Monday, October 13, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? 10-13-14

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?

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.

 Current giveaway:

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Last week I reviewed:

Rex Wrecks It by Ben Clanton
Maple and Willow Together by Lori Nichols

Last week I finished reading:

Celebrating Writers: From Possibilities to Publication by Ruth Ayers with Christi Overman
Writing is a celebration no matter what stage of the writing process we're in. Ruth Ayers illustrates this concept beautifully in this short (less than 100 pages) professional text.

Picture books that stood out in the pile:

This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne
A delightfully interactive book about a girl who encounters a frustrating curiosity: her dog disappears into the gutter of the book. I love the idea of calling awareness to the gutter, making it a point of discussion rather than something to ignore -- like the gutter is its own character in the story. So fun and different.  

A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell
A laugh-out-loud funny story about a picture book protagonist who is having a tantrum over the fact that the owner of this particular book doesn't appear to take very good care of his belongings. It's sort of the meta-picture-book version of "And this is why we can't have nice things!" :) 

The Flat Rabbit by Bardur Oskarsson
This one stood out for perhaps not the best of reasons. I definitely see the dark humor here but I'm not entirely sure I get it. I'm wondering if some of the problem is that the humor was lost in translation or if it's a cultural difference that maybe Americans don't quite understand. 

Still reading:

Winger by Andrew Smith
I'm really enjoying this book but all of my grad school readings and assignments are preventing me from spending a lot of time pleasure reading, and if I do have time, I tend to gravitate towards short and sweet picture books. 

Still reading with my ears:

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman 

I'm both enjoying this and not enjoying it at the same time. It's a book that no doubt has some interesting pieces to it, but I'm still scratching my head at why this was marketed as YA lit -- and won a Printz honor.  Maybe it will become clearer to me by the end.

Last weeks' posts from my teaching blog:
5 things I loved about last week
Celebrating a little subversion -- okay maybe a lot of subversion
Pairing the old with the new

Also, check out my contribution to Kurt Stroh's blog post about blanket books.


  1. You have some really great books on this list. I saw Rex Wrecks It on our new books shelf at the library and didn't pick it up. Now I wish I did! Have a good week!

  2. I just picked up Rex from my library... also have Dog Ate... Just need to find time to read them! I did love A Perfectly Messed-Up Story. Reminded me a little of Battle Bunny but different too!

  3. Interesting about The Flat Rabbit. I didn't even think about the possible lost in translation scenario. The ending did seem off. There are definitely open ended endings that invite possibilities and then there was this ending.

  4. I'm reading Winger right now--well, sort of. I started it, loved it, got distracted by a bunch of other things, and now it's been about 6 weeks since I've read even a page. SIGH. Got to get back to it before I forget what was happening. I really want to read the picture books you feature this week. I enjoy dark humor in a PB, but I've read several reviews of Flat Rabbit that make it sound like something just doesn't work about that book. I really enjoyed Charles & Emma--what a great book about marriage. And what a weird topic for a YA book! I'm not quite sure why it was marketed YA either. It's one I'd like to reread and think more about at some point, but I still have many Printz books to read for the first time, so a reread of that one is definitely on the back burner. Maybe I'll reread it on audio.

  5. I am very curious now about The Flat Rabbit. Hope you get some time for Winger. I so love this book. A Perfectly Messed up Story is high on my TBR list.

  6. I just saw A Perfectly Messed-Up Story on another blog so I requested it already. Unfortunately, no libraries have This Book Just Ate My Dog yet.

  7. I liked Charles and Emma, as I said last week, but to be honest, I don't remember the ending being remarkable. Overall, I found it to be a very peaceful read, but I hate to tell you that I don't remember the ending being much different. I liked the interdisciplinary aspect of it the most. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book!

  8. I have Lies We Tell Ourselves on my TBR right now-- it looks really interesting. Have you nominated for Cybils? Nominations close on Wednesday, and I'd love to see more nominations. Any shout out or lists of things you'd like to see nominated that you're comfortable with would be great, too!

  9. Rex Wrecks It looks FANTASTIC! I'll need to get it soon. I have Flat Rabbit to read--I am very much looking forward to it.
    Enjoy Winger! It is a special read.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  10. I have Winger-still need to start. This Book Just Ate My Dog sounds like a bunch of fun, as does A Perfectly Messed Up Story. All these new books-overwhelming! Thanks for your list, Beth.

  11. Charles and Emma had me wondering the same thing though I did enjoy it. ;) I loved Winger and am eagerly anticipating the sequel. I hope you have more time to read sometime soon.

  12. I was intrigued by your description of "This Book ate my dog" - it also brought to mind some of the things that Suzy Lee is doing in her own wordless picturebooks - have you checked out her borderless trilogy in Wave, Shadow, and Mirror? She played with the concept of the book gutter there as well.