Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I am back on Net Galley.  I finally figured out that all I had to do so I could download books from NetGalley and the NYPL reinstall Adobe Digital Editions.   That shouldn't have taken so long to figure out!   So now I can feed my reader - just in time for summer reading!

So here is my first summer reading log and book report.  After all, if we ask the kids to do it, shouldn't we teachers and librarians log our summer reading as well?

Stroud, Jonathan.   The Screaming Stair.  Book one of the Lockwood and Co. series.  (Due out 9/17/2013)
     What a great book for starting the summer!  This was a review copy.  A gift from the good people that arranged the school librarian's dinner at the BEA conference.  Jonathan Stroud also spoke at the dinner.  (This was an excellent evening out!) The Screaming Stair is just exciting enough to be fun to read but soothingly predictable enough that I could trust that no character I cared about would really die.  Set in a distopian version of London where most activity ceases after dark because hostile visitors (aka ghosts) threaten life and sanity.  Only children can fight these horrors, so young people like the protagonists Lucy Doyle who joins Anthony Lockwood in his ghost eradication company go out at night equipped with tools such as iron chains and filings, flares and silver nets to catch and conquer the ghosts.  A fun book.  Not life changing but readable and entertaining.  I will definitely purchase this for my library.  I know some 4th and 5th grade students who will devour it.

Rupp, Rebecca.  After Eli.  (2012)
Having been on vacation for a few days I was ready for my first good cry.  Danny was eleven when his big brother Eli was killed by a roadside IID in Iraq.  His family has never come to grips with their loss, Eli's room is a shrine, and Danny, feeling invisible and knowing he will never replace his brother has been writing obsessively about how people die.  This short book will make you think about the families around you.

Hills, Tad. Rocket Writes a Story.  (2012)  Awww.  I will get this for my library.  Sometimes an author wannabe needs a little encouragement.

I read this out loud to my husband as we drove up to Saratoga on the first day of summer vacation.  My vacation, not his.  In all of the wonderful places I go every year to read, write, and think, he is working.  Saratoga is for the Opera at Saratoga festival which started the week before school was out.  He used his precious day off to come and get me!  Thank you!

Barnard, Bryn.  Outbreak: Plagues that changed history.  (2005) My first nonfiction reading.  This was from NYPL.  This nonfiction book about how microbes includes chapters about Bubonic Plague, smallpox, yellow fever, cholera, tuberculosis, and influenza.  It changed my understanding of parts of history and the spread of disease and made me think about the intersection of politics, health, and our survival as a species.  Universal healthcare isn't just a safety net for those who can't afford! Note to self: get a flu shot next year...

Chevat, Richie.  The Omnivore's Delimna: The secrets behind what you eat.  (2009)  Another ebook from NYPL.  This is the youth version of the much-discussed book by Michael Pollan.  It is not outdated.  Many of the companies Chevat / Pollan visits and discusses are still the major players in their particular food chains.  The narrative centers around four meals; one (MacDonalds) meal from the industrial food chain, one organic, on locally sustainable, and one hunted and gathered.   The information I learned from this book is still being echoed in the daily papers.  I will definitely think carefully about where my chicken and eggs come from.

Snowe, Olivia.  Cassie and the Wolf.  From Capstone's  Twice Told Tales series.  (2014)  This electronic review copy was from NetGalley.  The copyright date made me catch my breath.  Quick and enjoyable, this is a really good example of a riff on a fairy tale theme.  I really liked that the wolfish thief is more engaging and sympathetic than the equally wolfish Little Red and Granny.  Granny can certainly take care of herself!  I will probably order the series from Captsone.  I hope it will inspire many young authors, and make other readers think about the inner meaning of the original stories.


As you can see I am stiving to balance my reading between fiction and nonfiction.  I will try to get in a good biography and perhaps some poetry before the summer is over.  This is what is on my "shelf" for this week.

2 fun books from my Netgalley subscription:  Witch Twins by Adele Griffin and Mousemobile by Prudence Breitnose.  A paper review copy of Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper.  This looks like a blend of  magic and historical fiction with Native American themes.  It is due out at the end of August.

I want to read as my "big" (aka adult) book for the summer Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant.  I read a review in the NYT last Sunday and I can't wait to read more about the Borgia's who may not be the unrepentant criminals we have imagined.  It is due out next week, so I will buy it for my Nook when I return from Alaska.  While I am traveling I will try to finish my big (adult) book that I began this Spring.  Why Geography Matters More Than Ever by Harm J. De Blij.  I feel that having read most of this I understand a lot more about what climate change really means.  However my own wobbly geography skills made this a hard slow read especially in the sections about terrorism.  It is frightening that decisions are made sometimes at the highest levels by people whose grasp of the world situation isn't that much stronger than mine.  I will also keep dipping into the essays, poems, and stories in the Beautiful Anthology edited by Elizabeth Collins.  The Beautiful Anthology is also an adult book. If you are a grown woman and are looking for something wonderful and thought provoking to dip into, this is the the book for you.

I will keep on reading and will check in every few weeks to say how it is going.  I plan to seek out some good children's poetry and biographies to add to my list.  I haven't read a poetry novel in at least a year, so that may be a plan. At the end of the summer I will have a reading log.  Even if I never show it to anyone at least I can say when I collect reading logs from the students in my school "I don't ask you to do anything that I wouldn't do myself."

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