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Re: Whatcha reading?

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I'm enjoying the plant book, but maybe a tad too much chemistry for me. He's careful about being ultra-evidence-based. Still, some amazing facts about plants.

On to animals--I'm also reading ELEPHANT COMPANY: THE INSPIRING STORY OF AN UNLIKELY HERO AND THE ANIMALS WHO HELPED HIM SAVE LIVES IN WORLD WAR II. Lots of interesting facts about elephants--it's getting amazing reviews. (I'll let you know more when I've read more.)

And I also just bought: The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar: Living with a Tawny Owl.


Can you tell I like animals?
#841 - July 18, 2014, 08:37 AM
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 09:50 AM by Betsy »
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PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

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Quote
And I also just bought: The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar: Living with a Tawny Owl.

This sounds like my kind of book! But I'm going to wait for the paperback to come out (Nov.).

HYPERBOLE AND A HALF was cute and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny.

A BIG LITTLE LIFE was what you would expect, a memoir of an extraordinary golden retriever.

I started GOLDFINCH but I found I'm not really in the mood for it, so it went back into the pile.

Just finished a MG novel, DREAMER, WISHER, LIAR by Charise Mericle Harper. Fun story with a bit of magical realism. Some of it was predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless. Reminiscent of Rebecca Stead.
#842 - July 18, 2014, 09:50 AM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
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Blog: http://owlsquill.blogspot.com

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That golden retriever books does sound fun. I couldn't get into GOLDFINCH either, but it's in the pile.
#843 - July 18, 2014, 09:53 AM
www.ellenjackson.net
PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

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I was in our local children's room last week and picked up 21 Balloons and The Grey King. These are both Newbery Award Winners, and although I now want to read the whole The Dark is Rising series, it's hard to imagine 21 Balloons winning the Newbery today. On the other hand, 21 Balloons was my son's favorite childhood book, so maybe this is a difference in taste.
#844 - July 19, 2014, 09:30 AM

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I'm still reading Newbery Award winners, but not in any particular order.


Just finished Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. It is wonderful. I loved the writing and I loved the story and I loved the fact that it opens with two solid chapters of backstory. Rules can be broken when you know what you're doing.


I also read Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George for the second time. I know children everywhere have loved this book, but I guess I wasn't in the mood to appreciate eating raw meat pulled out of the mouth of a feral wolf who had already chewed it. It's been a hard summer.
#845 - July 25, 2014, 10:57 AM

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Currently reading Something Blue by Emily Griffin, and Ever After High by Shanon Hale.
#846 - July 27, 2014, 09:25 AM

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Lol, Pons. I think you just have to be in the right mood to read about pre-chewed meat.

I recently read and liked Saving Lucas Biggs, by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague (MG with light time travel elements about getting a judge to heal a past hurt and be a less bitter person to save the MC's dad in the present). Also The Eighth Day, by Dianne K. Salerni (MG about a kid who gets an extra day every week, between Wednesday and Thursday, and the other people--good and bad--who do, too. It was handled really well.) Also The Watcher in the Shadows, sequel to The Inquisitor's Apprentice, by Chris Moriarty (MG, a mystery set in 1900 among the NYC Jewish community, plus magic. I'm not Jewish, but my grandparents were Czech New Yorkers, so there is a familiar feel about it to me. Again, nicely done.)
#847 - July 27, 2014, 06:06 PM

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Just getting around to CINDER and The Lunar Chronicles. All I can say is  :wow
#848 - July 28, 2014, 06:21 AM

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I love the Cinder series. Can't wait for the next one to come out!

Just picked up The Riverman, by Aaron Starmer. I'm only halfway through, but it's good. It's got that kind of voice that sounds like a teenage boy telling you something that really happened to him--just you, mind--he isn't going to blab it to the whole world--but it's in a way that makes you believe him. It's got a spooky factor to it that throws it into the magical realism world. It's exactly the kind of book my 14YO son goes for, so I'm looking forward to him coming home from a canoe trip so I can pass it on. My library shelves it in middle grade, but it's not the kind of MG full of Quirky! Characters! and Bizarre! Situations! that sometimes have a churned-out feeling to them. It's got a lot more weight/heart to it. Like I said, I'm only halfway done, but really enjoying it so far!

