Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Month in Review: January '12

Today brings us to the end of Sci-Fi January! I reviewed the 2176 series, which is a science fiction romance five-part series written by four different authors, throughout the month. If you like this sort of book, you should also give Gini Koch a try. For romantic science fiction (more sci-fi than romance), try Linnea Sinclair. Some great YA sci-fi authors are Beth Revis, Anna Sheehan, and Amy Kathleen Ryan. And for a blast from the past, follow along as I review one book from the Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate every Friday!

Books read 13
Pages read 709

Genre breakdown

Titles read
  1. JESSICA RULES THE DARK SIDE by Beth Fantaskey
  3. THE SANDWICH SWAP by Queen Rania Al-Abdullah
  4. THE SHOW-AND-TELL LION by Barbara Abercrombie
  5. I KNOW A PLACE by Karen Ackerman
  6. SONG AND DANCE MAN by Karen Ackerman
  7. THE LONELY PHONE BOOTH by Peter Ackerman
  9. THE GOLD COIN by Alma Flor Ada
  10. WITH LOVE, LITTLE RED HEN by Alma Flor Ada
  12. ELFANGOR'S JOURNEY by K.A. Applegate
  13. BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood

  1. ARC: A Million Suns by Beth Revis
  2. The Legend of Banzai Maguire by Susan Grant
  3. ARC: Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
  4. Picture Book Roundup (1)
  5. Day of Fire by Kathleen Nance
  6. Elfangor's Journey by K.A. Applegate
  7. ARC: Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
  8. The Shadow Runners by Liz Maverick
  9. ARC: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
  10. The Power of Two by Patti O'Shea
  11. Alloran's Choice by K.A. Applegate
  12. The Scarlet Empress by Susan Grant
  13. ARC: Fracture by Megan Miranda
  14. ARC: Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
  15. ARC: Everneath by Brodi Ashton
  16. An Alien Dies by K.A. Applegate
  17. ARC: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
  18. ARC: Fever by Lauren DeStefano
  19. The Legend of Michigan by Trinka Hakes Noble
  20. The Invasion by K.A. Applegate
  21. ARC: Pure by Julianna Baggott
  22. ARC: Partials by Dan Wells

Other posts
MWIB 63 64 65 66 67
Movie Recap

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 ALA YMA Winners!

Alex Awards
Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin
In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston
The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Marulo

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award

Mildred L. Batchelder Award
Winner: Soldier Bear by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman, translated by Laura Watkinson
Honor: The Lily Pond by Annika Thor, translated by Linda Schenck

Pura Belpre Award
Text Winner: Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Illustration Winner: Diego Rivers: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh
Illustration Honors: The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Rafael Lopez, Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios

Randolph Caldecott Medal
Winner: A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
Honors: Blackout by John Rocco, Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, Me… Jane by Patrick McDonnell

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video
Children Make Terrible Pets (based on this book)

Margaret A. Edwards Award

Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults  

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
Winner: Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider
Honors: I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems, I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, See Me Run by Paul Meisel

Coretta Scott King Book Awards  
Illustrator Winner: Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom by Shane W. Evans
Author Honor: The Great Migration: Journey to the North by Eloise Greenfield, Never Forgotten by Patricia C. McKissack

Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

William C. Morris Debut YA Award
Winner: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Finalists: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard, Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

John Newbery Medal  
Winner: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Honors: Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin

Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production  
Winner: Rotters by Daniel Kraus
Honors: Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri, Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt

Michael L. Printz Award
Winner: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Honors: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, The Returning by Christine Hinwood, Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Schneider Family Book Award  
Children’s: No selection
Middle Grade: Close to Famous by Joan Bauer, Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Teen: The Running Dream by Wendelin van Draanen

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal  

Stonewall Book Awards  
Winner: Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil WRight
Honors: A + E 4ever by Ilike Merey, Money Boy by Paul Yee, Pink by Lili Wilkinson, With or Without You by Brian Farrey

Digging myself out of a reading slump

Hello, lovely blog readers!

