Monday, September 16, 2013

It's Monday!

What I Finished and Reviewed Last Week

When lovely books stack up and stack up, it is always a happy feeling to get them read and reviewed. This was a very good week for reading and reviewing. Thirty-three reviews!

The Gravity of Birds
by Tracy Guzeman

Two sisters. One attractive man. And birds. Lots of birds.

Art. Lots of art.

A love story and a story of two sisters at odds with each other forced by...more

The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari
by Paul Theroux

When Paul Theroux says it’s his last train ride, I feel sad. I’ve traveled with Theroux across the east side of Africa, across Asia, and now down the...more

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
written by Michael Pollan
illustrated by Maira Kalman

We don’t eat well here in America. Is that a surprise to you? I think not. 

And our terrible food choices contribute to our overall terrible health...more

 Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking

 by Anya Von Bremzen 

 What better way to tell the story of Soviet life for the past one hundred years than  through the food of the time? Anya Von Bremzen brilliantly...more

Thursday's Child
by Sonya Hartnett

(I don’t think there is any way I can explain this amazing story. I will try, but I will fail.)

Harper Flute and her family struggle during Depression...more

Raising the Curve:

A Year Inside One of America's
45,000 Failing Public Schools

 Just the title sounds bleak. Oh my. Do we really have forty-five thousand failing public schools? Impossible task, really, isn’t it?

Or so it can seem....more

Chamelia and the New Kid in Class
by Ethan Long

Oh dear. What do you do when you are a quirky kid (Chamelia) and a new kid arrives who is just as quirky (the new kid in class)? Oh dear. It’s trouble...more

Violet Mackerel's Personal Space
by Anna Branford 

It is so lovely to find new small chapter books, just perfect for the children at my primary school. Violet Mackerel’s Personal Space is one of these....more

Sure Signs of Crazy
by Karen Harrington

Children's books have ventured into ground once held only by the occasional teen read. Poverty. Alcoholic parents. Dwarfism. Issues that were once tab...more

How Far Do You Love Me?
by Lulu Delacre

We always want to know, don’t we? And it’s such a tricky thing to measure. Delacre attempts to use geography to explain how much the parent loves the...more

by Samantha Berger

The new hit book at my library. Our main character wakes up in the morning and he is awfully cranky. So cranky that he is, we learn, Crankenstein...more

Pi in the Sky
by Wendy Mass

I read this one right after I finished 
Henry Clark’s What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World. 
Pi in the Sky is in the same sort of genre...more

Ling & Ting Share a Birthday
by Grace Lin

I have a Ling & Ting book on my library shelves, but today is the first day I actually sat down and read one. I like Ling & Ting. Gentle. Kind...more 

 Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
 by Peter Brown

Oh yes. I completely identify with Mr. Tiger. So buttoned up. In a stuffy, buttoned up world. And with a great, unexpected desire to go wild...more

You Were the First
by Patricia MacLachlan
and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin

The baby was the first for this mom and dad, the first to sleep in the basket, the first to cry and the first to smile, the first to laugh at the dog...more

Underwater Dogs:
Kids Edition
by Seth Casteel

Everybody loves dogs, so how about a book filled with great photos of dogs swimming underwater? Add some immensely readable text and I see a book that...more

The Baker's Dozen:
A Colonial American Tale
retold by Heather Forest
and illustrated by Susan Gaber

Everything you want in a good folktale: A greedy baker who learns his lesson, that only by being generous can one become prosperous. Just right for...more

The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies
retold by Heather Forest
and illustrated by Susan Gaber

A woman was known far and wide for making wonderful cakes, and word of her craft came to the fairies. Soon the fairies captured the woman and carried...more

Real Talk for Real Teachers
by Rafe Esquith

It's one thing to hear suggestions about becoming a better teacher from administrators who clearly became administrators in a desperate move to escape...more

The King with Dirty Feet
told by Rob Cleveland
and illustrated by Tom Wrenn

 We were just talking about folktales at my school library when, serendipitously, a bunch of wonderful new editions of old folktales arrived at my hous...more

Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days
edited by Michael Oren Fitzgerald

Don’t you wonder what life was really like back in the days of the buffalo for Native Americans? I do. How better to learn about those days than photo...more 