ETA: I've finished it. Lovely writing. But as the book goes on, I'm less convinced it's a middle grade. There are some content things that IMO take it past that age--not just oh, my! drinking! or whatever--it's the intensity of the content and not just the content. I don't know that it feels exactly like YA either, though. Sort of a MG/adult hybrid, if there is such a thing? And the ending...I don't think I get it. So if any of you have read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

ETA2: Ah. It looks like it's the first of a trilogy. There's no way you'd know that from just reading the book. The ending just...ends. The problem doesn't feel solved and you're left wondering some key things about the foundation of the world. (Meanwhile, feeling rather unsettled.) But knowing that there is more to the story definitely helps! Book 2 is now on my TBR list...
#849 - August 06, 2014, 08:27 AM

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I'm love-love-LOVING Donna Gephart's Death by Toilet Paper. This MG is hilarious, of course, but also a touching depiction of poverty, grief, compassion, ingenuity, and grace. Oh, and toilet paper. Lots of toilet paper.


My seven year-old noticed me reading at several points and marveled, "Look at how much Mommy has read! It must be a really good story!" It is. It truly is. I'll be sad when it's over.


(I'd have used the toilet emoticon here, but it showed vomiting and I didn't want to send a mixed message :snork: )


 :carrot :carrot :carrot







#850 - August 11, 2014, 10:19 AM

Currently re-reading John Grisham's A Painted House, which I first read a little over a decade ago around the time it came out in paperback. (Before this, I revisited Austen's Pride & Prejudice, an old fave.)  ;D
#851 - August 11, 2014, 03:13 PM
"This is your life and you be what you want to be.
Just don't hurt nobody, 'less of course they ask you."

XTC, "Garden of Earthly Delights" (1989)

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G. R.


I usually like John Grisham, but I just didn't connect with The Painted House. What did I miss?

#852 - August 12, 2014, 10:25 PM

My wife and I are reading The Wheel of Time series. Currently I'm up to book 4. Is kind of slow going but I'm enjoying it. It's been ages since I've read a novel and actually enjoyed it... I was beginning to wonder if I had lost my love of reading.  :studia:
#853 - August 13, 2014, 02:34 AM

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My son keeps trying to get me to read The Wheel of Time. I am partially motivated by the fact that Brandon Sanderson finished them (I'm a Sanderson fan!). But there are an awful lot of pages to get through before that point, lol. Maybe when I'm snowed in this winter--they seem to be a series you need a lot of time for.
#854 - August 13, 2014, 06:25 AM


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G. R.


I usually like John Grisham, but I just didn't connect with The Painted House. What did I miss?


Since it was his first venture outside the legal thriller genre, I just thought it was an interesting change of pace; and I felt the details about farm life were pretty evocative.

Still, his books tend to be driven more by plot than character development, so in a less plot-driven work like APH it's easier to notice whether or not the characters are well-developed...
#855 - August 13, 2014, 03:15 PM
"This is your life and you be what you want to be.
Just don't hurt nobody, 'less of course they ask you."

XTC, "Garden of Earthly Delights" (1989)

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Well, I've become one of those people who reads several books at a time... Currently on the list are "On Writing," by Stephen King. Very interesting and already gross. That shouldn't be surprising, but there's an element of horror in some of the anecdotes (I'm thinking of the ear-drum lancing, for anyone who's read it. Ugh).

For my fiction needs, I'm reading Lev Grossman's "The Magicians". I'm loving it so far, it's a fun read, with an element of darkness and an element of absurdity.

I'm also re-reading Leigh Bardugo's "Shadow and Bone," so I can study what makes it so awesome.
#856 - August 14, 2014, 08:23 AM
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Rereading, for the first time in years, The Once and Future King. It still has the power to move me.
#857 - August 14, 2014, 07:28 PM

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The Arthurian legend just never gets old, but I am amazed how many kids today are unfamiliar with it.
#858 - August 16, 2014, 01:11 PM

Several good titles mentioned here. I'll check them out right after this post.

Currently reading:
The Stories of Ray Bradbury
Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles
#859 - August 24, 2014, 07:24 PM
Writing & Illustrating Quietly Bold Kidlit

https://carryusoffbooks.com/
My Clearest Me
Little Orchid's Sea Monster Trouble

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I finished THE GREAT GREENE HEIST by Varian Johnson, which was an excellent middle grade heist adventure. I'm now finishing up an advanced copy of K. A. Holt's RHYME SCHEMER, which pubs in September. A middle grade verse novel from the POV of a bully--highly recommend.
#860 - August 24, 2014, 08:00 PM
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 04:57 AM by J-Bert »
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
jenniferchamblissbertman.com

Back on my Jane Austen kick, I started rereading Mansfield Park this weekend.
#861 - August 25, 2014, 02:39 PM
"This is your life and you be what you want to be.
Just don't hurt nobody, 'less of course they ask you."

