Category Archives: What I’m Reading

Introducing…The Griffins of Castle Cary

I have AMAZING news! All my life I’ve wanted to write fiction, especially fiction for children. I can’t think of a time when I didn’t want to write books. My desire to become an author was strong by age four. … Continue reading

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Book Clubs – Read this & Giveaway!

Be honest. How many of you busy folks and parents really take time for friendship these days? Mardi Link’s new memoir The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Change is all about the friendships we need … Continue reading

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Books by the month

I read 24 books a year.  On good years, maybe more, but I always try to read at least two books a month. Reading is vastly important to me.  It’s one of my favorite parts about being alive. It’s my … Continue reading

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10 Responses to Books by the month

  1. “…but now I stop and put a book aside if it’s not engaging me. Life’s too short to struggle through a bad book.”


    In your list I, too, have read: The Glass Castle, and The Art of Racing in the Rain (balled my eyes out on this one. I’ve added the rest of your recommendations to my must-read list, thank you!

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      You’re welcome! Word of mouth is still the best way to spread the news about good books. Happy reading.

  2. I was going to say “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, but after racking my memory, I’m pretty sure I read it in 2011. So, believe it or not, (and I am in no way sucking up here) my favorite read was “It’s OK Not to Share.”

    That’s by no means a reflection of the quality, or lack thereof, of the other books I’ve read this year. Most of my reading has been first-published novels by now-bestselling suspense/thriller authors like Ken Follett, John Sandford, David Baldacci, and Dean Koontz.

    “It’s OK” was my favorite for the enlightenment it gave me, the new perspective, and the appreciation that there is a small but growing group of parents and childcare givers who truly understand children and aren’t trying to turn them into obedient robots who will glumly take their place in the vast economic machine and do as they’re told for 50 years while never having a creative thought or original idea the rest of their lives.

    I enjoyed the book so much that I actually recommended it to social acquaintances I know who are in the teaching/childcare field, which is something I’ve never done before.

    I still have trouble quitting a book in the middle, especially non-fiction. I reason that with non-fiction in particular, one must read the entire work so as to not miss a particular point the author may make toward the end of the book.

    But for fiction, I mainly finish a ‘bad’ book to see if the author can maintain that pace of drivel for an entire novel. Sadly, some of the worst books I’ve read are by bestselling authors. Which gives me hope, because there is no way I’d write like that– mainly droning on and on with a rambling plot, lackluster characters, and trite, repetitive dialogue.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      You should become my official PR man!

      Thank you for your kind comments about my own addition to the books of 2012. New perspectives are startling and energizing, which is why I loved “Nothing to Envy” so much. Hope your teacher friends take a peek!

  3. Deidra Gorgos says:

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is absolutely one of my most favorite books in the entire world! I first read it when I was maybe 12 or so. I read probably once or maybe twice year until I was in my twenties. You have inspired me.


    • Heather Shumaker says:

      I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. What an outstanding book! So glad to hear it’s a favorite of yours, too, Deidra.

  4. Cari Noga says:

    Room – Emma Donoghue
    The Prospect of My Arrival – Dwight Okita
    Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
    The Submission – Amy Waldman
    Queens are Wild – Jack Chaucer
    Also a great re-read: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
    HAve you heard about Chris Brogan’s Three Book Diet? He’s challenging people to commit to read only three books from 11/1/12 to 11/1/13. Re-read all you want, but limit yourself to three. His point is that we don’t spend enough time absorbing the messages. I know I’d break, but it’s an intriguing idea.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Oooh – thanks for sharing your list. I actually hadn’t heard of any of them except the “Curious Incident..” book (which I loved).

      A diet for book reading???! Ack. I find that idea appalling. Maybe he will live as long as a redwood, but I know I couldn’t stand it given my normal human lifespan.