books

  • Warning Do Not Open This Book by Adam Lehrhaupt
  • The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
  • Tea Party Rules by Ame Dyckman
  • The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
  • The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
  • Big Bug by Henry Cole

Chapter Books

  • Hold Fast by Blue Balliett
  • A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
  • When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens
  • Jinx and Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood
  • The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore 
  • This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
  • Always, Abigail by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
  • The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
  • Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Nonfiction Books

  • A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jennifer Fisher Bryant
  • Firefly July A Year of Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko
  • Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth
  • Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer
  • Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy US Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
  • Creature Features: Twenty-Five Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins

Graphic Novels

  • Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci
  • Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani
  • El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • Comic Squad Recess by Jennifer L. Holm, Matthew Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Dav Pilkey, Dan Santat, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Ursula Vernon, Eric Wright, and Gene Yang
All of the books that I read this year made an impression on me, but I couldn't list an entire year of reading here. Because of my job in a PreK-5th Grade library I find myself sticking to picture books and middle grade novels, but I read a YA book this year that I really enjoyed. It was The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. It is a vampire story and I'm not really into vampires, but I could not put this book down.

What books made an impression on you this year?

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Time For A Change!

Christmas Break came at the right time. Even though I didn't realize it, I was burning the candle at both ends. I've taken on a lot this fall, personally and professionally. I didn't realize how tired I was until it was two days before Christmas and I realized I hadn't even shopped yet! Fortunately it is just my parents and myself, so it was easy to knock out the shopping in one day. I had a great Christmas with my parents. We went down to Williamsburg VA. It is always a special place for us to walk around and people watch. It also is my time to sit in the Barnes and Nobles and read picture books. There were some really unique decorations this year. It was so nice to just have to do nothing but walk around and just have some family time.

Big Cork Wreath
Smaller Cork Wreath

Very simple, but surprising!
The flowers were made from shells

Great use of the gum balls!
But as the warm fuzzy feeling from Christmas is fading, I'm coming to some realizations. Every year I try to make resolutions, but I never follow through. As the year goes on, I start to feel guilty about not following through and I vow to do better. But "something" always seems to get in the way. Most of the time, that something is me. As I reflect on 2014 I had some highs and lows like most people. But I had no follow though for what I really wanted to accomplish this year. I start out good, but can't sustain it for months at a time. I think, I'm too focused on the big picture and not the steps to get me there. It is time for a change!!

I'm going to write down where I want to be in my life on December 31, 2015 and put it in a sealed envelope. After I seal the envelope, I'm going to put the big picture goals out of my mind. Knowing me, it will be a checklist. I think I'm going to then write down short term goals for January.

In order for me to accomplish those "big goals", I've come to some realizations.

  1. I need to make time for me! I can't just keep focusing on school.
  2. I need to make some healthier choices with food and exercise.
  3. I need to declutter some areas in my house. I keep a lot of "things" that I need to let go.
  4. I need to get back to being a presence on Twitter and blogging again. I've really missed it.
I'm going to be posting my successes and failures here, in between all the great books posts! Hope you will stay along for the ride. I'm going to start with number 4 first. As my phone and iPad blew up tonight with tweets, I was reminded how much I miss being a part of that online community.

Anyone else with plans for 2015?

Stacey (@libraryjo92)