It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila over at BookJourney.

Last week, my reading mojo came back when I read Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee. Now I’m ready to conquer the world read as much as I can. The world looks so much better when you’re able to read.

This week I’m reading:

carter bloodyThe Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter. I’ve read most of the books in this short story collection, but not all of them. The book is one that I’ve been meaning to read for years and it would be nice to have this excellent collection crossed off my tbr list.

18601927The Memory Garden by Mary Rickert. I started this book weeks ago and then ignored it. Maybe this week will be the perfect time to finish it.

Why Don’t Students Like School? by Daniel T. Willingham. I’ve been reading this book for a long time now. It’s the book that I take with me on my Monday errands, but don’t read any other time. I’m halfway through and plan on FINALLY finishing it this week. Why Don’t Students Like School? is one of those books that you need a stack of post-its and a notebook next to you as you read.

For homeschooling:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. We’ll probably read this over the next two weeks or so.

Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

What are you reading this Monday?

It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

it's mondayIt’s Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.

Good morning! Last week I only read one book:

gaiman ocean lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I plan on posting my review tomorrow. I just need to reread it today.

I’m also plan on reading:

PicMonkey Collage

Lotería by Mario Alberto Zambrano

The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light by Paul Bogard

The Translator by Nina Schuyler

Classic Reading in Cultural Anthropology edited by Gary Ferraro (I’ve already started this one.)

What are you reading this week?

It's Monday, meme., reading

It’s Monday. What are you reading?

Photo courtesy of Blhphotography

It’s countdown to the first day of the semester on the 27th. I only realized last week that I don’t have many days of freedom left. Since then, I’ve been reading as much as I possibly can.  It’s funny how your reading mojo comes back when you’re determined to have it back!

Last week I read and reviewed American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Gardens and Gardens Across America by Michelle Obama. I also read The Spare Room by Helen Gardner, a present I received last Christmas from Deb (Readerbuzz), Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me by Harvey Pekar, The Hard Questions by Susan Piver, and Ichiro by Ryan Inzana. I enjoyed the whole stack but probably loved Ichiro more than the others since I finished it in the wee hours of this morning.

I’m currently reading The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian which is about the Armenian genocide. It’s an excellent read so far and I think it’s perfect timing after reading Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me and Ichiro, all three are about history and war. I’m about halfway done so now it’s time to start eyeing my stack of library books, ARCs, and books I own to see which ones I should try to squeeze in this week.

This week’s stack of possibilities:

Our Kind of People: A Continent’s Challenge, A Country’s Hope by Uzondinma Iweala is a book I received a few months ago for review. It’s about the AIDS crisis in Nigeria and those that are being affected by the disease.

The Distance between Us by Reyna Grande is the author’s coming-of-age tale about living with various relatives after her parents move to the United States from Mexico.

It by Stephen King. I’m a scaredy cat but I couldn’t help joining the It read-along with Jill (Fizzy Thoughts) and Christina (Reading Thru the Night), which goes on until October 14th.  Christina has been giving out clown noses to participants but I really think we’re going to need night-lights!

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. Memory (Xicanti) and a few other bloggers have been raving about this book for months now. I have no idea what it’s about except that it’s about dragons.

What are you reading this week?

meme., poetry

The Poetry Project

Lu (Regular Rumination) and Kelly (The Written Word) have decided to revamp their Read More/Blog More Poetry event. The event is now a year-long project. Instead of posting a poetry-related post at the end of the month, participants can now post whenever they want and as many times as they want. There will also be a monthly prompt that you can take part in. To kick this project off, Lu and Kelly are asking participants to answer a few questions.

Why do you want to join for the Poetry Project? I love poetry!

Do you have a favorite poet? I have a lot of favorite poets like Pablo Neruda, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Emily Dickinson, and Raymond Carver.

Hopefully this will go longer than a year. Do you have any suggestions for themes? Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance, books in verse, biographies about poets, and focus on poets of various nationalities and races.

What are your experiences with poetry in the past? Have they been positive or negative? My experiences with poetry have usually been pretty positive.

Tell us about a poem or poet that has had a profound effect on you. If you can’t think of a poem, how about a song? Or a line from a story? What a great question! This could be a prompt. There are a lot of poets that I’ve discovered at the perfect time in my life: Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair as a teenager; Audre Lorde’s Collected Poems as a young adult, and Raymond Carver’s All of Us as a new mom.

