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Re: Whatcha reading?

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 :goldstar

I just finished the One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. It was wonderful! What was even better was interviewing Katherine for an article about her appearance at the Miami Book Fair International.

LindaB
#871 - November 05, 2014, 02:24 PM

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Well, I was reading the first Lockwood and Co. book, and loving it, but today I couldn't find it anywhere in the house. Perhaps the ghosts have escaped and are messing with me.
#872 - November 05, 2014, 06:32 PM

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE BROKEN EAR. It was on the buy-for-$0.25 rack at the local library. Having not read any Tintin before but always having wanted to, I picked it up (along with Wells's WAR OF THE WORLDS and THE INVISIBLE MAN, which I'll be getting to in the next few days.  ::-)
#873 - December 08, 2014, 01:28 PM

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Can we turn this discussion to possible ALA winners? I'm thinking maybe RAIN REIGN for the Newbery. It's about a "high-functioning autistic" child who's living with a very emotionally damaged father and her attachment to a dog she calls "Rain." It's good, but I still like COUNTING BY SEVENS (also about a girl on the spectrum) better.

Any other candidates? I want to read some of them during the holidays.
#874 - December 08, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Can we turn this discussion to possible ALA winners? I'm thinking maybe RAIN REIGN for the Newbery. It's about a "high-functioning autistic" child who's living with a very emotionally damaged father and her attachment to a dog she calls "Rain." It's good, but I still like COUNTING BY SEVENS (also about a girl on the spectrum) better.

Any other candidates? I want to read some of them during the holidays.

I liked GHOSTS OF TUPELO LANDING by Sheila Turnage. Her THREE TIMES LUCKY won an honor a year or so back, and I thought this sequel was just as good. I also recently finished BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson and I would be shocked if it doesn't get at least an honor. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if it won a Newbery, Printz, and Coretta Scott King. I also greatly enjoyed GREENGLASS HOUSE by Kate Milford. There is only one small thing about the mystery that bothered me, which I want to re-read to double-check about, because it may have been mentioned and I missed it. But regardless, I still thought it was a fantastic book and deserving of an award. I know there are so many other great titles out there that I haven't had a chance to read. I'm curious to hear what others think!
#875 - December 08, 2014, 02:08 PM
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
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I haven't read that one, Betsy  (although I did like Counting By Sevens!). It's hard to say what books I've read and loved that qualify (ie that came out this year or are that type of book). Some that *might* show up for middle grade are A Snicker of Magic, Saving Lucas Biggs, The Boundless, My Friend the Enemy, He Laughed with his Other Mouths (yes, it's silly satire, but there's some pathos in that book, too, and satire or not, MT Anderson can write), Greenglass House, The Fourteenth Goldfish, and Egg and Spoon. But I think I'm terrible at picking award books. The books I really love rarely get awards (although sometimes they do, which is always nice!)

I have Brown Girl Dreaming on hold at the library and thus haven't read it yet, but I'm betting that one gets a ton of love.

I don't know if The Cracks in the Kingdom qualifies for a Printz (Australian author, AAL is the US publisher), but I sure did enjoy that book. (It's the second in a trilogy, and I enjoyed it quite a bit more than the first, which I liked to start out with.)

Unrelated to all of this, a book I recently read and loved was Rien Poortvliet's book Noah's Ark. He's a fabulous Dutch animal painter, and his paintings make you want to climb inside. I hadn't read this book before, and was at the library one day, escaping the plumbing pains of my 100YO house, and ran into it. Sometimes you just need the comfort of Good Art, you know? It definitely hit the spot. I think he's also known for gnome pictures, but if you ever get the chance to look at his animal art, do it! It's beautiful. :)
#876 - December 08, 2014, 02:20 PM

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I just finished AUDREY (Cow) by Dan Bar-El. A humorous MG about a cow who, on learning about her fate as a future steak, makes a break for freedom. The style is so unusual. It reads almost like a documentary script, in which about 20 characters--some animal, some human--are interviewed about the Audrey incident. Bar-El does an excellent job of making all 20 voices different. Highly recommend it!  :love5

And, I'd like to add, talking animals rule!!!