I am digging myself out of another reading slump. I'm pretty sure that this slump is a reaction to last year's book a day challenge - I'm just plain sick of reading so much! However, in the last week and a half I've only read one book, and I'm really hoping to get back into the swing of things. I had been planning on reading some YA books this week, but that seems to be another problem - I need a change of pace in my reading. So, I am switching gears to adult books. I love SFR - science fiction romance - so hopefully I will be able to get some reviews up soon! I just read Moonstruck by Susan Grant and currently have Alien Proliferation by Gini Koch, Canyons of the Night by Jayne Castle, and Dark Taste of Rapture by Gena Showalter on my nightstand.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Picture Book Roundup (3)

Here are the titles I've read in the last week (with links to GR).

The Return of Freddy LeGrand by Jon Agee
Freddy's plane crashes, he's saved by farmers, he builds a new plane, he crashes again, and he's saved by the farmers in his first plane. Blah.

To the Island by Charlotte Agell
vacation, rhyming, animal narrators
The pictures were dull, and there is so little text that it's like an early reader book for beginning picture book readers. Not recommended.

Dancing Feet by Charlotte Agell
multicultural, acceptance
This book had the same issues as the Agell book listed above. Not recommended.

Don't Call Me Pruneface! by Janet Reed Ahearn
friendship, new neighbors
This was cute! Paul gets a new neighbor and just can't make himself like her, but his grandma makes him wait a week to decide how he feels about her. A lot can change in just one week! Cute book!

A Bit More Bert by Allan Ahlberg
pets, dogs, parents
For an FSG book, this was surprisingly simplistic. Didn't love it.

The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg
So cute! This little pencil keeps creating its own little world . . . until he draws an eraser. Uh oh!

Previously by Allan Ahlberg
fairy tales (in reverse!)
I loved this book! It tells the fairy tales in reverse! It starts with the various characters' happily ever afters and tells how they got to that point . . . previously. So fricking cute.

The Runaway Dinner by Allan Ahlberg
I had high hopes for this book, but it didn't quite add up. Kids will probably like it; however, it was a little too gimmicky for my tastes.

The Shopping Expedition by Allan Ahlberg
adventure, parents, pets, dogs
This was a cute, cute book! Kids will like it more than adults will, especially after 50 rereads, but I liked the exaggeration aspect of the story. Recommended.

The Snail House by Allan Ahlberg
grandparents, fantasy
Not as cute as I'd hoped, although I didn't have high hopes for the illustrations from the get go.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Week in Books (65)

Credit for IMM goes to The Story Siren

Books received for review


Books bought

Pre-order arrivals


The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
Jessica's Guide to Ruling the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz
A Million Suns by Beth Revis

What I read this week

Fox Tale I Can Do It Myself! Black is Brown is Tan Daring Dog and Captain Cat

Black Belt Librarians by Warren Graham
Fracture by Megan Miranda
Fox Tale by Yossi Abolafia
I Can Do It Myself! by Diane Adams
Black is Brown is Tan by Arnold Adoff
Daring Dog and Captain Cat by Arnold Adoff

Dmitri the Astronaut The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau Milo's Hat Trick Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog My Rhinoceros The Retired Kid

Dmitri: The Astronaut by Jon Agee
The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee
Milo's Hat Trick by Jon Agee
Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog by Jon Agee
My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee
The Retired Kid by Jon Agee

Terrific (New York Times Best Illustrated Books (Awards))

Terrific by Jon Agee

Books I started but haven't finished (yet!)



Alloran's Choice by K.A. Applegate
Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
An Alien Dies by K.A. Applegate
The Legend of Michigan by Trinka Hakes Noble
Pure by Julianna Baggott
Partials by Dan Wells

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Picture Book Roundup (2)

Here are the titles I've read in the last week (with links to Good Reads).

Fox Tale
by Yossi Abolafia
fables, animal narrators, Israeli authors
This was really cute! In most fables, the injured party never gets revenge, but Bear goes all out to teach Fox a lesson.

Easter, Valentine's Day, animal narrators
I thought these would be cute, but they just didn't do anything for me. They were kind of hokey, and the illustrations were very dated.

A Woggle of Witches by Adrienne Adams
witches, Halloween
These illustrations are very dark and dated, but the story itself is fairly cute. The witches are scared by trick-or-treaters!

