Monday, July 20, 2015

What I have Been Reading - July 20

I love summer!  It is a time for sleeping in and naps and books and Netflix.  Need I say more?

I have been meaning to link up for #IMWAYR for a couple weeks now.  Earlier this month we went on vacation to California where we went on a bike ride through wine country and went whitewater rafting. I have been slowly returning to the world of productivity since I returned.  What have I read recently?

Adult Audiobooks I recently listened to:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I really enjoyed listening to this book.  It is a dystopian novel about a group of musicians and actors who travel from town to town in a post-civilization, dystopian setting.  It almost reminiscent of a traveling carnival or circus around the Great Depression or early 1900's. Most dystopian novels focus on years or decades after civilization has fallen.  The structure of this novel flashes back and forth between pre-fall and twenty years after a plague has killed most of the planet. It deals with bigger issues of humanity and the meaning of life.  It asks questions like: What is the role of beauty and art in humanity and civilization?  The book was very well written and very unique.  I would highly recommend it.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I will first say this book is very long.  It will not be a light, easy read.  The audiobook was 26 discs. The novel is about a teenage boy who loses his mom under tragic circumstances and finds himself on this crazy path of loneliness, stolen art, drugs, and complicated relationships.  The book started slow in my opinion and took awhile for me to get into it, but once I did I was determined to finish. Like many long novels, at times it felt some sub-plots went on for too long.  However, overall I would recommend reading it. It is another novel that deals with greater issues on the role of beauty and love in life.  There is also a romance with the joy to be found in beautiful objects and a respect for the history of things.

Books I read:

Flora and Ulysses by Kate Dicamillo

I have been meaning to read this book for many months, and I am so glad I did.  This was the first book in a very long time to make me repeatedly laugh out loud.  The last book that made me laugh out loud was Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. I absolutely love juvenile novels with a great sense of voice and wonderful humor.  Kate Dicamillo did a fabulous job creating fun, unique characters who each have a wonderful sense of voice.  I absolutely intend to use this book as a mentor text next year.  This book alternates between a superhero squirrel's point of view and a little girl who is a self-proclaimed cynic.  It will be such a great text to use to discuss writing about small moments, voice, point of view, imagination, plot, etc. 

Graceling by Kristen Cashore

I borrowed the ebook of this novel from the library and read it on my Kindle app while I was on vacation.  I enjoyed this teen novel.  This is a fantasy novel where some in the land are given graces, which are special abilities.  The main character Katsa has been raised to believe she has the grace of being able to kill others, so her uncle who is a king uses her as an assassin and an enforcer. She meets a love interest in the novel and goes on your typical journey of self-discovery and good versus evil.  It was an easy, fantasy read and overall pretty enjoyable. 

Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman

This book is about a girl who is a scientist and finds herself in the middle of a love story and a mystery.  She is the daughter of Sherlock Holmes.  It was a fun, easy on-the-airplane read.  I do love the idea of heroines solving mysteries in a time period where women had limited roles.  If you are looking for a contemporary spin-off of Sherlock and Holmes with young heroines though, I think The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason is a lot better novel. 

What have you been reading?


  1. Ah - I tried to read Flora & Ulysses last year but had a rough time getting into it. I may have to reconsider and try again.


  2. I did Flora and Ulysses last year as a read aloud with my 3rd grade gifted/talented class. We all loved it! The quirky characters and Flora's too-grown-up-for-her-own-good (at times) logic cracked me up. I totally understand when you speak about laughing out loud. It looks like most of your titles are for kids a bit older than those I teach (3rd - 5th), though I've been interested in Graceling. It may be one I need to check out. I'm glad you are linking up with us for #IMWAYR!

  3. The Goldfinch was definitely one of my most beautiful reads last year - it took me four months to finish reading it. I must have read around 12 YA novels/poetry books/ middle grade texts in the interim that I was also reading it - I just had to take a breather from its darkness now and again. Flora and Ulysses is a favourite in our household. Read this aloud to my 13 year old girl - so awesome.


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