Where I Started

I love to read. Ever since I was three years old, my mother used to bring me to the library. By four, I had my own library card. I would spend most after afternoons going to our local library and read. A lot.

Miss Spina, the local librarian would choose books for me and I would bring as many as I could home. My Mom and my older sisters would read them to me. Those are very special memories for me.

As I grew older, my taste went from Dr. Seuss, to the Bobsy Twins, to the Hardy Boys. I would read each book, (with Miss Spina recommendations) and go back the next week for more. My love for reading did not wane as I went to high school. My tastes were mysteries. Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, and Alfred Hitchcock. Being in a Catholic school, I also got a lot of my sex education from books. Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and The Thorn Birds. I also became obsessed with the genre of horror. The Exorcist, Rosemary Baby, and The Boys from Brazil. But the thing was, books were everything to me.

In college, I did the American classics. Plays, novels, and poetry. Sadly I didn’t read as much as I wanted to in college because I was busy with textbooks. I majored in Special Education with a minor in Sociology/Social Work.

When I started my Masters Degree in Reading Education, it was the beginning of the Whole Language movement in reading and writing. In a nutshell, it was the use of literature to reenforce content areas. In my opinion, sadly people used this as permission not to teach the basics and it was abandoned. But literature in the classroom was there to stay. I taught for 25 years and I hope that I got a reluctant reader or two to pick up a book for fun. I always had a lending shelve in my classroom where kids could sign out books to read. It was great.

Then during the summer of 2009, I suffered a major stroke and a brain bleed, which left me in a coma for six weeks. When I woke up, I couldn’t do much of anything. Including reading. My Occupational Therapist knew how important it was for me, so she had me count the bricks in my fireplace from left to right, so I could start tracking again. I did it everyday. Then I started to use books in large print and accompany with books on tape to put meaning to text. It took me about a year and a half, but I could start reading again.

That was 4 years ago. So this summer I came up with a list of all the books I have always wanted to read. Some are classics, some are Bestsellers, some are so obscure, I don’t even know where I heard of it. Also since I lost a lot of my memory, some are favorites that needed another read. I was forced to retire in 2010, so there are days that I need a hobby, so this is where this blog comes from. I am going to read these books (and add and subtract as I feel like it, after all I am retired!) and post a quick review of it.

This is a low pressure environment. If you’d like to follow this, please feel free, or suggest it to others. Lets just have fun with it! ENJOY!