Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011

I love this time of year, and one of the things I enjoy most is looking over the list of books I read and putting together a list of my favorites.

I'm using my Goodreads account to create this list. The ratings system makes it easy to find my favorites of the year. I re-read a lot of my favorite YA books this year because I am leading a couple of book groups at our neighborhood library. I'll leave those off this list, and only include the books I encountered for the first time.

A Visit from the Goon Squad (Jennifer Egan)
Excellent Women (Barbara Pym)
The Blue Castle (L.M. Montgomery)

Graphic Novel:
Ethel and Ernest (Raymond Briggs)

Middle Grade and YA:
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (Jeanne Birdsall)
Keeper (Kathi Appelt)
A Tale Dark & Grimm (Adam Gidwitz)
Toys Go Out and Toy Dance Party (Emily Jenkins)
Moon Over Manifest (Clare Vanderpool)
Wonderstruck (Brian Selznick)
Inside Out & Back Again (Thanhha Lai)
The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Inga Moore; abridged)

I didn't give any of the nonfiction I read five stars (unless you count the above graphic novel, which is about Briggs' parents). I gave four stars to these:

The Wilder Life (Wendy McClure)
The Circuit (Francisco Jiménez)
Through No Fault of My Own: A Girl's Diary of Life on Summit Avenue in the Jazz Age (Coco Irvine)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Books Day!

They did it. The books are all unwrapped! Once they started, there was no stopping them. Aren't they beautiful?

Oops. There are a couple missing from Skye's stack, the two that she hugged and scurried off to read immediately.

And here is Felix's first pick from his stack. Good choice, kid.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Book Stacks 2011

We had a very merry Christmas day, and as I type, the bookstacks still sit wrapped up tight under the tree. We always save them for last, and this Christmas, we were overwhelmed with wonderful gifts and so enjoyed each other's company that we had no need to open them. We look forward to unwrapping and relishing them throughout the coming week. I want to savor each of them with my kids, so this suits me just fine.

Tonight, I'll just post the list of the titles included in each stack. Later, I hope to write a bit about each of them -- why I chose them, where I got them, how they were received. One of my dreams is to make more time to blog in the New Year.

For Skye (age 12):
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
The Way We Work by David Macaulay
Order of the Stick comic collections: Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales and Dungeon Crawlin Fools by Rich Burlew
Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (in Spanish)
The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu
Ida B... by Katherine Hannigan (in Spanish)
Puffin Classics: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

For Felix (age 7):
This Is Paris by M. Sasek
Plum by Tony Mitton
Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School by David Mackintosh
No dejes que la Paloma conduzca el autobus! by Mo Willems
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (with illustrations by Lauren Child)
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Moomin books: Comet in Moominland and Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
Bad Kitty books: Bad Kitty Gets a Bath and Happy Birthday Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
Dragon Slayers Academy books: #2: Revenge of the Dragon Lady and #3: Class Trip to the Cave of Doom by Kate McMullan
Puffin Classics: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie and The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Monday, May 16, 2011

Week of 5/16

Just finished:

Please Write in This Book (Mary Amato)

American Born Chinese (Gene Luen Yang)
Prime Baby (Gene Luen Yang)
The Eternal Smile (Gene Luen Yang & Derek Kirk Kim)

Night of the Ninjas (Mary Pope Osborne)
Polar Bears Past Bedtime (Mary Pope Osborne)

Dealing with Dragons (Patricia C. Wrede)
A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)
The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster)
The Saga of Rex (Michel Gagné)

The Outlander (Gil Adamson)
Juliet (Anne Fortier)

Reading now:

My Kindergarten (Rosemary Wells)
Dinosaur Cove: Tracking the Diplodocus (Rex Stone)

Beezus and Ramona (Beverly Cleary)
The McElderry book of Aesop’s Fables (Michael Morpurgo)

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Readers Edition (Michael Pollan)

The Dreamer (Pam Munoz Ryan)
Knock at a Star (X.J. Kennedy and Dorothy M. Kennedy)
Self-Nurture (Alice D. Domar)
Next (James Hynes)

On the nightstand:

The Dragon in the Sock Drawer (Kate Klimo)

Uglies (Scott Westerfeld)
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (Scott McCloud)

Artemis Fowl (Eoin Colfer)
Foiled (Jane Yolen & Mike Cavallaro)
The Penderwicks #3 (Jeanne Birdsall)

The Cat (Jutta Richter)
Sensational Kids (Lucy Jane Miller)
Bossypants (Tina Fey)
Model Home (Eric Puchner)
The Lacuna (Barbara Kingsolver)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Week of 4/4

Just finished:

Keeper, Kathi Appelt
This story takes place on the Texas Gulf Coast. We just returned from a visit there (although we were further south), and that plus its presence in School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books inspired me to pick it up. I'm so glad I did. What a beautiful book.

A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
Winner of this year's National Book Critics Circle Award. Contender in this year's Morning News Tournament of Books. (I won't tell you how it did; you'll have to click on the link to find out.) Egan is talented, and this book is a lot of fun.

Reading now:

The Dreamer
, Pam Muñoz Ryan
Another contender in the Battle of the Kids' Books. It's lovely so far. (I'm three chapters in.)

Dealing with Dragons, Patricia C. Wrede
My daughter and I are hosting this month's mother-daughter book club meeting. This is our pick.

Self-Nurture, Alice D. Domar
Reading and discussing this one with my sister.

On my nightstand:

The Outlander, Gil Adamson
I gave this one to my father-in-law and told him I'd read it, too, so that we could discuss it. He's finished. I'd better get going!

Model Home, Eric Puchner
Another Tournament of Books contender. Sounded intriguing, so I got it from the library.

The Keep, Jennifer Egan
I've had this on my shelf for awhile, and I've advanced it now to the nightstand after reading Goon Squad.

some of Gene Luen Yang’s work
A friend and I are going to be leading a teen book club at our library. American Born Chinese is our first pick.