I Can Do It Myself! by Diane Adams
independence, daily routine, heavy repetition
I liked this book. The main character is very independent, but eventually she learns that just because she can do things herself doesn't mean she has to! Very cute.

The Three Little Witches Storybook by Georgie Adams & Emily Bolam
witches, Halloween, school, magic
This was in the "easy book" section of my library, but it's almost 100 pages and has a huge amount of text. Needless to say, it wasn't quite the format I was expecting . . . but the story itself is quite cute for elementary level readers!

Lucky Jake by Sharon Hart Addy
Western, Gold Rush, historical fiction, unconventional pets, farm animals, minor repetition
I was not impressed with the cover of this book, but it's actually quite a cute story! One thing leads to the next, but it all starts with a pig named dog . . . :)

Ordinary Oscar by Laura Adkins
animal narrators, standing out, conformity, fairy tales, shiny
Super cute! Oscar wants to be an extraordinary snail, but it turns out that standing out is not all it's cracked up to be. Also, there are some shiny pages. Awesome.

A Little at a Time by David A. Adler
grandparents, heavy repetition
This one's a little boring. You know how stories that grandparents tell can take forever to get out? Yeah, that's this book.

It's Time to Sleep by David A. Adler
bedtime, heavy repetition, seasons
I have trouble with books with such heavy repetition, but this could definitely be a good option for other readers.

Mama Played Baseball by David A. Adler
historical fiction, World War II, sports, baseball, girl power, war and soldiers
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The girl's mother joins a women's baseball league after her father goes to war. I really want to buy this one for myself!

Black is Brown is Tan by Arnold Adoff
multicultural, interracial, acceptance, weird sentence structure
This was even better than I thought it would be. I was worried about the book's appropriateness because of its age, but it is definitely still relevant today. I would not be surprised if this was one of the first children's books to address interracial families (although I don't actually have anything to back that up). This is a great book!

Daring Dog and Captain Cat by Arnold Adoff
pets, animal narrators, imagination, nighttime, weird sentence structure
This was not my favorite. It just felt rather . . . uninspired. Also kind of boring.

Dmitri: The Astronaut by Jon Agee
space, astronauts, aliens
This was weird, but still pretty cute. Dmitri has spent the last two years on the moon, and no one remembers him when he comes back. Dmitri doesn't know what to do, but it turns out that he's not the only one who took that shuttle back to Earth!

The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee
art, animals, France
I didn't have high hopes for this one going in, but it was actually pretty good! Felix Clousseau becomes known for his "realistic" paintings of animals . . . except they're a little more realistic than his buyers realize! Favorite scene: "A wealthy baronness owned a Clousseau painting called The Sleeping Boa Constrictor. One night, it awoke." Hehe.

Milo's Hat Trick by Jon Agee
magic, animals
This book was interesting in theory but didn't quite work in practice. I think it was the illustrations in this case, because the story itself was cute.

Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog by Jon Agee
animals, weird names
So cute!!! Agee walks us through Mr. Putney's odd menagerie of animal friends, and they all have funny names that relate to the pictures. Love it!

My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee
animals, unconventional pets
This one's pretty cute, although definitely a little on the light side in terms of text. (I wish there had been a little more on some of the pages.) A boy gets a rhinoceros as a pet, but it just won't do anything! He tries everything, but the rhinoceros stays the same.

The Retired Kid by Jon Agee
humor, retirement, Florida
This was so funny! A kid decides that he's had enough of being a kid, so he moves to a retirement community in Florida. Love it!

Terrific by Jon Agee
set on the ocean, animals, optimism, pessimism
This one was a little lackluster, but it has an interesting storyline and main character. The ending was cute.

Bout of Books 3.0: Day 3

Bout of Books

9:45 AM

I'm working funky hours today, and I have a few things to do before then, so I probably won't be reading anything other than pictures again today. We'll see what happens!

