Friday, April 29, 2016

April Reading Report

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We are so close to the end of the school year - you can definitely tell in my reading choices! Lots of our read alouds are winding up (and we are starting a couple new ones) and lots of kidlit in my stack.

  • Dandelion Fire (100 Cupboards, Book 2) by N.D. Wilson. I've been on an N.D. Wilson kick this month, with my goal of finally finishing his 100 Cupboards series. The 2nd book was the hardest for me to get through, and I definitely slowed down. 
  • Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. You really can't go wrong with reading Roald Dahl and this was one that none of us had read before. I had picked this one for reading aloud after it was gushed about during a Read Aloud Revival podcast with Greta Eskridge. We enjoyed it, but it wasn't my favorite Dahl by far. (Give me Charlie and all the chocolate, please).
  • The Chestnut King (100 Cupboards, Book 3) by N.D. Wilson. Book 3 definitely picked up for me! A satisfactory conclusion to this series. N2 (age 10) has jumped into book 1 of this series after we listened to the Read Aloud Revival podcast episode with N.D. Wilson - an excellent listen.
  • Book Scavengers by Jennifer Chambliss Bertram. If you liked Mr. Lemoncello's Library, you will probably enjoy this one as well. A bookish mystery with lots of literary references. N1 (12) finished it and we have already noted when it's sequel comes out in January.
  • Story of the World, Volume 1 by Susan Wise Bauer. Our history spine for the year. 
  • Outlaws of Time: the Legend of Sam Miracle by N.D. Wilson. Wilson's newest book (which came out last Tuesday) and features heavily in the podcast linked above. I haven't decided if I loved it or not. Definitely creative - a science fiction western - but I had a hard time keeping up with the time travel elements and what was going on. I may be to old to appreciate this one. : )
  • The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. This was a very well-written story. Ada is trapped at home by a physical disability. Abused physically and verbally by her mother, she and her brother escape London during the air bombings on WW2. They are placed the home of a single women who is grieving the loss of her dear friend and companion and their time together is healing for all three of them. 
  • Pages of History by Veritas Press. Another of our history read-aloud that we wrapped up this month. This was an excellent fiction walk through much of ancient history, but man, those chapters were long. There is a sequel (renaissance through modern ages) and I'm eyeing it for our read aloud basket next fall.

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Currently in my queue or am reading:

  • Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper. This one keeps popping up as a recommended title on Amazon based on what I look at so I snatched it up at the library. 
  • I'm looking at the Lord of the Rings trilogy for next month. I'm reading through the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge with some folks via Facebook and next month I'm to tackle a banned book. While perusing lists online, I found out the LoTR books were banned and am totally using that as an excuse to dive into them. I'm fairly ashamed that I haven't read them yet because I love the movies so much.
  • I've also got Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry laying around her if I need another banned book option. Amy gave a great review of it recently and piqued my interest.
  • To much non-fiction that I'm meandering through to mention. I need to finish something!
And with that, it's May in two days! We have about two more weeks of school, I'm about 6 days away from B turning 9, and our summer break is just around the corner. Which just means more time for reading, right?


Saturday, April 02, 2016

March Reading Report

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What I read in March. Not pictured: Ella of All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor, and Devonshire Scream By Laura Childs (a tea shop mystery and a totally frivolous read for me). Both read on my Kindle.

  • Fervent by Priscilla Shirer was good. Worth re-reading good. I read through it faster than she intended and I'm hoping to go through it again soon in the near future. 
  • All the Light We Cannot See was absolutely beautifully written. Painful at times because of the WWII subject matter but never gratuitously or sensationally. Anthony Doerr has a gift with words and I would like to read more of him sometime. 
  • All of a Kind Family Uptown and Ella of All of a Kind Family were two of our read-alouds. The girls talked me into finishing the series together and I'm glad we did. I enjoyed them both with the caveat that Ella is comparable to the older, high school Betsy-Tacy books. Not inappropriate in any way, but would probably be enjoyed more by a middle school girl. 
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne was my April bookclub choice for a Facebook group that I'm part of with local friends. The challenge was to finish a book that you had abandoned and I don't know how many times I tried reading this as a kid and set it aside. I did managed to make it to the end (and then realized I was reading an abridged edition to boot), and enjoyed the adventure of it. Not so much like the movie version which our family enjoys but a fun read just the same. 
  • The 100 Cupboards series by N.D. Wilson. In that same April theme I decided to go ahead and finish this series. I had read book 1 before, had never finished book 2 for some reason, and 3 is sitting on a shelf forever untouched. I'm halfway through book 2 now and have got some momentum going so I don't think I'll abandon it this go round. Thanks to the Read Aloud Revival podcast and Carolyn from A House Full of Bookworms (episode 41 specifically) for reminding me of this series. 
  • that same podcast episode is the same reason I picked up The Sword Bearer by John White. This is book one in the Archives of Anthropos. As a kid I had only read the third book, The Tower of Geburah, and never knew there was a whole series! I'm making up for lost time and passing them on to the kids. 

On to April! Several books are in my currently reading pile: Own Your Life and The Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson, as well as Dandelion Fire (book 2 in the 100 Cupboards series). We are also about two chapters away from finishing Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl and contemplating our next read aloud. Always a tough decision when there are so many good choices. :)

Starting a new read aloud today and attempting to read outside! (Historically this doesn't work well for us but I bought Popsicles that will hopefully hold their attention!) Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. This one is new to all of us and