Today, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is usually sent out every three weeks.
Newsletter Update: In this issue I have one picture book review, two literacy milestones (appreciating biographies and identifying the elements of a good book). I also have a post about reading logs. I also have three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, full of reading- and education-related news.
Reading Update: In the last four weeks I finished seven adult titles (plus a significant number of picture books). I read/listened to:
- Ben Sasse: Them: Why We Hate Each Other--And How To Heal. St. Martin's Press. Adult Nonfiction. Completed October 31, 2018, personal copy. This is a well-written book about the decline in real-world community that has resulted from so many people moving about for their jobs, and living places temporarily. I read this as part of my quest to understand the divisiveness in our political discourse in the country.
- Nir Eyal: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. Portfolio. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 3, 2018, on Kindle. I read this mainly for work, but it did have some insights about what makes things addictive that are relevant to my day to day life, too. This book furthered my interest in reducing the time that I, and my daughter, spend on screens.
- Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky: Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day. Currency. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 11, 2018, personal copy. This is a quick, tip-based read more about prioritizing time than managing it. The basic idea is that every day you should have one "highlight" that you focus on for an hour or two, so that at the end of the day you have something real that you can say you accomplished (instead of just spending all day responding to email or whatever). I read this book, with two of the other titles below, as part of some soul-searching that I'm doing about how I spend my time. Some changes to the blog will be coming, once I get it all processed.
- Greg McKeown: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Currency. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 13, 2018, on Kindle. The idea of this book is that if you put in small amounts of effort in lots of different directions you will never accomplish very much in any of them. But if you focus your best efforts on one thing, you can make a big impact.
- Emily Bleeker: Wreckage. Lake Union Publishing. Adult Fiction. Completed November 18, 2018, on Kindle. This was a page-turner about a woman stranded on a desert island after a plane crash that I read in a single day. It's not very realistic, but it was just the ticket to keep me reading.
- Margaret Mizushima: Burning Ridge: Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Crooked Lane Books. Adult Mystery. Completed November 24, 2018, on MP3. This is the latest installment of a series that I enjoy, and helped pull me back into listening more to audiobooks again.
- Cal Newport: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. Grand Central Publishing. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 24, 2018, on Kindle. The idea of this book is that in today's world, full of digital distractions (texts, emails, etc.) we spend most of our time doing "shallow work". However, if we can re-train our brains for deeper work, this can have a significant impact on our productivity (and our brains). I do think that the author is right, and this is something that I'm working on.
I'm currently reading Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids by Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp in print, Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf on Kindle, and Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly on MP3. I'm enjoying Game Changer very much, and am bound to write about it at some point. I do wonder why Amazon sent it with a signature required (have people been stealing this book?), but it's good stuff.
My daughter and I started reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke together. It's a bit advanced for her, and has been slow going, but she is definitely intrigued. I'm working on a separate post about our experience with that, so stay tuned. We have been alternating reading Inkheart and continuing to read picture books together. We read a number of Thanksgiving-related books this month. We also both quite liked Drew Daywalt's latest (with David Spencer), The Epic Adventures of Huggie & Stick.
In terms of her own reading, she mostly read graphic novels and notebook novels over the recent Thanksgiving break. She particularly enjoy the first two books in the Five Worlds series, The Sand Warrior and The Cobalt Prince, and is saddened that the next is not yet available. We had had these books in the house for a while - not sure what made this the right time for her to read them. She's also dipping into Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but taking it pretty slowly. I mostly try to just stay out of the way and let her read what she likes. This is working for us so far.
Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! Hope that all of my US readers had a lovely Thanksgiving.