Introducing, again, my reading lists

Well, Meagan’s finally pushed me over the edge. I’m going to start my reading lists again. Hers reminded me how fun they can be.

I used to enjoy making a list of books to read and then following up with the books I’ve read. It got pretty long too. Both lists did. It helped to be able to look at the kinds of books I’d read and remember what I’d gotten from each of them. It helped to know what I would read next too, a never-ending flow of reading material.

The problem was that I ended up reading just to get books on my “have read” list. And I was reading books I might not care about otherwise, just because I thought I was supposed to read them. I’m hoping that abandoning the reading lists for a few years has helped me read more purposely and become aware of my tendencies to read for the sake of the lists alone instead of for the stories and information.

I’ve set up a dedicated page for the reading lists. At the top, you’ll see a list of books I’d like to read or am curious about (I reserve the right to quit any book no matter how much I’m invested in it already). Underneath that list, you’ll see (coming soon) the list of books I’ve read.

I’m not going back in time to recall the books I’ve read in the past. I’m starting as of my birthday this week, May 6, 2014. The “have read” list will include all the books over, say, 50 pages or so that I’ve finished after that date.

The lists are more for my own benefit than anything else. If you’re curious about the types of books I enjoy, though, or want to see where I’ve been, the lists might be something you’ll want to check out. Happy reading!

Mispronouncing in your head

Zach, who’s eight years old now, is a strong reader. We’re sitting at the table, and he’s reading to himself.

“Why don’t you read out loud?” I said.

He didn’t answer.

“What happens when you get to a word you don’t know?”

He finished his paragraph in his head and then answered. “Then I’ll ask you.”

He hadn’t asked me for any help yet. He’s a strong reader but not that strong.

“What happens when you get to a word you don’t know, but you don’t know that you don’t know it?”

I don’t think he processed that. He kept reading on his own.

But that’s the trouble with going it alone. He won’t know when he doesn’t know, won’t know when he mispronounces a word in his head. Isn’t that usually the trouble for any of us, not knowing when we don’t know, not knowing when we’re mispronouncing the world in our head?

Read “No one knows what they’re doing” (but watch the language) for more on this.


Each year on my birthday (not written ahead), I publish here, something about my birthday. Today is that day again.

I’ve been gone for the past three years, living out of the country. This is my first birthday back in Kentucky in the United States since I first moved abroad.

In that time, some things changed. I didn’t give presents to everyone for their birthdays. I didn’t get them each year either. I wrote about what I like to get, though, if someone must get me a gift.

As a result, I’ve been curious to see how this would go. Would it return to before I left? Or have things really changed?

Well, my mom made enchiladas. We ate razzleberry pie with vanilla ice cream. I got a few cards, opened a few presents – mostly books, which I love – and, yeah, flew in a biplane. So cool!

It worked out pretty well, I think. It’s a strong step toward a better birthday tradition. I feel full.

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