 I Don't Know:  In Praise of Admitting Ignorance and  Doubt Except When You Shouldn't
 by Leah Hager Cohen

 I don't ever say I don't know. Maybe it's part of being a librarian or maybe it's my 
 supercilious personality, but I just don't say I don't know.  I'm...more

The First Drawing
by Mordicai Gerstein

How did it happen? Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein hypothesizes a cave boy with stick and charcoal, who decides one day to share the things he se...more

Halloween Hustle
by Charlotte Gunnufson

A happy surprise: a self-published-at-Amazon goodie. Skeleton Halloween-hustles it to a big Halloween party, stopping from time-to-time to pick up his...more

The Earth Abides
by George R. Stewart

Instead of a real review, I’ve decided to post random comments from and about the story:

Economics professor: “The trouble you are expecting never happens...more

Awesome Dawson
by Chris Gall 

Oh my! I got this book way, way back last spring, when my library assistant was out with back trouble. I ended up hurriedly cataloging it and sending...more

Custer's Last Battle:

Red Hawk's Account of the Battle of Little Bighorn
by Paul Goble

Nobody illustrates Native American tales like Paul Goble. How wonderful it is to see this book, Goble’s first, back in print! The fictionalized story...more

Nighty-Night, Little Green Monster
by Ed Emberly

If I had a hundred copies of Go Away, Big Green Monster in my school library, they would all be checked out every week. Such is the love my school has...more

by Alexis York Lumbard

Angels watching over us is the theme of this little gift book. Beautiful. And comforting. 

A Canticle for Leibowitz
by Walter Miller Jr. 

When I was eighteen, I was crazy for what are now called post-apocalyptic novels. Read them constantly. Sought them out. Which was much trickier in the...more

by Rainbow Rowell

I finished this book late last night and now I desperately want to read another Rainbow Rowell. This author can write about relationships. And can this...more

 The True Secret of Writing
 by Natalie Goldberg

Natalie Goldberg’s book, Writing Down the Bones, was the first book I read about writing. How easy this is! I thought. It set me on the road to daily...more

What We Found in the Couch and 

How It Saved the World
by Henry Clark

This review is easy; I really don’t have to tell you much more than the title. I can pretty much guarantee that if you like the title, you are gonna l...more

What are you reading this week?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! As part of this weekly meme Book Journey loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. 


  1. Wow! I have no idea how you get through that many books in a week. You're extraordinary.

  2. I have a terrible cold and so I did nothing this weekend but write and post reviews.

  3. Nice job catching up on all those reviews! I still have 5 to compose...

    Nice to see that A Canticle for Leibowitz is a winner. I've had it on my shelves for years!! I read Earth Abides quite a few years ago (pre-blogging) after hearing my husband rave about it forever. I wasn't as impressed.

  4. If you weren't impressed with Earth Abides, you probably won't be wild about Canticle either; these books are remarkably similar.

    Wonder what Hunger Games readers would think of these?

  5. Thirty-three reviews is probably a record for me!

  6. I wish I was disciplined like you are. Good week for you! I think I will check out some of those kids' books to see if they would be good for my grandkids. Thanks for sharing all this.

  7. Wow...what a week!! I could NEVER read and review that many books in a week. GREAT JOB!!

    Thursday's Child does sound good. THANKS.

    THANKS for sharing.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

  8. THANKS also for stopping by my post.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

  9. Thursday's Child has to be one of the oddest/normal-seeming (does that even make sense?!) books I've ever read.

  10. I so need to jump on the Rainbow Rowell train!! She's getting so much love lately. You've read a lot this past week--hope this week is a great one for you.

  11. So many books to add to my tbr list! I hope your cold is gone this week. :-)

  12. Thanks, Trish! Yes, get on the Rainbow Rowell train!

  13. Cold is still lingering, Natasha. Thanks anyway.

  14. I really want to read The Gravity of considering listening since Cassandra Campbell is narrating and she is a favorite. Michael Pollan with Maira Kalman illustrations had got to be a winner, too!

  15. I liked Gravity a lot. And you are right...Pollan plus Kalman? Fabulous!

  16. What a great list of books. My Monday Meme: or


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