Monday, April 29, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 04/29/13

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The False Prince (The      The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
 I finally got to The False Prince and, obviously, I couldn't stop there.  I loved both of them and can't wait for the next.  Jaron/Sage is fun, loyal, mischievous, and always in trouble.  Plus, he's got two great girls and I can't wait to see how he ends up with Imogen (which I assume he will even though Amarinda also seems perfect).   
Unfortunately, that all I finished this week other than my picture books. 
The Three Ninja PigsThis was recommended last week and I agree that it's super-cute.  I love that the third pig - the most disciplined and the one who saves all three - is a sister pig, not one of the boys.
The Pout-Pout Fish in the
This was also recommended last week.  I love the illustrations and the idea of conquering fear of the dark with a friend. 
The Sweetest Fig
This is not my favorite Chris Van Allsburg book, probably because the guy is not nice to his dog.  I guess the dog wins in the end though.  It doesn't pay to be a jerk.
This is a beautiful introduction to jazz, including the history, a timeline, a glossary and poetry about the musicians, the instruments and the music.  I especially love the artwork.
I'm still reading/listening to The Jungle.  I need to finish by tomorrow!  I don't want to ruin my classic a month so early in the year. 
The Jungle
Thanks for reading my blog!  If I haven't visited yours, let me know what you're reading or leave the link in a comment.

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 04/22/13

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I caught up on about 3 months worth of magazines this week, so it was a great reading week, but not a lot of books. 
Navigating EarlyI've read so much about Navigating Early lately that I had to put it at the top of the list.  I have to admit, though, that it was difficult for me to get through.  I can't explain it - maybe I was distracted this week.  The writing is beautiful; the story is original and interesting; the characters are likeable; there's action, mystery, emotion . . .  I love the idea of it, but I just didn't love it this week.  (I always remind myself that I didn't love A Prayer for Owen Meany until my third try.)
The Dreamer  I saw this last Monday and picked it up at the library this week.  Again, I think I was just off this week because it was difficult for me to get through.  Once I got toward the end I loved it, but I kept falling asleep through the first half.  I know I had some trouble with it because I was so angry with the father.  And, since I try not to read the backs of books, I didn't realize until the end that the book is based on the life of Pablo Neruda.  The writing is beautiful and poetic - perfect for the topic. 
I was also catching up on my picture books after missing a week on vacation.  I checked out lots of great books - most recommended in the IMWAYR blogs.  My favorites?   Louisa May's Battle is a great connection between literature, history, and women's rights.  Rosa is a beautiful book and includes interesting details that I was not familiar with.   John, Paul, George & Ben is a humorous introduction to some famous historical figures.  It's a Book is a cute reminder that books are fabulous, even in this time of amazing tech gadgets.  Lost & Found has three of Shaun Tan's books.  What more would I need to say to convince you that it's awesome?   Really, I could say something good about all of these.  I thought 13 Words was a bit strange.  Sorta like Lemony Snicket was challenged by a friend to use 13 random words together in a story.  But if that's something you want to have your students do, 13 Words is a great model.
louisa may's battle  Nikki Giovanni - Rosa  Salt in His Shoes  Julius by Angela JohnsonWright Jake Goes Peanuts  Wombat Walkabout  Saper Galleries and Custom 
Back To Library. Lost  WONDERFUL WORDS: POEMS ABOUTJohn Paul George & Ben.  Peaceful Pieces 260x300 Review  Abe Lincoln's Dream: book by Lane Smith It's a Book"Word Number 1: Bird"
I'm still listening to/reading The Night Circus and The Jungle.  Which reminds me that you can get The Great Gatsby audio for free this week.  Check it out at  Amazon and Audible are offering a free classic ebook and free audio.  This month's is The Wizard of Oz.  For more information go to 
Thanks for reading my blog.  As always, if you leave a message, if I haven't already I will check out your blog.  Have a great reading week! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 04/15/13

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I spent my week sweating my way through Cambodia and Vietnam, so my reading was a bit irregular.  I didn't want to carry picture books, so I'm working on making up last week's picture books now.  Instead, I actually read a couple of books written for adults. 
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)

I listened to The Teacher's Funeral on audio.  I really enjoyed it, but I wonder what young people think of it.  I think it will be difficult for them to connect with the setting - a rural area in 1904, but I'm sure they can relate to the dread of a new school year, especially when the main character discovers his sister is taking the place of his recently-deceased teacher.  The story is humorous and interesting. 

I am both happy and disappointed with Scarlet.  I love Meyer's dystopian adaptation of fairy tales, and in this book, how she combined Cinderella and Red Riding Hood.  I'm disappointed that I'm finished and now I have to wait for the next book.  I hate that! 

I can't remember who recommended this to me - more than one person, I think.  And I know it is on the NY Times Best Sellers list and has been for a while.  So, when my library had the ebook available, I grabbed it.  I don't love this book though.  The more I read, the more difficult it was to like any of the characters.  I guess that happens when you see people dealing with incredibly stressful situations.  But I like to think that people are good by nature, and these characters didn't seem to be.  Having said that, it was an interesting story and even when I didn't like anyone, I kept reading.

