Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

I think this week’s topic is particularly interesting: Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

When I was thinking about which books to add to this list, these questions needed to be answered:

1. Hyped by who? I checked out favourites and 5 star books from various fellow book lovers’ blogs and Goodreads accounts. Some of these books keep cropping up again and again.  So I paid attention.

2. What kind of hype? I am not looking just for latest and greatest but for titles that speak to me. Personal recommendations are always my favourite kind of hype.

2. Never read and so . . . ? And so, do I plan to one day read these titles? Yes! I chose books that I want to one day read. There are some popular books out there that I would never want to read for various personal preference reasons. These ten titles here are books that will hopefully one day migrate from the land of To Read to the land of Read.

Listed alphabetically by author:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I had coffee with a friend a few weeks ago and she convinced me that this was a must read and then I saw Andrew Smith’s comment on the cover. And then I started hearing about this book everywhere.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

22 of my Goodreads friends rated this book 5/5. I love this author. Why haven’t I read this book? This question weighs so heavily that I just requested it from the public library.

Speak Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

I will admit to being a little bit of a chicken when it comes to paranormal stories. I am not sure if I have yet recovered from Libba Bray‘s The Diviners but I had a chance to hear Holly Black here in Vancouver and found her charming. I have read Doll Bones three times. Feeling brave enough to try this one. Having a beautifully signed copy makes this title all the more enticing.

the Darkest Part of the Forest Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

See that 25 year anniversary sticker? Makes it even more ridiculous that I haven’t yet read this book. This is the book I keep hearing favourite authors talk about as influential.

the house on mango street Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen 

Dessen is another YA author I have not read. My almost 13 year old daughter is moving fast and furious into the land of YA – I think I need to run out a little ahead of her and learn about some authors I have yet to pick up that she will likely be drawn to. Have seen lots of love for this title.

Saint Anything Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

This book has been read in my house in the long ago time when both my husband and I read novels to our children (now it is just me) and I missed it. It’s a book that I absolutely want to read. Because I am convinced that DiCamillo can do no wrong. So often I hear from DiCamillo fans that this is a favourite.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

So many reader choice awards. So many of my reading PLN rave about this book. And (ahem) I have not read any Gayle Forman titles. Admitting it is the first step to changing it, yes?

If I Stay Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Yes, Patrick Ness. And no, I haven’t read it. That must change.

The Knife of Never Letting Go Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

I have read and loved two titles by Quick – this one has the movie hype so I figure it is time to read it! I even own a copy.

The Silver Linings Playbook Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

When so many readers review this book and include words like crude, brilliant, horrifying, authentic, ridiculous, quirky, bizarre – often in the same review, you know this book is going to be a wild ride. There are many cautions “this book is not for everyone” – I have a strong feeling it will not be for me even though I have read three titles by Smith that I adore. But, I know I need to experience this book for myself.
Grasshopper Jungle
What “hyped” books do you keep thinking, “I haven’t read and really I should . . . ?”

Must Read Titles in 2014: Spring Update

must-read-in-2014-challenge

My #MustReadin2014 list has 30 titles on it. As of today, I have read 13 of these books. Since I have read 26 novels so far in 2014, half of my reading has been from my #MustRead list. Sometimes these titles lead me off to read the rest of the series (after Legend I read Prodigy and Champion within weeks) or a sequel (after Better Nate than Ever, I read Five, Six, Seven, Nate!)

Here are the books I’ve read and the rating I gave them on Goodreads.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell  (Read January 3rd, 2014) Rating: 5/5

Legend by Marie Lu  (Read January 7th, 2014) Rating: 4/5

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick  (Read January 11th, 2014) Rating: 5/5

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick (Read January 25th, 2014) Rating: 4/5

The Living by Matt de la Pena (Read January 31st, 2014) Rating: 4/5

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo  (Read February 15th, 2014) Rating: 5/5

Listening for Lucca by Suzanne Lafleur (Read February 23rd, 2014) Rating: 4/5

Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy (Read March 6th, 2014) Rating: 4/5

Every Day After by Laura Golden  (Read March 6th, 2014) Rating: 5/5

Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle (Read March 19th, 2014) Rating: 5/5

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech  (Read March 20th, 2014) Rating: 5/5

Allegiant by Veronica Roth  (Read March 23rd, 2014) Rating: 2/5

The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Read March 31st, 2014) Rating: 5/5

More details of my favourite 4 from this list:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

If you are no longer 18 years old, you might forget that fact while reading this book. All the vulnerability, fear, brutal soul searching and life lessons will come hurtling back at you as you experience the characters of Fangirl. Rainbow Rowell writes characters that are all about raw and true. Brilliant.

