The reading report - February edition

I've decided that one of the ways I can keep myself motivated and accountable for my reading goal this year is to blog a "report" each month. So far, so good!

I'm trying to read about a variety of topics and mix in some fiction along with my non-fiction interests. I hit my first roadblock this month when I struggled to finish a book that I really didn't care for. This is one that everyone seems to be excited about on the internet, but it just didn't do anything for me. I liked the cover more than the book I guess.


Here's my Goodreads review:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
2 out of 5 stars
Katie Nelson's review Feb 23, 16  
Read from January 21 to February 16, 2016

I wanted to love this book because I had heard so many good things about it. It just wasn't "Big Magic" for me though and I struggled to get through the second half of the book. I like some of her thoughts and I agree that ideas eventually find a home where they need to be, but that wasn't enough for me to call this a good read. 

I guess the best take home is that I got what I needed out of this book and that's enough.

After that, I needed to get my reading motivation going again so I picked an easy and familiar book.

Here's my Goodreads review:

The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules For Discovering the Successful Student In Every Child  by Ron Clark
4 out of 5 stars
Katie Nelson's review Feb 21, 16  
Read from February 17 to 19, 2016

I read this book about 8 years ago and I really enjoyed it then and I wanted to revisit it now for a second reading. I love the author's enthusiasm. I've seen some teachers rate this book pretty low because they feel it is unrealistic for a teacher to be expected to do this much. Maybe it is, but how awesome is it that he actually did these things?! And he did them for children who really didn't have much. Why do others have to cut down someone who actually achieved what many thought was impossible? Even Mr. Clark realizes that some of these experiences were once-in-a-lifetime happenings. The point is more about how to get the most you can out of your situation.

I read this book from the perspective of a parent and also as someone who likes to continually improve my own skills and life. I wish more people would read his list of "rules" and try to live by them. Some of them are a bit extreme, but the intention is always good and he had to make them pretty strict to apply to a larger group. As a parent, I have used this book more as a checklist to be sure I'm remember to teach my children (and remind myself) about the best practices for having a happy life.

This is a small book that is easy to read, but the ideas have stayed with me for a long time.

Next up, I wanted to read a fictional story. It's been awhile since I lost myself in a book and I decided to try something from a new-to-me author.

Here's my Goodreads review:

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
4 out of 5 stars
Katie Nelson's review Feb 23, 16  · 
Read from February 21 to 23, 2016

I was intrigued by this book after seeing that it was a favorite of Bill Gates. My own son has high-functioning autism so I'm very familiar with the world of Asperger's and the autism spectrum. I enjoyed the main character although I'm not sure I've really ever met anyone like him. It's a work of fiction though and that's all I expected of it. I found myself chuckling at many of his thoughts and interactions.

I was disappointed by the use of the f-word throughout the book (especially in the beginning and ending) and I almost gave up reading this because of that. I don't like that word. I get that it was part of Rosie's character to be a little rough, but it wasn't really necessary.

Overall, I liked the message of the book and it was a fun and easy read.

Now I need to decide what to read next! I've got so many books that I've been meaning to read so it's tricky to choose. I'm also remembering that one of the reasons I got away from reading books over the last few years is because I LOVE to read so much, that it's hard for me to put a book down once I've started it. I read The Rosie Project in two nights - but that meant I stayed up way too late those nights. It's the old "one more chapter" lie I tell myself. lol! #bookwormproblems