In one of my favorite blogs, the blogger does a quarterly reading link up with all of the books she’s read and a quick little review of each. I decided to join for the 4th quarter of the year and started being a little bit more meticulous about the books I was reading.
- El Deafo by Cece Bell (248 pages), middle grade, graphic novel, non-fiction/memoir. Fantastic. This was really an introduction to graphic novels to me and I really enjoyed it. I especially loved that it was a memoir.
- The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease (384 pages), adult, non-fiction. If I could force every parent in America (or the world) to read one book, it would probably be this one! If you are a parent, please read this book!
- Always Abigail by Nancy J. Cavanaugh (320 pages), middle grade, fiction. This was sweet and had a really nice moral to it. I can really see it benefiting a middle school student.
- The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney (336 pages), middle grade, fiction, lyrical verse. I really didn’t think I would like the poetry concept to this book; I thought it would be too disjointed. It really wasn’t. The story flowed and I want my children to read this someday.
- Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell (256 pages), upper elementary, fiction. Another fun read. I had really never read anything about Zimbabwe so that was interesting and the story reads out kind of like A Little Princess.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (166 pages), adult, fiction. I read this for book club because. . . October! I’m glad I read it because I like reading classics. It gives me a good, I’m-doing-the-right-thing type of feeling. Overall, it was kind of freaky and sad. It is a good book for discussion though and it’s always interesting to see where people’s loyalties lie–do they sympathize with Frankenstein or the monster?
- Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Epidemics by Marilee Peters (168 pages), middle grade, non-fiction. I’ve become a sucker for children’s non-fiction. It is written in a way to really capture children’s attention, which also captures mine! I really do find that it’s written really concisely and clearly and I love that. It also typically has better pictures. This was an interesting book. I’m pretty interested in diseases and so this was right up my alley.
- Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart (272 pages), upper elementary, fiction. Sometimes loving children’s literature can be embarrassing if you’re reading a book like this and other adults see you and ask you about the book you’re reading. I feel like I always have to quickly tell them of my elementary school teacher background. Regardless of its title and the giant toilet paper roll cover art, this was a really cute book and it also handled some real emotions. I can’t really remember it very clearly but I think it involved a boy being raised by a single mom. They were getting kicked out of their apartment and he was entering a ton of sweepstakes. Something about a grandpa who had dementia too. Well anyway, it was good.
- Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord (192 pages), adult, fiction. Bleh. I do not recommend this book. It was interesting and had its good moments. In fact, at the beginning it seemed really promising; however, I found it pretty demeaning to women overall.
- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (301 pages), adult, historical fiction. Thought I would like this book, I didn’t. The writing really didn’t capture me. I had this book checked out for such a long time because I would put it down and read other books before coming back to it. That is not a good sign. On the plus side, I got to visit the actual hotel that this book is centered on.
- The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (160 pages), upper elementary, fiction. I mostly read this book to see if it would be a good fit for the student I’m tutoring right now. It was cute and funny. I think it is a good book for children who enjoy humorous stories.
- Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins (272 pages), upper elementary, fiction. Cute story for an elementary school student written from the perspective of squirrels.
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman (352 pages), adult, non-fiction. I loved this book; I couldn’t put it down. I love parenting books and I love this type of pop psychology and so this was a win.
- Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok (320 pages), adult/YA?, fiction. I can’t remember how I really felt about this book. I think I enjoyed the beginning more than the end. In fact, I think I remember really hating the ending.
- Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine–reread– (256 pages), middle grade, fiction. I LOVE THIS BOOK!! Seriously, this is one of my favorite books in the past couple of years. It is about a young girl with Asperger’s Syndrome who is learning how to deal with a family trauma.
- Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan (320 pages), adult, non-fiction/memoir. This was good enough that I wanted to watch the movie. It was sweet and funny, but not mind blowing.
- The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, Elizabeth & John Sherrill (272 pages), adult, non-fiction/memoir. Every human on earth should read this book. Corrie and her family were part of the Dutch Resistance in WWII and were captured by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. It is her story.
- The Nazi Officer’s Wife by Edith H. Beer and Susan Dworkin (336 pages), adult, non-fiction/memoir. Another WWII memoir–this story was captivating! It’s hard to believe it is all true because it’s so crazy. I recommend it!
- Greenglass House by Kate Milford (176 pages), middle grade, fiction, mystery. If I was a teacher still, I would be recommending this to my fifth graders. It is such a fun mystery and I think it can be hard to find such a truly great children’s mystery.
- The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm (208 pages), upper elementary, fiction. Cute premise–didn’t love it.
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (315 pages), adult, non-fiction, self-help. LOVED this book! This book is really helping me get my groove back at the beginning of a new year.
Total: 21 books. Total Pages: 5, 630 pages. Average: 268 pages. 11 children’s books, 10 adults books. 13 fiction, 8 non-fiction.
Below is the link-up! Go to Janssen’s blog and check out her reading along with several other bloggers! Join us for this coming quarter–January through March!