The Book-A-Day Challenge

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I never seem to be able to find enough time to just sit down and read extensively.  Although it’s part of my job to read novels that I can recommend to students and find concepts that will further my professional development, other demands of my life often take me away from the leisure reading time that I enjoyed so much as I was growing up.  Perhaps that’s why I am so intrigued by The Book Whisperer’s reading challenge.  Her lofty goal, that she also presents to other bibliophiles, is to read one book per day over the summer.  The rules appear to be fairly simple:

• read one book per day for the remainder of summer vacation
• these books can be fiction, non-fiction, professional books, children’s books, young adult books, graphic novels, poetry books, picture books, etc.  Anything that allows you to read words on a page and gets some analytical synapses firing.
• You can set your own start date and end date.  Because I’ve already read 4 books since July 1st, I’ll make that my start date, and I’ll make August 31st my end date.
• You can space out your reading time.  For example, if you have a leisurely day in which you read three books, you’re covered reading-wise for the next two days.
• Post your book titles, and any reviews, on your blog, twitter, etc. so others can be aware for your progress.

I like the idea of holding myself accountable for finishing books that have been accumulating in my house for quite some time, and I think that I will become wiser once I complete this challenge.  So far the four books I have read are:

July 1st: Four Pictures by Emily Carr, by Nicolas Debon
• This is a graphic novel describing four periods of famous Canadian painter Emily Carr’s life.  I appreciate Debon’s efforts to make these time periods emotional for the reader.  However, perhaps because I have read Carr’s autobiography and have loved her paintings and writings since I was a teenager, I can’t help but think of how much he simplified these life events in order to create the cartoons.

July 2nd: The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #5), by Michael Scott
• This is the fifth in a series of six novels, with the sixth novel coming out in 2012.  Twins Sophie and Josh Newman are given a prophecy, and battle gods from several different mythologies in order to succeed or fail in achieving their destinies.  The plot can be convoluted at times, but the way Scott ends his chapters and books with suspense keeps dragging me back into the series.

July 3rd: My Story: Pyramid of Secrets: Nebka, Giza, Egypt 2517 BC, by Jim Eldridge
• I’m teaching Ancient Civilizations in Grade 7 Social Studies next year, and bought this book because I thought it might be a good cross-curricular novel.  While I found the plot to be fairly predictable, it did an admirable job of explaining how the pyramids were built and how the farmers created life out of the desert.  The story is narrated through the eyes of Nebka, a 12-year old farmer who goes to build Khafre’s pyramid during the Nile flooding.

July 4th: The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles #2), by Rick Riordan
•I do find the mythology in this series difficult to follow at times, but I’ve decided that might be because it’s hard to tie together Egyptian mythology into one comprehensive story when the mythology itself is so fragmented.  However, Riordan continues to do a great job in creating interesting characters that I feel for.  He is quickly becoming my favourite author.

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