Monday, September 21, 2015

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelf. Images via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Last Week:
I reviewed Trail of the Dead by Joseph Bruchac at Rich in Color

Actually 2 weeks ago, but I forgot to mention it over here: 
I created a list of YA books featuring LGBTQ characters of color over at Rich in Color

I will review the poetry book Monsters, Zombies and Addicts: Poems by Gwendolyn Zepeda later this week. It's quite an interesting adult poetry collection.
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban was a fun book that looked into family dynamics, friendship, and perfection among other things. There were things to think about, but always with the promise of more humor so it wasn't a heavy book. I loved Zoe's voice. There was a part that really stood out to me. She mentions Vladimir Horowitz (a phenomenal pianist) many times. Zoe's mother explains that he made multiple mistakes in a performance. "And then she said those mistakes didn't matter because it was Horowitz. And Horowitz was not about perfection. He was about joy and art and music and life. And those things have mistakes in them." (p. 137) 

I'm not a big soccer fan, but my son played when he was young and now plays goalie with friends in college and has a lot of fun with that. Of course this means that Tim Howard is a name I know. When I saw the description of The Keeper: The Unguarded Story of Tim Howard Young Readers' Edition, I knew I wanted to get it because there are not very many books out there that involve Tourette syndrome (TS). Tim Howard shares about the difficulties he had in school and how he tried to hide what was happening. He also shares what he calls the flip side. He believes that TS, and the hyper-focus he has as a result, is one of the reasons he has been successful as a professional athlete. I found the book valuable for the way that he shares about his ups and downs. This will be a great book for students who have a TS diagnosis, but also for other students to see what that might be like. I read it in one sitting and found it compelling. I am often a biography fan though.

Happiness, Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta was not an easy read. It's a adult collection of short stories, but I have to say, these are not your happily-ever-after types. There are glimmers of hope here and there, but if you are looking for a laugh, look elsewhere. If you are looking for stories to make you think and feel though, these will fit the bill because she packs an emotional punch as she shows you lives of Nigerian women both in Nigeria and in the U.S.

The Coming Week:
I am still listening to Good Omens on the iPad. I find audio a little frustrating because it is very hard to determine how much longer there is when it is through my library lending. You have to go to each chapter and add up the time left. There is nothing letting you know how much more is there - at least not that I can see. Anyway, it looks like it will be a while before I finish this one. It's fun, but I sometimes lose track of what's going on. Urban Tribes is one I'm reading for a Rich in Color discussion. This Song Will Save Your Life is what I listen to in the car. I'm not sure what I will read next, but I will likely start Out of the Darkness soon. Have a great week of reading.


  1. I really need to read A Crooked Kind of Perfect! Linda is coming to a bookstore near us this weekend and I'm planning on seeing her!

    1. I was lucky enough to meet her at NerdcampMi last year. She also Skype with us a few years back for WRAD. Such a treat!

  2. You've read so many books that sound good, Crystal. I've enjoyed Bruchac in the past, but haven't read any of his work lately. Thanks also for the LBGBQ list, more to find.

  3. I loved A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT so so so much. I cried when I met Linda Urban. That's how much I loved it. I identified so much with Zoe - it's the piano thing. :)

  4. Good Omens is amazing! And I have been wanting to read This Song Will Save Your Life forever! I agree with you about how it's hard to gauge how much time there is left when you're listening to audiobooks, most of the time I can finish a book faster than listening to it on audiobook, but one of the best experiences I had with an audiobook was listening to Stephen King's Salem's Lot, while working on a sewing project with no one at home and it was dark and raining outside. The atmosphere was so creepy, but it helped me get through a tedious sewing project and I ended up enjoying doing both so much! =)