Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

These are memes started by Teach Mentor Texts and Book Journey, and I'm excited to participate, along with many other bloggers, in reviewing books I read the previous week. I'll be reviewing picture books through adult books.
These are the books I read this week:
 Beholding Bee
WOW! This story captivated me. I loved Beatrice, Peabody, and Cordelia. I loved Mrs. Healy. I loved the aunts who reminded me of Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. There is so much here: bullying and its consequences, acceptance, family concepts, the unconditional love of pets, educational issues, disabilities, human rights issues, and on and on. Don't let that lofty list fool you, though, because its also the simple and universal story of a girl who wants to belong. Connections to Wonder, Out of My Mind, The One and Only Ivan, and Water for Elephants come to mind. I now have my top three books of the year, and this is one of them! I got the copy for this review from the library, but I promptly bought it as soon as I finished because I want it in my classroom library and for my Mock Newbery Club!



Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton by Matt Phelan

I was captivated by the beautiful watercolors that help tell this story about Buster Keaton and the vaudeville performers who would come to Muskegon, Michigan every summer from 1908-1938 and stay in the Bluffton neighborhood. Henry, Sally, and their families are fictional, but Buster Keaton and The Actors' Colony were real. This book reminds me of The Invention of Hugo Cabret because of the history of performance and movies. You'll root for Henry to find his passion and for the relationships of all the kids and their families. There are some conflicts that kids will need to work through while reading this, but the power of love, for life and each other, comes through. Great testimony for childhood, friendship, and the joys of summer.
Well, gosh, I didn't want this one to end! Twists, turns, rebellions, romance, double-crosses, uprisings, plagues - the end to the Legend trilogy has it all. I didn't really want it to end the way it did, but I thought it was a smart conclusion and hopeful epilogue. Lu's author's note made me tear up. Great dystopian series!

Falling in Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Texts--And Life
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)  Ghost Hawk
My family loves to read, too, so I like to feature what they're reading each week.
My husband:
Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)
My 20-year-old:
When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage
My mom:
 My dad:

Gambler's Instinct



  1. :) Love all of the book selections from your family :) Awesome idea - and a great way to find other good books! Happy reading this week!!
    The Brunette Librarian's Blog

  2. I have been wanting to read the Marie Lu books but as of yet that has not happened. :)

  3. So many great books here. Beholding Bee and Chamion look very intriguing. Enjoy your reads this week!

    Take a look at what I'm reading this week.

  4. Love that you share what your family is reading! We all loved Beholding Bee and Hugo Cabret. Maybe I'll pick up Bluffton for a Christmas present. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I haven't heard much about Beholding Bee, but I will definitely be looking for it after reading your review. I think I would have been really upset about the way the Legend trilogy ended if it hadn't been for that epilogue. I loved the hopeful conclusion. I wanted them all to have their happy ever after.

  6. I love love love BLUFFTON. I really hope it wins some awards in January. One of my favorite graphic novels of all time.

  7. Love the list! Must get Bitterblue on my list... happy reading week!

  8. I too LOVED Beholding Bee - my daughter is a Beatrice so the title had me immediately! But wow, what a book. Amazing! Loved the Aunts and the questions it posed about real and unreal and just coping. My son just read The Maze Runner - I have read the first three books in this series. Like the first best. Pretty gruesome at times but certainly engrossing. I am going to look at THe Legend series - haven't read any of these.

  9. Bee looks amazing, and I love what you did with the video links.

  10. I loved Beholding Bee, too, Holly, so glad to hear you talk about it and connect it to those other great books! I want to get Bluffton-have seen others love it like you. Thanks for all the good books featured!

  11. I shall have to get my hands on a copy of Beholding Bee...soon!

  12. I am starting Champion today! I have high hopes for this one. I have been let down by a few series enders this year. I can't handle any more series disappointments!

  13. Holly, so glad you posted these! I've heard of BEHOLDING BEE, but didn't know much about it. Glad to hear your high praise! It's now a TBR for me :)

    And I've seen Bluffton on the shelves since its release, but haven't REALLY looked at it fully. I didn't realize this is what the storyline was, and now I'm sure to pick it up the next time I'm at Barnes (which is ALways a blink away ;) ).

    Of course, the LEGEND series is SOOOOOOoooo great. I just loved it and just finished CHAMPION myself! :) The trailer looks really good and I'm SO happy to see it doesn't have that horrible, bouncy photography like THE HUNGER GAMES. I was disappointed I wasn't able to watch it!

    And I saw the mention of Kristin Elizabeth Clark at the end of the Matt Phelan trailer. She is one of THE funniest people ever! Right up there with Ame :D I know she hangs a lot on Facebook. I wish she was on Twitter more! :)

  14. Hi Holly, I really want to read Beholding Bee. I actually have it at home, but have not been able to get to it. I too enjoyed Bluffton. It was much different than most of what I read. Enjoy your week!

  15. Beholding Bee sounds fantastic. I did love Out of your Mind so I may have to keep this in mind, YA is not on my list as a go to genre.

  16. Oh, I keep forgetting to look for Bluffton! Thanks for reminding me. I just finished Falling in Love With Close Reading and, well, loved it!

  17. I remember Franki and, I think, Katherine talking about Beholding Bee and how sad it was! So many great books. I love Kristin Cashore. :)

  18. Lots of new titles to add to Goodreads. I love how you shared your family's hot reads. Awesome!

  19. Hi there Holly. I've heard a lot about Beholding Bee, but haven't read the novel yet. Glad to read your thoughts about it. Matt Phelan's artwork is simply amazing, isn't it. I have to find this book. I haven't read any of Marie Lu's novels yet, glad to read your recommendations. I wonder how your husband is finding Bitterblue? The Ann Patchett book also looks intriguing. Have a great reading week!

  20. It's always great to hear a book I had no intention of reading and have it raved about. Beholding Bee will be on my radar again. And Bluffton seems interesting.

  21. Hi Holly - thanks for your list this week. I'm adding Beholding Bee and Bluffton to my must read lists! I loved Hugo Cabret so looking forward to Bluffton very much! My 13 yr old has read Maze Runner - loved it. Not as enthralled with the second one. Happy reading week! I so enjoy reading your blog posts through the week!

  22. I loved the sound of the dystopia series. I wll be adding it to my good reads list. Thanks for sharing.

    Mary-andering Creatively

    Mary-andering Among the Pages