What frustrates you about poetry or the way we talk about poetry? What frustrates me is that some poetry can be really hard to understand. It’s as though certain poets want their work to be as difficult as possible so only a selected few will ever love and know it. I can think of a few poets whose work I avoid at all times.

Tell us something about yourself that has nothing to do with poetry! Hmmm. . .

It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday. What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey. Every week, Sheila asks readers to share what books they’re planning on reading each week.

Last week was a pretty slow reading week. I don’t know why but it seems like it took me forever to finish a book. I’m blaming it on my not-so-smart idea to read six books at one time and not scheduling enough time to read.

I read:

  • Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

This week I’m reading:

  • The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (I’m almost finish)
  • The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (for the upcoming Chunky Book Club discussion)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • MWF seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche

What are you reading this week?

It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is my favorite meme. It’s hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

I had a good reading week though I didn’t read as much as I wanted to. I don’t know what happened but days went by without me reading a word. This week I’m getting my butt into gear and getting things read. I’m on a mission to cull my tbr shelves but I want to read my books first before letting them go.


Last week I read:

Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

Amulet Vols. 2& 3 by Kazu Kibuishi

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern




This week I want to read:

Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading with 125 Recipes by Janice Cole (already started)

Amulet Vol. 4 by Kazu Kibuishi

The Immigrant Edge by Claudia Kolker

Make the Bread, buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese (maybe)

Three of my own books (undecided on which ones)

So that’s my reading pile for the week. What book are you looking forward to reading? 

It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a great meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.

So I’m starting to think it’s pretty ridiculous how slow my reading has been in the past week. The migraines are still around but not as much. I think my reading has slowed since I’m dedicating more time to studying. Luckily this is my last week of geography class and I’m free from school for at least a month.

Last week I read:

  • Three By the Sea by Mini Grey (children’s book)
  • The Greatest Music Stories Never Told by Rick Beyer (review coming up)
  • Consuming Passions by Michael Lee West (review)
  • Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier (children’s book)
  • How Did That Get in My Lunch Box?: The Story of Food by Chris Butterworth (children’s book, review coming up soon)
This week I want to read:
  •  The Wisdom of the Radish: And Other Lessons Learned on a Small Farm by Lynda Hopkins. (It’s my current read and I’m about 100 pages away from the end.)
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (It was due at the library last week so I really need to finish it by Thursday.)
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. (Project Fill-in-the-Gaps)
  • The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield (upcoming TLC tour)
  • The Realm of Hungry Spirits by Lorraine Lopez
  • Transparency: short stories by Frances Hwang

So that’s what I’m reading. What are you reading this week?

It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.

I’m in the middle of more than six books. I usually don’t mind but it’s driving me crazy since there’s so many new books that I want to read! I’m determined to finish every book I’ve already started this week so I can move on. I’m going to be offline for most of the week but here’s a few books that I plan on finishing:

War and Watermelon by Rich Wallace (for an upcoming TLC tour)

American Gods by Neil Gaiman. (re-read)  I’m listening to it on audio and reading a print copy of it.

Sugar in My Bowl by Erica Jong. This is a pretty interesting book but I keep leaving it on my nightstand so I’m only reading it at night.

The Reading Promise: My Father and the books we shared  by Alice Ozma.

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve checked this book out this year. It’s getting pretty ridiculous. If I read a short story a day for the next week, this book will be finished by next week.

Red and Me by Bill Russell. I’ve been listening to this short audio book for the past week and haven’t finished it. The story is great but I haven’t made the time to really listen to it.

So that’s my reading stack for the week. What are you reading? 

Audio books, meme., reading

Audiobook Week Mid-Week Meme


Audiobook Week is being hosted by Jen over at Devourer of Books.


Current/most recent audiobook: I’m still listening to Red and Me by Bill Russell.

Impressions: It’s an absorbing read. So much so that my mom, who’s a non-reader, stopped what she was doing to listen to the audio with me.

Current favorite audiobook: Everything I listed on my last audiobook post though I did forget to mention the 39 Clues, a MG series that is great for all ages.

