It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/31

IMWAYR 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

I have been really having a difficult time with getting to my blog in the last few months. I don’t really know why. I am just going to share a few of my favorite books from the last couple months here. 

Books I Finished:

I love everything by Jo Knowles. As always, this one made me cry but also filled me with hope. Still a Work in Progress deals with a young middle schooler whose sister has an eating disorder. It is a tough subject but dealt with realistically. This book is absolutely one I would recommend to middle and high school students. 

I listened to Red Queen and I absolutely got absorbed in the story. I sort of wished I had the book once I got close to the end because I wanted to go quicker to find out the resolution to the problems. I will definitely be looking for the next book in this series. I highly recommend this one for middle and high school students. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is another novel set in France during WWII. I really loved the way the author brought me in to the story right away and made me love the characters. I appreciated this story which gave me yet another perspective into the horrors that occurred in that period in history and the brave souls who worked in the resistance. I highly recommend it for older teens and adults. 

My sister gave me Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal for Christmas last year. She knows the author somehow. I think he was a friend in college. I really enjoyed this novel, which celebrated food and cooking as well as exploring relationships and the way we love each other. I can’t say exactly what I loved about the book, but I can say that I loved it. I would recommend this one for adults. 

I really enjoyed reading Ghosts and learning more about the Day of the Dead. I know my students will absolutely love this one. I highly recommend it. 

I wasn’t sure about reading this one, because I thought it sounded more like a memoir and I didn’t think that would help me at all. Then, I read Better than Before and realized that Gretchen Rubin has some great ideas about how to live life. I read The Happiness Project and just soaked up the amazing suggestions about how to be happier. I love the idea of doing a happiness project of my own. The way this book is written really helps the reader to see how some of the principles might apply to their own life. I highly recommend this one to adults who might be looking for self-improvement. 

Books I am currently reading:

I just started reading The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I am also reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. 

What’s Next?

I will be reading How to Win Friends and Influence People for a training I am doing. I will probably also pick up a middle grade title for times when I only have a couple minutes. I started listening to Start With Why by Simon Sinek also. 

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/15

IMWAYR 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

I don’t exactly know why it has been so hard for me to keep up with my blog this summer, but here I am again with a couple weeks’ worth of updates for today.

Books I Finished This Week:

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin explores habits and how people form them. It is a really interesting book that gave me some food for thought when thinking about new habits that I want to form.

I listened to Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle. I had this title because it was one of the free titles offered by Sync Audiobooks. I didn’t know what this book was about before I started listening, but I really was drawn into this story and was fascinated by the mystery of what happened throughout the book. I recommend this one for high school and up.

 I loved this book! Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson explores the way friendships change as girls get closer to middle school years as well as offering a glimpse into the world of roller derby. I learned quite a bit in this book and am looking forward to sharing this graphic novel with my students this year.

I am a very big fan of Gothic novels, so this book was right up my alley. Unfortunately for me, I was unaware that it was such a long book. That is the biggest drawback of Kindle! I enjoyed The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, but definitely had a hard time being patient with the drawn out nature of the mystery. I don’t know how much of this attitude about the book was influenced by my being unaware of the length of the book before starting it. If you like gothic novels, this one won’t disappoint…just be ready for a longer read.

This graphic novel is really well done. I was living in Brookfield, which is a suburb of Milwaukee, when Jeffrey Dahmer was caught and arrested. It was so creepy to know that a monster like that was living 20 minutes away from my house. I think this glimpse into his teenage years is really fascinating and it is baffling to think about how a kid could be struggling the way he was without having any adults try to intervene. I highly recommend this graphic novel to older teens and adults.

DIY Literacy is a good reminder of some tools that are important to use in the classroom. I am glad I read it and I will be working on putting together a demonstration notebook for the coming school year.

The Cuckoo’s Calling was a fun mystery to read. I like the characters in the book and will look forward to reading more mysteries by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling).

I didn’t realize that this was the script of a play. I think it made it a quicker read for me. I really enjoyed stepping back into the world of Hogwarts for this short time.

 

Books I am currently reading:

I am reading Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow and Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. I am also reading A Mindset for Learning and listening to The Raven King.

What’s Next?

I have a pile of middle grade titles that I still want to get through before going back to school. I will be trying to make my way through that pile this week.

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/25

IMWAYR 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

This update is actually for the last two weeks.

Books I Finished This Week:

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd takes place in an asylum for kids during World War II. The kids at the home are all infected with Tuberculosis. The main character sees horses in the mirrors but no one else sees them and they do not believe her. Then, one day, one of the winged horses from the mirror world shows up in the gardens that she is exploring. This is an amazing book. I highly recommend that you find it for your classroom library for middle grades. I was able to read an advanced copy from NetGalley. This book will be available in October.

