Tag Archives: what I will be reading

What I Will Be Reading #29: Kid’s Edition

This edition of What I Will Be Reading would be more accurately described as What My Kids Will Be Reading. I’ve seen a bunch of posts of books that look like something my kids would enjoy, so I’m putting together a list for them, instead of me. Might as well get them their own “To Read” lists, right!

Let’s start with Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Donn Fedler. This a true survival story about a kid who got lost in the woods in Maine in the 1930s and how he survived his ordeal. I wasn’t aware of this book until I saw a post by The Scraped Up Kid (incidentally, a great blog about getting outside and enjoying yourself at any age, focusing on Maine trails). This book is right up our alley, and I plan to read it aloud to the kids. The story is told by Donn Fedler, who was the kid who got lost, right after his experience. If you’d prefer, there’s a graphic novel version of the story that looks awesome, but isn’t available from our library, Lost Trail: Nine Days Alone in the Wilderness, also by Donn Fedler.

Next up is Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust by Jennifer Roy. This book was brought to my attention by A Mighty Girl’s Facebook page (which daily provides women and girls who have done impressive things and books featuring strong female characters). Again, I had never heard about Irena Sendlar and her actions during WWII, so I decided to investigate. Jars of Hope is a picture book (but with a fair amount of text on each page) that A Mighty Girl recommends for ages 7-11. If you have an older child, or want more details after reading the Jars of Hope, try Irena’s Children: Young Readers Edition; A True Story of Courage by Mary Cronk Farrell that is recommended for ages 13+.

And finally, I’m going to recommend a fiction book, Book Scavenger, by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. This is the first book in a new series. The plot of the book is based around the Book Scavenger game. There are books hidden in various cities, and you get puzzles and clues to try to find the books first. It sounded to me like a book version of 39 Clues for a slightly older audience (since the book is almost 400 pages). Mr. Curiosity read the book and enjoyed the puzzles.

Finally, if you’re looking for more suggestions for kids, I recommend you listen to this week’s episodes of What Should I Read Next by The Modern Mrs. Darcy. Miss Adventure got about seven new books for her reading list by listening to the end of Episode 49: How to help kids fall in love with reading (with Sarah Mackenzie of Read Aloud Revival). That podcast does dangerous things to my reading list in general.

And those are the books I’m recommending my kids should read. Anything else I should add to the list?

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What I Will Be Reading #28 – Fiction edition

I’ve got a few more books to add to my reading list. Mr. Curiosity has also expressed a desire to read more “literature” this year, so I’m on the lookout for some good reads for an eighth grader. This list won’t provide much for him, but will add several books to my reading list.

The first post that caught my eye was Five Gateway Books, published on Tor. The premise is providing a book that pulls you into a whole genre. I’ve read the gateway books for middle-grade, young adult, and dino-science fiction (although I’m going to suggest Mr. Curiosity read Jurassic Park), and I have the thriller/mystery series already on my list. The only book I’m missing is the post-apocalyptic gateway book, The Girl With All the Gifts. I really don’t need to be encouraged to post-apocalyptic books, but if this one is good enough to suck you into a whole genre, it’s worth checking out.

The next couple of books all fall into a single category – books about books. This is one of my favorite literary subgenres, and I have yet to read one I didn’t like (see my reviews of The Little Paris Bookshop or The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry for examples). The list comes from Off the Shelf and provides 11 books set in bookstores. Again, I’ve read several and have several others already on my reading list (maybe it’s a sign to move them up higher on my mental list of what to read next). The ones that newly caught my eye included The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee (which looks to be a nonfiction entry into this genre), and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, which I may have sitting on my bookshelf, and would give me the elusive X, Y, or Z author in my reading challenge. Check out the original post to see descriptions of each book and the full list.

And those are the new books I’m adding to my reading list. Anything else I should put on there?

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will Be Reading #27: Summer Reading edition

The Modern Mrs. Darcy put out a summer reading list of thirty books split into six different categories. I’m not going to add all thirty books to my reading list. In fact, nothing caught my fancy from the gripping, compelling, or beautifully written novels, but there were a couple of books in the other three categories that caught my fancy. I’ll link back to The Modern Mrs. Darcy’s page so you can see the descriptions of the books. I’m just going to provide my reasons for choosing those books.