Fangirl #MustReadin2014 Spring Update There's a Book for That

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

I read this aloud to my children and we adored it. It is such a fantastic book to read aloud. We savoured the quirky, the hilarious and the eccentric. We smiled at the characters. We were lulled by the whimsy. And we were charmed by the brilliance of DiCamillo. 5 stars: all glowing and magical!

#MustReadin2014 Spring Update There's a Book for That

Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle

Add me to the long list of readers who has been utterly charmed by the character Nate Foster. I loved his small town inexperience. His candor. His charm. The fact that he talks about his parent’s marriage problems, personal problems and parenting problems. I love that he talks about not knowing who he might like in the future and that he hasn’t got a gender all picked out yet. I love his friendship with his best friend. And then there is his audition. Okay, I basically just loved all of it. And I continued to love him in the sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate! 

Better Nate than Ever #MustReadin2014 Spring Update There's a Book for That

The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen

I have had the pleasure of reading this entire trilogy to my children and this final book certainly did not disappoint. Adventure. Intrigue. Battles and Heroes. Everything a MG title needs to be fully engaging and engrossing! Highly recommend the entire trilogy if you haven’t read it yet.

 The Shadow Throne #MustReadin2014 Spring Update There's a Book for That

Some things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Matthew Quick is a must read author!
  • Dystopian series go downhill fast or remain exciting throughout. If on book 2 you have figured out which of these categories you are reading, remember this and either jump ship or keep reading.
  • There are so many Middle Grade titles to be excited about!
  • I am so glad I made this list because it has ensured that I have discovered some favourites!

How is your To Be Read list treating you?

If you have been participating in #MustReadin2014 and written an update post, please share using the #MustReadin2014 hashtag!

Want to know more about #MustReadin2014? Read here This post also includes links to all of the bloggers who wrote Must Read lists.

Monday January 27th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMWAYR

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

My favourite picture books (both fiction and nonfiction) reads of the week:

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Again, Sweet just slays me. Everything she does is vivid colours and spectacular details. This fascinating biography of artist Horace Pippin is an inspirational tale of an artist with everything stacked against him who makes art despite it all. Loved the back story of how Bryant and Sweet collaborated on the research to create this book.

A splash of red #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Invisible Boy written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Patrice Barton

This is such an important book with themes of exclusion, kindness and friendship. I shared what this book was like as a read aloud experience in my classroom in this post.

The Invisible Boy #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Dream Boats written by Dan Bar-el  and illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin

Lyrical text. Illustrations full of folklore, magic and dreams. Fall asleep and ride through dreams and history on a dream boat. A title that must be read, reread, examined and explored. It sails you through many legends and cultures around the world.

DreamBoats #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Lost Cat by C. Roger Mader

Come and see the world from the perspective of a little lost cat, left behind when her owner moved. I shared my students’ reviews here.

lost cat #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Very Brave Bear by Nick Bland

Bear and Buffalo square off in a battle of bravery. I am completely charmed by the silly antics revealed in the illustrations. Not sure how much of the text I even paid attention to – the pictures are hilarious!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Noisy Poems for a Busy Day written by Robert Heidbreder and illustrated by Lori Joy Smith

Busy, bustling poems perfect for the preschool set. Full of sounds, fun to say and lots of silly . . .

Twisty-Twiggle.

Jump-up jiggle.

Undies backward!

Wiggle-giggle.

Hee! Hee!

Noisy Poems #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Born to Be Giants: How Baby Dinosaurs Grew to Rule the World by Lita Judge 

I learned an incredible amount about dinosaurs in this nonfiction title and thoroughly enjoyed all of the details and comparisons to modern day creatures. Amazing illustrations.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I read some other fabulous nonfiction picture books which I shared in my Nonfiction Wednesday Post: Animal Stories

I also read:

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock written by Matthew Quick

A perfect book to sit down with when you don’t have to get up for hours. I found myself pulled quickly into the world of Leonard Peacock and not wanting to put the book down and abandon him for even a moment. Raw. Vulnerable. Hurting. What a character. This is the story of a teenage boy who begins his last day on Earth because by day’s end, he’s planning to be dead. How did he get to this place? He will tell you, unravelling details of his history and his pain. This was one of my #MustReadin2014 titles – the second Matthew Quick title I have read this month. Definitely YA.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I am reading The Living by Matt de la Pena and then plan to read Marie Lu‘s The Champion to finish the trilogy.