One narrator who always make you choose audio over print: There’s so many to choose! My absolute favorite is definitely Bahni Turpin of The Help.

Genre you most often choose to listen to: I love listening to all types of fiction on audio including general fiction and children or middle grade (MG) titles.

If given the choice, you most often choose audio when: I often rely on public transportation, so I try to keep an audio book on my MP3 player to listen to.

If given the choice, you most often choose print when:  I’m reading non-fiction that isn’t a memoir. There’s so many facts and details I want to remember with non-fiction, that it’s better to read from a print copy so I can keep up with quotes I want to remember.

Are there any genres you prefer to listen to on audio versus in print?

It's Monday, meme., reading

It’s Monday. What are you reading?

It’s Monday. What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.  Every week bloggers share the books they’ve read the week before and what they plan on reading this week.

Last week  I read:

  • The Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez
  • Akata Witch by Nnede Okorafor
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe (Vol. 5) by Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour (Vol. 6) by Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems by Billy Collins
I think my favorite book of the week was Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe. I started reading the series a little more than a week ago and finished it within days. It’s a great series that’s full of laughs.  This week I have a ton of books to read because I have several that need to be returned to the library next week. Luckily I have plenty of time to read them all. Here’s this week’s stack:

  • Sugar in My Bowl: Real women write about real sex edited by Erica Jong (ARC)
  • The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt (ARC)
  • Neil Flambé and the Marco Polo Murders by Kevin Sylvester. I rarely read mysteries but once I saw the cover of this, I couldn’t pass it up.
  • Exclusive Love: A Memoir by Johanna Adorján
  • Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos
  • The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey
  • The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee
  • Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (read-along)
That’s nine books in nine days. It’s a lot but I think it’s doable if I restrict my online time. We’ll see how it goes. What are you reading this week?
children's books, cookbooks, Library Loot, meme., Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking: The Library Loot Edition

Today I’m combining two of my favorite memes together: Weekend Cooking and Library Loot to share a few cooking-related books that I recently checked out from the library. Both books were on the “new books” shelf at the library and I hurried to grab them just in case someone else decided to!

Crazy about Cookies

Krystina Castella

Sterling Publishing

304 pages

Don’t you just love this cover! My daughter and I have been going back and forth searching through the book’s 300 recipes to figure out which cookie to make first. I’m torn between the Sugar-Free Carob Oatmeal Clusters or Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies while my daughter is thinking about Explosion Cookies which are cookies that look like comic book captions. If you ever see this book at your library or bookstore, at the very least just glance through it. The pictures are beautiful.

Ugly Pie

Written by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Heather Solomon

Harcourt Children’s Books

32 pages

I love picture books that feature food and Ugly Pie is no exception. Ol’ Bear has a craving for ugly pie but has only one ingredient. So he goes around his neighborhood to see has anyone else made the pie that he’s craving. When he sees that his neighbor has made everything but ugly pie, Ol’ Bear knows it’s time to make it himself. It’s a really cute book. The bonus is that it includes the recipe for ugly pie which is an apple pie with red raisins and walnuts. My family doesn’t really eat pie but I’m still going to give the recipe a try.

Have you read any food-related books lately? What does your library loot look like?

It's Monday, meme., reading

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday. What are you reading? is a meme hosted by the lovely Sheila over at Book Journey. It’s also a meme that I need to start doing consistently since my reading is almost nonexistent right now. I’m in the middle of a ton of books but rarely finishing any of them in the past few weeks. With the TBR Dare coming to a close Thursday night, I’m still six books away from my goal of 25 books read off my shelves. There’s still time.

Last week I read:

Embroideries by Marjane Strapi

The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds

The Secret River by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Rain School by James Rutford

Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton and Raul Colón

Book Lust To Go by Nancy Pearl

Chew Vol. 1: Taster’s Choice by John Layman

So that’s one book of non-fiction, three graphic novels, and three children’s books. That is such a sad amount of books. All three of the graphic novels were my favorite reads of the week. The graphic novel adaptation of The Odyssey is so good that I now want to read the original. Chew is so different from any graphic novel that I’ve read, while Embroideries has a great subject matter: the lives of ordinary women.