From the addictive series list: Cinder – it’s steampunk YA. What’s not to love! It’s also a book I’ve seen talked about in several places, and I’m finally going to add it to my reading list.

From the engrossing books list: The Nest – another one I keep hearing this one talked about, so it’s time to actually put it on my reading list, and Before We Visit the Goddess – a multigenerational look at life in India. I’m always on the lookout for good books that focus on other cultures.

And finally, from the spellbinding stories list: Lab Girl – a science memoir, so of course I’m interested. I’ve actually gotten this one out of the library already but I had to return it unread because I ran out of time.

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What I Will Be Reading #26

I’ve picked up a new book podcast recently. I listen to a fair number of podcasts, but hadn’t found one about books. Anne Bogel from The Modern Mrs. Darcy recently started a podcast called “What Should I Read Next“. The premise behind the podcast is Anne asks her guest to provide three books they love and one book they hate, and she will then parse what kinds of books someone likes and give them three suggestions. My favorite part of the podcast is listening to her figure out the threads that tie favorite books together. It isn’t “you like suspense novels”. Instead, she figures out you like books written from a first-person point of view that exhibit a strong sense of place (or some such characteristics). I get new books from her website on a regular basis (and typically enjoy them), so I trust her judgement in suggesting books. Often, if I like the books the guest likes, I figure I have a good chance of liking the books Anne suggests. Here’s a couple of books I’ve picked up since the podcast started:

First off is Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams. This book is about environmental issues, breast cancer and personal reflection, which touches many topics near and dear to my heart. It’s an older book (published in 1992), but it still covers an interesting time period in American history (nuclear bomb testing in Nevada). This book was a suggestion in Episode 17.

Next up is The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. In this book, the narrator envisions her life going forward in two different paths. In one path, she cheats on her long-term boyfriend, and in the other, she doesn’t. This book was a suggestion in Episode 23.

Next, I’m adding Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I’ve seen this book reviewed in multiple locations and thought it sounded interesting, but it wasn’t until Episode 17 that I finally decided it was time to add it to my reading list. This is a post-apocalyptic story that bounces between the before and after the apocalypse. The main character is in a traveling Shakespeare company, determined to keep some culture alive, even after the world’s population is decimated.

Finally, in the most recent episode (#26), Anne talked about The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring by Richard Preston. The guest wasn’t so sure the book sounded interesting, but I am willing to give it a try. It’s all about trying to measure and document the ecosystems surrounding and living on ancient redwoods. As a bonus, I’ve read another of his book (The Demon in the Freezer) and found his writing style very enjoyable and engaging.

I do recommend listening to the podcast. Anne makes the books sound absolutely fascinating, even if the Amazon descriptions aren’t as intriguing.

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What I Will Be Reading #25 – Middle Grade books

I’ve got some new books to add to my kids’ reading lists this time. First off are a couple of graphic novels. My kids LOVE graphic novels, so it’s a bonus when they can learn some science while reading (and rereading).

The Hub had a list of science graphic novels. Sadly, our library didn’t have many of the books (all of which looked wonderful). However, we do have a couple of the Howtoons graphic novels in the system. Specifically, Howtoons: The Possibilities Are Endless! and Howtoons: Tools of Mass Construction by Saul Griffith. The principle behind these books is to teach kids (targeted at ages 8-15) to take household items and build something cool from those items. Looks pretty cool! I hope the kids try one of the projects in the books.

Changing gears slightly (but sticking with The Hub for inspiration) is a memoir: Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir, about Stan Lee. The post was all about books to inspire teen writers. Mr. Curiosity would be interested in this title because he’s big into comics and especially the Marvel universe. Stan Lee is a character and a half, and was influential and creating many of the comic book characters we know and love today.

And finally, a couple of books for Miss Adventure from a post at Modern Mrs. Darcy about books for tween girls. Most of the books looked great (I’ve read several, including Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Making, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler), but there were two I thought for sure Miss Adventure would like. The first book in the list, Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George, caught my eye because it mentioned it had a Hogwarts feel to the story. Miss Adventure had read the Harry Potter series multiple times, so I’m sure something similar would be right up her alley. I also thought The Lemonade War (The Lemonade War Series) by Jacqueline Davies, sounded interesting. Real world math, sibling rivalry – sounds like an interesting combination.

