Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fall Reading Challenge

Hi, dears!  It may still be incredibly hot and humid here, but there is only just over a week left of summer, so pumpkins are starting to show up everywhere.  Most of them are small and hiding between squashes, waiting for their takeover at the beginning of October. Seeing them stirs up memories of grey skies and red and orange trees, which is exciting even if I'm a bit allergic to the mold from decaying leaves.

Changes in weather aside, we learned in psychology class the other day that reading is one of the absolute best things you can do for your mind.  It's like a workout for your brain.  But when we were asked which ones of us read for pleasure, only a very small group of us responded positively. I was so sad because I love reading so much it's painful sometimes, and I know that in other parts of the world (and even in my own community) lots of people don't have access to books, which is tragic.  I'm working on a little project about global literacy right now, but learning about reading in my psych class got me thinking about how now would be a perfect time for everyone get into reading.  So I've put together a bit of a reading challenge for the fall.  I know we have homework and work, so no pressure if you don't get to all/any of the books on your list, but it'd be fun to try, right?  I guarantee you that if you open yourself up to it, you, too, could develop a very serious relationship with books (even if it's long-distance, like mine sometimes is, LOL). Anyway, the reading challenge has several categories, and the basic idea is that you pick a book for each category and try to read it. It'll get you exposed to new styles of writing, and maybe you'll even discover a book you never would've found before.  It could be true love! There are so many books to geek out about that I'm smiling a bit too much thinking about them.

  • A biography or an autobiography (I know some people like biographical pieces more than others do, but I'm reading Beatrix Potter by Linda Lear right now and really loving all I've learned.  You can pick pretty much any person and get to know them really well.)
  • A historical fiction piece (Travel to any time period you want to. It's amazing!)
  • A poem/book of poems (Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Maya Angelou....there are so many.)
  • A classic (I'm really glad I've started Les Mis, and other meaningful choices include the works of Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters, and Charles Dickens.)
  • A scary story (Okay, this is more in the spirit of Halloween, but it can be a short story if you're not feeling like a horror or anything like that.  I'd love to read Frankenstein or Dracula, though.)
  • A story that's a movie (There are lots of these, but it can be fun to watch the movie and have read the story, and the variety means you could choose anything from The Fault in Our Stars to Fight Club.)
  • A book with beautiful illustrations (These are just good for your soul.)
 Obviously, those are just a few categories of the many, many categories of books that exist, so please add/change categories as you see fit!  And remember, I'm swamped with homework, too, so don't feel any pressure to finish all categories you set out to because I doubt any of us will before the fall season ends.  It's just fun to have a reading plan because then you'll be more motivated to read, and, like I mentioned earlier, reading is so good for you!  It can relax your mind and exercise it at the same time, and the relationships you develop with characters can be incredibly powerful.

<3 Frances

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