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Thursday, January 21, 2016

2016: First 3 Books Read and What's On My TBR List

So we're off to a new year of reading! So far, I've finished one adult book and two middle grades:

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THE FAIR FIGHT kind of blew me away. I haven't read something that got me into the head of different characters in that particular way in quite awhile. I recommend it a whole bunch.


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ORBITING JUPITER by Gary Schmidt just killed me in the best of ways. I knew it was going to be good after reading this BookPage interview/review, but I wasn't prepared for the raw power of the simple, pure, honest prose. I wasn't prepared for the ending, either. This is a book that I'm glad that I've read. One of those ones that you quietly think about every now and then long after finishing.
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I adored RED by Liesl Shurtliff! Her world-building is so rich in the senses. There are scenes full of enchantment and danger, and characters full of humor, heart, desires, and flaws. I can't wait for the next one in this companion novel series (RUMP, JACK, RED). I have an inkling about whose story might be next, but I'll keep it to myself.

More books I'm dying to read this year (please let me know in the comments what's on your list!):

The Skylighter, Becky Wallace  *will be doing a givaway*
Stars so Sweet, Tara Dairman *will be doing an ARC giveaway of this title!*
Booked, Kwame Alexander
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, Janet Fox
Lily and Dunkin, Donna Gephart
The Wild Robot, Peter Brown
Counting Thyme, Melanie Conklin
Hour of the Bees, Lindsay Eager
Grayling's Song, Karen Cushman
A Clatter of Jars, Lisa Graff
Pilfer Academy, Lauren Magaziner
Some Kind of Happiness, Claire Legrand
The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price, Jennifer Maschari
Forest of Wonders, Linda Sue Park
Paper Wishes, Lois Sepahban
The Key to Extraordinary, Natalie Lloyd
Pax, Sara Pennypacker
The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society, Janet Sumner Johnson
A Rambler Steals Home, Carter Higgins
The Luck Uglies 3: Rise of the Ragged Clover, Paul Durham

On a 2017 note, I'm already looking forward to Linda Jackson's MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON, which is MG historical fiction. It comes out on January 3, 2017. As I understand it, there will be a cover reveal and giveaway of that over at Caroline Starr Rose's blog soon!

Oh, and I should probably mention that my next book, Waiting for Augusta, will be out on May 10!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015: Books Read & Loved

Hello! Hope you're all doing well as the year comes to a close.

Okay, here (in no particular order) are some of the books that I've read and enjoyed throughout 2015. Most of these were first-time reads, others were nostalgic re-reads (e.g., Karen Cushman, Rita Williams-Garcia, Sharon Creech). Feel free to chime in with your favorite books of the year!

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MIDDLE GRADE:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

A Nearer Moon, Melanie Crowder
The Stars of Summer, Tara Dairman (2nd in a series~ Gladys Gatsby is SUCH a lovable protagonist)
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, Kelly Jones
Wish Girl, Nikki Loftin
Switch, Ingrid Law (LOVED this whole series- Savvy and Scumble are the first 2)
Bridget Wilder, Spy in Training, Jonathan Bernstein
The Astounding Broccoli BoyFrank Cottrell Boyce (one of my fav authors!)
Fuzzy Mud, Louis Sachar
Stella by Starlight, Sharon Draper
The Hollow Boy: Lockwood & Co., Jonathan Stroud (LOVE this series)
The Blackthorn Key, Kevin Sands (great start to a new series)
Goodbye Stranger, Rebecca Stead
The Truth about Twinkie Pie, Kat Yeh
Secrets of Selkie Bay, Shelley Moore Thomas
Gracefully Grayson, Ami Polonsky

