Top 5 Wednesdays: TBR Benchwarmers (#7)

I’ve finally made it onto a new year of my TBR list! The books I added in 2016 started on the 18th page of my TBR, and I’d have to say it is quite a random mixture. This was just after I finished my first year of doing a reading challenge, so I think some of the books I’d added were meant to plan ahead for potential prompts. I added several nonfiction books, even though I rarely read nonfiction. It seems that I was looking for books about teaching since I had quite a few education-related books in a row, both fiction and nonfiction. I can’t remember now what prompt I was even going for. I think of all the books on my TBR, the batch that these come from are the ones at highest risk of being removed from my TBR unread, especially because several of them are not easily accessible to me. On the other hand, I’ve left them on my list so long because if I am going to read non-fiction, books about teaching are usually what I would go for.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock

12245809This was the first book I added to my TBR in 2016, and I think I found it by browsing Goodreads’ recommendations page. It is about a couple named Lucy and Mickey, who are determined to make their relationship work. Mickey has bipolar disorder, and Lucy has a family history of breast cancer. Given their circumstances, they make the difficult decision not to have any children, but just before their 11th anniversary, Lucy gets an impossible surprise during a routine physical that changes everything. I have not read very many books about bipolar disorder, but it is something that I’m very interested in reading more about. The main reason that I haven’t picked this one up yet is because I keep forgetting about it. This is the author’s one and only book so far, and it has not received very much attention on Goodreads, so it was easy for it to get buried on my TBR.

2) Send in the Idiots: Stories from the Other Side of Autism by Kamran Nazeer

12506This book combines two of the elements that would actually motivate me to pick up a nonfiction book: autism and teaching. Kamran Nazeer was diagnosed with high-functioning autism himself, and this book is about his journey to find his former classmates from his small specialized school in the 1980s. From what I’ve seen of this book, it touches on special education and people’s attitudes toward autism, but the main focus is on the futures of Kamran’s classmates. I have not read this one yet because it is not accessible to me through the library, and it probably is not something that I’d be strongly interested in buying. However, I am very interested in reading it. I currently work with adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, and have been in this field in varying ways since I was in high school, when I volunteered in our school’s special needs classroom. I was drawn to this one because I thought it was a very attention-grabbing title, so I hope I can eventually find a copy of this.

3) Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey by Rachel Simon

40100I actually strongly considered reading this one for a challenge prompt last year, and can’t remember why I ended up going for a different book. Rachel Simon wrote this about her experience taking the bus with her sister Beth, who has a developmental disability. Beth spent her days riding buses around their city, and asked Rachel to come with her for an entire year. I realize now as I look at the synopsis that I’d misunderstood what the book was about. I thought it was about Rachel accompanying her sister on bus rides to school with other special needs classmates, but that is not the case. It is actually about the year that Rachel committed to visiting Beth every weekend and riding the bus with her, which gave her the opportunity to get to know her sister in a new way and learn from her. This sounds like it could be a very interesting memoir and definitely something I’d be interested in trying.

4) Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood by Phillip Done

6546439I love stories about “little kid logic” and generally about people working with younger children since they are usually so much fun to read. This book is about a teacher’s year of teaching a third grade class. Phillip Done had been a teacher for around 25 years at the time that this book was published, so I’m sure he has a ton of stories to share. This book takes us through the school year month by month, sharing the best moments he had with his class. It sounds like it could be a very fun book to read, but unfortunately it is another one that is not currently accessible to me. When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher for the early elementary school grades or even kindergarten, so I love to read funny kid stories or books about teaching in general. This seems like it would be a lot more interesting to me than most other nonfiction, so I hope I can find a copy of it at some point.

5) Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

22701879. sy475 I have both of Eric Lindstrom’s YA books on my TBR already, even though I keep putting them both off. This one is about a girl named Parker who is blind, and who is also struggling with her father’s fairly recent death. When Scott, a boy who broke her heart, suddenly comes back into her life, Parker decides to keep him at a distance to avoid getting hurt again. The more Parker starts to learn about what really happened with Scott and with her father’s death, the more she realizes that the rules she’s put in place for herself might need to change. Although I don’t feel like I’ve heard very much about this book in general, many of the reviewers that I follow on Goodreads have given it excellent reviews, and I’m especially interested in the representation for blindness since that is not something that I’ve read much about. I especially like that this one has a bit of a different angle from most other YA contemporaries that I’ve read, so I’m excited to give it a  try.


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