Monday, January 15, 2024

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/15/24


Thank you to Unleashing Readers for continuing to promote reading and great book titles and especially for letting us wayward readers find our way back here.

What I Read Last Week

Coyote Lost and Found by Dan Gemeinhart is the sequel to The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise. I don't often say this, but as much I loved the first book, I liked the second one much better.

I know my love for this book is based on my current life experiences. In the first book Coyote and her father take a cross-country road trip to run away from accepting the death of Coyote's mother and sisters. In this second book, Coyote is finally ready to say goodbye after finding her mother's ashes in a hidden box. Another road trip to scatter her ashes leads Coyote, and me, to discover some hidden truths about the way we let go of those we love and an appreciation for the life we have.

This book is due out in Early March, and I highly recommend it...along with a box of tissues!

I am slow reading All It Takes Is a Goal for a Teach Write book club. We have read and discussed the first section, which is about making a Best Moments List. Acuff states that instead of looking forward to plotting our future such as vision boards, we need to look back at the best moments of our life. A best moment is when our vision and our reality overlap; it's "when you hoped life could be actually matches how life is" (p. 54).

This list becomes a snapshot of who we really are, and four categories emerge from studying the list:  experiences, accomplishments, relationships, and objects. He states that when we understand these categories, "your list transforms from a task about the past into a tool for the future. It's like finally seeing the individual ingredients for your favorite meal and realizing you can cook it again and again" (p. 48). 

I am not sure where he is going with the list as we move into the next part, but I did learn a lot about myself from doing this activity. It brought gratitude to the forefront and made me look at what is really important to me. I find myself keeping a running list of my best moments in my notebook. Even if you don't read this book, creating your own list just might surprise you about what you find in your own categories.

Currently Reading

I am vicariously participating in the "In Case You Missed It Book Challenge." In this challenge, I choose a book that I missed reading the year it was published, starting with 2012 and ending with 2023. I chose A Man Called Ove, which I know was a favorite among many of reading friends, BUT I missed reading it.

After being named Indiana Rural Teacher of the Year for 2023, I am trying to be more cognizant of rurality in my reading life and in my classroom, so I hope to finish this collection of voices from rural America.

Reading more in '24!


  1. I have Rural Voices but still need to read it, know it will be good to read. I'll look forward to hearing what you think, Leigh Anne. And, I loved the first Coyote, will be sure to read this one! Thanks, and keep warm today!

  2. For me, it's rare to read a second book that is better than the first so I'm really intrigued by Coyote Lost and Found. I loved the first book! I hope you enjoy A Man Called Ove. One of my favorites. I still need to check out the movies based on the book.

  3. What a wonderful set of books, Leigh Anne! Coyote Lost and Found sounds so beautiful, and I love that it was such an impactful read for you—I really need to get to The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise at some point. All It Takes Is a Goal sounds fascinating, and Rural Voices sounds so cool—congrats on the Rural Teacher of the Year honor! Thanks so much for the thoughtful picks, and have a great week!

  4. Oh wow, congratulations on the honor! I am very much an urban kid, raised in apartment complexes, but my dad was from a teeny tiny speck of a town that didn't even have a traffic light (though it now has a grocery store, which was a very big deal, as it's attracting folks from all around the surrounding farming communities), and going back to visit family always felt like going to a completely different world.

  5. I got so excited when I saw Coyote Lost and Found on your list today. I adore Dan Gemeinhart!
    Rural Voices looks like an interesting read. After spending the 45 years in the city of Vancouver BC, my partner and I retired and returned to the small town we grew up in. It's much less redneck than it once was, but there is still a strong contingent of narrow mindedness. I suppose it was there in the city too, but I think the multicultural aspect of living there made everyone more aware of all of our humanity and more accepting of differences.

  6. What a great honor and I'm glad it's inspiring you to read more rurally(?).

  7. I cannot wait to read the newest Coyote--I LOVED the first one!
    Happy reading! :)