March was Mad!

I spent a great Saturday afternoon in March at the first round NCAA women’s basketball tournament games.  What great fun getting to experience a small part of the tournament with my family.  I love basketball and realized I need to get to some of the basketball related reads on  my to-be-read list.  These include Boost by Kathy Mackel which I have had sitting on my bookshelf for a while and a new book by Paul Volponi called Final Four (I love Black and White, one of his other basketball books). Definitely going to try to get to these to in the next month or so.

On another note, I did get lots of books unrelated to basketball finished this month.  At the top of the list:

  • I’ll be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
  • The Survival Kit  by Donna Freitas
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer

These three topped my list of fantastic reads that were impossible to put down.  Close behind were:

  • Starters by Lissa Price (interesting new dystopian/sci-fi series)
  • Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri  (a quickly paced middle grade novel about a father and son)
  • Notes from and Accidental Band Geek by Erin Dionne
  • The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker
  • and Paintings from the Cave by Gary Paulsen

Yep!  March was a Mad Good Reading month!

In April hoping to get to Article 5, My Name is Not Easy, and Pure.

Feb was Fab!

Fabulous February Reads:

  • Read the Prinz winner, Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whale.  I was sufficiently impressed.
  • Listened to the audio version of The Apothecary by Maile Meloy.  Good narration, exciting story.  A nice post WWII era alternative history with fantasy sprinkled into the mix.
  • Read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  It is getting lots of Printz buzz but I am not jumping on the bandwagon.  Wouldn’t be my pick.
  • Finished to middle trilogy books:  Crossed by Ally Condie (matched #2) and A Million Suns by Beth Revis (Across the Universe #2).  I actually  liked Million Suns more than the 1st book in the series, a rarity!
  • My three favorites of the month’s reading:  (1)The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith- Fantastic YA  love story!!!!  (2) With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo.  A lovely middle grade novel, the writer’s debut, about family, friendship, and love.  Highly recommend! (3) Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet.  Very interesting picture-book biography with fantastic illustrations.

Already have some great one’s going for March.  I’ll tell you all about those soon.  Happy  Reading!

January 2012 Reading Round Up

I’m off to a quick start on a new year of reading.  I logged 17 titles in January.  I read YA, picture books, non-fiction, middle grade,  fantasy, realistic fiction, and biography.  Covered lots of ground this month! Reading highlights?  Here they are:

  • The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango.   A fabulous story of a young girl in Ecuador overcoming poverty and abusive by her employers to find the life she dreams of living.  Loved this!
  • Something Like Hope by Shawn Goodman.  I was surprised that I liked this one as much as I did.  Shavonne’s voice is true and her story is uplifting.  A very thought-provoking novel.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.  Started this one via audio.  Karou’s story captured me before the first disc ended!  Looking forward to the next installment!

Reading ARCs in 2011

I attended ALA in June.  While there, I picked up a dozen or so ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies).  I just got around to reading one that I was very excited about when I picked it up back during the summer.  Boy21 by Mathew Quick is the story of two boys who have both faced tragedies and become friends.  I really enjoyed Quick’s first book Sorta Like a Rock Star, so I was excited to read this one.  Plus basketball was involved.  I always enjoy a good story in which basketball plays a role! (I think of Paul Volponi’s Black and White. . . Loved it!)  Boy21 was an interesting story, a gritty urban drama which included a romance, interracial friendship, the Irish mob, high school, and basketball.  I hope the book will find an audience with older teens when it is released in March 2012. Other favorite ARCS this year:

  • Legend by Marie Lu (read it before it was released, loved it, and have since passed it on to two teens who have liked it very much!)
  • Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes ( A great middle grade read, a verse novel, so it reads quickly.  I enjoyed it very much. )
  • The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch (A good dystopian read)

2012 Morris Award Finalist Announced

I am feeling really good about my reading at this moment!  The 2012 Morris Debut Author Finalists were announced by YALSA today.  And I am happy to say that I read and loved three of titles, and read parts of another (but didn’t like it, so, I didn’t finish it). So, there is only one other nominee that I have yet to get my hands on.  I just ordered that one for my library.  Maybe I’ll get it before the winner is announced in January. That is doubtful, but we’ll see.  I don’t envy the committee members who have to choose the winner because the three titles I read were spectacular and all very different.  What a tough choice!

Here is my take:

  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns (fantasy) by Rae Carson:  Great world building.  I really liked the heroine Elisa.  The book takes you in one direction and then switches things all around.  It is not as predictable as one my think when beginning the story.  The romantic elements are complex and even heartbreaking.  My only complaint was that I felt the author needed a map because of all the character movement to different locations.  I can’t wait to read the sequel (Crown of Embers, Fall 2012)!
  • Between Shades of Gray(Historical Fiction) by Ruta Sepetys:  A fascinating, emotional story about the horrors of Lithuanian deportees during World War II.  This is a story of the war that is rarely told.  Linia is a great protagonist.  This story is truly touching.
  • Under the Mesquite (Realistic Fiction/ Verse Novel) by Guadalupe Garcia Mccall:  A verse novel based on McCall’s childhood and family life.  The books reads fast because it is a verse novel.  I am a fan of verse novels so, I loved the format.  (Poetry and fiction all wrapped into one exquisite bundle!  What could be better?)  Beautifully written, an emotional read.  Really excellent!

2011 Reading

So many books to read. . . so little time left in the year to read them!  Didn’t get as many historical fiction challenge books read as I would have liked.  Still need to read more 2011 debut authors.  And what about all of those Newbery, Coretta Scott King,  and Printz contenders I have yet to read?  Going to have a big reading weekend ahead.  A cozy couch, a cup of tea, some snicker’s popcorn (maybe!) and a pile of good books.  Here is my weekend list:

Pretty ambitious stack.  We’ll see what happens!

Check out the Deadly book trailer!

Summer Reading

My Summer reading top 10 for 2011(no particular order)

  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
  • Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
  • Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber
  • The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez
  • Fablehaven (1-3) by Brandon Mull
  • The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
  • Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  •  Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry

ALA 2011

Just returned from ALA in New Orleans!  Thrilled to have snagged some great ARCs.  Already reading my autographed copy of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. Also had the great pleasure of meeting and getting books signed by two of my other favorite authors:  Rita Williams-Garcia and Frances O’Roark Dowell. Once again ALA exhibits rock! See my treasure trove below. . .


A small fraction of the titles I brought back. . . lots of reading material for the hot month of July ahead.  Can’t wait!

Contest over at the Book Muncher!

Enter for your chance to win Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell.

Go to the Book Muncher now!

Faithful by Janet Fox

It’s the Spring of 1904 and Maggie a 16-year-old Newport girl is ready to plan her society debut.  Though troubled by the recent disappearance and presumed death of her mother, Maggie is ready to move on and take her place in society.  Her father however, has other plans.  He announces to Maggie that they will be taking a trip out west, to Montana.  Maggie is shocked by the news but agrees to go with her father because he hints that the trip may help them find her mother and he assures her that they will return in time for her debut.  Nothing about the trip goes as Maggie planned.  In Montana she finds her life turned upside down and full of unanticipated surprises. Janet Fox offers an interesting window into sedate society life in turn of the century Newport.  Her depiction of the early days of Yellowstone National Park is enchanting.  Most of the characters are interesting and multidimensional.  She does a particularly good job with her characterization of Maggie, and the odious George Graybull.  However, the plot line about the mystery surrounding Maggie’s mother’s past was somewhat strained and far-fetched.  Overall, this was a good historical fiction read.