Monday Booktalks

I am happy to say that today I am starting book talks in 8th grade reading classes. Some of the books are housed in school library and the others are from my personal collection. I started with books  and authors that I love. Also, several authors have many books to their name.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is an author that everyone needs to know. This book was recommended to me first by my son. I have read quite a bit of Gaiman’s work and love every word.

Booked by Kwame Alexander

This is the soccer version of Crossover which is about basketball. This book is told through prose and is unusual. Great for reluctant readers who can be turned off by too many words on a page.

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by: Jordan Sonnenblick

I read this book a couple years ago because of a recommendation from a friend who lives in Tennessee. It is a great story that pulls on the heartstrings about family and siblings. Plus the title is irresistible.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

There is only one copy of The Graveyard Book in the library and I wanted another class to be exposed to Neil Gaiman’s work.

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
A nonfiction selection about how people died. Always an interesting topic especially for middle schoolers.
Dark Matter by: Blake Crouch
I loved this book. It is science fiction, a thriller, and a love story all in one. This title was particularly popular. There is a waiting list for it now!
Ready Player One by: Ernest Cline
My students who love gaming will love this book. There are 80’s references in the story line so the students were warned. I am not sure if that will hinder their enjoyment.
I Kill The Mockingbird by Paul Acampora
This book is a young Hoosier nominee. It is a book about books which I love.
Nothing But the Truth by AVI
I met AVI a couple of years ago at the Indiana Reading Association conference. This book is about a student refusing to be silent during the star spangled banner.
The Westing Game Ellen Raskin
This is an older title and wonderful. There are lots of characters so I warned the kids before reading it. This title is full of adventure, mystery, and money!
a Snicker of Magic Natalie Lloyd
I love this book ! When it first came out I told everyone I could about it. I bought extra copies and gave them to other teachers.
Reception to the titles was positive. All of the books were checked out from each class so soon I hope to get some feedback from the kids and have more recommendations for them next week.
Happy Reading!

Christmas Break Reading

Christmas break started on Wednesday, December 21st for me this year. There was a flurry of list items to prepare for Christmas . My husband and I hosted Christmas Day this year so several middle of the night cooking sessions ended up on the list! In between visits and cooking and eating I have found quite a bit of time for reading some great books. Also, the KINDLE deals have been amazing. Lots of books that are on the TBR list, award winners, and titles that are frequently talked about on the podcasts I listen to weekly. My sapience accumulates from my life of reading and won’t stop until I die.

I abandoned A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the moment. It apparently isn’t the right time for me to read it. I will come back to it eventually I believe.

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

This book is strange in a great way. It is strange in the same way that THE HIKE was for me. Not quite as bananapants (I am borrowing Liberty’s word here…) as the Hike but weird enough to be interesting. Basically, it is about the relationship between Mr. Fox, his wife Daphne and his muse Mary. Apparently it is based on a fairy tale that I am not familiar with from my reading about the book. It almost reads like short stories with a common thread but I didn’t feel it was that strong that the individual chapters could stand on their own.

Notes from A Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider

This book was great. Short chapters full of a lot of great things to think about. Tsh and her family have lived overseas. I listen to her podcast every week and it is wonderful.

News of the World Paulette Jiles

A book club pick for January brought me to this book. I reserved a copy from the library, it came in,  and I finished it in one day. The story between the captain and Johanna is heartwarming. some of the historic pieces I honestly did not find as interesting as I feel I should have. I was reading along and wanted to mark some sentences to come back to them but couldn’t stop reading. The ending was surprising to me.

Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore Robin Sloan

I heard about this book a long time ago and I believe I downloaded it free as a promotion from an Independent bookstore site. I remember it appearing on my kindle “accidently”. I had heard great reviews about the book, but had not picked it up for some reason. (H is for Hawk is another one of the books in that category.)

This book was AMAZING! I read it in a day also. It was magical and full of secret societies and secret reading rooms and just fun! There were modern elements with Google and ideas about how we process information and how we limit ourselves and the groups we are to not be open to new ideas.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

This was a BOTM pick from August I believe. I chose it because Liberty was the judge and on the ALL THE BOOKS Book Riot podcast she said she flew through it. I did read it in about a day because I did want to know what happened. The people in this book were really despicable for multiple reasons. In The Nest I thought the characters were despicable too , but found the characters more developed and interesting. The writing was ok in TCND. The story was ok. I cannot think of anyone within my reading circles that I would specifically recommend it to however.

It is now January 2, 2017 and I have to return to work tomorrow. I am in the middle of READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline. It is a book I find interesting especially with all the 80’s references, but it is not going to end up on my favorites list.

Overall, I am pleased with my reading life over the holiday break and am looking forward to great books and reading in 2017!


Welcome 2017!

After attending an ISRA (Indiana State Reading Association) conference a couple years ago, I discovered the idea of choosing one word for the year. I have been choosing a word for the year ever since. Last year’s word was INTENTION. Everything I did I tried to do on purpose. Last year I struggled with finding the right word. SAVOR was another choice that I almost went with but intention kept being placed in front of me.

After much consideration, I chose 2017’s word: INSPIRE. The co-word is CREATE. The plan is to inspire through my creations. I have some goals and some steps to achieve them.

I encourage you to choose a word for the year. Write it down and carry it in your wallet. Put it on a Post-it note on your mirror in the bathroom or somewhere at work for you to see. Let it be a reminder of your wishes for the year.