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 6/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 61/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 4/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 24/65 complete

Happy Reading to all!

Monday January 13th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMWAYR

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

First week back and my students were as excited as I was to be back together and share lots of reading time together. I shared highlights of our first week back in this post on our classroom blog. It’s worth a peek to read a poem two of my girls wrote called Girl Drama.

I found lots of picture books (both fiction and nonfiction) to treasure this week. Here are my favourites:

The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud

This book was first published in France and wasn’t available in the North American market until 2013. I love lots of things about this book – the gorgeous colours on the cover, the fact that it is big and tall and that inside, each page is a visual delight. If one wanted to skip the story and just flip through the pages, it’s possible just to get lost in the details on each page searching for Little Bear as Papa Bear chases him into the city. But the story is simple and sweet – Little Bear has been lured by a bee and is rewarded after grand adventures with a sweet treat and snuggles from his Papa.

Here is a link to this book featured on the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Maker’s Strike of 1909 written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

A fabulous story made even more spectacular by Melissa Sweet’s illustrations. This book tells the story of Clara Lemlich who was instrumental in the labour movement in the garment industry in the early 1900s. Introduces children to themes of work place safety, worker’s rights and individual strength and resolve. An inspirational story, this title is another book I would love to own for my picture book biography collection.

Brave girl #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Trouble Gum by Matthew Cordell

All about little siblings, mischief, and candy sneaking (in this case gum). Imagine chewing gum and little ones and you might be able to predict some of the “uh oh” happenings of this story. Lots of amusement and kid (in this case piglet) antics.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Maude The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton written by Lauren Child and illustrated by Trisha Krauss

I was surprised to find that this book was only written by Lauren Child, not illustrated by her as well. I think I might have preferred her signature style with this story. Still, this is an interesting exploration of a quieter daughter in a flamboyant, expressive family. Turns out her ability to just blend in and not stand out becomes a definite asset.

Maude #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Mole Had Everything by Jamison Odone

The message with this book is clear – having too much stuff just takes too much time and takes away from living life. Who wants that? Must admit I had a happy little smile when Mole prioritized and included in his “just enough” things one bookshelf for books. Because there is always room for books!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Henry’s Map by David Elliot

This book is absolutely adorable. It went right into my book bag for school as soon as I finished reading it as I must experience this as a read aloud! Henry the pig draws a map of the farm yard, carefully locating each structure and each animal. But when the animals all gather around Henry to admire his work and then look out to the farm, all of the animals detailed on the map seem to be missing! They all race back to the farm to investigate. Silly and clever, a wonderful book to inspire mapping your community.

Henry's Map #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws by Ingo Arndt

I book talked this title early in the week and have watched it make its rounds around the classroom. My students have loved sharing this during buddy reading and marvelling at the various interesting animal feet that different animals use to walk, climb, dig, paddle, etc.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

This is our House by Hyewon Yum

A house holds so many memories when multiple generations are raised beneath its roof. Tells many stories – immigration, raising children, different stages of life, sharing a home across generations. Would love to share this story with my students and see what kinds of conversations are sparked – either of living with grandparents or of missing them because they don’t live here in Canada.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished three novels (all of them YA), the first two from my #MustReadin2014 list

Legend by Marie Lu

In the last few months I have been reading many dystopian trilogies and kept seeing this title (and the next two in the trilogy) by Marie Lu receiving high praise on various #IMWAYR posts. After reading this first book, I can understand the enthusiastic reviews. Full of drama, action, intrigue and compelling characters, I was hooked within pages.

Legend #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

Wow. What a story concept. There are themes that one might encounter in many YA novels – friendship, romantic relationships, searching for a way out of a town and a way into a better future. But this book is also rich with strong characters, upsetting secrets and the trauma of grief. Highly recommended.

Boy 21 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller 

This was one of those books I found myself finishing in one long late afternoon into evening reading sessions. Another title that had come highly recommended via the #IMWAYR community. Callie was kidnapped by her mother at age five, has never been to school except for a brief stint in Kindergarten and has never had security or routines. Suddenly at seventeen, she is swept back into a full and busy Greek family who has missed her desperately and wants to make a place for her. But never having had friends, anyone to be accountable to or the belief in herself that she matters, Callie’s learning/adjustment curve is steep. Very engaging YA drama.

where the stars still shine #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I’ve started Prodigy by Marie Lu and then plan to read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick and The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour Lots of reading – yes! But nothing is a better cure for a miserable, rainy January than great books!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 4/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 27/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 3/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 6/65 complete

Happy Reading everyone!