This week I’m hoping to read/finish:

Drive by Daniel Pink (re-read)

The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas

Some Friend by Marie Bradby

The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson

Keeper by Kathi Appelt

Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance by Lloyd Jones

The Grimm Reader: The Classic Tales of the Brothers Grimm by Maria Tatar

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candance Fleming

Listening to:

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I don’t plan on finishing The Grimm Reader or A Game of Thrones this week because of their length. I expect Amelia Lost, Keeper, and Some Friend to be short reads so I think I can manage all of this.

What are you reading this week?

It's Monday, meme., reading

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

I love this meme. I’m a moody reader but it helps to put a stack of books together every week or month that I would really like to read. I notice when I don’t make a weekly lists of books, I can forget about the books that I need to read because of obligations. Another bonus is that when I compile this list, I always look around at my library books, review copies, e- and audio books to see what would be nice to finally read. I usually find a book or two that I forgot about.


Last week I read:

Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl by Virgina Hamilton

Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness


So far this week I’ve read:

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French

I’m also hoping to read:

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

Nox by Anne Carson (started but need to finish)

Making the Match: The Right Book for the Right Reader at the Right Time by Teri S. Lesesne

The Girl who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow (upcoming book signing)

The Transfigured Hart by Jane Yolen

Views from the Loft: A Portable Writer’s Workshop edited by Daniel Slager

French Milk by Lucy Kinsley

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

Ponies” by Kij Johnson

Most of the books on this list are pretty short so I should be able to get this all read. What are you reading this week?

cookbooks, meme.

Weekend Cooking: Gourmet Today

Hosted by Candace over at Beth Fish Reads, Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post toshare: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.


Gourmet Today

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Sept. 2009

Life has been so busy this month with school piling on homework and all the kids getting sick. It was practically impossible for my daughter and I to try out any new recipes. Yesterday with the wind blowing and rain pounding, my mother had a craving for roasted chicken. I was happy to make it for her but I couldn’t find my recipe or remember where I got the recipe from. I decided to try out Gourmet Today’s recipe for Salt Roasted Chicken.

Salt Roasted Chicken

Serves 4

Active Time: 15 minutes

Start to Finish: 13 hours for overnight salting


1 (3 ½ pound) chicken, rinsed and patted dry

2 ¼ teaspoons of fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

3 ( ¼ inch thick) lemon slices

Sprinkle chicken inside and out with sea salt and pepper. Set in a shallow dish, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 500◦F.

Pat chicken dry. Rub skin with butter and put lemon slices in cavity. Place chicken in a small roasting pan, transfer to oven, and reduce oven temp to 425◦F. Roast chicken, basting occasionally with pan juices, until thermometer inserted 2 inches into fleshy part of thigh registers 170◦F, about 50 minutes.

Let chicken stand for 15 minutes before carving.

*Because I didn’t have much time before I had to cook the chicken, I only brined it for a few hours instead of twelve. Next time I would do it for the full twelve hours because the chicken didn’t have much flavor but it still came out almost perfect. The skin was crisp and the meat was juicy.

I can’t wait to try more recipes from Gourmet Today.

meme., poetry, Poetry Wednesday

A Late Poetry Wednesday Post

Poetry Wednesday is an awesome meme hosted by someone. Who? I don’t know but I’m thankful that they thought of it. I’m also thankful for bloggers like Lu, Valerie, Carrie, and Serena who remind me how important and beautiful poetry is.


Percy and Books (Eight)

Mary Oliver

Percy does not like it when I read a book.

He puts his face over the top of it and moans.

He rolls his eyes, sometimes he sneezes.

The sun is up, he says, and the wind is down.

The tide is out and the neighbor’s dogs are playing.

But Percy, I say, Ideas! The elegance of language!

The insights, the funniness, the beautiful stories

that rise and fall and turn into strength, or courage.

Books? says Percy. I ate one once, and it was enough.

Let’s go.

From the Pulitzer-Prize and National Book Award-winning book, Red Bird.

cookbooks, meme., reviews

Weekend Cooking: Thoughts on Jane Yolen’s Fairy Tale Breakfasts

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Fairy Tale Breakfasts: A Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters

Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, and Philipe Beha

Pages: 32

Publisher: Windmill Books

Publication Year: 2010

Source: Library

Every year my daughter decides she wants to try a new hobby. When she was seven, she wanted to become a fashion designer. So I bought her fabric, needle and thread, and plenty of books. For most of the year she made clothes for her dolls, drew outfits for hours in her sketchbook, and put on fashion shows.

