It’s Monday! What are you reading? 1/28/13

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Wow, I’m so anxious right now I can hardly stand it!  I’m furiously hitting the refersh button on my browser, waiting for the ALA Youth Media Awards to start so I can grumble and hooray at the list of honor recipients and award winners.  So, to pass the time, I figured let’s go ahead and blog about our reading plans for the week (in third person I told myself this). 

Books I finished:


This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel–Fun, sci-fi read sprinkled with philosphical inquiries into the interplay between faith and science. I enjoyed Oppel’s attempt at providing some backstory for Victor Frankenstein as to a possible explanation for his obsession with harnessing the power to create life (which I won’t give away here…but I’m not sure if Mary Shelley would entirely agree with this new age take on her protagonist when most critics seem to agree that the mad scientist is modeled after her inner psyche’s turmoil as a result of the multiple tragedies she faced as a young woman).  But, nonethless,  a satisfying read complete with a fiery heroine in Elizabeth, Victor’s adopted sister and eventual bride in the original tale.  3 1/2 out of 5 stars for imagination, creativity, and memorable secondary characters.

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha–Here was a last minute addition to my stack for this week.  This book was all the rave at the TCTELA conference last weekend in Dallas.  Thanks to my Amazon Prime membership, it promptly arrived on Tuesday, just in time to be included in a lesson on expository writing with some students on Wednesday.  The book is an extension of teh blog 1000awesomethings.com.  The author writes short reflective entries about things that are awesome (pushing the button on the elevator and it opening right away, finding a few remaining fries at the bottom of your take-out bag, high-fiving babies, sticking your hand out the car window while driving down the freeway, making a rollercoaster motion….AWESOME!)  After reading this book, you can’t help but join in the meme of recounting the most trivial parts of your day as deep thoughts of awesomeness.  5 out of 5 stars for originality, breadth, and depth.




Wonder by R.J. Palacio–(Sigh)  (extra long sigh thinking about this lovely story NOT receiving mention in 36 minutes and 18 seconds during the ALA awards…keeping the faith that it will).  What can I possibly say about Wonder that hasn’t been said before?  Not much, so instead, I’ll let R.J. provide us with a glimpse into the heart of kindness with one of my favorite excerpts:

“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you wil try to act a little kinder than is necessary – the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”


I’m tearing up all over again just thinking about it! 

If you haven’t read it, put every other book on hold for this week and get it, NOW!


Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh–I know it took me a few weeks, and the first half of the book didn’t necessarily leave me compelled to read the whole book in one sitting, but oh my gosh, I loved this book by the end.  You know how sometimes you have reading weeks when the books seem to be talking to one another?  This was one of those weeks.  Between Jepp and Auggie from Wonder and a few other characters I’m just getting to know, the underdogs really had a lot to teach me about life, love, and free-will.  Wow, just wow.

So, I had to get serious about my library class this week, which took a bite out of my reading plans, so my next two lists are somewhat repetitive from last weeks.

Books I’m reading this week:


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot–I don’t want to put this book down.  I’m only a few chapters in and already I feel like I’ve known Henrietta my entire life.  She’s such a strong, soulful presence in this true account of HeLa cells and their impact on the medical community.  We’re toying with the idea of using this as a whole-school read, tying in activities from all the content areas. 

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner–I would have finished this short novel during naptime yesterday had the warm weather not inticed me to work on my winter garden and prune the rose bushes.  Again, there’s something about the underdog in this one.  More on it when I’m finished with it.

Books to read this week:

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare BlakeAfter reading The Diviners by Libba Bray this fall I swore off scary books with ghosts for a while (too many night-time reading induced nightmares with jazz music and occult serial killers).  But, a library regular insisted that I read Anna because it is “just so good!”  She’s fantastic about taking any book I recommend to her, so I figured I’d bite the bullet and hide under my covers for her.

Ball Don’t Lie by Matt de la Pena–here’s my sports pick for this week as an attempt to meet my book gap challenge (and because I’m kind of enamoured by Matt after hearing him speak at TCTELA ❤ ).


Oh, my gosh…only ten minutes to go!

Happy Monday everyone, and happy ALA Youth Media Awards Day!  I’m sure next week’s Monday blog post will be full of all the books mentioned this morning that I haven’t read yet….

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2 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are you reading? 1/28/13

    adwilson said:
    January 28, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Ahhhh!!!! How exciting was ALA YMA?! I don't know how I forgot it, but The One and Only Ivan was on my TBR list from last week and is naturally carried over to this week along with a couple of new additions like Bomb and Aristotle and Dante…come on Amazon!

    thechroniclesofachildrensbookwriter said:
    January 29, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    You've mentioned so many books I want to read like Jepp, Awesome, and Henrietta Lacks. Wonder is a book that's so quote-worthy! Have you checked out http://choosekind.tumblr.com/ ? I love that it has sparked a movement!

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