Sunday, August 29, 2021

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/30/21

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers are the hosts of #IMWAYR, where readers from near and far share what they have been reading over the past week - from picture books to young adult novels.  For lots of book recommendations, check out the hashtag, #INWAYR.

I recently stumbled upon a blog that I have been enjoying a great deal.  I feel like I know the creator and that we are friends chatting about books that we have read, writing projects that we are working on, and other literacy related bits and bobs.  Stephanie at A Lit Life, makes a weekly post on her blog called, “A Lit Life Weekly Literate Love.”  In these posts, she writes about what she’s reading, writing, learning, and loving. I love to read Stephanie’s posts. She is a fellow literacy lover!  So, I decided that I, too, wanted to write a similar sort of post and thought #IMWAYR might be a good time to share.   

What I've Been Reading:

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

I listened to the audiobook for this and it was amazing!  If you've heard any buzz  about this title, it's all true!  I highly recommend it.  This is a story about how a randomly discovered reading list brings together characters that develop an unlikely friendship and bond over reading the books on the list.  I read it in a day and a half.  I laughed out loud and cried.  It is so touching and will have you feeling as though you are friends with the characters. You’ll also be wanting to read or reread the book titles on the reading list.  

                                                       photo from Goodreads                                                                                                                           

Here are some of the other books I have been reading this past week . . . 

No Buddy Like a Book by Allan Wolf, illustrated by Brianne Farley

I am so excited to add this to my collection about books, reading, and libraries!  Poetic, rhyming text tells readers the glorious story of all that books and reading can do for him or her.  A perfect read anytime, but especially at the start of the school year.  What a great read aloud to kick of the reading year! The illustrations are beautiful and enhance Wolf's story.  

Leilong the Library Bus by Julia Liu, illustrated by Bei Lynn

Oh, how I love this story from Taiwan that was translated into English!  Leilong the dinosaur transports his friends to the library for stroytime - it's his first visit to the library.  When he attempts to enter the library, the whole building shakes and Leilong is told that he's too big to come in.  His friends tell him they won't be long and they head in to the storytime.  Leilong peeks in thw windows and becomes involved in the story.  Again he is told that he can't be a part of the library.  Read to find out how Leinlong becomes the library bus!  What a sweet ending to the book and Leilong's problem!  I also love the detailed artwork in this book that I would read aloud to my students in the library upon their first visit of the school year.  

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

How can you go wrong with the Rosenthal and Lichtenheld duo?  You can't!  I was gifted a copy of this book during a particularly difficult time in my life by someone that I greatly admire.  It was just what this reader needed at that time and any other time, as well.  If you haven't yet read it, make sure you do.  Again, this is another read aloud to start your school year off, full of well wishes. It's also quite short and sweet 

photo by Amy Soto

photo by Mark Soto

photo by Amy Soto

A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan 
I so loved this middle grade novel about a middle school girl who has to work at her local public library to do community service, as a punishment.  What Jamie wouldn't have imagined is that she would, as the title says, find the library to be, a "kind of paradise."  This story is sweet and heartwarming.  It's perfect for most readers, but especially book lovers!  

Book Nerd by Holly Maguire

This is a fun little, coffee table book that's filled with fun bookish facts and definitions, along with whimsical and charming artwork.  I think that if you are reading this post, you are most likely a book nerd, like me, and need to own this book.   

photo by Amy Soto

What I'm Writing:

In addition to my usual journaling, I've been working on exercises from Rachael Herron's great book called, Fast Draft Your Memoir This book has been a tremendous resource in helping me understand the different types and structures of memoir.  The exercises are brilliant and have really gotten me going on what I've been trying to get down on paper.  This is also another audiobook that I've listened to (and listened to again).  It's a great book that is read by the author.  

                                                                 photo from Goodreads

Things That I'm Loving:

In the last several months, I have discovered the world of booktube.  I have been watching so many different channels and adding to my already, huge TBR list!  It is so much fun!  It's like having great bookish conversations whenever I want!  If you're a book lover, make sure you check out all of the wonderful booktube channels.  Simply search; TBR, Library Haul, Book Haul, or Books and you'll get an endless list of videos.  From there, you can decide whose channel you'd like to follow.  :) Two of my favorites are; "Books and Jams" and "The Curly Reader."  

Things That I'm Learning:

By watching booktube, I have learned about so many, many books that I have either forgotten that I had wanted to read or learned about new-to-me books that I want to read.  Needless to say, my TBR list has grown exponentially!  

These are just a handful of the books that I've been reading this past week, as well as a sprinkling of other bookish things that I've been up to.  Stay tuned for some more news from this "book nerd!"  

P.S.  please let me know what your favorite memoirs are  I’m looking to read lots!  Thank you!


  1. I enjoyed reading about all the books you shared & especially noted The Reading Life! I loved No Buddy Like A Book!

  2. Somehow I missed I Wish You More when it was released, so I've just done an online reservation of it. Can't wait to dig in! And I'm going to see if I can hunt down a copy of Fast Draft Your Memoir. It sure sounds intriguing and I'm especially thinking it would be great for my mom and husband. It looks like you joined our #imwayr gang while I was off on summer blogging sabbatical, so I look forward to getting to know you better over the coming months, Amy. Thanks for all these shares!

  3. Shaye, thanks for the welcome! I actually posted on my old blog (currently created this one as fresh start), a few years back. But I am glad to be back at it again! I love talking books and reading and writing! I am a newly "retired" school librarian (had to stop working after 25 years due to some health complications) and reading specialist. Blogging allows me to share my book love! Looking forward to reading your posts! :)

    1. Ah, I totally understand fresh starts in blogging. I started on blogger back in 2008. Then I jumped to Wordpress when I began having my college students start their own blogs for Children's Literature. I've heard there's a way to combine my two blogs on Wordpress, but I've been too scared to try it (I'd hate to lose anything). I'm so glad to meet you, Amy! Before teaching at the college level, I was an elementary Title-1 reading teacher starting in the late 90s, followed by working as a classroom teacher, and then working in the academic library. I'm glad we both still have this online outlet. It's such a helpful and comforting community!

  4. Welcome to #IMWAYR! I'm always so excited to see new bloggers around here, and it looks like you've got some wonderful picks to discuss!

    A Kind of Paradise sounds absolutely wonderful—I hadn't heard of it before, and I haven't gravitated toward many MG prose novels lately, but this one really sounds like one I might want to track down (if I can only make time for it!).

    All the picture books look great as well, and I love how many books ABOUT reading are on this list!

    Also, I'm going down the #IMWAYR list, and I saw your comment on Beth Shaum's blog about having to retire early due to health issues—I wanted to say that I'm so sorry that happened! I'm glad you're bringing your skill at sharing books to this blogging community.

    Thanks so much for the wonderful post!


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