# books read: 12
# pages read: 614
Titles: Fracture by Megan Miranda, Fox Tale by Yossi Abolafia, I Can Do It Myself! by Diane Adams, Black is Brown is Tan by Arnold Adoff, Daring Dog and Captain Cat by Arnold Adoff, Dmitri: The Astronaut by Jon Agee, The Incredible Painting of Felix Closseau by Jon Agee, Milo's Hat Trick by Jon Agee, Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog by Jon Agee, My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee, The Retired Kid by Jon Agee, Terrific by Jon Agee

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bout of Books 3.0: Day 2

Bout of Books

8:00 AM

I was up reading pretty late last night. So long, sleep! But I did finish Fracture by Megan Miranda.

# books read: 1
# pages read: 262
Titles: Fracture by Megan Miranda

11:30 PM

Well, I meant to read an actual book, but I read the picture books that I picked up from the library instead. I'm trying to read about 20 per week (10 per day that I work at TPL). That usually adds up to a decent number of pages!

# books read: 12
# pages read: 614
Titles: Fracture by Megan Miranda, Fox Tale by Yossi Abolafia, I Can Do It Myself! by Diane Adams, Black is Brown is Tan by Arnold Adoff, Daring Dog and Captain Cat by Arnold Adoff, Dmitri: The Astronaut by Jon Agee, The Incredible Painting of Felix Closseau by Jon Agee, Milo's Hat Trick by Jon Agee, Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog by Jon Agee, My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee, The Retired Kid by Jon Agee, Terrific by Jon Agee

Monday, January 09, 2012

Bout of Books 3.0: Day 1

Bout of Books

Okay . . . I wasn't going to sign up for this read-a-thon, but clearly I need to kick my butt in gear. I've read a ton of picture books so far this year, but only five "grown-up" books! That's totally lame! (Also, totally boyfriend's fault - we both recently became obsessed with How I Met Your Mother, but he wants to watch it all the time!)

My Starting Line

Read-a-Thon Goals: At least one book per day, not counting picture books.

Books to Knock Out: The next seven books on my review list are: Alloran's Choice by K.A. Applegate, Fracture by Megan Miranda, Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton, Everneath by Brodi Ashton, An Alien Dies by K.A. Applegate, and The Legend of Michigan by Trinka Hakes Noble. (Michigan's 175th anniversary is on January 26th!)

Updates: Day 1

9:00 AM

I'm headed off to work right now - will start reading when I come home!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

My Week in Books (64)

Credit for IMM goes to The Story Siren


Books bought

Pre-order arrivals

Bloodrose (Nightshade, #3) Under the Never Sky

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (not pictured)
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

What I read this week

Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2) Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale The Sandwich Swap The Show-and-Tell Lion

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Bringing Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania Al Abdullah
The Show-and-Tell Lion by Barbara Abercrombie

I Know a Place Song and Dance Man The Lonely Phonebooth Extra! Extra!: Fairy-Tale News from Hidden Forest Gold Coin, The

I Know a Place by Karen Ackerman
Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman
The Lonely Phone Booth by Peter Ackerman
Extra! Extra! Fairy Tale News from Hidden Forest by Alma Flor Ada
The Gold Coin by Alma Flor Ada

With Love, Little Red Hen Clarence Goes Out West and Meets a Purple Horse The Andalite Chronicles (Animorphs) The Great Valentine's Day Balloon Race The Easter Egg Artists

With Love, Little Red Hen by Alma Flor Ada
Clarence Goes Out West and Meets a Purple Horse by Jean Ekman Adams
Elfangor's Journey by K.A. Applegate
The Great Valentine's Day Balloon Race by Adrienne Adams
The Easter Egg Artists by Adrienne Adams

A Woggle of Witches The Three Little Witches Storybook LUCKY JAKE Ordinary Oscar A Little at a Time 

A Woggle of Witches by Adrienne Adams
The Three Little Witches Storybook by Georgie Adams & Emily Bolam
Lucky Jake by Sharon Hart Addy
Ordinary Oscar by Laura Adkins
A Little at a Time by David A. Adler

It's Time to Sleep, It's Time to Dream Mama Played Baseball Animal Instincts

It's Time to Sleep, It's Time to Dream by David A. Adler
Mama Played Baseball by David A. Adler
Animal Instincts by Gena Showalter

Books I started but haven't finished (yet!)

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood