Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's On Your Nightstand?

Hosted by 5 Minutes for Books

I've got more on my nightstand than I'll ever be able to get to in July, but I do have high hopes for a productive month of reading! Among the books I hope to finish reading over the next several days are these:
  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher - one of the titles from my list swap project.

  • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - which is the pick for my "book lunch girls" meeting in July - downloaded to my Kindle.

  • Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline - which I'm currently "reading" via audiobook during my commute.

After I finish those, I think I'll focus mainly on some juvenile and young adult novels on my to-read list. These should be fairly quick reads, which would help me make some progress toward my goal of reading 104 books this year:
  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

  • Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

  • The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine

  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver

  • Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

  • Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

  • The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages

  • Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

  • Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan

  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

Check out what other people have
on their nightstands here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Spring Reading Thing 2011
Wrapping It Up

I had a list of twenty-one books I hoped to read (or finish reading) during the thirteen weeks of Spring Reading Thing 2011. In the end, I read nine of the books on my list:
  • Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney

  • Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

  • No Going Back by Jonathan Langford

  • The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

  • Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

  • What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

In addition, I read 15 books that weren't on my list:
  • 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares

  • The Art of Keeping Cool by Janet Taylor Lisle

  • Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

  • Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

  • Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

  • Dramarama by E. Lockhart

  • Everlost by Neal Shusterman

  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

  • The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

  • Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

  • One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

  • Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

  • The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith

  • Wrong Number by Rachelle Christensen

  • Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty
    by G. Neri

While I'm not surprised that I didn't finish my list, I am surprised that I read so many books that weren't on my list. Four of those were for books groups, and six of them (with one of those a book club pick) were audiobooks I "read" during my commute. Among the other six were some new releases that came available at the library as well as some books that had been on my to-read list for a while.

I have to admit that I'm not particularly good at pre-arranged reading. I'm more of an impulse or mood reader. I do like making reading lists, though, so if nothing else, that part of a reading challenge is fun for me. I'm happy to see that I did read an eclectic assortment, even if - as is typical of me - somewhat heavy on young adult novels.

My favorite read of the challenge was The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which I reviewed here. I highly recommend that everyone read this unique children's book!

I didn't read anything that I'd give less than three stars (out of five), but two of the others that I'd readily recommend are the 2011 Newbery Award winner Moon Over Manifest and The Space Between Us.

A big thank you to Katrina at Callapidder Days for continuing to host this challenge! Happy summer reading to everyone!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Five Reviews of Six Words (or Less)

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
Published in 2011. 359 pages.

Sequel even better than the first.

Wrong Number by Rachelle Christensen
Published in 2010. 200 pages.

Clean suspenseful romance by Utah author.
(For my Teaching Through Literature Discussions workshop.)

Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
Published in 2002.
Audiobook read by Samantha Mathis.

Without the power of Speak.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Published in 2010.
Audiobook read by Rebecca Lowman.

Chilling abusive relationship. "Second chance" love.

Dramarama by E. Lockhart
Published in 2007.
Audiobook read by Kate Reinders.

Growth at summer drama camp. Delightful!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

Published in 2010. 280 pages.

This 2010 finalist for a Cybils award reminded me at times of Marcelo in the Real World, a book I loved. They have similar plots - in both the main character has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and is trying to find his/her place in the world - and music plays a significant role in both books too. Additionally, I found them to have a similar "feel."

Harmonic Feedback was hard for me to put down. It deals realistically with some serious issues but isn't too "heavy." The central feature of the main character Drea is not that she has an ASD and ADHD but that she is a young woman trying to be true to who she is while navigating the outside world, and that's something to which everyone can relate in some way.

Harmonic Feedback was Tara Kelly's first published book, and I look forward to reading her second Amplified.

Tara Kelly's website is here, and the book's website is here.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Summer Reading

My friend Holly started her "Pay It Forward" meme so that bloggers can share the good things they see in the blogosphere. (Click on the button for more information.)

This week I want to share two posts about summer reading. The first - which is here - is from fabulous, fun Utah author Jessica Day George, who posted her personal summer reading list, including a photo of her nightstand. She's got some great reads there!

The second post - which is here - is from Katrina at Callapidder Days. She hosts the Fall into Reading and Spring Reading Thing challenges, but she also blogs about her faith and her family. Today I enjoyed reading about the lunchtime read-aloud she's doing with her 12-year-old and 5-year-old sons - and I'm feeling inspired to read with my own 12-year-old.

What summer reading plans do you have for yourself and/or your family?