Update #3 — Year End Wrap Up: My Must Read Books in 2015

Hello, fellow #MustReadin2015 readers! It’s time for my second check in of the year for what I’ve been reading from my list. In a nutshell, not a whole lot of reading checked off on this list but progress is progress! You can see what else I’ve been reading and enjoying here.

Thanks to encouragement from Carrie, at There’s a Book for That, I created a list of books I really want to read during 2015. My list below does not include any 2015 published works, just 2014 or before. These of course won’t be the only books I read this year. There will be plenty of detours along the way and certainly lots of stopping to check out much praised books of 2015, but it’s a great place to start! To see what I’ve read so far this year, look for titles that have been crossed out–blue means I finished those prior to our first check-in and red means I’ve read those since our last check-in. If I really enjoyed the book, I added an asterisk after the title. So far in 2015, I’ve read some gems!

We’d love to have you join us! Happy reading! Follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #mustreadin2015 .

My Must Read Books in 2015

Books read to date: 9/25 

Books for Adults

orchardist1  boysintheboat1

  • The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin – finished in August:  I liked this, but it won’t be for everyone. It felt very Steinbeck-like for me with a plot driven by flawed characters, set in Washington State.
  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown ** – finished in January

Middle Grade Titles

absolutelyalmost1 crookedkind1 deathbytoilet

  • Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff** – finished in January
  • A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban** — finished in September
  • Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart** – finished in February

dory1 evolutionofcapurnia glorybe1

  • Dory Fantasmagroy by Abby Hanlon** – finished in February
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  • Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood — finished in December; I liked this, but I probably prefer Revolution by Deborah Wiles for stories of a similar theme.

goneaway1 guysreadother1 mathilda1

  • Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
  • Guys Read: Other Worlds edited by Jon Scieszka — finished in December
  • Mathilda by Roald Dahl** – finished in February

meaningofmaggie1 mrterupt1 nest1

  • The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern** – finished in March
  • Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea** – finished in March on audio
  • Nest by Esther Ehrlich 

onecrazysummer1 rainreign1 secrethum1

  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
  • Secret Hum of Daisy by Tracy Holczer

titanic1 undertheegg1 westofthemoon

  • Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
  • Under the Egg by Laura Mars Fitzgerald
  • West of the Moon by Margi Preus

Graphic Novel

amulet1

  • Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Young Adult Titles

aristotledante1 ifistay

  • Aristotle and Dante by Benjamin Alire Saenz – finished in July: I loved this touching, often heart-breaking coming of age story.
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman – finished in November

roseunderfire tsoflg1

  • Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein — finished in December
  • The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner — finished in September

 

 

 

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Update #2: My Must Read Books in 2015

Hello, fellow #MustReadin2015 readers! It’s time for my second check in of the year for what I’ve been reading from my list. In a nutshell, not a whole lot of reading checked off on this list but progress is progress! You can see what else I’ve been reading and enjoying here.

Thanks to encouragement from Carrie, at There’s a Book for That, I created a list of books I really want to read during 2015. My list below does not include any 2015 published works, just 2014 or before. These of course won’t be the only books I read this year. There will be plenty of detours along the way and certainly lots of stopping to check out much praised books of 2015, but it’s a great place to start! To see what I’ve read so far this year, look for titles that have been crossed out–blue means I finished those prior to our first check-in and red means I’ve read those since our last check-in. If I really enjoyed the book, I added an asterisk after the title. So far in 2015, I’ve read some gems!

We’d love to have you join us! Happy reading! Follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #mustreadin2015 .

