Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ten on Tuesday - DEAR Time

Today's Ten On Tuesday prompt is a special one in honor of Beverly Cleary's birthday and Drop Everything and Read Day: 10 Books That Made YOU Want to Drop Everything and Read. Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary! Ralph S. Mouse was a big favorite in our house, and may be part of the reason Justin rides a motorcycle today.

Back when I worked in elementary and middle school libraries, the librarians and I loved DEAR time. Even though we were surrounded by books and students reading, we never actually got to read at work unless it was a school-wide DEAR time, usually on Dr. Seuss' birthday (Read Across America Day, March 2), and often for only 15 minutes. That isn't nearly long enough!

This is almost always the kind of reading experience that I'm hoping for, books so good that I want to drop everything else and read, and here are some books that made me want to do just that:
  1. The Harry Potter series - I'm not sure I would feel the same way now if I reread them, but at the time, I could hardly stand the wait for the next book. Once Ryan started reading them, we had to pre-order two copies because there was no way we were going to share one. I remember both of us tearing open the Amazon boxes and reading on the porch to the exclusion of everything else.
  2. My Name is Lucy Barton - This is a recent read, but I could relate to the character of Lucy on so many levels that I just didn't want to put the book down.
  3. Anne of Green Gables - I loved this book as a girl, and have been happy to see that it has stood up to several rereads over the years. 
  4. The Shipping News - I know two people that did not find this book as incredible as I did, but they are both wonderful so I'm willing to overlook this one little thing. :-) It's one of my absolute, all-time favorites.
  5. The Children Act - I read this book more than a year ago and I still find myself thinking about Fiona Maye.
  6. Home Cooking and More Home Cooking - Not exactly cookbooks, Laurie Colwin's essays on home cooking and preparing food for those we love are brilliant and beautiful.
  7. How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking - It might seem a bit strange to find nonfiction on this list, but Jordan Ellenberg writes so compellingly about how math figures largely into our world that I did drop everything to read it.
  8. Still Alice - This book about early-onset Alzheimer's disease told from the patient's point of view is heart-breaking yet still joyful in its own way. I still think about Alice seven years after I read the book.
  9. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid - Bill Bryson's memoir about growing up in the '50s is both hilarious and poignant. I think listening to the audiobook, read by the author himself, makes this near-perfect.
  10. A Short History of Nearly Everything - This is one of the first audiobooks I listened to, and I found it so funny, interesting, educational, and just plain good that I barely noticed it was almost 18 hours long. This book is exactly what the title proclaims and well worth reading.

I can't wait to read all the other lists today; something tells me I may be adding lots of books to my to-be-read list.


  1. The Shipping News! SO GOOD. In my old book group (before I moved; I still miss them all more than they can imagine), The Shipping News became the true test of whether or not a potential new member would fit in. If they adored The Shipping News . . . they were in. If they didn't . . . OUT.

    (I, too, still think about The Children Act. Great book.)

  2. Harry Potter caused the same upheaval (or perhaps standstill is a better word) in our house! The power of anticipation for a Harry Potter book was a force to be reckoned with! Great list Bonny, I have added a few more titles to my reading "wish list"!

  3. Great books - I loved The Shipping News, too. It used to kill me when the Harry Potter books arrived at the library. They sat in my office for a week or more until it was legal to open them. SO Hard to wait! I just checked out The Children Act from OverDrive. If you and Kym loved it I know I will, too.

  4. I loved Shipping News and it's a great one for book groups. We've read it twice in our 28 years together. Harry Potter would be on my list, too!

  5. #7 looks really intriguing and also # 10.

  6. I think I might be the one who did not like the shipping news...I want to read the lucy barton book and the still alice one. Great list!

  7. I picked up Lucy Barton and plan to read it very soon!

  8. Oh what a great list! Definitely need to look into the Home Cooking books!

  9. I loved the Thunderbolt Kid!! I listened to it and the narrator was fabulous. Will have to check out The Shipping News.


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