100 Consecutive Days: Entering the Reading Room

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Recently, while playing hookey from church, I watched my favorite Sunday television program, “CBS Sunday Morning”. Watching CBS Sunday Morning is a ritual I have enjoyed since I was a kid. Truth be told, I wish I could skip church every Sunday, if only to watch my favorite Sunday morning program. One reason I love the program so much is due to my memories of sitting with my Dad (who also looked for reasons to skip church) and watching the show together.

Before I get to Sunday Morning segment triggering this post, I have a confession. I am not an avid reader. Gosh, I should just go ahead and admit fully, I am not a reader. I know, I shake my head with my own disgust as I admit my shortcoming to you. After all, bloggers tend to be voracious readers. Many blogs pertain to the latest and greatest book. Bloggers throw out names of authors and the books written by the authors, as often as I throw out my love of ice cream and Dutch Monkey Doughnut’s flavor of the day. (Banana cake, by the way. Banana cake is the flavor Dutch Monkey Doughnuts is promoting today.)

The boys' bookshelf: a well used mess.

I fear I will lose subscribers with my confession.
I try to read. I do. I know how to read. I do.

I just find it challenging to focus on something for more than an hour. I may start at book, and I may get into the first 100 pages of the book. However, the minute I put the book down, I find I rarely go back and pick it up again. (Note: Between my husband and myself, we read to our boys every night.)

Though I may read far fewer books than the average person, I do read. In fact, I have read books that grab my attention to the point where I avoid reading the book because I do not want it to end. You’ve done that right? Let yourself get so involved with the characters to the point that you don’t want to let them go? I love those kind of books. (Elizabeth Brewster is still haunting me, Julie.)

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, when I have down time, reading is not my first choice for something to do. Writing, watching movies/documentaries or just sitting/napping is what I enjoy most. When I do pick up a book, unless it grabs me instantly, chances are it will remain on a shelf, never finished. I have several unfinished books in a cabinet by my bed. Several.

So, what does the above have to do with the story I watched on CBS Sunday Morning? Well, a Dad committed to reading to his 4th grade daughter every night for 100 consecutive nights. After the 100th night, the Dad and daughter continued their reading ritual. How long did this reading ritual last? Until the daughter started college. Yes, college. Here, check out the story, “A Father’s Gift of Reading“.

My oldest is already showing an interest in writing. Oftentimes, while I sit with my laptop and type my latest and greatest post, Joe is nearby, writing in his little green spiral notebook. He writes four or five sentence stories, and he shares the stories with me by either reading it aloud to me or asking me to read it aloud to him. I am thrilled to see Joe’s interest in writing. I believe it is in his best interest (and the best interest of his brother) to have an interest in reading. If Joe and Charlie don’t see me or Rob reading quietly to ourselves, what makes me think they will they will pick up a book and read quietly to themselves?

Inspired by the story on CBS Sunday Morning, as well as some of the books recommended by fellow bloggers, I am committing to reading a book every day for the next 100 consecutive days. Furthermore, I am committing to reading a chapter book to each one of my boys every day for 100 consecutive days (at least one chapter a day).

For my boys, we started the Geronimo Stilton Series, beginning with “Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye”. Interestingly enough, Geronimo Stilton is a journalist and editor for a local newspaper, which sounds perfect for Joe … a writer and an adventure finder. In addition to Geronimo, I’ll include the entire collection of Beatrix Potter. I am very proud of the fact that my boys love Beatrix Potter. (I have to thank their day care provider, Ms. Suzann, for that fact.)

The books currently on my list to read include:

“A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson
“I Know Just What You Mean: The Power of Friendship in Women’s Lives” by Ellen Goodman and Patricia O’Brien
“The Greatest Secret in the World” by Og Mandino
“The Reading Promise” by Alice Ozma
“In Spite of Myself”, by Christopher Plummer
“Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys

In honor of my niece (aka Adventure Girl), who is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail, I started with “A Walk in the Woods”. When I finish Bryson’s book, I will start “The Reading Promise.” After all, Alice and her Dad are my inspiration for deliberately entering my very own reading room. Here’s to the next 100 consecutive days … and beyond?

What books do you recommend? What books have pulled you in to story the point that you did not want the journey to end?

.|.

Be kind, and take care of yourself and each other.

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25 thoughts on “100 Consecutive Days: Entering the Reading Room

  1. I love this idea. I love to read, however I hate reading Crap!! I only read books recommended to me or bestsellers. The Book Thief, The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and Water for Elephants are all fabulous. And each summer I reread To Kill a Mockingbird. I hope the next 100 days are enjoyable for you and not drudgery. Enjoy!!

