Last year, I had a goal of reading 150 books during the year…that didn’t happen. Around October, I changed it to 100….still didn’t happen. I made it to 85, which is still admirable in the eyes of most, but as a librarian and book lover, I feel the need to read lots and lots of books so I can recommend them and just to enjoy them. Granted, I was still enrolled in my Graduate school program last year (finishing up to be exact), so that could be partially to blame. This year, I set my goal at 100 from the beginning and am currently on my 36th book since January 1, which means I am on right on track for now! With summer coming, I can only hope I will get even more reading done and be able to get ahead of my schedule to exceed my goal…we shall see.
I just finished reading The Accidental Book Club by Jennifer Scott on Sunday afternoon. Jennifer is one of my favorite YA authors, writing under the name Jennifer Brown. Her books deal with hard, real issues that teens have to deal with–sexting, abuse, school shootings, mental disorders, and more. I recommend them constantly to my students, especially my more reluctant readers because they are looking for something they can connect with. She also wrote a Women’s Fiction novel before Christmas (as Jennifer Scott) titled The Sister Season, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The Accidental Book Club is a story about Jean, an older woman who participates in a book club with others around her age. She is disconnected from her adult daughter, but is quickly whisked into the problems of the daughter’s family when she discovers that Laura (daughter) is an alcoholic and has not been there for her own daughter, Bailey. Laura’s husband has left her and neither can control Bailey, who is acting out to get attention from anyone. Jean is asked to let Bailey come stay with her and is shocked at Bailey’s behaviors and words. As the story progresses, Laura also comes to stay with Jean and the chaos ensues. Throughout Jean’s struggles, we are also learning about the lives of her fellow book clubbers. The question is: Will Jean be able to get through to Bailey instead of being afraid of her antics? Will they bond? The story is told in a very realistic tone and is fairly fast-paced. It is an interesting, real-life read that almost everyone can connect with in some way. I would recommend it as casual summer reading.