I am absolutely an Austen fan. I love, love, love all of Jane Austen’s books. So, when I heard that Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld was a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, I knew I had to read it. I actually listened to the audiobook and absolutely loved this story! It was fun to hear how the author interpreted the events and gave a modern spin to the scandalous behavior of Lizzie’s sisters. I highly recommend this book to any fans of Jane Austen as well as any readers who like a good love story.

What do you need? This is the provocative question that a new social media site is asking teenagers in this thriller novel. The story follows the quick downward spiral into danger that happens as teenagers join the site and get what they desire by doing tasks. The tasks that are asked of them get progressively more dangerous and turn out to be deadly to some. Need by Joelle Charbonneau is a really good psychological thriller. I highly recommend this one for high school and up.

Books I am currently reading:

I am reading Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin, Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I also started reading A Mindset for Learning and DIY Literacy. I am listening to Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle (thanks to Sync audiobooks).

What’s Next?

No idea what will come next. I will go with what I feel like reading.

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/11

IMWAYR 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

This update is actually for the last two weeks.

Books I Finished This Week:

The Magician’s Elephant was a great little fantasy story. It almost read like a fable. I love Kate DiCamillo. She is amazing and this is another fun book to recommend to my students.

Winter is a phenomenal conclusion to a series that really just continued to get better and better throughout the books. I really love what Marissa Meyer did with weaving in the elements of the fairy tale stories into a science fiction series. I highly recommend the whole series.

Being the Starfish by Neal Anderson is a book about network marketing. I am doing some personal development and thinking about how to grow a business with doTERRA and since I am a reader, this is how I learn.

I had both of these Ranger in Time books on my shelf. I love the way Kate Messner brings different historical periods to life in this series. I highly recommend getting this series for grades 3 and up.

The Power of Habit was really interesting. It made me evaluate a lot of what I do and gave me some good ideas about how to change some of my habits. I thought the ideas about organizational habits were intriguing. This is definitely a good book for personal development, especially for leaders that might be looking to change their organization’s habits and culture.

Underworlds: The Battle Begins by Tony Abbott is one I will look forward to introducing to my students. It is a good start to a series and I am interested in reading the other books now too. I like the fantasy adventure and the references to mythology in this book. It would be a good one for kids that aren’t quite ready for Percy Jackson, but are still really interested in myths.

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner is outstanding. She manages to treat a very heavy and serious subject in a way that is appropriate for kids. These kinds of stories are so important because there are so many kids in the world who, unfortunately, do have to deal with having drug addicts in their families. I think the treatment of this subject was tastefully done and that this will be an important book for many students. I also appreciated the glimpse into the world of ice fishing and the world of Irish dancing. I highly recommend having this book in your library for grades 4 and up.

 

Books I am currently reading:

I am reading Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow. I am listening to Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld and GoPro.

What’s Next?

I have been really going with the flow and choosing what feels right so far this summer. I think that will apply to my book choices too. I will probably not try to start anything really involved since I want to do more writing and am participating in Teachers Write.

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/27

IMWAYR 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

Books I Finished This Week:

I have the immense pleasure of knowing Liza Weimer in person. She is a local author and is very supportive of all things YA literature. I don’t know why it took me so long to read her debut novel. It is a case of too many books, too little time for me. Hello? was a novel that I devoured. There are so many heavy hitting issues in this book, yet it manages to be a book that made me feel uplifted and hopeful. I was immediately drawn into Tricia’s struggle to keep her head above water as she grieved the loss of her grandma.  I got goosebumps with the hints at the supernatural and a grand plan for life. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys YA literature. It would be a fabulous addition to a high school library.

I also finished Bunnicula. I hadn’t read that one since third grade. It is definitely a fun one to bring out next year in a book talk.

 

Books I am currently reading:

I am still listening to Winter by Marissa Meyer, but I should be finished this week. I also am reading a book about business practices and The Power of Habit.  I started The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo. I am sure I will love it as I love all her other books.

What’s Next?

I have been really going with the flow and choosing what feels right so far this summer. I think that will apply to my book choices too. I will probably not try to start anything really involved since I want to do more writing and am participating in Teachers Write.

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/20

IMWAYR 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

Books I Finished This Week:

Alistair Grim’s Odditorium by Gregory Funaro was a fun read. It is an adventure mixed with fantasy. I loved the little bit of mystery throughout the book. I was not a big fan of the ending, but I still enjoyed the book. It is definitely one I will recommend to students.

Comics Squad: Recess is a fun little book that I know my students will love. It is a collection of short stories from a number of authors of graphic novels for kids. I will absolutely recommend this one to my students also.

I have had The Five Love Languages on my shelf for years. I didn’t really think that I wanted to read it until I started reading more self-help books and seeing some more references to the idea of love languages. It is really an interesting theory about how we communicate our love to each other. I can see a lot of applications for this knowledge. I particularly thought a lot about the incredibly needy kiddos in our classrooms. It would be a good idea to try to figure out what love language is their primary language so that you can help them feel appreciated and loved. It was definitely worth the read and sparked a lot of discussion with my husband.

 

Books I am currently reading:

I am still listening to Winter by Marissa Meyer. I also am reading a book about business practices and The Power of Habit. I started Bunnicula as well and will be finished with that one tonight.

What’s Next?

I have a nice stack of self-help books from the library so I will definitely get into at least one more of those. I also have The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo on my night table and will probably start that one tonight. I am not sure what else I will read, but I am likely to pick up a few more middle grade titles to catch up with #bookaday.

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/6

IMWAYR 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

Books I Finished This Week:

Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson is a companion to his book The Element. I enjoyed reading the book and there were some good exercises throughout. I did not find the book to be immensely helpful to me, but I realized at the beginning of reading that I really didn’t need to do the exercises because I am already in my element daily. This could be a good book for people who really have no clue what they would like to be doing or for people who are unhappy in their current job and want to find something else that will help them be happier daily.

 I received a copy of And I Darken by Kiersten White from NetGalley. This book, which comes out later this month, is a sweeping novel with political intrigue, a love story, and a tough (brutal) female character. It took me a little while to get into this book, mostly because I have a hard time as a reader when I don’t like the characters. However, once I was hooked, this book was one I didn’t want to put down. I can’t wait to see how the saga continues. I recommend this one for grades 8 and up.

InGenius: A Crash Course in Creativity by Tina Seelig was a quick read. There are some good ideas about how to encourage creativity and she introduces a tool called the innovation engine that helps one to think about the conditions that are necessary for creativity to thrive. Overall, I enjoyed reading the anecdotes and learning about people who are creative and the environments that foster that creativity, but I was not completely blown away by this book.

 

Books I am currently reading:

I am still listening to Winter by Marissa Meyer. I also started reading The Five Love Languages. 

What’s Next?

I have no idea what I will go to next. I will be perusing the shelf later today to get my next read going. Probably I will choose something light since I have report cards and end-of-the year paperwork to complete this week.

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/16

IMWAYR 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

Books I Finished This Week:

The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner will be coming out in September 2016. I was lucky enough to get a copy on NetGalley. This book is amazing. For those of us who are old enough that we remember clearly and exactly what we were doing on the morning of 9/11, it is a chilling reminder of the sentiments during those times. For young people who did not experience it first hand, this book does a great job of giving them the vicarious experience so that they might understand it better. The writing in the book is amazing. I love the decision that the author made to have alternating viewpoints and to have one of those narrators be narrating her story in verse. I will write a more in-depth review closer to release, but this is definitely a must-read for this fall.

Books I am currently reading:

I am still listening to Winter by Marissa Meyer. I am also still reading Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James. I am also reading Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson as well as a book about restorative practices in schools.

What’s Next?

I have no idea what I will go to next. I think I will probably pick up some middle grade titles, if I pick anything up at all besides the titles I have to finish, because live is crazy hectic all of a sudden. I am taking the test for National Board Certification next Saturday, so this week most of my reading time will actually be studying time. I also have some paperwork due this week for our Educator Effectiveness evaluation system so I will be busy with that as well.

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/9

IMWAYR 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

Books I Finished This Week:

I am a big fan of murder mysteries. In The Woods by Tana French was intriguing and kept me guessing about what was happening. The solution to the mystery was a little bit predictable I think, but I am interested in looking for the other books about the Dublin Murder Squad. I would recommend this one for adults.

Books I am currently reading:

I am still listening to Winter by Marissa Meyer. This young adult series just keeps getting better. I am also still reading Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James. I am also reading Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson as well as a book about restorative practices in schools. I started reading The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner as well.

What’s Next?

I don’t know what will come next. My calendar all of a sudden is stuffed full of things that have to get done. I will probably have less time for reading as we are approaching the end of the school year and all the records that will need to get done.

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/2

IMWAYR 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

Books I Finished This Week:

The two books I finished are both picture books. I am reading too many books at once again and so not really finishing any of them.

 

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library is a cute book that I got from NetGalley. It is one I will definitely look for when it comes out in August. I love how the author really highlights all the great things you can do in a public library.

The Night Children by Sarah Tsiang is a beautifully illustrated book. I felt that the premise of the book was kind of creepy and I think some kids might be scared to think that when they are asleep there are some other creatures going about doing things, but maybe I am just super sensitive.

Books I am currently reading:

I am still listening to Winter by Marissa Meyer. This young adult series just keeps getting better. I am also still reading Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James. I am also reading In The Woods by Tana French and Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson as well as a book about restorative practices in schools.

What’s Next?

I still want to get to Gae Polisner’s new book The Memory of Things. I will probably have to put some other reading on hold to get to that.

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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