    • Thank you for the recommendations, Angel! I am literally keeping a list, and your suggestions are officially added. I’ll upload the list to the Reading Room section of my blog. If I get hooked to reading (which – if I get good books – getting hooked should be easy), I’ll need the list to feed the addiction. Thank you for visiting! ~ Lenore

    • I will have to think about it and get back to you .. but I agree with the ones Angel listed – especially the Kite Runner and Water for Elephants. Really enjoyed “The Help” last summer … I vacillate between light, fun summer reads pool-side and deeper, darker prose in winter.

      I promise to come back with a list 🙂 Good on you for trying again..

      I will admit to stopping a book (and being mad at the author) if the story line bores me or the characters are too stupid to be believed…

      Cheers! MJ

      • Thanks, MJ! Again, it is nice to hear others stop books mid-read, because they just cannot connect with the characters. It’s also nice to know you guys are recommending the same books. This speaks… wait for it… volumes. 🙂 ~ Lenore

  2. Holly

    Lenore,
    I love Danielle Steel books…….all of her books pertain to women and their strength to prevail in any and all circumstances. I have read almost every one she has written!!! I don’t like the mushy, gushy books where the woman is “saved by a man” (sounds great, but very unrealistic) —— I like the ones where the woman has a mind of her own, is true to herself, and even though she may face challenges, she is a victor, not a victim.
    When my girls were younger, I didn’t have much opportunity to read. I LOVE to read and now read approx. 2-3 books a month. I wish I could get paid to read!!!! (I guess that just means that I need to get out more often, and quit being a hermit!)
    Anyway, I hope you find an author that you love. I always told my girls that as long as they have books and an imagination, they can truly go anywhere in the world.
    Happy reading,
    Holly

    • Thank you, Holly! It’s good to have the recommendations. As I said to Angel, if I get hooked – I’ll need a long list to keep me going. It’s great to see you here. Thank you for being a subscriber. I greatly appreciate it! ~ Lenore

  3. This post struck a chord with me (like all of your posts). Currently, I have four books I’m “reading”. Reading as in, I’ll read a few pages here and there, maybe a chapter if I’m lucky. Sometimes the book ends up in my forgotten stack collecting dust. I’m halfway through The Help (love this one!) and I have high hopes I’ll actually finish it. Also reading Under the Dome by Stephen King (kind of disappointed so far and he’s one of my faves…) As far as authors I adore, John Irving is top of my list. I can read and reread A Prayer for Owen Meany. I think I’ve read that one about five times. I am also reading Thich Nhat Hanh. I almost always finish his books, good stuff.

    That is wonderful about reading chapter books to your kids. My son is an excellent reader (improved quite a bit this second grade year) so I am wondering what books might grab his attention. He also writes little books on his own, complete with cute illustrations and I am saving every single one, can’t bear to throw any out yet. 🙂

    • Darla, I am so happy to read that I am not the only person with a collection of started but soon forgotten books. I appreciate your recommendations. I’m updating the list with everything suggested. For the record, Darla, the picture of the chair … that was my Dad’s chair. You’d find him sitting in that chair watching TV every single day. I happily have that chair in my bedroom, next to an antique shoe shine box/table and a picture of my Dad. My little nook of Dad memories. 🙂 ~ Lenore

      • Oh, I love your Dad nook! My dad also used to watch CBS Sunday Morning, along with my grandpa. The one thing that triggers an instant Dad memory is the sound of a football game on TV. I wish I still had the chair he used to sit int. The only things I kept of his were the little wooden box I proudly made him in grade school and that chamois shirt I mentioned earlier and his leather wallet. Amazing how those things can be so precious to me.

  4. I’m such a voracious reader that I get 5 or 6 books at a time from the library and oftentimes I will repeat a book but not realize it until I’m halfway through it. I get completely engrossed but as soon as I put it down I couldn’t tell you anything about what I’ve just read. It’s crazy. I let Hot Joe and Noah watch whatever stupid boy shows they want on TV just to have an excuse to snuggle up in a blanket and read my book. Recommending books is hard because it depends on the genre that you like, but “The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins. Once I got started I became completely engrossed and got more and more mad. I loved the emotions that were stirred up. These three books have been passed around between all of my friends. Also of course is the series of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson. Again, rough beginning but great reading.

    • Your the second to recommend The Hunger Games, and I have it on my list now. I forgot about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’ve heard a great deal about Stieg’s books. I’ll add him and the three books to the list, too. I envy your ability to have the TV on and read at the same time. If I read when folks are home, I have to go in the bedroom. I suspect I’ll be spending more time in the bedroom. (smile)
      Thanks, Kim!

