Monday, September 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated Sequels

The delightful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish host this weekly list challenge.  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check them out! 

The topic this week is ten books on my fall TBR list.  This is so hard, given that my TBR list is over a thousand books long.  How about ten sequels I'm hoping to get to?  A few are new or upcoming releases, and others have been out for years.  There's no guarantee I'll get around to the whole list this fall, but I hope to get to them all at some point for sure.

1.  The Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.
This is one book that would make it on the list this week no matter how I chose to focus it, because it is one book I am SO EAGER FOR.  After being so "meh" about the Grisha series that I stopped after the first one, I adored Six of Crows.

Really, I'm tempted to just write the same title nine more times for this list.  Instead, here are nine more sequels I'm hoping to get to soon-ish.

2.  The Inquisitor's Mark and The Morrigan's Curse by Dianne K. Salerni.
The Eighth Day is one of those books that I didn't expect much from, so the fact that it was actually pretty good made it feel GREAT to me.  I'd like to see how she continues the series.

3.  The rest of the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi
I've only read one of these books.  They are quite popular in my classroom, and I was impressed with the one I read.

4. The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman.
Not a sequel--the first book in a short series I accidentally read the second book of last spring.  Shusterman is a genius, as far as I'm concerned.  After blowing my mind with the Unwind dystology and breaking my heart with Challenger Deep, his Ansty Bonano book made me laugh out loud, repeatedly.

5.  March, books 2 & 3 by John Robert Lewis
Like the rest of the world, I was so impressed by the first book in this historical memoir/graphic novel.  I need to keep educating myself, and these books are a very engaging way to do so.

6.  The Narrow Bed, The Carrier, and Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah
Somehow I managed to read book 9 in the Spilling CID series without reading book 8, and now book 10 is out in the UK and should be here soon as well.  And she also has a second Hercules Poirot out.  I know some find Hannah frustrating or too convoluted, but I've loved every book of hers I've read.

7.  The Trespasser by Tana French
MORE TANA FRENCH!  Given that mystery great Reginald Hill has died, I am so glad to have found both Hannah and French in the past few years.  Keep writing, please!

8. Defiance and Victory by Carla Jablonski
Resistance is a solid WWII graphic novel.  My book grant let me get the next two books in the series into my classroom library.  As soon as one of my seventh graders brings them back, I'll read them--unless he hands them off to one of his friends.

9. Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University by Francisco Jimenez
Jimenez has a gift for writing memoirs using clear, deceptively simple language.  His restraint and honesty make his tales of growing up in a migrant family that much more poignant.  Another book that is far more timely than it should be.

10.  Stand-Off by Andrew Smith
Honestly, I don't remember a whole bunch about Winger besides the setting and that I liked it, but I'm game to try the next book too.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sunday Post #15

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  It's "a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog."

Reading This Week:

Well, on the one hand, I've only read a handful of books this week, counting the one I read last Sunday after I got this post up.

On the other hand, I have five books listed as "Currently Reading," and I am actually making some progress on each and every one of them.  

I've been reading Neil Gaiman's essays in The View from the Cheap Seats one at a time with my breakfast.  I get a little reading in, and because it's not fiction, or any other extended narrative, I don't keep reading and wind up late to work.  It's a best-seller at my library, so I could only check it out for two weeks, but just now when I returned my copy, I was able to find another copy on the shelves, so I'll be leaving with that one.  

I got a good start on Leviathan by listening to the CD in the car during my commute.  I'm not 100% convinced I'm going to finish it.  It's good, but Steampunk has never been my genre.  Unless it's Phillip Pullman, I'm reading it mostly because it's in my classroom library, on the advice of a kid I taught last year.  My concern is that it's both lengthy and presumes a certain amount of world history understanding and/or willingness to not know what the hell is going on until you get acquainted with the world, which means my students are unlikely to pick it up.  

I found out about this app called Serial Reader from Lori's post at The Broke and the Bookish, and signed up to have chapters of The Jungle Book and A Study in Scarlet delivered to my phone daily.  Someone smarter than me--I suspect either AJ at Read All the Things! or Lory at Emerald City Book Review--pointed out that Gaiman's The Graveyard Book has deliberate parallels to The Jungle Book, and it made me want to re-read both of them.  And despite being a long-time fan of 19th century fiction AND mysteries, I have never read any Holmes.

Finally, I am also trying to get through more of my Chris Crutcher so I can push him on students.  (Well not HIM so much as his books.)  I grabbed Stotan! off my shelf and have been reading it in bits and pieces so far.

Enough about books I haven't finished yet.  The books I read were:

Which looks fairly impressive until you realize that's three graphic novels, a novella in verse, a book I listened to most of on CD, and only one "traditional" book.  

I liked them all, with various degrees of reservation.  I've linked to my Goodreads reviews if you want more.  I strongly suspect The Serpent King will stay with me a long time, and it kind of breaks my heart that Ghosts is culturally problematic, because its portrayal of family life is (as always with Raina's books) beautiful.  I also know it's going to be incredibly popular in my classroom, and am no more willing to keep it off my shelves because of cultural appropriation than I am to keep Eleanor & Park off my shelves because it has the c-word in the first chapter.  

Blogging this week:

A very respectable five posts went up this week.  I'm trying this thing where I spend Saturday afternoon at the library getting a bunch of posts written and scheduled for the upcoming week.  For those of you with blogging calendars and 30+ posts pre-written, this may be shocking, but for me it's the height of organization.  

For the Top Ten link-up this week, I wrote about ten satisfying read-aloud experiences that I've had.  I checked in quickly to announce that I'm going to be a round 2 judge for MG/YA Nonfiction in this year's CYBILS.  I also had Serious Thoughts--about communicating with authors at author events and online, and about the various ways writers can and do respond to the notion of #ownvoices in light of accusations of cultural appropriation and racism.

Oh, and the random photo dump I've taken to doing lately, even though I am so #notabookstagrammer.  

Life this week:

Pretty decent, thanks for asking!

Highlights include:
  • Buying extra donuts when I was getting donuts for my advisory class on Friday, and walking around before school giving surprise donuts to my colleagues.
  • A student bringing in her mom's Babysitter Club collection from the 1980s/90s.  Like, 40 yellowing paperbacks.  I am both horrified and delighted with this.
  • Similarly, my sister gave me my adult niece's collection of books from middle school, and she had no fewer than 18 Dianne Wynne Jones novels.  
  • A half hour power outage in the morning FREAKING MY STUDENTS THE FREAK OUT despite the fact that we were in a room with bright window light, writing in notebooks and reading books.  In other words, despite the fact that it had zero effect on their lives.  
  • Making waffles for dinner last night, supplemented by the bacon, strawberries, and whipped cream my husband decided to go pick up when I told him what I was going to make
OH MY GOD the guy sitting next to me at the computers in the library just asked me if my daughter is my grandchild.  Maybe I need to start wearing makeup in public or something.  So, that was more of a low-light.  

Silent Saturday #3

So many 9/11 books out right now!  I've only read 14 Cows, and want to read all the others.

These are actual events at my actual library.  Love.

I just returned 30 items (including another copy of the Gaiman) and picked up these, despite having two dozen things at home to read.  Loving books on CD during my commute, and feverishly trying to consume all things Schwab.