:owl  :bunny2  :horse2  :turtlego  :dog2  :cat  :sheep  :bear2
#877 - December 08, 2014, 04:05 PM
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 04:10 PM by Barbara Etlin »
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
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Some of these sound really good. I'm making a list. Thanks!
#878 - December 08, 2014, 07:41 PM
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Okay, people, tell me what you got for holiday gifts that you loved. :) While I still strongly prefer paper, I now have a device for e-books, which means that I can get things via Overdrive that I can't get physically at my library.

So far I've read two books that have really interesting plot structures. Both YA, both fantasy, with historical elements. The first was The Winner's Curse, by Marie Rutowski. It's based on the idea of the Romans conquering the Greeks, and the notion of a highly cultured people being turned into slaves--and what they'll do to regain their freedom. It's got elements of the unreliable narrator in it, but I thought it was handled especially well--I didn't feel tricked as a reader, and both the knowing and the not-knowing parts helped to up the tension. Luckily I have only just read it now (the sequel comes out in March, not in a year).

The other one is The Perilous Sea, by Sherry Thomas (sequel to The Burning Sky). This one tells a story from two different time points (but the same characters). One is maybe six? months later than the other plotline, and one involves the characters being under a memory removal. The series takes place in maybe the late 1800s, mostly at Eton, but somewhat also in the Domain, which is a kingdom of people who can do magic, who are fighting for freedom against the scary Atlantian government. I've always liked historical fantasy, as well as historical books that make the characters nevertheless feel "modern" (at least to their POV), so both of these were quite satisfying.

I've got more on deck, and am of course waiting for my kids to be done with their books so I can ooze in and read them, too. :)
#879 - December 28, 2014, 06:50 PM

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I liked GHOSTS OF TUPELO LANDING by Sheila Turnage. Her THREE TIMES LUCKY won an honor a year or so back, and I thought this sequel was just as good.

I loved THREE TIMES LUCKY and I think GHOSTS OF TUPELO LANDING is just as good if not better. I've also read A SNICKER OF MAGIC, which was fun, and THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH, which was written really well, but didn't quite pull me in like I had hoped. Reading GOLDFISH once was enough. If I really like a book, I want to read it again. I can read Sheila Turnage's books over and over.

I also read THE THICKETY, which included several nice, unexpected plot turns at the end.
#880 - December 30, 2014, 04:48 PM

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Wrapping up Marie Lu's Legend trilogy.
#881 - December 30, 2014, 04:52 PM

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I just finished Hope is a Ferris Wheel, and really enjoyed it. I loved the sentences that the main character writes to practice vocabulary words. Very funny, and a creative way to give us insight into what's going on in her mind. I also thought the ending was very well handled.
#882 - December 30, 2014, 08:25 PM

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I've been reading some advance copies of books that are coming out in 2015, and so far I haven't been disappointed by any of them. BLACKBIRD FLY by Erin Entrada Kelly is a MG about a Filipina girl growing up in Louisianna. Her friends turn on her and she struggles to figure out how and where she fits in. My description isn't doing it justice--it's a more unique book than that. Great read!

I also read THE TROUBLE WITH ANTS by Claudia Mills, which will be the first in a new series for her. Younger MG, about a 4th grade scientist girl who is passionate about studying ants. It's absolutely delightful, and very funny. Brings to mind some of my favorite books from my childhood--Ramona, Anastasia Krupnik, TALES OF A FOURTH-GRADE NOTHING. I don't think this title will be available until fall, but Mills has many other books out (ZERO TOLERANCE; ANNIKA RIZ, MATH WHIZ; MASON DIXON: PET DISASTERS, to name just three) and the ones I've read are also reminiscent of the classic, comical style of Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and Lois Lowry's books so if that's up your alley, I urge you to seek them out. I don't know why Claudia Mills isn't more of a household name by now because her writing is sharp, funny, and charming.

And finally I read SKYSCRAPING by Cordelia Jensen. A YA verse novel about a girl going into her senior year in 1993 New York City when she learns some difficult truths about her family. This is a fast read, and a tear jerker, but I don't want to say more without spoiling anything.
#883 - December 31, 2014, 05:31 AM
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
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I just finished reading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Really liked it. It's about two brothers who run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It's funny, has great dialogue and keeps one guessing about what will happen.

