Monthly Reading Report: August and September 2016

These past two months have flown by, and during them I’ve managed to do a good bit of reading.  Here’s what I’ve enjoyed:

  •  How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich.  Steady Eddie heard an interview with the authors of this book and decided he needed to read it.  He read it and recommended it highly to me, so of course I read it.  I’ve read several marriage books over the years, and I have to say that this one has resonated in terms of its practicality the most.  The Yerkoviches discuss the different “ways” of loving, and they narrow it down to a few categories:  the Avoider, the Vacillator, the Pleaser, and the Controllor and Victim (these are known as the Chaotic Love Styles).  A person’s love style is something acquired early in life through observation and experience during childhood, and this “intimacy imprint” has far-reaching impact into his or her adult life.  This is something I’ve always known intuitively, so this book really gave me lots of evidence and examples to support that.  A workbook is available to help couples put into practice the skills necessary to heal these relational deficits brought about by their individual styles; I think we’d do well to order it.  I give this one a Highly Recommended.  (WaterBrook, 2008)
  • I purchased Carrie Rocha’s Pocket Your Dollars for my Kindle months ago when I saw it on sale on some FB group that we’re both a part of.  Steady Eddie and I have some financial goals that we have made little progress in over the past seventeen years of our marriage, and this little book gave me a lot of insight into the power of our attitudes toward our finances.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Rochas’ story and Carrie’s can-do attitude.  I have Victoria at Snail Pace Transformations to thank for reminding me via one of her blog posts that I even owned this book; her blog is another resource in my mental and emotional arsenal in trying to change my mindset about money.  (Look!  Carrie has a blog, too!)  Highly Recommended if frugality is your thing or if it needs to be your thing!  (Bethany House, 2012)
  • A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck in audiobook.  If you haven’t read Peck, do yourself a favor and read him ASAP.  Richard Peck in audiobook is even more fun.
  • A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck, also in audiobook.  The sequel is just as poignant as its predecessor.  Both of these books were re-reads, but oh how I love love them!
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech.  This was a re-read for me from years ago, but it made me cry more this time than the last time I read it–probably thanks to the fact that now I’m the mama of a girl approximately the same age as Sal in the book.
  • Shabanu by Suzanne Fisher Staples.  This is yet another re-read from my pre-blogging days.   It was just as colorfully descriptive and shocking to my Western sensibilities as I remembered.
  • Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt in audiobook.  If I love Richard Peck, I adore Gary D. Schmidt.  Don’t miss either one.
  • “The President Has Been Shot!” by James L. Swanson in audiobook.  Riveting.
  • Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan.  I enjoyed this one better than I expected to.
  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt in audiobook. This might be my favorite piece of JF/YA literature ever.  This one is yet another re-read because I love it so much.


  • The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson.  This seemed like the right read-aloud for the boys at the time.  I’ll admit to not loving it; I think Hank translates much better to audiobook.  The DLM hung in there, though, and we finished it, and I daresay he’d sit and listen to book two right now if given the chance.  That’s a pretty good recommendation.
  • Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery, a continuance of our Year of Anne.  Not one of us–neither I, Lulu, nor Louise–consider this one a favorite. However, we do love Anne, and of course, this book does give us Rebecca Dew.  It took us a long time to read it, but when we finished, I think we can all say we’re glad we revisited it.

I also shared a few picture books that we enjoyed in August and September in the following posts:

The DLM listens to audiobooks daily, but I don’t even try to keep up with what he listens to.  I do know that he discovered the Magic Treehouse books via audio this go-round.  I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad about that. 😉


And that’s it!  The next couple of months should be busy in terms of reading, and I already have a backlog of reviews to share (after I write them 😉 ), so stay tuned!

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Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña

See those three seals on this book cover?  That’s some heavy metal.  🙂  Last Stop on Market Street won the 2016 Newbery Medal, a 2016 Caldecott honor, and a 2016 Coretta Scott King honor for illustration.  Wow!

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson is a sweet, sweet picture book about a little boy, CJ, riding the city bus with his nana.  Their conversation about their neighborhood and their interactions with the other bus riders are gentle and. . . sweet.  It is very easy to hear Nana’s voice in the conversations, talking with CJ about their neighborhood and their bus riding friends.  Their journey begins at church and ends (spoiler alert!) at a soup kitchen.  CJ is curious about why they’re spending their time doing this–his friends “never have to go anywhere” and instead get to “hop curbs on bikes.”  Nana’s explanation to him that she “feel[s] sorry for those boys” because “they’ll never get a chance to meet Bobo or the Sunglass Man” sums up her attitude toward life:  to look for the blessings in others and never pass up an opportunity to appreciate the moment.  The message is simple but profound, and the story is simple but rich, with beautiful descriptions and nuances that older children (and adults!) can appreciate.  Christian Robinson’s illustrations are reminiscent to me of one of my favorite illustrators–Ezra Jack Keats.  That’s high praise indeed.  Although I’m always a little perplexed (due to my own lack of depth, I’m sure) about how picture books beat out novels for the Newbery, this is certainly a book to be appreciated by a wide range of ages.  Highly, Highly Recommended.  (Putnam’s, 2015)

newbery through the decades

Related links:

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Newbery Through the Decades–the 2010s

newbery through the decades

The last month!?  How can that be?  I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge again, and I’m excited to attempt to close the gap on the 2010s.  I did a great job of reading all the medalists there for a few years, but I’ve slacked off in the past few.  Here’s what’s up this month:

2016 Medal WinnerLast Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Honor Books:

2015 Medal Winner: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Honor Books:

  • El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

2014 Medal Winner: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

Honor Books:

2013 Medal Winner: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Honor Books:

2012 Medal Winner: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Honor  Books:

2011 Medal Winner: Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Honor Books:

2010 Medal Winner:  When You Reach Me  by Rebecca Stead

Honor Books:

Yes, I only have ten or so books to choose from this month.  That narrows the field considerably.  Here are a few I’m hoping to get to:

What’s on your list this month?  Happy Newberying!

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2016 Cybils–nominations open tomorrow!

Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards

Yippee!!  I’m excited, y’all.  It’s that time of year again–the time when just regular, ordinary folks who happen to love children’s and YA literature enough to have a blog mostly dedicated to it (and those who just read it 🙂 )can actually NOMINATE their favorite books from the past year and see them win some recognition!  🙂

That’s the Cybils!  You can read all about them here.

Meanwhile, I’ll be combing my archives to come up with nomination list.  Go here to see how you can nominate your very own favorites.

P.S.  I announced this on Twitter and Facebook already, but I haven’t here on Ye Olde Blogge yet.


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Newbery Through the Decades–2000s/Septebmer link-up

newbery through the decades

Fall and cooler weather have finally descended upon north Alabama.  Can we all shout a collective “hallelujah”?  🙂  That also means that this challenge is almost at an end.  I typically pick up speed toward the end of the challenge because so many of the titles are already familiar to me, and this year is no exception.  Here’s what I read or listened to:

I never got around to reviewing The Wednesday Wars in audio, mostly because of that little thing called time and the fact that I already gushed about it when I read it a few years back.  However, if this tells you anything, I actually missed my turn and ended up discovering a new route to my destination because I was so engrossed in this story as I was driving.  Joel Johnstone’s voice as Holling Hoodhood’s is spot-on.  I might’ve shed a tear or a dozen while listening to this one.  Highly, Highly Recommended.

Which Newberys did you read this month?  Do tell!



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