My Must Read Books in 2015

Books read to date: 9/25 

Books for Adults

orchardist1  boysintheboat1

  • The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin – finished in August:  I liked this, but it won’t be for everyone. It felt very Steinbeck-like for me with a plot driven by flawed characters, set in Washington State.
  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown ** – finished in January

Middle Grade Titles

absolutelyalmost1 crookedkind1 deathbytoilet

  • Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff** – finished in January
  • A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban — currently listening to this on audio
  • Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart** – finished in February

dory1 evolutionofcapurnia glorybe1

  • Dory Fantasmagroy by Abby Hanlon** – finished in February
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  • Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood — currently listening to this title

goneaway1 guysreadother1 mathilda1

  • Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
  • Guys Read: Other Worlds edited by Jon Scieszka
  • Mathilda by Roald Dahl** – finished in February

meaningofmaggie1 mrterupt1 nest1

  • The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern** – finished in March
  • Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea** – finished in March on audio
  • Nest by Esther Ehrlich 

onecrazysummer1 rainreign1 secrethum1

  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
  • Secret Hum of Daisy by Tracy Holczer

titanic1 undertheegg1 westofthemoon

  • Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
  • Under the Egg by Laura Mars Fitzgerald
  • West of the Moon by Margi Preus

Graphic Novel

amulet1

  • Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Young Adult Titles

aristotledante1 ifistay

  • Aristotle and Dante by Benjamin Alire Saenz – finished in July: I loved this touching, often heart-breaking coming of age story.
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman

roseunderfire tsoflg1

  • Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
  • The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

 

 

 

Update #1: My Must Read Books in 2015

Happy Spring, fellow readers! I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to warmer, sunnier days that might even permit some outside reading time! Thanks to encouragement from Carrie, at There’s a Book for That, I created a list of books I really want to read during 2015. My list below does not include any 2015 published works, just 2014 or before. These of course won’t be the only books I read this year. There will be plenty of detours along the way and certainly lots of stopping to check out much praised books of 2015, but it’s a great place to start! To see what I’ve read so far this year, look for titles that have been crossed out and are now in red. If I really enjoyed the book, I added an asterisk after the title. So far in 2015, I’ve read some gems!

We’d love to have you join us! Happy reading! Follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #mustreadin2015 .

My Must Read Books in 2015

Books read to date: 7/25 

Books for Adults

orchardist1  boysintheboat1

  • The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown **

Middle Grade Titles

absolutelyalmost1 crookedkind1 deathbytoilet

  • Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff**
  • A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
  • Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart**

dory1 evolutionofcapurnia glorybe1

  • Dory Fantasmagroy by Abby Hanlon**
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  • Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood (currently listening to this title)

goneaway1 guysreadother1 mathilda1

  • Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
  • Guys Read: Other Worlds edited by Jon Scieszka
  • Mathilda by Roald Dahl**

meaningofmaggie1 mrterupt1 nest1

  • The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern**
  • Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea**
  • Nest by Esther Ehrlich 

onecrazysummer1 rainreign1 secrethum1

  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
  • Secret Hum of Daisy by Tracy Holczer

titanic1 undertheegg1 westofthemoon

  • Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
  • Under the Egg by Laura Mars Fitzgerald
  • West of the Moon by Margi Preus

Graphic Novel

amulet1

  • Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Young Adult Titles

aristotledante1 ifistay

  • Aristotle and Dante by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman

roseunderfire tsoflg1

  • Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
  • The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

 

 

 

My Must Read Books in 2015

Happy New Year! I found last year it was quite helpful to have a plan, a guide, if you will, to my reading intentions for the year. With a to-be-read list of over 1,000 books, choosing what to read next can be rather overwhelming. Thanks to encouragement from Carrie, at There’s a Book for That, I created a list of books I really wanted to get to during 2014. Those of us sharing our progress used the hashtag #MustReadin2014.  I finished 29/38 books from my list last year. I’m doing it again here and you can check out Carrie’s post with links to others who have posted their #MustReadin2015 lists. Unlike last year, there are no books published in the current year, just 2014 or before. These of course won’t be the only books I read this year. There will be plenty of detours along the way and certainly lots of stopping to check out much praised books of 2015, but it’s a great place to start. We’d love to have you join us! Happy reading!

