Tuesday, May 25, 2010

my summer reading list: my right to read!

If you grew up in the 80s you probably remember the national reading campaign called "Write To Read Week". This campaign was designed to encourage young people to read more and increase their writing skills by way of the dreaded book report (I actually liked doing book reports). Is it bringing back memories? 

Well, I have set out on a quest to increase my adult reading skills and options by compiling a list of books that I will challenge myself to read through the summer.  Why summer you ask? I chose summer because it's when I have some down time. Working in the field of Higher Education lends itself to providing opportunities to take somewhat of a break.  Plus, stats show that our kids are not reading as much anymore, reading and writin scores are plummeting and we are so bombarded nowadays with so much multimedia, quick reads of news and pop culture on the internet, that reading is  becoming somewhat of a lost art. And I certainly don't want to read a book on a Kindle (love Amazon) or an iPad. No, not me, I'm old school. Nothing beats cracking open a real live book. So, my goal with my free time, is to, in between all of the other media coming at me from the left and the right, I will try to be purposeful and squeeze in some reading.

It seemed so much easier when we were younger to be able to carve out time to read. Oh, let's see, maybe it was because we didn't have a job, car payments, a house, kids, etc. You name it, we let it all distract us from using our brains for things other than vegg-ing out on the sofa after a long day's work.  Well, I'm putting a halt to all of that (for the summer at least).  And a great site to help you stay on track with your reading is www.goodreads.com !  I absolutely love Good Reads. It's a social network site (yes, another social network site), however, all of its content is focused on reading, book clubs, authors, and just the promotion of reading.  It also has a mechanism where, when you update you status, you can report to the world, exactly what page you are on and provide a mini review with each update.  I love it because it provides sort of a self accountability tool and all of your "friends" on good reads, encourage you to read, can make recommendations for books you should read, and it just provides a more well-rounded, intellectual community, giving you a break from the likes of Facebook or MySpace (I love my Facebook though!) Speaking of Facebook, you can also link your Good Reads account to your Facebook status updates or the streaming feed and to your Twitter account

I challenge you, especially all of you 30-something, Write To Read Week pioneers, to pick up a book this summer, in fact, pick up a couple of books, create a list, and begin your journey towards falling in love with reading again.  Here's my list:

  • And The Walls Came Tumbling Down by Vernadine Merrick
  • The Boss of You by Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears
  • Mama Dearest by E. Lynn Harris
  • The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner
  • Red Light Wives by Mary Munroe
  • In The Night Of The Heat by Blair Underwood
  • The Breakthrough by Gwen Ifill
  • Wicked Ways by Donna Hill
  • The Taste of Good Fruit by Marita Teague
  • How To Be Your Own Publicist by Jessica Hatchigan
  • Get A Freelance Life by Margit Feury Ragland (mediabistro.com)
  • Self-Publishing 101 by Debbie Elickson
Now, I know you are thinking, this is an ambitious list, but that's part of the challenge. Summer is short, but there is a lot I want to learn about in  short amount of time. As you can see, some of my books include fiction, because sometimes you just have to escape, but others on the list include non-fiction books about business and writing.  As an aspiring author, I want to learn all I can about what it takes to be a successful author and entrepreneur.  One book, The Breakthrough by Gwen Ifill, I actually plan to read as a resource for my daily work with students. I figured I might as well throw in a book that is work related, but one that is written by one of our premiere journalists, Ms. Ifill, so  I think I will enjoy it.  I will also share my reviews of each book here with you, what I thought was a hit or miss, also, where I fell short in my reading (like telling you which books I absolutely didn't get a chance to read).

Well, there's my list. What's yours? Please share  here.  Let's start a conversation about reading, because it's your Right to Read!

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