When she was eight, she decided to that she was tired of designing clothes and wanted to become a scientist. So once again I bought books about different areas of science, gave her my old biology textbooks, and searched for science-y things online. The whole family participated in the various experiments she tried.

I call my daughter’s interests expensive. Her fourth-grade teacher calls them part of my daughter’s schema.

Now that Pip (pronounced Pipe), is nine, cooking is her newest interest. For the past six months or so, we’ve checked out dozens of cookbooks from the library, coping some of our favorite recipes. We’re making our own personal cookbook and one of the things we’re doing is cooking one new recipe every week. Some weeks have been better than others. With most of the family suffering from colds, we haven’t been cooking much.

I wanted to share with you all, one of the books we’ve checked out a few weeks ago: Jane Yolen’s Fairy Tale Breakfast. The book is the perfect combination of fairy tales and recipes. It contains four fairy tales such as “The Runaway Pancake” and “The Magic Pot of Porridge”, followed by a recipe that relates to the story. Each story is entertaining and each recipe is simple enough for a young child to understand and try with an adult’s help.

We haven’t tried the recipes in the book yet but the fairy tales have kept us entertained enough that I would definitely recommend this book.

Also written by Yolen and company:

  • Fairy Tale Lunches
  • Fairy Tale Dinners
  • Fairy Tale Desserts
  • Fairy Tale Feasts
It's Monday, meme., reading

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by the lovely Sheila over at Book Journey.


Last week I read:

  • Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri
  • The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  • Foster by Claire Keegan
  • Not pictured: Here by Wislawa Szymborska


This week’s stack:

  • Changing my Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Best 100 African American Poems by Nikki Giovanni

  • This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson
  • Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein

  • The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier
  • Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire
  • Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto by Maile Chapman

It’s a pretty ambitious stack but I think I can handle it. What are you reading today?



It's Monday, meme., reading

It’s Monday. What are you reading?

Last week was a pretty good reading week.  I read:

  1. Nat Turner by Kyle Baker
  2. Bookhunter by Jason Shiga
  3. The Song of the Whales by Uri Orlev
  4. Bayou by Jeremy Love
  5. The Book-Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
  6. The Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

This week I’m hoping to read:

  1. My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
  2. The Undertaking: Life Studies in a Dismal Trade by Thomas Lynch
  3. The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan
  4. My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood by Rosemary Wells
  5. The Amazing “True” Story of a Teenage Single Mom by Katherine Arnoldi

So that’s what I’m reading. What are you reading this week?

It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday. What are you Reading?

I decided to call this week “Read-a-thon Week”. I have so much to read this week for school including a chunkster and a play. I also have a ton of great-looking books on my shelves that I wanted to get to for the read-a-thon but wasn’t able to.

Last week I read:

Too Late by Clem Martini
Amulet 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
Amulet 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kibuishi
Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi
And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems and Jon. J. Muth
How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
I Spy A to Z by Jean Marzollo (read with the kids)
Celebrate Halloween by Deborah Heiligman
Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

This week I’m hoping to read:

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (re-read for school)
Notes From No Man’s Land: American Essays by Eula Biss
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz
Collapse by Jared Diamond (school)
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

It’s a lot to read but I think I can do it. What are your reading plans for the week?

meme., Readathon

Weekly Geeks: Readathon! Readathon! Readathon!

I’m going to apologize in advance for this long post. There’s something about the read-a-thon that helps make fall one of my favorite seasons. To set aside 24 consecutive hours to do one of the things I love most in the world: read. And to do it with a ton of people who love reading as much as I do is the icing on the cake. Some people hear about the read-a-thon and think it’s a race but it’s not.

My strategy for the read-a-thon is to spend today preparing for by cleaning up the house, going grocery shopping, and doing all of my homework to get it out the way. I don’t plan on cooking tomorrow so it’s sandwiches, cold cereal, pizza, and lots of snacks for my family. The great thing is that they understand and a few of the kids plan on participating with me during the event.

I don’t plan on reading as many books as possible (though I do love the pressure). I just want to spend as much time as I can reading. I’m not going to set a specific amount of time. I started checking out books from the library last week, so my reading pile is a combination of TBR books, rereads, and also library books. No ARCS allowed!

