Mindy's June 2017 Reading Report

This was a tough month for reading outside of my usual. When I'm busy or stressed, I just want to read for comfort, which means seeking out my preferred genres/authors or re-reading old favorites.

I did my best to diversify, but I'd love it if you could cut me some slack this month. :)

Let's start with picture books...

First the fiction...

The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that it exists. Don't miss the humorous end pages. I love how this book blends a serious topic (environment) with light, humorous bits.
Your world is as big as you want it to be in this large format picture book. The repetitive structure and simple illustrations make it a good choice to read aloud with groups.
A little girl finds a duckling and takes it home to care for it. If you ignore the obvious problems with taking a wild animal home, it's a cute story about love being caring for someone who needs you.
A tiny book about big questions that will certainly give parents and kids a lot to discuss. This is a picture book meant for kids a bit older than the usual picture book crowd. It's thoughtful and melancholy, so parents may wish to look at it before sharing with kids.
Molly Lou Melon doesn't fit in, but that's not going to get her down.

Then the nonfiction...

I shared two shark related picture books with my daughter. Both are excellent choices for young readers interested in ocean life.

On to Middle Grade Fiction...

Four middle grade novels: one fantasy starring a girl of color (The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse), one historical adventure featuring an LGBT family (Newsgirl), one time travel adventure graphic novel (The Time Museum), and one cutesy animal/environmental story I read aloud to my daughter (Emmaline and the Bunny).

These were all good, but The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse is very much the stand-out of the month. It might even end up on my favorites of 2107 list.

Teen Fiction was a bit of a saga this month...

First I read Stick by Andrew Smith. I've liked Smith's work in the past, and this book features a disabled protagonist. Just the sort of book I would like, right? Plus, I've been making it a point to read more books written by men since that's unusual for me apparently, so this seemed like the perfect pick for me.

It turned out to be a really intense book about abuse, and the disabled character spends most of the book hating himself/his physical difference. Ultimately, well written but really difficult for me to read.

So I picked up something that looked a bit lighter...

This looks like a rom-com, but it's really not. It's about a girl sorting out family and relationship issues. A good book, but not quite what I was looking for just then. I did add it to the Food/Cooking in YA lit list though.

Then there was Nerve.

I would probably not have read this one at all (or finished it) were it not a book club choice. It's a plot driven novel about dares/social media with little or no character development. Lots of interesting discussion in the book club, but the general consensus of the book club seemed to be "meh."

What next?

Honestly, I was in a bit of a slump. I had way too many books checked out from the library and none of them looked appealing. I started and abandoned at least three different books before I picked up Flame in the Mist.

It didn't grab me right away, but I decided to stick with it anyway since I'd been so fickle with books lately. This is one example of why sometimes it's good to push past a bit of initial ambivalence about a book because once I got into the story, I was hooked. Though if you want any resolution, you'll have to wait for the next book. Sigh.

Next up: historical spy thriller!

This is a fast-paced story with a lot of twists and turns. It's a really quick read, which was just what I wanted right then. If you like spy stories or are interested in World War I, you might like this book.

And for adults...

Two very different books: a time travel novel and a memoir.

The Jane Austen Project was an indulgent choice that I finished very quickly. If you like Jane Austen, time travel fiction, or even historical fiction with a twist, you might enjoy it as much as I did.

Don't Call Me Inspirational was uneven at best. There were certainly parts of the book that were excellent--the title chapter in particular. But other parts of the book that were a struggle to get through. Recommended only for those interested in disability issues. Otherwise, skip it.

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