Thursday, December 2, 2010

17 down, 33 to go!

26.  Read 50 books or more. 

Here is the list of the books I covered in November.  A lot of kidlit this month!
Lunch Money

12.      Lunch Money by Andrew Clements  I love everything I have read by Andrew Clements.  He is a great author for "read aloud" and my whole family enjoyed reading this together - we even got John to read it with us.  I can't recommend his books enough, so if you aren't a Clements reader be sure to pick this one up - or may I recommend you start with Frindle?  Frindle was so good I sent it to my high school English teacher, Ms. Jones.  She loved it too, by the way.  :)
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel

13.      The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender  I have no idea why this book got all the press it did this summer.  Every magazine I read had a review on the book.  It made it sound so *delicious* - pun intended.  It was not.  I kept waiting to get to the point, or figure out the point, or be convinced there even was a point - but I was left empty.  Next, I passed it over to my mom.  We have a deal where we won't say a word on a book until the other one reads it.  When she finished, she was speechless, the same as me.  Great premise, but that is it.  I think Bender was going for Time Travelers Wife meets Julie & Julia.  It didn't work, and I am sorry to say that I wish I hadn't wasted the time it took to endure it. 

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

14.      The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo  Thrill of thrills!  Thanks to my children's elementary school, I got to chaperone a field trip to hear Kate DiCamillo speak.  I think I was even more excited than the children!  She was amazing, and I can honestly say I am even a bigger fan than I was before.  Sometimes seeing people in person can be a turn off to their work, but DiCamillo was spectacular with the children.  She was humble and insightful and I am grateful I was able to attend.  I had just finished Edward Tulane on the insistence of both children.  It is a sweet little book with a "Toy Story" edge.  I really enjoyed it.

Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn (The Kingdom Keepers)

15.      The Kingdom Keepers II:  Disney before Dawn by Ridley Pearson  Speaking of seeing authors in person, I took my kids and two of their friends to the Decatur Book Festival this year and we had a chance to hear Ridley Pearson on the children's stage.  He was so much fun, and so animated.  He was a big hit with the crowd.  He talked all about the opportunity he had to work with Disney World in writing these books.  He had incredible access to the backstage world of Disney.  I read the first one with my kids last year, and after hearing Pearson we wanted to definitely read the second one.  Now we're ready for the third.  He signed our first book copy, which is always very cool.  My son asked him for advice for a young author.  His answer?  "Read every day.  Read a lot!"  We started this book before we left on our now famous Disney trip in October.  It took us awhile to finish with busy schedules, but we did.

The Tail of Emily Windsnap
16.      The Tale of Emily Winsnap by Liz Kessler  Bailey begged me to read this one, as she loves this series.  It was cute, sort of a watered down girls' version of the Percy Jackson series.  I can see the appeal, but I'm not dying to read the next one, despite my love for kidlit. 

Hawaii: A Novel

17.      Hawaii by James Michener  My mom bought this one for me for my birthday back in September.  John and I had gone to Hawaii this year for the first time, and I've been very interested in doing some additional reading.  This book is an epic, a tome that even in paperback with teensy print is intimidating.  I read it for days and felt like I'd only made it to page 15.  Despite that I am not yet 40, my eyes are struggling to read small font - a real frustration!  Anyway, it took a bit to get into the flow of the story.  Moma says anything else you read by Michener is just the same, with only changed names and places.  So, I think Hawaii was quite enough for me. 

Happy Reading!  Can't wait to share what I am going through in December!


  1. Brandi,
    Gene and I want to recommend to you all the books by Edmond Rutherford. They are all historical novels and all so beautifully immerse in history the the fiction keeps you spell bound. His first was Serum which is unbelievably great reading, and we have also read London, The Princes of Ireland, The Rebels of Ireland, and New York. They are very long but hold your attention to the end.

  2. Andrew had to read Lunch Money for school at the beginning of the year. Cori LOVES Kingdom Keepers. If you haven't read them Cori, my 13 year old daughter, raves about the Hunger Games series and the Percy Jackson books. Rick Ridordian has another series set in Egypt, then another in the Percy series - the Lost Hero- Roman mythology.

  3. Jeanne - thank you so much - I've never heard of Rutherford. I immediately went on Amazon and put a few on my wish list. Thank you so much for the recommendation! These all look very good - it was hard to choose one to start! :) Hope you and Dr. Gene are doing well. Merry Christmas to you all!

    Connie, We are crazy over Percy Jackson - reading the 4th one now. Those are all really fun books. I have heard about Hunger Games and have wondered about it, but haven't picked one up yet. I'll have to add that one to my list too. As soon as we finish PJ, we'll read more by Ridordian - really love his stuff so far! Happy holidays to your family! We'll turn around and it will be time for camp again!