Summer Reading

Guys, I’m super geeky excited about summer reading this year. Even moreso than usual. And that’s saying a lot! Back in February, I found out about a “52 Books in 52 Weeks” challenge. Initially, I thought that was ridiculous. A book a week?? No. Way. But since I have so many books that I want to read, I decided to take on the challenge anyway, and to manage my time to fit it in. Surprisingly, I’m finding that it is possible! 

I did not start on January 1st like a lot of others probably did. And the end of the school year was chaotic (as always), so my pace did slow a bit. However, I’m 15 books in, and enjoying it so much. In fact, this is becoming my new way of life.

The books that I have read, and plan to read for my summer reading, run the gamut. Its a very eclectic mix. I’ve found that a good writer can draw me in, regardless of whether I was already interested in or knowledgeable about the topic.

So, here are the next 10 books that I’ve read. I’ll be honest but brief in my reviews. Also, these are affiliate links. So if you do happen to purchase anything from my links, I will make a small commission, but the cost to you is the same.

11. The Broken Cord, by Michael Dorris. If you’d like to read a more detailed review, head over to this post. Phew. This was a DARK read, but I couldn’t put it down. The Broken Cord deals with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Foster Care Adoption, and Native American culture. Intensely educational, and sobering.

12. Every Last One, by Anna Quindlen. This was a fast read about a very dysfunctional family. I’ve liked some of her books. This one was … OK. I’ll choose better next time.

13. How Full Is Your Bucket?, by Tom Rath. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. And, you can probably read it in one evening. Seriously. In a nutshell, Rath discusses how to positively add to the lives of others by “filling their buckets” (as opposed to draining their buckets). (Sidenote, How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids is also excellent. Little Bean loves it!)

14. and 15. An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night, by Sabaa Tahir. Fun series!! This is called a cross between the Hunger Games, Game of Thrones (never watched it, so I don’t know) and Harry Potter. It is sorta, kinda sci-fi, but not so much so that it turns me off. There is a violence. But I really liked it and am hoping Tahir comes out with the third in this series (called the Ember series, for short) soon!

16. I Love You Rituals, by Becky A. Bailey. This book has been on a shelf for a year and I’m glad I finally dusted it off!  The first third or so of the book is wonderful information on how to build attachment with kids from hard places. (A topic that is very near and dear to my heart!) The rest of the book is made up of the “rituals,” which are essentially song, rhymes, and finger plays that you can do with your kids to build said attachment. Delightful, and highly recommended for foster and adoptive parents!

17. Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. OK, remember what I said earlier about a great writer’s ability to draw me in, even if the topic is foreign to me? That is Adichie! My school librarian recommended this one when I finished the Ember books, and I am hooked! I was already somewhat familiar with Adichie because of her TED talk on The Danger of a Single Story. (Highly recommended viewing here, folks!) I will probably read everything she writes.

18. Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis. I jumped in to this one because it is a children’s classic that somehow I hadn’t yet read. Delightful! Highly recommended, and now I really want to see the movie!

19. Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others, by John Maxwell and Jim Dornan. This is the first of many John Maxwell books I’ll be reading. Such good information, with some personal reflection worksheets, on how to influence (IE: lead) the people in your life, your company, your school, etc.. Wonderful!!!

20. Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Ms. Adichie chronicles the experience of a Nigerian family through the period of the Biafran civil war of the late 1960s. I had no idea. SO good. There is also a movie about this one, and it is at the top of my Netflix queue. 🙂

Now that I’m officially on summer break (YAY!), I’ll probably pick up the pace. Since my classroom is right next to the library at my school, and since I’m on great terms with my librarian, she let me “shop” for my summer reading before I left last week. 🙂 Between this, and my amazon purchases, and my local library, … this should keep me out of trouble for a while. 🙂 

Two stacks of books, recently checked out from my school library, for summer reading.

So what about you? What’s on your summer reading list? Or, have you read something that you love recently? Chime in with a comment so I can add to my list!!!!!



  1. Megan Schulte-Rickard
    June 6, 2017 / 9:15 AM

    Love it, April! I enjoyed reading your mini reviews. One of my favorite books is Consider the Fork, by Bee Wilson. 🙂

    • Mrs. Bean
      June 6, 2017 / 9:23 AM

      Ooh excellent recommendation! That looks right up my alley! Thanks, Megan!

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