My Must Read Books in 2015

Books for Adults

orchardist1  boysintheboat1

  • The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Middle Grade Titles

absolutelyalmost1 crookedkind1 deathbytoilet

  • Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
  • A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
  • Death by Toilet Paper by Dnna Gephart

dory1 evolutionofcapurnia glorybe1

  • Dory Fantasmagroy by Abby Hanlon
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  • Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood

goneaway1 guysreadother1 mathilda1

  • Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
  • Guys Read: Other Worlds edited by Jon Scieszka
  • Mathilda by Roald Dahl

meaningofmaggie1 mrterupt1 nest1

  • The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern
  • Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
  • Nest by Esther Ehrlich 

onecrazysummer1 rainreign1 secrethum1

  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
  • Secret Hum of Daisy by Tracy Holczer

titanic1 undertheegg1 westofthemoon

  • Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
  • Under the Egg by Laura Mars Fitzgerald
  • West of the Moon by Margi Preus

Graphic Novel

amulet1

  • Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Young Adult Titles

aristotledante1 ifistay

  • Aristotle and Dante by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman

roseunderfire tsoflg1

  • Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
  • The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

 

 

 

01.20.14 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks to Jen at Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers for hosting the meme “It’s Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA”. Head to the It’s Monday post here to link up or see a list of the all the other readers participating in this great meme. You can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #IMWAYR!

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Click the book covers to go to Goodreads for the full summaries . . .

Last week’s picture books . . .

A nice message about taking risks. Would be great paired with Deborah Freeman’s Fish and Snail. Some young kids might become anxious in some of George’s precarious situations. (2011/Candlewick Press)

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Part multigenerational story telling, part civil rights mini lesson. All lovingly told and illustrated. Great for grades 1 and up. (2011/HMH Books for Young Readers)

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This cute book has a great message about being true to yourself and following your passions. I love Hector’s style and his animals are especially expressive. It would be great to pair with Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. Great for Kindergarten and up. (2008/Hyperion)

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A good intro to Goodall and her work in Africa and her conservation efforts. I liked the artistic style and little hidden details Winters included in her illustrations. (2011/Schwartz and Wade)

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A Little Red Writing Hood fractured fairy tale with some writing tips creatively thrown in. I’m not sure I’d read this again after using it in a writing lesson, as the story didn’t wow me. As always, Melissa Sweet’s illustrations are terrific. Good for grades 2 and up. (2013/Chronicle Books)

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I adored Yoon’s other penguin books, but this one felt too forced to me. On a few page turns I even felt confused about the story line. But the penguins are so cute! (2013/Walker Children’s)

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I adored the art for this more than the story about team work. I want to frame some of these pages for my “someday” cabin! (2013/Kids Can Press)

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Finished Graphic Novels . . .

This is a well-researched telling of China’s Boxer Rebellion with amazing illustrations. I learned a lot about the time period in China and would certainly recommend it to those interested in the time or culture, but I just wasn’t in love with this one. The uprising was extremely violent and is portrayed as such in the books, so I’d recommend this for grades 7 and up. (2013/First Second)

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Finished Middle Grade Novels . . .

I finished this as a read aloud with Small, my fourth grader. She LOVED it. I enjoyed this interesting story about Dewey and her friend Suze who are both children of scientists working on the secretive Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, NM during World War II. I loved the portrayal of smart and creative girls and the challenges they needed to overcome to build and maintain their friendship. The only real complaint I had was on the amount of time it took for the girls’ paths to really cross in the story. Readers should have some background knowledge in the atomic bomb project before diving into this one. I’d recommend as a read aloud in grades 4 and up, or alone for fifth grade and up. (2006/Viking Juvenile)

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I am to blame for a not giving this more stars. I listened to it as an audiobook over many months rather than in concentrated blocks of time. As a result I had a hard time connecting with the story and it’s humor about life on Earth after it has been invaded by aliens. I must say, though, Bonnie Turpin is a fantastic audiobook narrator. (2007/Disney Hyperion)

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A fractured fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin filled with lots of magic and a likable main character. Fantasy fans will enjoy this story and the doses of middle grade humor laced throughout. While I read it alone, I’ve heard from many that it makes a great read aloud, and I can see why. Recommend for grades 3 – 7. (2013/Knopf Books for Young Readers)

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This week’s reading . . .

 

Do share what you are reading! Have a great week!

08.26.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks to Jen at Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers for hosting the meme “It’s Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA”. Head to the It’s Monday post here to link up or see a list of the all the other readers participating in this great meme. You can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #IMWAYR!