MORE MIDDLE GRADE:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Circus Mirandus, Cassie Beasley
The War that Saved My Life, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The Wolf Wilder, Katherine Rundell
Curiosity House, the Shrunken Head, Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester
Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech
Love that Dog, Sharon Creech
The Unmapped Sea, Maryrose Wood
The Thing About Jellyfish, Ali Benjamin
The Friendship Riddle, Megan Frazer Blakemore
Crenshaw, Katherine Applegate
Roller Girl, Victoria Jamieson
Rules for Stealing Stars, Corey Ann Haydu
Lost in the Sun, Lisa Graff
The Detective’s Assistant, Kate Hannigan
The Thickety: The Whispering Trees, J.A. White

MORE MIDDLE GRADE:

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Gone Crazy in Alabama, Rita Williams-Garcia (another series I've LOVED)
PS Be ElevenRita Williams-Garcia
One Crazy SummerRita Williams-Garcia
Arcady’s Goal, Eugene Yelchin
Finding Ruby Starling, Karen Rivers
George, Alex Gino
Sunny Side Up, Jenni Holm
Milo Speck, Accidental Agent, Linda Urban
Moonpenny Island, Tricia Springstubb
Echo, Pam Munoz Ryan
Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans, Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder
A Plague of Boggles, Catherine Jinks
Jinx's Fire, Sage Blackwood (EXCELLENT series!)

MORE MIDDLE GRADE:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Stella By Starlight, Sharon Draper
Blue Birds, Caroline Starr Rose
The Key that Swallowed Joey Pigza, Jack Gantos
Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times, Emma Trevayne
Catherine, Called Birdy, Karen Cushman
Alchemy and Meggy Swann, Karen Cushman
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, Bette Bao Lord *Childhood Favorite
Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls, Elizabeth Varadan *Wonderful voice!


YOUNG ADULT:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

The Storyspinner, Becky Wallace (LOVED this, sequel is out in March)
Bone Gap, Laura Ruby
See No Color, Shannon Gibney
Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older
More Happy Than Not, Adam Silvera
Mark of the Thief, Jennifer Nielsen
Boxers/Saints, Gene Luen Yang (got these books signed at an event!)
Instructions for the End of the World, Jamie Kain
American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang
The Hired Girl, Laura Amy Schlitz (MG/YA cusp)
Audacity, Melanie Crowder
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton
I’ll Give you the Sun, Jandy Nelson
Lies We Tell Ourselves, Robin Talley
Jumped, Rita Williams-Garcia
Mortal Heart, Robin LaFevers


NONFICTION:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details


Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, Mahzarin A. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald
Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay
Bossypants, Tina Fey
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and other concerns), Mindy Khaling
Two Roads to Augusta, Ben Crenshaw, Carl Jackson, Melanie Hauser


ADULT FICTION:

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The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
Pretty Baby, Mary Kubica
Dodger, Terry Pratchett (YA, but I think it's great with any audience)
Chocolat, Joanne Harris
Shopaholic to the Stars, Sophie Kinsella
Queen of Babble series, Meg Cabot
The Martian, Andy Weir
The Fair Fight, Anna Freeman (still reading, but LOVING)

MISC. (not sure where these fit~ loved them!):

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Shaun Tan books- The Arrival, Lost and Found, The Lost Thing
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Happy New Year! My next post will be about some 2016 books that I'm looking forward to.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

To You and Yours...




Happy Holidays!

I'm planning a post about the middle grade and YA books I've read in 2015 (and the ones I'm looking forward to in 2016~spoiler, HUGE anticipation for the newest Karen Cushman book, as she's one of my major literary crushes), but for now, I'll leave you with a few photos from my holiday season.




Stockings 'round the fake fireplace
Snowmen & elves strewn everywhere

Wassail simmering on stove
Walnuts for roasting! (much tastier than chestnuts, in my opinion)

Cookie stealing: A holiday tradition at our house

Lots of snow! I'm asking Santa for a garage this Christmas...

Getting together with family (I'm 3rd from the right)

All the beasties!
The wee beasties love playing in the snow


Hope your holidays are filled with love, happiness, and maybe a little magic!