Dewey, the wonderful caring blogger who created the read-a-thon, was such a great person. She was so generous and loved sharing books. Participating in the read-a-thon is a great way to keep her memory alive but I also wanted to do something special. So for each book I finish this weekend, I’m giving $10 to a non-profit organization.

Here’s my stack:

The Purloined Boy by Mortimus Clay
A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot
Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi

Spilling Ink by Ellen Potter and Anne Mazer
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins

Keeper by Kathi Appelt
Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett

The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

Vice: New and Selected Poems by Ai
Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays by Eula Biss
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere: Stories by ZZ Packer

Not pictured:

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks
The Haiku Anthology edited by Cor Van Den Heuvel
Nat Turner by Kyle Baker
Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Master
The Baby-Sitters Club: The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

So that’s my list. Are you participating in the read-a-thon? If not, what are your plans for the weekend?

It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday. What are you reading?

School has been kicking my butt for the past two weeks. If I finished a book since the beginning of the semester, I honestly can’t remember what it is! The great thing about it is that I’ve been earning perfect grades on everything I’ve turned in so far. 2 weeks down and 20 more to go! I’m determined to finish a few of the many books I’m reading. What’s listed below is a combination of both school-related and pleasure reading.

Graphic novels/Comics/Picture books

The Arrival by Shaun Tan. If you haven’t read this beautiful wordless picture book about an immigrant’s passage to a new country, you need to. (required reading)

Blankets by Craig Thompson. I started this book a few days ago but school has kept me so busy that I haven’t been able to finish it. What I read so far is very beautiful and I already know that I need to buy this for my permanent collection.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Both Fun Home and The Arrival are re-reads for me. It’s interesting to see that my professor is assigning graphic novels to our reading though we haven’t discussed them yet. (required reading)

Short Stories (required reading)

“Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I read this short story for the first time a few semesters ago, so this is basically a quick skim for me.

“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver. One of my favorite short stories ever.

“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. I love both Cathedral and Everyday Use for the great characters. Both short stories are great reads.

Novels and Non-Fiction

Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity will Determine Our Future by Linda Darling-Hammond. I read about this book on a teaching blog that I’m subscribed to and after reading the description, I knew that I needed to read this. Darling-Hammond writes about the future of America and its schools if the country is going to have an educational system that prepares and ensures that right of every child to learn.

Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth by Juliet B Schor. I found out about Plenitude earlier this year. I hurried and placed it on hold at my local library and the book was just processed and sent to me a few days ago. The book gives a lot of thought about our changing global economy and a few of the steps that we could possibly take to make life better and more productive for us all.

So that’s what I’m reading this week. What are you reading this week?

It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Books I read last week:

  1. Bone vol. 1: Out of Boneville by Jeff Smith
  2. The Truth About Delilah Blue by Tish Cohen
  3. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
  4. The Great Lover by Jill Dawson
  5. Arthur’s Underwear by Marc Brown
  6. Baba Yaga the Flying Witch by Susanna Davidson

Books already read this week:

  1. Bone Vol. 2 : The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smith
  2. The Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta by Jarrett Krosoczka

Currently reading

  1. The Best American Comics 2010 edited by Neil Gaiman
  2. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Up next:

  1. The Quickening by Michelle Hoover
  2. Bone vols. 3-6 by Jeff Smith
  3. Where are we going, Daddy? by Jean-Louis Fournier
  4. The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante
  5. Translation is a Love Affair by Jacques Poulin
  6. Briefs by John Edgar Wideman

With most of these books being less than 200 pages, I think I can get through most of them with no problem this week. Have you read any of the books on this week’s list? Any recommendations?

Booking Through Thursday, meme., Uncategorized

Booking Through Thursday: Encouragment

Suggested by Barbara H:

How can you encourage a non-reading child to read? What about a teen-ager? Would you require books to be read in the hopes that they would enjoy them once they got into them, or offer incentives, or just suggest interesting books? If you do offer incentives and suggestions and that doesn’t work, would you then require a certain amount of reading? At what point do you just accept that your child is a non-reader?