With the end of summer just around the corner, we’ve packed in a lot of Northwest favorites over the last few weeks like camping, hiking, an outdoor concert, and yes, even some reading! The girls head back to school next week so I expect the next week will be a light reading week as we knock out those last few “summer bucket” list activities and scramble to get ready for those first days back.

 

My Book-A-Day Progress:

Goal: 75

Read to date: 69

Head to my 2013 Book-A-Day shelf to see all the titles I’ve read so far this summer!

Click the book covers to go to Goodreads for the full summaries . . .

My three favorite picture books . . .

Burks’ pictures made this story work for me. A humorous and monsterly tale of one brother trying to get his sister to stop pestering him.  Recommend for K – grade 3. (2013/Aladdin)

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This is a super fun book and Rocco’s 1970s-esque illustrations are awesome. A group of boys are convinced that their long hair is the key to their superpowers. Will the Evil Barber of Doom ruin them forever? The kids become challenged to find out just what it is that makes them truly awesome. Recommend for PreK – grade 3. (2013/Disney-Hyperion)

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This is a terrific biography with a great mix of facts, anecdotes, and quirky Beatles sound bites that focuses mainly on their time together from the early to mid-60s. My fourth grader, who loves their music, enjoyed it. The illustrations are awfully fun, too. Recommend for music fans in grades 2-5. (2013/HMH Books for Young Readers)

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Finished this early chapter book . . .

Yippee! A great addition to the picture-filled early chapter book offerings with a BOY!! And ALIENS! Zack and his family have just moved from Earth to Nebulon. Lots of changes and a bit of anxiety await Zack as he gets settled in his new home. Kids will love learning about how Zack adapts to his Nebulon life. The first in a series that is filled with large font and great supporting pictures by illustrator, Colin Jack. This is a great choice for emerging readers who are ready to step beyond easy readers in the primary grades. Thanks to Julee at Book Egg for tipping me off to this one. The publisher, Simon Schuster also has a fun website for the series that includes downloadable activities.  (2013/Little Simon)

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Finished this graphic novel . . .

Bluffton is the story of a boy named Henry and his summers with Buster Keaton, when he was a young vaudeville star, in the lake resort area of Bluffton, Michigan. Readers will learn about vaudeville life and small town early 20th century living, but it also a story about the good (and occasionally strained) times the two boys shared. Phelan’s lovely water-color illustrations lend themselves well to creating a nostalgic feel. I suspect for the book to be best appreciated, most readers will need to have some background knowledge on the time period, though the author does a terrific explanation of a vaudeville show in the course of the book. (2013/Candelwick Press)

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Finished these novels for middle grades . . .

After really struggling with Appelt’s Newbery Honor winning The Underneath, I was wary of this one, but I really enjoyed this light-hearted animal fantasy set in the swamplands of Texas. Despite being 300+ pages, the chapters are short and it would make for a fun read aloud as the narrator has a fun, folksy, interactive “voice”. In digging around for the book trailer for this, I learned that Lyle Lovett, who is a longtime friend of Appelt’s, reads the audiobook!

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I really enjoyed this story and think it’s a super choice for kids looking for a Harry Potter-like book with an easier reading level. I couldn’t help but draw some parallels between Harry Potter and this, but it didn’t diminish the story at all for me.  It is the first title in the three title The Magic Thief series. (2008/Harper Collins)

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Finished this on audio . . .

Another terrific addition to the Clementine series. I love her authentic spunkiness and the way her parents interact with her. If you haven’t tried any of these titles on audio, Jessica Almasy does a terrific job. Recommend for independent readers in grades 2-4, or listeners 5 and up. Our whole family enjoys Clementine! (2013/Disney Press)

And I continue . . .

Only a half-hour left . . . I love Moose.

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This has been fascinating so far. At our house, we’re all over the page on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, but I’ve got one daughter who is very much an introvert, so I’m hoping to gain some wisdom on that parenting front.

Next up . . . one of these:

 

Do share what you are reading! Have a great week!

08.12.13 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks to Jen at Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers for hosting the meme “It’s Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA”. Head to the It’s Monday post here to link up or see a list of the all the other readers participating in this great meme. You can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #IMWAYR!

