Monday, December 16, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 12-16-13

Originally hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers also host a kidlit version of It's Monday! What are You Reading?

Last week I reviewed:

The Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Last week I finished reading:
The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins
Wow! I absolutely loved this, which is surprising since I'm not usually a fan of informational books. Longer review forthcoming this week.

Recipe for Adventure: Naples! by Giada deLaurentiis
A lovely story about the importance of food and family. While the writing lacked a true and distinct voice, it was an entertaining read nonetheless.

Finished reading with my ears:

The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostovski
I really enjoyed this quirky little book. It's kind of a sleeper; not much has been publicized about it, but it packs a philosophical, literary punch in the YA world.

Picture books worth talking about:

God Got a Dog by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Marla Frazee
While certainly thought-provoking and discussion-worthy, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about these poems. It felt somehow wrong to bring God down to a human-level and think of Him/Her as anything other than Almighty. Then again, there is lots to talk about here with regards to humans being made in God's image and likeness. So there's that.

Snowflakes Fall by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Steven Kellogg
Simply beautiful. MacLachlan and Kellogg teamed up to create this book as a tribute to the Sandy Hook shooting victims, but it is not overtly so. The writing and illustrations stand on their own, even without the knowledge of what inspired them.

Trouper by Meg Kearney, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
What I found so interesting about Trouper is that it didn't beat you over the head with the fact that he was a three-legged dog. In fact, it took a few minutes for me to process that he was missing a leg because the illustrations and text are not obvious. If you don't read the inside flap synopsis (which I admittedly did not at first), there's a lot of inferencing going on, especially when you get to the last page.

Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton by Megan McCarthy
Loved this story of Betty Skelton and love that Meghan McCarthy took it on in the form of a picture book. I am a fan of her friendly, wide-eyed and sideways-smiled illustrations.

Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el, illustrated by Tim Bowers
Crispin, upon his first attempt at breathing fire discovers he breathes something else instead. Hilarious story about celebrating differences. 

Currently reading:

The President Has Been Shot: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson
This book is a page-turner. I'm finding myself being so immersed in the story that I genuinely feel like I was there that day in November of 1963 when Kennedy was killed. I'm having a hard time separating reality from what I'm reading when I'm immersed in the pages of this book. It is so good!

Currently reading with my ears:

Not a Drop to Drink by  Mindy McGinnis
Amazing book paired with an amazing narrator = audiobook slam dunk.

Current giveaway:

The Memory of After by Lenore Appelhans (ends 12/18)


  1. Not a Drop to Drink is on my winter TBR list! I am giving The Animal Book to my nephew for Christmas. I can't wait to read it with him! ~Megan

  2. I need to read the new Swanson, but it's never on the shelf. Maybe this summer. WHat a nice selection of different things!

  3. A great mix of genre and topics this week! I am a huge Steve Jenkins fan so this book will definitely be one to find. I love his use of comparisons and also his layered paper visuals. Snowflakes fall made me cry when I read it - beautiful! I'm always on the look out for books that invite inferences so am definitely going to find Trouper! Thanks for the great list!

  4. I just purchased this Steve Jenkins title and look forward to reading it over the holidays. Not Your Typical Dragon was very popular in my room last year. I so want to read God got a Dog. Happy reading this week!

  5. My comment just got eaten - wanted to celebrate the Steve Jenkins book! Happy Reading this week!

  6. I just read Daredevil to my kids this week. They loved it and so did I! Now my older son wants a gold Corvette with solid gold buckles. I really want to get McCarthy's other books now. Thanks for sharing The Paradox of Vertical Flight--sounds like one I'd enjoy and it's not one I've seen before. Enjoy your week of reading!

  7. Hello there Beth, my 11 year old daughter would be starting her first Laurie Halse Anderson novel soon with "Prom." We shall see how it goes for her. Thanks for sharing all these lovelies this week. Have a great reading week!