Friday, January 6, 2012

'Just For Fun' reading challenge and more!

As a book reviewer, I get the opportunity to read lots of books.  I have more books in my house than I will ever be able to read, according to my husband.  I get sent books from authors and illustrators, I get sent books from publishers and agents, and I can't resist buying or trading books either.

Image from wikipedia commons

But sometimes, it can seem like a chore rather than an enjoyable experience when you have a stack of books that are waiting to be reviewed and you just want to get lost in a book and not think about character development, plot elements, and dialogue.  I'm not saying I don't ever get lost in the books that I review, because many times I do.  But sometimes I just want to set it all aside and reread an old favorite, some nonfiction, or some NY Times Bestseller that doesn't fit in with the kinds of books I generally review.

Enter the JUST FOR FUN Reading Challenge on Goodreads.  Goodreads is a site to keep track of all the books you have ever read, want to read, and didn't even know existed.  It's a place to connect with other book lovers and discover what books you have in common and how you each interpreted a particular story.  Until January 31 anyone can join the JUST FOR FUN Reading Challenge which is moderated by Lori.  It's not a huge challenge, just a challenge to read one book per month purely for enjoyment.  And there is also the opportunity to win some great prizes throughout the year.

So, here is MY list of books I hope to read this year, JUST FOR FUN!  What will YOU be reading?

January:  Little Bee by Chris Cleave 

February:  fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science by Lucia Greenhouse

March:  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

April:  A Death in the Family by James Agee

May:  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

June: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

July:  Persuasion by Jane Austen

August:  Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms by Carmela Ciuraru

September:  Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

October:  Middlemarch by George Eliot

November:  Young Pioneers by Rose Wilder Lane

December:  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

All book images courtesy of Goodreads.

Southern Humboldt School District needs your help

Please contact California state legislators and let them know how important school transportation is to the rural areas of Humboldt County.

The Honorable Edmund G. Brown

Governor, State of California

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

... The Honorable Wesley Chesbro

Member, California State Assembly

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

The Honorable Noreen Evans

Member, California State Senate

State Capitol

Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear State Senator Evans,

Dear California State Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro,

Dear Governor Edmund G. Brown

I am writing to object to the targeting of the students in rural California for disproportionate cuts because state revenues are significantly less than anticipated in the adopted 2011-12 State Budget. The State Budget trigger will cut all Home-to-School and Special Education Transportation funding from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012. 90% of the students in the Southern Humboldt Unified School District require Home-to-School Transportation. Most of the families are unable to provide transportation for their children to go to school. Many of the District’s families are low-income, many are single-parent or two-parent families who are working. They do not have the funds or the time to provide transportation services.

Additionally, many of the students in the Southern Humboldt Unified School District live more than a mile from the school campus, while most live more than 30 miles from school. There are no sidewalks, no regional transportation, and no bicycle lanes along the rural roads; there are no other options available for the students to transport themselves to school. The elimination of Home-to-School and Special Education Transportation funds would endanger student safety going to and from school.

For these reasons, I am writing to urge you to reverse the targeted Home-to-School and Special Education Transportation cuts that are part of the State Budget enacted on June 30, 2011. If this is impossible; I am further asking you to at least reconsider this decision to all rural school districts. The across the board cut is detrimental to rural communities and it seems constitutionally unfair where a majority of students within the district are cut off from attaining an education. Please consider a decision that is fair for every student.

Thank you for your consideration of this critical matter.


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