Flight Behavior Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors so I was really excited when her new book came out.  I got it in November and started reading it on my trip to Vegas for NCTE.  Then, obviously, I got distracted by all of the books I got at NCTE.  So, it got put on hold until I was flying back to the States in December.  But then I got distracted by my in-flight movie/nap marathon.  So, it took three trips, but I finished!  I liked it, but definitely not my favorite of her books.  I love how she incorporates environmental issues in her books.  I wish this were one of her books that I couldn't put down, but since it took 5 months to finish, I can't claim that.  It was enjoyable though.


 I'm trying to get back on my reading schedule this week.  Here's what I hope to get to: 
 The Night Circus     Navigating Early   The Jungle
I have The Night Circus on audio and The Jungle is my classic for this month.  I will also have my 7 picture books (actually, 14 because I'm making up for last week).  I hope I get to a few YA books, and I've read so much about Navigating Early that it's at the top of the stack.
Thanks for reading my blog.  Have a great reading week!

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 04/01/13

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We are lucky to have Nikki Loftin on base this week.  She worked at the elementary school today and I hear she was great with the kids.  I look forward to seeing her tomorrow at the middle school.  As for the book,  who wouldn't love a school where you get to eat as much as you want and leave class whenever you're bored?  But something seems a little bit off... This is sort of a modern day Hansel and Gretel.  There's a definite creep-factor, but since eating kids was ok in the Hansel and Gretel story, I assume it's ok for the middle years?  I can't wait to hear what the kids say about this one. 

On the 31st, I found that March was almost over and I hadn't even started my classic for the month.  Thank goodness I picked a short one, but still it wasn't a fast read.  I enjoyed the novel, and it's nice of Jane Austen to remind me that dating in the 1800s really isn't so different from dating now.  (Then I watched MTV's Awkward and found that dating at 16 is not so different from Austen's character dating at 28 nor that different from me dating at 42.)

Finally!  Took quite a while to get this one finished, but it is quite entertaining.  It's interesting to think about what could come in the future with virtual reality, the internet, cloud storage, etc.  And while reading a possible view of the future, there are lots of fun reminders of the 80s. 

This week's picture books:
I read several of these based on recommendations from last week.  My favorites are:  Eight Days Gone which is tells about Apollo 11 in rhyme!; The Beast of Monsieur Racine which I had never heard of (thanks, Mayra for the intro to the author) but is great for April Fool's Day; Island: A Story of the Galapagos which is a great science follow-up to my reading of Charles and Emma.  Oh, I also really liked Rhyming Dust Bunnies because they're cute and they rhyme and they make me smile.  I liked the others too, but I don't want to be crazy picture book lady. 

This week I've started Scarlet.    
And I'm listening to The Teacher's Funeral.

I leave for my spring break trip this Saturday (Cambodia and Vietnam) so I probably won't write next week.
Thanks for reading!  Have a fantastic reading week.

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 03/25/13

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This was supposed to be my week of finishing books I have been reading for too long.  That didn't happen the way I envisioned but I'm making progress. 

The Diviners (The Diviners,

I did finish The Diviners on audio.  I rarely listen to audiobooks and, in fact, haven't listened to one in a couple of years, but I was really impressed by this reading.  The narrator, January Lavoy, had a great story to work with.  A serial killer, the supernatural, shocking individual tragedies and secrets . . .all in NYC in the 1920's.   And Lavoy really made it all come to life with her varied and authentic-sounding voices.  She even did a bit of singing.  I didn't want to stop listening.

So, The Diviners was the only thing that I had started but not really made progress with that I actually finished this week.  I read more of Flight Behavior, Switch and Ready Player One, but haven't finished them yet.
A book like See You at Harry'sI did read See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles.  All I knew about it was that several people said it was a tear-jerker.  I knew nothing else about it (didn't read the back nor any reviews), but I was just waiting for something tragic to happen and as I read I (incorrectly) predicted several possible tragedies that might cause tears to flow.  Then when I got to the traumatic event, I didn't cry at all.  I assumed it was because I had already anticipated several horrible possibilites.  It wasn't long after the event, though, that the tissue came out.  More than one.  Actually, enough to keep my eyes clear enough to read through the end of the book.  It's a wonderful story, but definitely heartbreaking.

As always, I also read my picture books.  These weren't my favorite of the picture books I've read since January, but still they were good and worth the time.  My two favorite this week were Owl Moon and Rocks in His Head
PronounsRocks for Kids  Owl Moon  Blue Chameleon is lonely.  The First Pup: The Real Story
Dream Something Big: The Story  spells emily gravett  And If the Moon Could Talk
So, this week I will read some YA book, try to finish Ready Player One, and read a picture book a day.
Thanks for reading!  Have a great week.