In the book Gifted Hands by brilliant surgeon Ben Carson, one of the things that turned his life around was his mother’s requirement that he and his brother read books and write book reports for her. That approach worked with him, but I have been afraid to try it. My children don’t need to “turn their lives around,” but they would gain so much from reading and I think they would enjoy it so much if they would just stop telling themselves, “I just don’t like to read.”

Reading is my favorite thing to do. When I’m not reading, I’m talking about books and reading. I love being around books, sniffing new books. . .  Because reading is so important to me, I want it to be just as important to my kids.

A few years ago I started a bedtime reading club with my kids to get them to read more. I was already taking them to the library once a week and while it was helping, I wanted us to read more as a family. So I came up with the idea of a bedtime reading club and had the kids come up with a name for it. Some days we read before homework and bath time while other times afterward. The goal for us is to read every day.

Another great family tradition that I started was everyone had to go to the library together. Going to the library once a week and letting the kids pick almost whatever they want, encourages the kids to read. They pick up books by their favorite authors or old favorites to re-read. Yesterday my kids went to the library and checked out bags of books. Every child has their own library card and a maximum of 25 books can be checked out on each card. Even with five kids in the house, sometimes it feels like we need more library cards. The kids have different interests, so often we’re scrambling around to find various series such as Captain Underpants or any of the fairy books by Heather Meadows. We scramble around to find books by authors like Kevin Henkes, Jane Yolen, or Judy Finchler. It’s often tiring but well worth it when I see the kids all over the living room and reading their library loot. (Speaking of which, I’ll post what they checked out tomorrow.)

As a mom I’ve learned that if I want my kids to pick up “better” books, I need to bring those books home and read them in front of the kids. Laugh at all the funny parts, cry at the sad parts, and I’ll have them interested in what I’m reading. That’s how I’ve been able to get my kids to read a lot of great books such as Love that Dog by Sharon Creech and  Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Clearly. Right now we’re reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Ronald Dahl. We read a chapter or two a day. Once we’re finished with the book, we’ll watch the movie. After Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we’ll read Neil Gaiman’s Stardust.

I don’t think I could ever accept any of my kids being non-readers. It’s one of those things as a parent you say it’s OK for other kids but not your own. Reading is so important that I don’t want any of my kids  to take it for granted. I don’t expect for reading to be any of the kids’ passions though I would love that. But to not read at all. . .

I don’t offer incentives for reading. I did at one time but no longer. It gets tiring, trying to get a child to read just for a prize. Now the kids all know that I expect them to read. No whining, no complaining. Coming up with family traditions like going to the library on a certain day every week or reading together, shows the kids how much I think reading is important. As a treat I sometimes take the kids on little outings to a local bookstore so they can pick out books they want.

So that’s my long answer for today’s Booking Through Thursday answer. Do you have any suggestions or ideas on how to get kids reading?


It’s Monday! What are you reading?

*Creative Commons-Licensed Content

After much brainstorming this weekend, I’ve decided to try a different format for many of my posts. Instead of just making a list of books I’m planning on reading for the week, I’ll give you more information about the books I’m in the middle of.

Leaving A Trace: On Keeping a Journal by Alexandra Johnson. I first read Leaving a Trace a few years ago and fell in love with the writing. I picked it up again because I really needed some inspiration to help me get back in writing. In the book Johnson explores the reasons why so many people keep journals or diaries. Not only does she gives examples of writings from famous people like Virginia Woolf and Willa Cather but she also gives examples from ordinary people who thought to write down the details of their lives. Readers can also find techniques and exercises to help start or keep pursuing journal writing.

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. I’m noticing with each book I re-read, I become a slower reader, taking in the passages that I’ve once skimmed over in my last reading. Rich with information, I’ve only been reading less than a chapter a day. Right now I’m at the end on narration, reading about the short stories of Mavis Gallant and Stuart Dybeck.

So that’s what I’m reading this week. I have my eye on a few more books but I’ll wait until later on this week to show them to you. So what are you reading this week?