  5. jacquelincangro

    What an ambitious project, Lenore. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

    I think you’ll love A Walk in the Woods. It’s terrific because Bill Bryson is such an engaging writer. (If he came with me, I might just try to hike the AT! )

    • I just started the book last night, and I am happy to say I enjoyed it enough to pick it up again! Woo hoo! That’s a good sign. (smile) Thank you for recommending it several Adventure Girl posts ago. I was paying attention, see?! 🙂 ~ Lenore

  6. I know this will shock you, but I’d recommend . . . another hideous book where the mother dies. Also, Stop Pretending.

    🙂

    Those books fully captivated me. So, too, did A Brief History of Montmaray and its sequel, The FitzOsbornes in Exile. These are all YA novels, but they’re all riveting and full of heart.

    Li’l D loves reading, which fills me with joy. My mom made sure my siblings and me were surrounded by books and loved reading to us. It’s probably not coincidence all her children turned out to be voracious readers, with two of them currently writing novels and another a committed poet!

    I love the image of your son writing his stories and reading them to you, so early. Such a sweet image!

    • Thank you for listening these, Deborah! This is the first I have heard of Stop Pretending. (Oh, I jest, I jest.) 🙂 I will add them to my list, as soon as I finish this reply. I am going to add The Monster’s Daughter, too. Just so you know. Mentally, it is on my list. Man, I am going to be busy. Whose idea was this anyway? (smile) ~ Lenore

  7. Donna H.

    Lenore Diane,
    I “see” you on “Chronicles of a Rocket Surgeon” and decided to come over and see what’s happening ! I’m a lover of books, as well. My darling daughter gave me a Sony e-book a year ago for Christmas and it is just the best thing ever!! I always bought hard cover books for years and years and was a devoted Oprah book club member, so I had many, many books everywhere!! I have donated literally hundreds of them to senior community libraries here in our city and still have a lot of ones I just can’t part with! But the e-reader is so amazing and takes up no space!!! One of the best books, I’ve read over the last year was “The Help”, and I just finished Heaven is for Real. That’s a real thought-provoking read! “Water for the Elephants” is a must for your list (and see the movie if you can)! Whatever you do, just enjoy the one you pick up! Until next time .. Donna H.

    • Welcome Donna! Glad you came to visit. Thanks for staying long enough to share your thoughts, too! My boss has ‘Heaven is for Real’, and I plan on including it in the list. The others you suggested have been suggested/recommended by others. I love the fact that these books are coming with more than one recommendation. If all goes well, I should have a very busy summer full of good reads! Thanks again for stopping by. ~ Lenore

  8. I love reading, and I love going to church. I can’t enjoy life without either one. I hope that your reading goal ends with you falling in love with books. Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorites. She’s a Mainiac recommended A Prayer for Owen Meaney; I agree–it’s a great book. I read everything Nicholar Sparks and John Grisham write. And if I can toot my own horn, you might enjoy my novel, Restorations.

    As to the matter of church, if you are looking for reasons to skip church, perhaps you are not going to one that meets your needs. I can worship God at home by myselft, but I prefer corporate worship surrounded by others who love God and desire to worship him with their whole hearts.

    • Thank you for the recommendations, Susan. I read Nicholas Sparks’ A Bend in the Road and The Guardian. I enjoyed both. I like his style of writing. I’ll add him to the list (as well as John Grisham). I will add Pride and Prejudice, too. I’m embarrassed I haven’t read that Jane Austen classic.

      Church. I really enjoy our church. I attend various bible study groups throughout the year. But, sometimes the week is too noisy and I need quiet time. Those are the days you’ll find me home from church, enjoying a quiet house.

      Thank you for the feedback! ~ Lenore

  9. I used to watch CBS Sunday Morning too, Lenore, but haven’t done so for many years…

    Water for Elephants and A Thousand Splendid Suns are both great! John Irving is one of my favourites as well. I loved The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger), A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry), The Pilot’s Wife (Anita Shreve), The Birth House (Ami McKay), and Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (Tom Robbins). The Hatbox Letters was written by one of our New Brunswick authors, Beth Powning…excellent!

    Wendy

    • Thanks for the recommendations, Wendy! I’ve added it to the ever growing list. (smile)
      I have some really well read readers. Sha’woo. Makes me nervous. (smile)

      ~ Lenore

  10. I just remembered another series of books that my mom and many friends and I have read. It’s the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. “Outlander” is the first book. It takes a few pages and then BOOM you’re hooked and in love and you will want to be on the next flight back in time to the Highlander days in Scottland to meet Jamie Fraser. With each book that came out I actually started the series over again from book one, so I’ve read them over and over again. Highly recommend.

    • Thanks Kim! I’ve added it to the list. I’m currently watching Doctor Who via Netflix. Do you watch it? I’m still in season 2, which started in 2005, I think. When I read about the Outlander series, it reminded me (slightly) of Doctor Who. Thanks again! ~ Lenore

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