One of my goals for 2009 is to read 20 books. I'm blushing putting that in ink, because I worry that my friend, Emma (who I named my Emma after) will read this post and gasp.
Here's my confession. As the year's have gone by and I've accumulated children, I've found myself reading books less and less. Now, let me be clear. I still read a lot: magazines, newspapers, blogs, articles on the Internet. It is not unusual for me to spend a couple hours a day reading. But not books. The last couple of years I probably haven't cleared 10 books a year.
Thus my goal to read 20 books this year.
So, I'm going to put a little space in my side bar and track the titles of the books I read. And for your reading pleasure, I'll also offer a brief review of the books.
Number 1: The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright
I actually started this book in December, but I finished it in January, so I think that counts. The book begins with an older couple, Jack and Laurel Cooper, dying in each other's arms one night at the bed-and-breakfast that they own. Their three children must now all return for the funeral and to deal with their parents personal effects. One of the sons is a fugitive with outstanding warrants for his arrest in his home town. He must also face his one true love, who is engaged to another man.
Among their parents things, the children discover boxes upon boxes of letters, written by their father to their mother every Wednesday. This book is touching in a way that quietly makes you want to start your own Wednesday Letters tradition. This book is also squeaky clean with no swear words or sex scenes. It was fantastic and I highly recommend it.
Number 2: Dewey: the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter
The fact that a book with such a boring title could be a New York Time's Bestseller in the Adult Non-fiction category intrigued me. It's a true story of a librarian (the author, Vicki) who found a kitten in the book return box in the late 1980's on the coldest day of the year and convinced the library board to let her keep the cat, Dewey Readmore Books, in the library. But it's also so much more. It's about an amazing cat and difficult times for Iowa farmers. It's about how the cat lifted the community's spirits by sitting on laps and sleeping in boxes. And even that is inadequate. The Job-like trials that the author experienced and the sustaining love from this cat, with his own set of problems, makes you both appreciate your own pets and wish that you had known Dewey.
This book is also very clean: one swear word and no sex scenes. Let me say however, that neither of these books are children's books. When I learned that my 6th grade niece was reading Dewey, I called my sister, told her what the book entailed and suggested she read it herself before deciding if her daughter could handle it. If I were giving these books and age range I'd say 15 and up.
I bet you're dying to know what I'll read next. I'll keep you posted.