Monday, January 10, 2022

It's Monday! What are you reading? 1-10-22

It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

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.

Books I read and loved last week:
Amos McGee Misses the Bus by Phillip and Erin Stead
Dare I say I loved this book more than A Sick Day for Amos McGee? Loving a sequel more than the original is no easy feat, but here's why I think this book touched my heart more than the first one. Like most readers, I found A Sick Day for Amos McGee to be a quiet, charming, and whimsical tale. And Amos McGee Misses the Bus is no different. But because I went into this book knowing what sweet and gentle characters Amos McGee and his animal friends are, I just picked up where I left off from the first book and I felt my heart melt and anxiety float away as I reunited with some beloved literary friends.

Off-Limits by Helen Yoon
When a young girl goes into her dad’s office that’s supposed to be off-limits, she only plans on taking a small piece of tape, but things soon go awry and before long, she’s playing with allllllllll the office supplies.

A delightful book that will make you smile the entire time, particularly the surprise ending.

Vibrant illustrations and brilliant poetic writing

Keep Going by Austin Kleon
Whenever my brain is low on motivation and inspiration, I can always count on Austin Kleon to get my creative wheels turning. I especially love his message about resisting the urge to monetize the things we are good at. In Kleon's words: "We used to have hobbies; now we have "side hustles." As things continue to get worse in America, as the safety net gets torn up, and as steady jobs keep disappearing, the free-time activities that used to soothe us and take our minds off work and add meaning to our lives are now presented to us as potential income streams."

I think I've internalized this advice before I even read it in this book. For the longest time I have contemplated writing a novel, but have never felt compelled to sit down and actually do the work. Given how much I love writing, this lack of motivation perplexed me. But after reading this book, I think I've realized that because I once tried to monetize something I loved by going to college to be a music teacher and when that turned into a complete disaster that left me never wanting to play the piano again (it took me over ten years for it not to be painful to sit at the piano anymore), I don't think I can take the pain of something else I love becoming a source of anguish for me.

There's lots of other great advice in Keep Going, but that was the one thing that really stuck out to me.

Currently reading: 
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Currently reading with my ears:

My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder

Purchasing books from any of the above Bookshop affiliate links support independent bookstores and gives me a small percentage of the sale. 


  1. I'm envious that you are already reading the new Sepetys book, cannot wait to read! I remember loving playing with office supplies, imagine I will like that new Office - Limits. I read too quickly but was at my favorite Indie the other day & got a quick look at the new Amos McGee - very cute. Thanks for all, Beth, must find that new Austin Kleon, too!

  2. I Must Betray You is on my #MustRead list for this year. I have no doubt it will be brilliant.
    I didn't even know about Austin Kleon, but this book sounds like an important read. I guess the best thing about being retired is that it easier to just do things we love to do without worrying about how to pay the bills.

  3. After reading your thoughts about Amos McGee Misses the Bus I feel like I need to go get a copy. I never expect much from sequels, but you've made it sound terrific.

  4. I hope you enjoy the new Sepetys book as much as I did. Another part of history I really didn't know much about.
    Loved Off Limits! And I just picked up the Amos McGee sequel from the library!

  5. I have two of these - Amos and Have you Seen Flowers in my Mock Caldecott stack. Do you have a hobby you enjoy and won't monetize?

  6. So many great books today, Beth! I made note of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, since it sounds like you loved it so much and I'd want to read the first book before the sequel! Off-Limits sounds like such a delightful story as well—it's such an immediately brilliant premise that I'm surprised no one else has thought of it yet, so kudos to Yoon for the idea!

    And Keep Going sounds really powerful! I really appreciate Kleon's and your thoughts about not monetizing hobbies you love—you're right, there is so much pressure to do that, and it really is an "excellent" way to destroy the things you enjoy! I'm so sorry that happened to you when you tried to become a piano teacher, but it's wonderful that you were able to overcome that and love the piano again. I'll have to remember that as I figure out my own career path! Thanks so much for the great picks and thoughtful ideas, Beth!