Teacher • Writer • Reader • Watcher of Movies • Player of Games • Lover of Animals
I have always been a fan of young adult books, and, as a teacher, these are often the books that I spend a great deal of time working with. In my personal life, I generally choose to read YA fiction because I think that it often involves a more inventive quality of storytelling. Because authors are trying to engage younger, developing readers with very complex topics and themes, YA books are often much deeper than people may assume. I recently finished Andrew Smith’s “The Size of the Truth”--one of his few middle-grade books--and I was blown away. I thought that the book was thoughtful, fun, and carried many difficult, heavy themes that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in a book geared towards a young reader.
Andrew Smith strikes again! I’m starting off the new year by diving into the stack of books that I received at Christmas (and yes, they are all Andrew Smith). I decided to start with “In the Path of Falling Objects,” and I am glad that my 2021 reading journey is starting off with a bang. Smith, who is one of my favorite authors, has a way of crafting characters and narratives that completely hook that reader--and this book was no exception. Like a slow boil, I suddenly realized that I couldn’t put this book down; instead, I began furiously turning the pages in a desperate need to know how it would all end.
I can confidently say that 2020 certainly did not go the way any of us expected it to go. As this turbulent year finally comes to end, it is important to look back on one of the positives that came out of everything that happened over the last twelve months. One of the biggest things that I’m grateful for is the amount of time that I was able to dedicate to reading. Although 2020 wasn’t perfect (not even close to perfect, if I’m being honest), I was able to find my enjoyment in reading again. I read more than 30 books this year, and I want to take some time to give you my Best Reads of 2020.
Before diving into the review, I want to acknowledge that I understand that this book has stirred extreme controversy for the outdated views and practices that are referenced in the pages. However, I would be remiss to leave out what is considered to be one of the greatest American novels as I begin my journey of reading more classic works.
I’m not even sure where to start with this one! This is, hands down, one of the funniest “self help” books that I have ever read. I’m generally not one for these types of books, but I knew that I had to give this a read. Life advice, hilarious stories, and beautifully captured photographs align to create the perfect reading experience. I think it is important to have diverse representation in all forms of media, and seeing two accomplished drag queens sit down and write a self help book as “modern women” is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of diverse representation.
A classic fairy tale with new and exciting twists and turns sounds like a hit, but, unfortunately this read was a little disappointing. At first glance, it had the ingredients to be the perfect book for me, but then it just fell flat. After I was done reading--and even while I was reading--the story just never seemed to get off the ground.
This was a reread for me, but it made me remember how much I enjoy this book. It has been a long time since I read this book for the first time, but as I was scanning the shelves for something to read, there was something about this title that caught my eye. As I was reading, I was flooded with memories (no pun intended) of what it was like reading this when it was recommended to me by my elementary school librarian. Reading it now, I had a different appreciation for the story being told, but I remembered how impactful the concept of this story was to me even as a younger reader.
This one has taken me quite a while to write. To be honest, I fell away from reading for a little bit over the last month, and this book took me longer to finish than it should have. “Imaginary Friend” had been sitting on my shelf for quite a while, but I’m glad that I picked it up and finally read it. Although it was a little confusing in places, I was hooked, and the desire to figure out exactly what was happening kept me reading.