 

My Book-A-Day Progress:

Goal: 75

Read to date: 57

Head to my 2013 Book-A-Day shelf to see all the titles I’ve read so far this summer!

Click the book covers to go to Goodreads for the full summaries . . .

My three favorite picture books of the week . . .

Very cute, nearly wordless book that will get you smiling and looking for a dog to play with! Be sure to read the author by-line on the cover closely. This one will appeal to all ages! (2013/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

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Hank finds an egg while walking in the forest and he works diligently to return it to its nest. A wordless book whose story is told through photographs that will remind you of stop animation. Very sweet and a great one to share when talking about kindness and doing the right thing especially when no one is looking.  Again, another wordless book that can be used with a large range of readers. (2013/Peter Pauper Press)

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This is a charming picture book about a petite but very strong man, Lalouche, who looses his job as a Parisian mail carrier and needs to find new employment. He tries his hand at boxing and finds many who want to discourage him. Working very hard and being persistent, he proves he has quite the talent. Blackall’s illustrations are fun and full of many whimsical details. I learned while reading this book that “Lalouche” is really fun to say aloud! Great for grades 2-5.  (2013/Schwartz & Wade Books)

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Finished this easy reader . . .

This is Giesel Honor Winner for 2013 and is a great addition to the early reader books. The book is divided into very short chapters or stories about pals Rabbit and Robot, who admittedly are a little different from each other. It reminds me a mashup of Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad stories and Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino’s Boy + Bot. Great choice for emerging readers in K-2 grade. (2012/Candlewick Press)

Finished this graphic novel/chapter book for middle grades . . .

This was my first Dragonbreath book, which is a hybrid graphic novel chapter book series staring Danny the Dragon. I was impressed with the advanced vocabulary and with its longer length. This will make a great choice for kids ready to launch on from books like Frankie Pickle and the Lunch Lady graphic novel series. I did this as a read aloud with my 9yo because she said after starting it that she was too scared to read it on her own. I must admit it was a pretty scary story that includes creepy clowns, a ghost and a haunted house! ! This is a good choice to hand to readers in grades 2-5 looking for that spooky title. (2011/Dial Books)

Finished this historical fiction for middle grades . . .

The début novel from Laura Golden introduces us to Lizzie, a twelve-year-old growing up in the small town of Bittersweet during the Great Depression. She is tough and determined, two traits that will serve her well as she struggles to keep her world afloat with an absent father, a severely depressed mother, and a meddling school bully out to bring her down. Golden has created an enduring character that you will be rooting for from the beginning. I especially enjoyed the author’s development of Lizzie’s prideful struggles to do it all by herself, and her constant efforts to live up to the demanding expectations of a father who wasn’t even there. This will appeal to historical fiction fans, especially those who enjoyed Turtle in Paradise, or other works by Jenni Holm. I know the slow building pace might not be for all readers, but it might make a good classroom read aloud if talking about this era.  (2013/Delacourte Press)

Finished (finally) this young adult historical fiction . . .

I have talked about my struggles the last few weeks with this one, but I finally got it done. Many people suggested I try the audio for this one but it appeared it would take a long time for that hold to arrive. I had a hunk of time, so decided to just finish it this last week. Having Death as the narrator was really unique and provided an interesting perspective, but I felt like a very distant observer. I just didn’t get strong connections with these characters despite feeling for their plight. I also found the foreshadowing a bit much at times. I have to admit I am very curious as to how the motion picture for this will spin out. (2006)

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Continuing . . .

This is pleasant enough so far and seems like a good choice for kids not quite ready to read the more complex Harry Potter books.

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Listening to this one. . . the narrator is terrific.

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I’m reading this aloud to my nine-year-old and this has been great “suspend-disbelief” fun.

Next up . . . one of these:

 

I must admit I’m very nervous for Appelt’s book as I REALLY couldn’t get into The Underneath and had to walk away from it. I don’t do dreamy-metaphysical books very well. It probably explains my struggles with many Barbara Kingsolver books and my major struggles with Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

Do share what you are reading! Have a great week!