XTC, "Garden of Earthly Delights" (1989)

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G.R., I'm reading Mansfield Park now. It feels a lot s l  o   w    e     r than P&P.
#862 - August 25, 2014, 05:40 PM

:yup It is pretty slow-going.

#863 - August 26, 2014, 03:00 PM
"This is your life and you be what you want to be.
Just don't hurt nobody, 'less of course they ask you."

XTC, "Garden of Earthly Delights" (1989)

I found in a little book stand a book by John Connolly "the book of lost things". It looks good :)
#864 - August 28, 2014, 10:22 AM

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Rereading, for the first time in years, The Once and Future King. It still has the power to move me.

We joke about the "Suck Fairy" getting at and spoiling books we loved when we were young...but I think The Once and Future King is pretty darned Suck Fairy-proof.
#865 - August 28, 2014, 10:39 AM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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I recently finished PRODIGAL SUMMER by Barbara Kingsolver, which I just loved. I enjoyed how each chapter focused on one of three stories and how each connected in subtle ways. And the overall theme of the book was just beautiful to me.

I also just finished JUDY MOODY WAS IN A MOOD by Megan McDonald. I was curious about this series, and I thought this book was a very fun and lively read. I just started the first book in THE PENDERWICKS series, and I feel like a kid again reading it and wishing that was my summer.
#866 - September 03, 2014, 05:01 AM

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I love The Penderwicks! There are supposed to be a total of five? books, and we're looking forward to the fourth one. It can not come out soon enough! And Erin, I have to say that I love your avatar! Until recently I lived very near that place, and I miss it ALL THE TIME.

Reading Alcatraz versus the Scrivener's Bone (second in the series) by Brandon Sanderson to my youngest. The other kids have read and loved the series, so even though I'm technically reading to the 6YO, the other kids are listening in. A lot of the jokes are for older kids, anyway, and so it's being a fun family reading event. Love those books. I hope the last book in the series comes out soon.

Recent good reads for me:

My Friend, the Enemy, by Dan Smith. MG, about an English boy who makes friends with a crashed German pilot in the middle of WWII. (He and his friend think that if they help this hurt German kid, then if something happens to their dads/brother, someone else will help them.) I thought the author really caught the feel of the time and place.

Dash, Kirby Larson. This was quite a bit younger MG, but it's also about WWII, about a girl of Japanese descent who has to leave her dog behind when she goes into an internment camp. Inspired by a real girl and her dog.

The Boundless, Kenneth Oppel. Also MG (my library's MG acquisitions lately have been especially good!) This was a fun historical (fantasy?)--a mystery thriller that takes place on the trans-Canada railway, except things like sasquatches are scientifically real. The 3rd-person present tense POV took a little getting used to (I find it very distancing), but it was good.

The Castle Behind Thorns, Merrie Haskell. A retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but with a lot added in to flesh it out. About forgiveness and blacksmithing. Haskell's books always feel very full and fleshed out to me, so I always enjoy her retellings.
#867 - September 03, 2014, 05:42 AM

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olmue--I visited there years ago and STILL think about it all the time. Makes me wish I had been a park ranger :) I can't wait to read all The Penderwicks books, so it's good to hear you've enjoyed them!
#868 - September 03, 2014, 11:13 AM

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Continuing the string of excellent MG lately--

Dreamwood, Heather Mackey. Totally different plot, but like The Boundless, it's a turn of the century, out west sort of story but with magical things as science. Takes place around Olympia National Park, and has a naturalist bent.

He Laughed with His Other Mouths, MT Anderson. It's the 6th (last??) Pals in Peril book, focused this time on Jasper Dash. I loved this book--yeah, it's totally quirky and metaliterary, but there's heart in it, too. (Plus a lot of ray guns and interstellar portals.)

Greenglass House, by Kate Milford. This is the perfect book to read when you're snowed in. Smugglers! An old (haunted??) hotel in the snow! Treasure-hunters! Mystery! Adventure!
#869 - September 15, 2014, 07:06 PM

Re-read Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice, and Bronte's Withering Heights.
#870 - September 16, 2014, 08:01 AM

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