Monday, February 18, 2008

Non-Fiction Ramblings

After reading this non-fiction meme on many blogs recently I began to ask myself these questions. What was my non-fiction ratio? What kinds of books was I reading? In my in-person book group we have tried to have at least 3 books in the year be non-fiction but I really wanted to ponder what I liked, what intrigued me. I checked back in my book journal and realized that I am quite a well rounded reader so I thought I would piggyback my own thoughts on my blog.

In school we have to balance our narrative and expository texts at least 50/50 in both our classroom libraries and read-alouds. When little girls read they gravitate to the narrative genres and little boys cling to expository books. Because little boys may struggle more as readers, or slow down in their reading interest and progress in the middle grades, we educators need to be aware of both their interests and ways to encourage them to keep those interests alive. By loading our bookshelves with an equal distribution of both kinds of books we have a better chance at keeping those struggling readers excited and interested. (Yes, when the State Dept of Education comes on monthly observations of my classroom they actually count and compare the proportion of narrative to expository texts available to the kiddos!) My books range from the pre-primers to adult books on non-fiction subjects such as animals and dinosaurs, weather and nature. They love it all! In first grade everything is about discovery. I love the oohs and ahhs! I guess that's why I enjoy non-fiction too. I still want to have my own ah-ha moments!

a). What issues/topic interests you most--non-fiction, i.e, cooking, knitting, stitching...?
I am a sucker for anything with print! Cereal boxes, receipts, advertising, notes, you get the picture. Non-fiction seems just an extension of that! I guess I also enjoy non-fiction because I'm so darn curious. I enjoy memoirs, biographies, and have a love for women's histories (especially those women who came west.) I also enjoy micro-histories, science discoveries, and how-to books. I am currently reading lots of brain-research books on how our brain continues to change (nueroplasticity.) I started reading some of these books for additional education for work and now I'm kinda hooked. I am also reading a great book called Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the woman who coined the phrase!! It's fantastic and reads easily. How blessed I am to have so much around to intrigue me!

b). Would you like to review books concerning those?
I will review non-fiction books here as I finish them. I think reading about all the books someone chooses to read gives us just a small glimpse into what they are like. I love that!

c). Would you like to be paid or do it as interest or hobby? Tell reasons for what ever you choose.
If someone wanted to send me an ARC that would be great and I have written small reviews for them, however; the book would be payment enough.

d). Would you recommend those to your friends and how?
I do recommend all sorts of books to my friends. It all depends on their interests, but quite often I will comment on a book I just finished or I may refer to something they said and link it to a book. I also have taken to giving books to people when I have enjoyed them. I loved the book, Freakonomics, and gave copies to my boys and a few friends for Christmas that year. It was a great conversation starter and every time we met after that we had a little mini book group! My philosophy is that I share many of the things I like and if they want to read it, great, if not just pass it on.

My fiction reading also drives my non-fiction reading. I finished a book this weekend that involved Mongolia and a character similar to Genghis Khan. Now I want to learn more! I love it when it all comes together!!

No comments: