Tag Archives: reading

Readers Advisory Request

I am craving a new book to read, but I have a very specific craving.

Something similar to:

  • FitzOsbornes in Exile (and A Brief History of Montmaray but I liked Exile more)
  • The American Heiress 
  • Downton Abbey
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Brideshead Revisited (although I didn’t LOVE it, but it has the setting I might like)

I’m thinking a book that deals with:

  • upper class (but can also have other lower class characters)
  • late 1800s to beginning of WWII (but nothing set in the frontlines of a war), but I lean towards 1900 – 1920s
  • European in setting but would also be open to the northeast US
  • realistic
  • somewhat literary – I don’t want a bodice-ripper or trash, but I also do not require a literary masterpiece
  • can be YA but am thinking it will be easier to fill my needs with adult fiction

Any ideas? I’m coming up dry so far.



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Want to know my top 10 of 2010?

If you haven’t seen it yet, I updated my page devoted to my top 10 YA books read in 2010. Jump over to take a look. Do you have any thoughts?

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Top Ten 2009 books

Happy New Year’s Eve!  Today, I thought I would post my Top Ten YA books of 2009.  I cannot rate them more than this; I had a hard enough time just narrowing the list down, so these are in alphabetical order.  They are not necessarily what I think are the best literary achievements nor what might stand the test of time.  These titles are the books that emotionally affected me, that I loved reading and couldn’t put down, books I will gladly read again and recommend to my students.

1. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – If I have a hard time falling into a book after reading something, I know the authors have left their mark on me.  Thank you, Ms. Garcia and Ms. Stohl.

2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – A sequel that is better than the first. I cannot wait to read Ms. Collins‘ third book in the series.

3. Columbine by Dave Cullen – Yes, Mr. Cullen did not write this specifically for a YA audience, but I think it is so well done, students and adults can be drawn into the narrative and come away with hope and understanding.  This is the best non-fiction I read this year.

4. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie RyanMs. Ryan‘s book transported me out of my backyard and in to a creepy forest full of zombies.

5. Hate List by Jennifer Brown – Tears and tears!  Thank you, Ms. Brown!

6. I Know It’s Over by C. K. Kelly Martin – My heart broke many times while reading Ms. Martin‘s book.

7. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. StorkMr. Stork has created such a unique voice – amazing!

8. Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki – A graphic novel created by two cousins that captures adolescence in a heartbreaking way.

9. The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill S. Alexander – I love the way the main character grows and learns about herself.  Also, Ms. Alexander REALLY made me want a rooster!

10. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – Wow! Really, well done Ms. Anderson!

Honorable mentions go to An Echo in the Bone, Bear Portraits, Dark Places, and Goat Song.  None of these can really be counted as YA, but I really loved them.  (Reviews will come at some point for An Echo and Dark Places.)

Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and I wish you all the best in 2010!

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Photo Friday

This was the pile of books and magazines I took on our beach vacation this summer. I did not get all of them read, and still haven’t but I think it was a noble effort!


When things get as overwhelming as it has been recently, I like remembering times like this from that week:



I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

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Coming Together, Giving Back – Kidlit Con 09


Because I am still pondering some of the Kidlit Con panels, I am going to report on the day backwards. Coming Together, Giving Back: Building Community, Literacy, and the Reading message was the final panel on Saturday, October 17th.  The four leading the discussion were Jen from Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Gina from PBS Booklights, Ernestine from Reading is Fundamental, and Terry from The Reading Tub.  The main idea behind this was how can we, as book bloggers, can come together and reach outside of our community.  It’s all well and good to talk to each other, but when we spend so much time building our knowledge, we need to think of ways to get outside of our community.  Literacy is such an important issue to all of us, so collaboration can allow us to accomplish much more than we can as individuals.  Examples of projects that have worked so far are the Cybils, Guys Lit Wire, Reader Girlz, and Share a Story – Shape a Future.

One idea is to collaborate with other bloggers.  There are lots of book bloggers who don’t focus on kid lit, maybe you can guest post there and invite them to guest post on your blog.  And then there are all the bloggers who focus on other things.  My friend Jen at The Next Kid Thing suggested, when I mentioned this, that I could guest at her site, and I’d love to have her guest here.

Laurel Snyder proposed an idea where people all over the country gather together on the same day, in malls, to read together with children.  There are 25 millions kids in the US who still don’t have access to books outside of school.  That is a huge number, and the idea of bringing focus to the importance of sharing books with kids is awesome, especially the idea of having it in a mall where it might reach those who are less aware of the situation.  I really hope Laurel runs with the idea and that we all do what we can to support this!

Posts will come later on the rest of the conference!

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What is your summer reading?

I’m going on a beach vacation in a few weeks and have been putting together my beach reading list. So far, I am planning to take:

8 books for a 7 day vacation might be a bit of wishful thinking. A couple are quick reads, but a could are long – if you know Diana Gabaldon, you know how long her books are. But it never hurts to be over-prepared!

Since we are into the swing of summer, do you have any books you must read this summer, or anything you have read already that you love?


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Infinite Jest Page 95


I am right on schedule with Infinite Summer, reaching page 95 today in Infinite Jest. So far, I’m enjoying it. There have been some paragraphs where I kind of let my mind wander, or let my eyes skim. I am hoping I haven’t missed anything important, but one of the writers over at IS said you never can catch everything on the first read through anyway. I am particularly interested in the characters of Hal and Katherine Ann Gompert, and this mysterious cartridge. DFW introduces a lot of characters and story lines, which I can only assume will eventually start to merge together. I’m very glad to have IS to remind me of who different characters are, and the forums for any questions. I haven’t posted there yet, just lurked, but they are beneficial.

Thus far, I have been able to balance IJ with other books – reading it in chunks for an hour or so, and then reading the “lighter” YA lit I so love the rest of the time. (I put lighter in quotes since YA lit is not always a light subject matter, it just tends to be light in terms of physical book weight, pace, and vocab.) I’m currently reading Susane Colasanti’s Take Me There which I will review eventually, but will say right now that I have had mixed feelings about.

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