Should be some good books to read as we’re finishing up the school year and looking for some summer reading. Anything else in the middle grade or YA sections I should introduce to my kids?

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What I Will Be Reading #24

I’ve been getting books crossed off my reading list, which means it’s time to put some new ones on the list.

I’m going to start with some books about libraries. The Hub had a whole post with books set in libraries. There were two books that caught my eye. First was Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake, the first book in the Library Jumpers series. Looks like there’s some magic, some romance, and lots of cool libraries. That’s enough to get me intrigued. The second book is Ink and Bone: The Great Library by Rachel Caine. In this series, the Library of Alexandria never burned, but it controls all the books. I can’t imagine not being able to own a book, so I’m interested to see what the author came up with.

The next set of books came from a School Library Journal post about the top 100 chapter books. I’m not sure how they compiled their list, but I’m always on the lookout for good books to read to the kids. At some point or another, the kids have read/been read/listened to 22 out of the top 25. So, I’m adding the three we haven’t read to our list. They are The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, and Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. As a bonus, I found Tuck Everlasting at the latest library book sale and bought it for a quarter.

I don’t read a lot of book reviews, mainly because it would just make my to read list grow even faster. That being said, I always check out the GeekDad reviews. Two recent posts caught my eye. The first book was from a Between the Bookends GeekMom review (GeekMom and GeekDad recently merged, so you can get all your geek parenting from the same site now). The book I was most interested in was The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. It looks like a fun bit of historical fantasy. Then, there was a post on good audio books for family trips. I’m always looking for audiobooks for either summer travel or trips to gymnastics meets, so a list of good family audiobooks, including the narrator who makes it so enjoyable, is definitely useful. There’s a number we haven’t read or listened to yet, so it should provide some great options for a while.

And those are the books I’ve added to my reading list lately. Got any more you’d like to recommend?

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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What I Will Be Reading #23

It’s a new year, so that means new books to add to the reading list. It’s taking me forever to finish A Dance of Dragons but once I do finish, I will need something else to read. Perhaps one of these books will pique my fancy.

GeekDad had a post about reading books at the same time as your child. The author was discussing it in terms of school assignments, but in general, it gives you something to discuss with your child that isn’t “What did you do at school today?”. I’m always on the lookout for good books for the kids and myself to read. I thought Car-Jacked by Ali Sparkes and The Iron Trial by Holly Black, the first book in the Magisterium series, looked interesting.

I went to a Science Cafe talk on drugs and adolescents. The premise of these talks is you meet in a bar and have a speaker that talks about some science topic. I love science, and I like beer so why shouldn’t I go. As a bonus, I have an adolescent in the house (ahh!! – he’ll be a teenager this year!) and I talk about drugs and their impact on the brain in the Human Biology class I teach. I hung around after the talk to chat with other professors who were there. When I mentioned my interest in the topic, the speaker recommended that I read The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances Jensen. Onto the reading list it goes.

GeekDad does a great job of putting books on my reading list. This time it was from a Stack Overflow post. I picked out two books I wanted to read. The first is The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. There’s crazy things happening in the world, but this is all about the lives of some normal people, just trying to keep up their normal lives. The second book was The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet. It sounds like a bit of a meta-book, addressing publishers’ desires to find the next big thing by publishing a novel just like the last big thing, particularly in YA. Sounds fun to me!

Nicole V. Bennett had a post about all the books she read this fall. She had read several books by Sarah Addison Allen, and mentioned the stories had a big of magic. I had forgotten how much I like this genre, until I read Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick. I’ll probably just grab whatever books looks most interesting at the library.

And finally, some science fiction books. My husband passed on an Ars Technica list of binge reading books for the holidays. I didn’t manage to do any binge reading, but most of these books sound great. I’ve got Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie waiting in my “To Read” pile, and I haven’t read any of the others. I have heard good things about a couple of the books, which means the others I know nothing about are in good company and likely to be good as well.

So, anything look good to you? Anything else you want to recommend?

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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