31 January 2018

Books - January 2018

I'm changing it up this year. Instead of following something like the PopSugar Reading Challenge that I've done in years past, I am simply going to summarize a bit about what books I've read each month (or more, if necessary). Right now, for instance, I'm working my way through our 5th grade Battle of the Books reading list, and reading a few books for a friend's blog for reviews. Having to cram them into categories just sounds annoying.

Here are the books I finished in January, 2018.

The first book I completed may have been started in December, but I couldn't say much about it before I finished it, right? It's an amusing narrative by Sharon Creech called Moo. Moo tells the story of Reena and her little brother Luke moving from the city to the country, and getting to know an old lady and her animal menagerie. I was instantly enamored with Reena's innocent and matter-of-fact view of things that were so unfamiliar to her at first sight.

According to Amazon:
When Reena, her little brother, Luke, and their parents first move to Maine, Reena doesn’t know what to expect. She’s ready for beaches, blueberries, and all the lobster she can eat. Instead, her parents “volunteer” Reena and Luke to work for an eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Falala, who has a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna—and that stubborn cow, Zora.
This heartwarming story, told in a blend of poetry and prose, reveals the bonds that emerge when we let others into our lives.
This is one of the Battle of the Books selections that our local 5th graders are studying up on for the battle in March.

The second book I finished in January was Ready for Wild by Liora Blake. You can find out my thoughts about the second book in the Grand Valley novel series at Books I Think You Should Read (there's a giveaway too - ending February ).

My third book finished this month was another Battle of the Books selection - Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. I admittedly thought this one was sort of dragging on toward the middle, but the ending really tied it all together nicely. There was a bit of info about Omakayas (the narrator, a young Ojibwa girl) that we knew from the beginning that added a degree of insight to her telling of the story. I kept waiting for her to find out, but it took the full year of narration before this happened. It did give a nicely tied up ending by that point. I just noticed that this book is the first of a series. While I'm a little curious about what happens in the next three books, I don't think that curiosity is enough to take me out of order on my existing reading list.

The New York Times Book review says:
"[In this] story of a young Ojibwa girl, Omakayas, living on an island in Lake Superior around 1847, Louise Erdrich is reversing the narrative perspective used in most children's stories about nineteenth-century Native Americans. Instead of looking out at 'them' as dangers or curiosities, Erdrich, drawing on her family's history, wants to tell about 'us', from the inside. The Birchbark House establishes its own ground, in the vicinity of Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House' books." 

 That's all I finished up in January (although I'm headed to my recliner and cozy afghan to read a bit more now). What have you read lately? Anything worth adding to my list? I'd love to hear about it!


Ron Leyba said...

These books sounds amazing. I wonder if I can read them too, soon. I mean with the busy sched and such.

Mom Among Chaos said...

I know I've read Lousie Edrich before and I can't think of what it was. I'm reading the third book from Me Before You. It's not as good of course as the first one.

Liz Parker said...

Off to go look up that Moo book ... I love the title and cover art!

And thanks for the shoutout :) my Ready for Wild giveaway has unfortunately since ended, though.

GeekDad248 said...

I'm impressed the time you spend reading just for the enjoyment of it. I'd taken a break from reading for fun based on some work burnout but just picked up The Magicians novels by Lev Grossman this month and will probably finish the first of the three tonight. I've enjoyed reading them so much I'll probably finish the whole trilogy by the end of March.