Sunday, January 12, 2014

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. 

This is what I read last week:


Outfoxed by Mike Twohy
This was really cute. A fox ends up with a clever duck after raiding the chicken coop. The duck comes up with an idea. It will be a dog! Funny illustrations- both duck and fox have hilarious expressions, and a great book to talk about character traits.
The Impossible Knife of Memory

I was very happy to get the ARC of this book at the NCTE convention  (its book birthday was last Tuesday). Anderson takes on so much in her young adult novels, and she does it again in this one. Hayley is an incredibly strong but confused teenage character who has to deal with her dysfunctional father who is ridden with PTSD, the loss of a mother who died when she was very young, and the abandonment of her stepmother; all the while trying to figure out her complicated relationship with her maybe boyfriend, Finn, a difficult transition to a new school, and her future. Pair this one up with ELI THE GOOD. It's important that there are books out there like this for teens that struggle. Hayley shows them that they can still triumph in the midst of suffering, and that there is value in every life.

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen 
I really enjoyed this love letter to food in graphic novel form. Knisley looks back at her adventurous life through the lens of someone who relishes eating and cooking, but she also explores her relationship with her parents, friends, art, and home. It's funny, entertaining, inspiring, and completely compelling. I'd highly recommend this book for adult and young adult readers!
What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings
What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, & Blessings by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

2013-book, adult, intermediate-kids-book, poetry, young-adult-book

This slim, captivating book of poetry has such treasures inside! I won this copy from Stacey Shubitz and Houghton Mifflin Books For Children, and I'm so glad I did. Zagarenski's illustrations are perfect for the chants & charms, spells & invocations, laments & remembrances, and praise songs & blessings - sad, hopeful, and even funny, these poems are special. Joyce Sidman tells her readers, "They're about repairing friendship, slowing down time, understanding happiness, facing the worse kind of loss. They are words to speak in the face of loneliness, fear, delight or confusion." She goes on to say, "I hope they work for you." Rest assured, Ms. Sidman, they most certainly do! From "Sleep Charm": Forget anything you ever wanted,/hoped, or feared./One by one, those cares will drop/from you like stones/into deep water./Slip from your dayskin/and swim, shimmering,/into the dream beyond the dream. Isn't that beautiful? I also loved "Song in a Strange Land" and "Blessing on the Smell of a Dog." I loved them all, though, and you will, too!


The Goldfinch 


Rose Under Fire Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)


                        Divergent (Divergent, #1)              The Fault in Our Stars                    

                                        Katie, 17                                   Libby, 20             

                                          The Trail of Whitened Skulls               On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes        
                                                   My dad                                  My mom
                        What are YOU reading this week?



  1. Hope everyone enjoys their books.

  2. Relish looks amazing - I love food books!

  3. I love how you add what your family is reading and what you are listening to! Great idea!! You are always an inspiration! Goldfinch is my upcoming book group book --excited to read it! Thanks

  4. I LOVED Relish. Such a beautiful homage to food and travel.

    And of course, what's not to love about Laurie Halse Anderson?

  5. Sidman's book is just so special! Anderson is just one of those writers who can write about difficult topics in meaningful ways. I saw this at NCTE, now I need to get myself a copy of my own.

  6. I keep hearing rave reviews of the new Anderson book; I can't wait to read it! Loved Relish and I recommend it every chance I get. Rose Under Fire was a tough read. I wish I had listened to it instead. I think I would really enjoy On Looking, I will have to check it out. Have a great week! ~Megan

  7. I love how you have what your family is reading! Fun!
    I can't wait to read The Impossible Knife of Memory...LHA was fabulous at NCTE/ALAN

  8. I did get The Knife of Never Letting Go last week, Holly. Now to read! Hope the family is enjoying those two awesome books, & also happy to hear you liked the Sidman book too. Happy Reading!

  9. I have a few of Laurie Halse Anderson's novels in my shelves but I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. She sounds like a powerful writer. I've been meaning to get my hands on Sidman's book for the longest time, I am a huge fan of her poetry and Zagarenski's artwork, I am sure I would simply fall in love with this poetry book. Thanks for sharing all these Holly. Have a great reading week!

  10. It's cool that you add what your family is reading -- I should ask my mom more about her books. Sidman is one of the few poets I can get my boys to consider.

  11. So excited to see Joyce Sidman's book of poetry on your list this week. She is a favorite of mine - I love Red Sings From The Treetops! The Impossible Knife of Memory - what a GREAT title! I'm so intrigued - I want to read it! Outfoxed looks very cute! How are you enjoying The Goldfinch? It's on my TBR list but have not cracked it open yet! Maybe when I come up for air during spring break!

  12. I just had to return "On Walking". Scott and I read about it on the blog Brain Pickings. Interested to see if your mom likes it!

  13. Your post just introduced me to some books I was not aware of - looking forward to reading some of them and recommending them to my students

  14. You just introduced me to some books I was not aware of. I look forward to checking them out.