Monday December 31st, 2012

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Ring in the new year with books! Link up with Jen and Kellee and participate in this weekly meme that celebrates reading (from picture books to young adult titles).

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Of course the best thing about the holidays for a book lover is . . . books and the time to read them! I enjoyed lots of late night page turning and even better, early morning caffeine fuelled reading marathons while the rest of the house slept.

This week I will start with the novels I completed:

I finished Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein just in time to name it one of my 12 favourites of 2012. I am so reluctant to write anything about this book for fear of giving anything away. It’s a story of storytellers and oh, what stories. . . Stories that shock, that crush you in one moment and fill you with hope in another, stories about friendship that will make you rethink what it means to be a friend. An amazing read. If you haven’t read it yet, put it to the top of your must read list.

codenameverity12 for 12

Words that Start with B by Vikki VanSickle This book was passed to me by the Teacher Librarian at my children’s school who happens to have an amazing blog (check it out for a variety of great book recommendations/many Canadian titles) I tried to capture my thoughts about this book and inspired by VanSickle, started them with B . . .

Best friends that make one smile just to know that friends like that matter
Bullies and some bystanders that in the end, don’t stand by
Bumps of the health and growing up kind that are so well handled
Believable characters that could just as well live down the road or around the corner

I am now on the lookout for the next title in this eventual trilogy.

wordsthatstartwithb

Divergent by Veronica Roth So I was ready for this book to be fast paced and carved out a good chunk of reading time so that I didn’t really need to put it down for long. It certainly was an adventure. I liked it. I fell right in to the world Roth delivers. I’m sure I will go on to read Insurgent. There are certainly characters I want to follow. It filled my dystopian craving (haven’t read a dystopian title lately) But . . . it’s a few days later and . . . it’s not totally sticking with me. I wrote on my Goodreads review that I felt like I was reading a movie and that is still how it feels. Much of it just did not go deep enough for me. I found the reviews on this book really extreme. People loved it or really didn’t and I can kind of see why.

divergent

The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats Fantastic historical fiction in a time and a place I knew little of – Wales in the late 1200s. Two girls with very different lives yet who share much of the same day to day experiences while Gwenhwyfar works in Cecily’s home. Narrated in turn by these two characters with very distinct voices and struggles. Gripping. Brace yourself for the end. Highly recommended.

The Wicked and the Just

Picture Books:

It seems I have a thing for books with bears or there are so many books out there that feature bears in starring roles that I just cannot help coming across them . . . Not sure. What do people think? Regardless, again I found some lovely books with bears!

Leaves by David Ezra Stein This is a wonderful book that reminds us how amazing nature is as it takes us through the changing seasons from the perspective of a young bear who marvels and worries over the falling leaves.

leaves

Little Bear’s Little Boat written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter I have been on the lookout for some more board books ideal for sharing when our kindergarten reading buddies come to read with us each week. This title is so sweet with themes of growing up, being kind and accepting change.

books_Little_Bears_Little_Boat-pict

Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland Saving the forest one hug and one tree at a time. You’ve got to meet this bear.

big-bear-hug

Then I went on a bit of an Elephant and Piggie reading spree. Mo Willems can do no wrong. I read Should I share my ice cream?, Listen to my Trumpet, Elephants Cannot Dance and I Broke my Trunk. All wonderful. No wonder these are consistent favourites in my class always!

I loved this title in particular – as always it is an ode to friendship but I love also how it exposed the anxiety of indecision. And melting ice cream just can’t wait . . .

should-I-share-my-ice-cream

My children and I read many of our favourite holiday picture books leading up to Christmas. A new one for us this year?

A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Olivier Dunrea We loved how Pyn decorated her tree with found objects from nature and how the finding and setting up the tree linked the little girl and her father even in their sadness of a missing Mama.

christmas-tree-for-pyn

A beautiful non-fiction title my family enjoyed was Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin A simply gorgeous book detailing the birth of the Galapagos islands over millions of years and the fascinating creatures that inhabit them. This is a book we will return to often to further study the illustrations and explanations.

ISLAND-cover-web

May your 2013 be full of happiness, health and many books 🙂

My favourite twelve titles of 2012 are shared here.

12 thoughts on “Monday December 31st, 2012

  1. I loved being able to read (and blog) more this week also. I have been avoiding Divergent because I know I will get hooked and need to read them all. Have you read MORE BEARS? Happy New Year Carrie!

  2. I love your list this week! Code Name Verity intrigues me and I keep hearing about Island. One of my daughters has been into the Insurgent and Convergent books and she doesnt come up for air when shes reading them. Your comments about them make me a little less interested. You read SO much over the weekend. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I will need to take much time to read all your past posts, too, Carrie. You’ve read so much & I thank you for telling about them all. Much to put on some lists here. I have read Leaves & the Roth books-liked them both. Happy New Year!

    • Oh I hear you – my want to read list grows much more quickly than the list of books I finish. Code Name Verity is an intense read – I’m glad I read it over the holiday when I could really have time to focus on it.

  4. Carrie, I just got CODE NAME VERITY so I am anxious to read it. Also, I have INSURGENT in my piles. Your great review of DIVERGENT makes me want to read it now.
    I loved ISLAND, too.
    Thanks for the picture book titles and for sharing your reading with us!

  5. Hi there Carrie dearest. I have decided to push through with my Oliver Jeffers special and know that you have inspired me to do that one. I’ve been meaning to get to Jason Chin’s “Island: A Story of the Galapagos” for the longest time now, hopefully I get to read it this January. Leaves also looks beautiful as well as “The Wicked and the Just” – you’ve done so much reading! I envy you! 🙂

    • Hi Myra! It has been so lovely to do all of this reading this week! Pure luxury. I think you will love Island. I want to read his other titles now. I love books that are written in an information storybook genre. Is your Oliver Jeffers special complete? Can’t wait to read it! His books are so fantastic. And yes, The Wicked and the Just was such an interesting read from a time I really knew nothing about. Wanting to read more historical fiction this year.

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