Tuesday, December 30, 2008

58 books in 2008

I read 58 books for grown ups this year.

My favorite books of 2008 are...

When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin

Blue Heart Blessed by Susan Meissner

Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark

The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter

The Healer's Heart by Diane M. Komp

A Minute before Friday by Jo Kadlecek

Revelations of a Single Woman by Connally Gilliam

Flabbergasted by Ray Blackston

French by Heart by Rebecca S. Ramsey

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

This is the second time I read Revelations of a Single Woman and I have read Flabbergasted at least twice already... What are some great books that you read this year?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

random list

10 things that I have done in my life that I would probably do again (well maybe not #7).

1. Chaperone teenagers on a trip overseas (to Jamaica)
2. Been to a Buddhist monastery in Mongolia (with my sister)
3. Driven halfway across the country alone (Minnesota to California and back several times)
4. Travelled overseas alone (to England)
5. Read more than 70 books (for adults) in one year
6. Learned how to quilt
7. Made a bridesmaid dress and wore it (for my brother's wedding)
8. Walked on the Great Wall of China (with my sister)
9. Started a book club
10. Read through the entire Bible

What about you?

Friday, December 26, 2008


I have been light on the reading lately...it is due to the making of Christmas presents. But I did finish a book for adults...Dewey by Vicki Myron. It is the story of a kitten that is dropped in a book drop in Spencer, Iowa. Dewey ended up living at the Spencer Library for over fifteen years, and it tells about his life. It also tells the story of a relatively small town, and about Vicki, the librarian that became his primary caregiver. The book piqued my interest because it was about a library having a cat, which I had never heard of. If you like libraries, work in a library, or love cats, this is a story worth reading. I am not a cat person, so I was not interested in some of the story details. Anyone else read this? I saw it at Wal-mart and had to wait a couple of weeks to get it because it has a waiting list at the library.

Monday, December 22, 2008

three more

Marvin's Best Christmas Present Ever by Katherine Paterson is a book I picked up to read to my students. I like it because it is an I Can Read Book and the story has enough surprises in it to make the students pay attention. I will be looking for more books about Marvin.
N is for Navidad by Susan Middleton Elya and Merry Banks and illustrated by Joe Cepeda is a fun alphabet book. My English language learners enjoy it because each letter of the alphabet stands for a Spanish word having to do with Christmas. If you have ejoyed any other books by Elya, you will enjoy this one as well. Cepeda also does an excellent job with the illustrations.
Merry Christmas, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff is a board book that focuses on counting. I enjoyed listening to my brother-in-law read it to his son because he added his own sound effects, which made me laugh. A beginning reader would also enjoy this book because the text is short and the pictures would help them figure out the more difficult words.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas books

Here are a couple Christmas books for children that you might enjoy.
Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry is a book I found out about from my friend Linda. I got it from the library and was not disappointed. This is a book written in rhyme about Mr. Willowby's tree. It is too big, and he has to cut off the top. The top is given to Miss Adelaide, and she has the same problem. It is fun for children to try and guess how many times this will go on.
Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson is another great book to read to your children at Christmas. My friend Emili is a preschool teacher and recommended it to me. Mortimer is a mouse that lives in a cold and creepy place. He finds a great bed in the manger in the Nativity set in his house. He thinks it is great, but then learns who the manger really is for. There are great illustrations in this picture book. (Sorry, Amanda, the book depicts mice as nice creatures.)
Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh is also a great Christmas book. I am not a fan of Santa Claus stories, but this is one I really enjoy. Olive the dog is out before Christmas and begins to think that she is actually a reindeer because of a song she hears on the radio. So she reports to the North Pole. No one tells Olive that she isn't really a reindeer and she gets to help Santa and the real reindeer on Christmas Eve. If you like this one, you should also look for the story about Olive at Valentine's Day.
Anyone have any other great Christmas stories to recommend?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

when I grow up

I finally decided what I want to do when I grow up. I want to work at a job where I get paid to read lots and lots of books-children's books especially-and then recommend books to libraries, bookstores, or customers. My job would also include reading books with kids and doing other activities with them that promote reading, as well as helping parents understand how much reading to their own children is beneficial.
The good thing is that the jobs I have had for the past eleven years have allowed me to do some of this, but I don't get paid to just read books.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

two alphabet books

I came across two alphabet books lately that might be fun for you to look at. The first, 26 Big Things Small Hands Can Do by Coleen Paratore, is a great alphabet book for preschoolers and beginning readers. The illustrations, by Mike Reed, are colorful and depict children doing the very things that small hands can do. This book's positive message encourages children to look out for others besides themselves.
The second book is Hooray for Minnesota Winters by Paul Lowrie and Bret Nicholaus. This book is written in rhyme and finds something about Minnesota winters that starts with each letter of the alphabet. On the bottom of each page are weather facts about Minnesota winters. This book is for adults as much as for children, as children would probably be uninterested in all those facts. If you grew up in Minnesota, it will make you smile at the positive and negative aspects of the winter here.