It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Today has been a busy day for me. Happily I’m finally able to sit down and write this post. With next week the start of the new semester, I’m trying to fit in as much reading as possible. I’m not doing a read-a-thon or anything like that, but I’m taking advantage of my last week of freedom. Here’s what I’m hoping to finish this week:

  1. Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk. Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog has been recommending this book ever since she read it last year. After a conversation on Twitter with her and Jill from Fizzy Thoughts and Heather from Capricious Reader, I’ve decided to drop everything and read the book now.
  2. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. I’m reading this because of next week’s That’s How I Blog show hosted by Nicole over at Linus’s Blanket. Nicole is interviewing Rebecca who picked Waters for the 20-minute book discussion.
  3. Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. After mentioning this book in last week’s post I started re-reading it again.
  4. Roman Fever and Other Stories by Edith Wharton. For the Edith Wharton Classics Circuit which started today. I’m posting a review of  the book at the end of the month.
  5. The Sea Birds Are Still Alive by Toni Cade Bambara. After reading Bambara’s short story, “Medley”, for the first time a few months ago I had to go out and buy Bambara’s out-of print collection of short stories.

I’m hoping that I get all of this read by Sunday. Wish me luck. What books are you planning to read this week?


Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading.

I’m in the middle of a few books right now. One of which is Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading by Lizzie Skurnick. I’m reading it for Bookingmama’s Shelf Discovery reading challenge.  Here’s my teaser:

I can’t remember the book that made me a into a reader. (God, how much better would this story be if I could!) All I remember is that first I wasn’t a reader, and then, suddenly, I was.

pg 1


It’s Monday, What Are you Reading?

Thanks to last weekend’s read-a-thon and the Cybils, last week was my best reading week in months! I read:


August: Osage County by Tracy Letts
B.P.R.D. #2: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories
The Year of the Sparrows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice


Imogene’s Antler’s by David Small
Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen


Amulet 1: The Stonkeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
Amulet 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kibuishi
Angels in America by Tony Kushner


The Professor’s Daughter by Joann Sfar
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant

Not Shown:

The Imaginary Garden by Andrew Larsen
Humpty, Dumpty Climbs Again by Dave Horowitz
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino
Babymouse: Dragon Slayer by Jennifer L. Holm
Abigail Spells by Anna Alter
Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden byEdith Pattou

Right now I’m reading

Peter and Max by Bill Willingham
Hide Tide in Tucson by Barbara Kingsolver
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Admissions by Jean Hanff Korelitz

This week I also plan on reading:

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry

What are you reading this week?

It's Monday, meme., Musing Monday

Monday Memes

Musing Mondays (BIG)Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about the read-a-thon…

Are you planning on participating in the upcoming 24 Hour Read-a-thon (either as a reader or cheerleader)? Have you made any preparations for the event? And, veterans out there, any tips you’d like to share with the newbies?

I am definitely planning on participating in the read-a-thon. As usual I’m reading and cheerleading so things will be a little hectic for me on Saturday. I’ve already started making preparations by getting my read-a-thon stack ready. I have a few books still on their way but I cannot wait!

My tips for newbies:

  1. Make sure the books in your pile are light and fun to read.
  2. Graphic novels, short story collections, young adult reads, children’s fiction, plays, and even poetry are great additions to any read-a-thon stack.
  3. Make sure you have healthy snacks ready. You’ll hate to be running around on Saturday trying to fix a meal.
  4. Naps are your friend. Don’t feel guilty taking one. I plan on taking several.
  5. Clean your house, do the laundry, and any other household needs BEFORE Saturday.
  6. You don’t have to read or cheer for 24 hours. Do it for as long as you want. When you no longer want to, take a break. Don’t feel like going back, stop. The readathon is supposed to be fun.

It’s Monday, What are you Reading?

Last week I read:

  1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  2. Sea Change by Aimee Freedman

Right now I’m in the middle of:

  1. August: Osage County by Tracy Letts

This week I plan to read:

  1. The Transfigured Hart by Jane Yolen
  2. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
  3. B.P.R.D. #2: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories by Mike Mignola
  4. The Arrival  by Shaun Tan
books, It's Monday, meme.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Last week I was recovering from the flu, so my reading has been going pretty slow. I’m feeling much better now so I’m hoping to read a lot this week.

Last week I read:

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. This was last week’s required reading for my English class.
Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile (picture book) I heard great things about this book, read it, and loved it. My kids did too.

Right now I’m reading:

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Life, the Universe, and the Everything by Douglas Adams

Also on the list this week:
Howl by Allen Ginsberg (required reading)
The Arrival by Shaun Tan

So what are you reading this week?