Now I'm reading Voices by Ursula LeGuin. Really admire this fantasy author. She's great.
#884 - January 10, 2015, 08:41 PM

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Roomies, by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. The cover pitch is: two girls, one dorm room, 65 days until they meet. Dual points of view. Both MCs have just graduated from high school, trying to survive their families until they can go away to college. One of the best YA reads in a long time; the characters and situations seemed very real. Wonder if it was marketed as YA or NA?

Regardless, this one along with Meg Cabot's Heather Wells series proves that books set in/around college sell, so here's hoping a few more big names will write MC at this level and open the field to those of you who have trunk novels with 18-20 year old MCs.
#885 - January 14, 2015, 06:45 PM

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Since last post--added a new book:  Outlanders.  Only 15 years late to the party.  Cheers!
#886 - January 14, 2015, 07:20 PM

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I don't know why Claudia Mills isn't more of a household name by now because her writing is sharp, funny, and charming.

I so agree with you, J-Bert!

I'm reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's PIONEER GIRL: THE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, edited by Pamela Smith Hill. As a long time LIW fan, I'm finding it fascinating. I'm in Hill's intro now; haven't yet gotten to Wilder's section, which is, essentially, an early draft, for adults, of what would eventually become the Little House books. The book is beautifully produced---large format, with lots of photos and juicy footnotes.
#887 - January 16, 2015, 06:31 PM

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The Silent Murders by Mary Miley (Feeding my other writer-self-mystery-writer-wannabe with an added bonus of the Silent Film era.)
Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas By Stephanie Barron (One of my favorite combos...Jane Austen, murder, and Christmas...all in one nice read.)
S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple by S.J. Scott (It's a new year. Time to give the old goals the big eagle-eye.)
 :trench
#888 - January 17, 2015, 07:22 AM

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And after OUTLANDERS, it's onto finishing Stiefvater's Raven Boy's trilogy.
#889 - January 17, 2015, 08:47 AM

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I love mid-grade novels and just finished Gary Schmidt's FIRST BOY. Great story, loved the setting. He's a marvel at giving each character his or her own voice. Now I'm going to reserve his LIZZIE BRIGHT book from the library.
#890 - January 24, 2015, 06:27 PM
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Had to drop the Raven's Boys for the 2nd book in Diana Galbaldon's Outlander--now I'm reading Dragonfly in Amber.  Also--catching up with my 2013 TBR.  (slow reader?? too many books??)  In a good way.  Cheers!
#891 - January 25, 2015, 03:25 AM

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THE TRUTH ABOUT TWINKIE PIE

by Kat Yeh

MG novel with a voice that fills me with laughter. Can't say enough good things.  :lol3
#892 - February 04, 2015, 07:04 AM
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I'm currently halfway through a re-read of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey; while it may lack the character depth of her other works, I'd say it's her most purely funny... :yup

#893 - February 04, 2015, 09:35 AM
"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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Just finished All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. While it is an adult book, the protagonist is a child as are many of the characters. The writing is so tight and beautiful -- no wonder it is a national book award finalist!
#894 - February 04, 2015, 09:36 AM

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ORDINARY MAGIC by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway. Delightful! About an ord, a person born without magical powers in a world where magic is the norm.
#895 - February 04, 2015, 10:14 AM
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 10:16 AM by JodyJS »
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Jody--I'm going to take a look at that one.

writerhoo--if you look back a bit on this thread, I read the Doerr book last year. Loved it! Hope it wins.
#896 - February 04, 2015, 10:43 AM
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Sorry Betsy! I missed that. It was a great book!
#897 - February 04, 2015, 11:05 AM

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I totally agree.
#898 - February 04, 2015, 11:33 AM
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Enjoy, Betsy!

I'd like to read ALL THE LIGHT, too. Sounds good.
#899 - February 04, 2015, 12:23 PM
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It takes place during WWII and has some brutal stuff in it, so it may not be for everyone.
#900 - February 04, 2015, 12:35 PM
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