I figure since it is still January, I can still write about my goals for 2017. This year I aim to read one book every two weeks, for a grand total of 26 by 2018. I am already crushing this goal, though, so we shall see how the rest of 2017 fairs. So far the books I have read this year all include similar themes: education, oppression, strong female characters. I did not set out to focus on these topics this year, but I find it nice to read the same topic from so many perspectives.
The first book I finished this year was I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. I had a hard time getting into this book at first because of the large focus on the political and historical influences in modern day Pakistan. As Malala began to tell her own story, however, I found myself enthralled with her every word. I found myself reflecting on our own education system. How privileged we are to be able to go to school through high school and beyond. How privileged we are to have choices in our schooling, both in projects, books, and activities as well as in the actual school itself. If you have not yet read I Am Malala, go pick it up now. I promise you will leave with a newfound respect for your own education and ability to think for yourself.
Next I picked up The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I have to say that this was probably one of the best books I have ever read. I could not put it down from the very first introduction to death on the first page. If you have not yet read The Book Thief, I should tell you that death is the narrator. This choice is fitting since the story takes place during Hitler’s reign. Liesel, the main character, made me realize how lucky I am to have books readily available. At the start of the book she is unable to read, however by the end she is gobbling up stories, although their access is not as easy as she would like. Do not read this book, though, if you are not ready for a good cry. The connection to Liesel and her family made for a long, albeit predictable, sobfest.
And that brings me to today. I have just started reading The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I am excited to see Marjane’s view on her upbringing during the Islamic Revolution in Tehran. So far the artwork has been mesmerizing – The Complete Persepolis is a graphic novel – and the story has been fast paced.
I am not sure what is on the docket next, but I have started a list for this year.
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
- Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (reread)
- Smile, Sisters, and Drama by Raina Telgemeier (recommended by my students)
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
- The Shining by Stephen King
- Room by Emma Donoghue
Do you have any suggestions? What are your goals for 2017?