I feel so fortunate in the books I have chosen to read recently. In the past (when I was employed in the rat race), I read a lot of children’s books that I wanted to share with my elementary students, and many of them were wonderfully well-written adventures. For my adult self, I mostly read mysteries that I could read quickly and get back into my planning, marking, reporting, and developing that I seemed to constantly be doing for my classroom. Many of the books I chose then, I discovered through PBS on television and, once having seen episodes there, I purchased the books and devoured them.
Since retiring and beginning to blog, I find myself following some wonderful bloggers who either point me to some incredible new literature, challenge me to read outside my comfort zone, or are actually authors of amazing work of their own. I’m now finding that, even in retirement, I never seem to have enough time to read everything I want to read. My own reviews of books seem to always fall in the 3 1/2 to 5 star spectrum, partly because I try to only review books that I think I am going to enjoy, but also because I’m finding incredibly well-written work. I am delighted with the wide selection of books I can access on Book Look Bloggers and am able to find too many that appeal to me. There are other sites I have sought out only to find that when I read the “blurb” the author has created to entice me to read his/her book, it is so poorly written and full of errors in the basic conventions of language that I can’t face the idea of trying to plod my way through their book no matter how good the premise might be. So I’m choosy about what I read.
There are some authors I have enjoyed reading over the years but perhaps had only read one or two of their books and now I’m finding it quite convenient (especially contemplating a moving date some time in the near future and looking at my sagging bookcases) to download an ebook and carry it with me to brunching out solo. (I call that double-devouring.) Josephine Tey falls into that category, and I’m finally going to read The Color Purple from my ipad. (I never even got to see the movie.) And I’m excited about some of the Christian authors I’ve read recently, like Jill Eileen Smith and Kellie Coates Gilbert.
Also, I’ve been amazed at the ability of some authors to write intriguingly in a variety of genres. In the past few weeks, I’ve downloaded three books by Jo Robinson, blogger from South Africa, each completely different from the others, and each of them totally compelling in their own way.
I find I’m still drawn to books for middle grade readers and find I’m often meeting people who ask me for titles for their children to read so I will continue to read and review for them and for young teens. I love the multi-cultural literature available that reminds us that our world is so diverse, and that not all of us have access to the advantages that come with freedom, peace, and equality under the law.
It’s been very exciting for me to be able to indulge myself in the reading and writing and watch my hits and followers grow. It’s encouraging when people click that “like” button or leave a comment. It will only be a year this May since I began Ms. M’s Bookshelf, and so it still surprises when I get an email from an author asking me to read and review their latest offering. Thank you to each of you; you are all very much appreciated.