Archive | December, 2014

Favorite Books of 2014

31 Dec

As 2014 comes to an end, here are my favorite books I read this year.

1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

There is so much I love about this book!  And students are reading it more and more, which has led to amazing conversations about it!

2. The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

Technically, I read this in 2013.  But as it was a 2014 release and just that good, I am including it on the list.  This story both broke my heart and put it back together.

3. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Anderson is one of my absolute favorite authors.  This book did not disappoint.  And I loved that there was some romance in this one.  A memorable book on such an important topic.

4.  Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

I am so thankful I got to read an ARC of this title.  It comes out in February 2015.  If you are a teacher, parent, or just work with kids in some way, you need to read this book.  It also included my favorite quote that I read this year: “I look down at my Mercury dime and it’s date, wishing people could last as long as coins.”  Amazing writing!

5. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

I love Blake’s work.  I love mythology.  I could still rave about this one months later. I need to get my hands on Mortal Gods very soon!

6. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

This book reminded me why I love science fiction.  The second book, This Shattered World, just came out at the end of December, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!  Christmas gift cards are going to come in handy.

7. The Living by Matt de la Pena

This book hand me at the edge of my seat and frantically turning pages.  It was so intense at some parts!  I really loved it and cannot wait to read more of the story when The Hunted comes out in May 2015.

8. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

I raved about this on Monday and I’m still thinking about it.  If you love horror and vampires, you need to read this book!

9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorites and she becoming very popular in my classroom.  I really loved Cath and how she developed throughout the story.

10. Peak by Roland Smith

Again, I cannot believe that I waited so long to read this one!  The adventure had me hooked and I loved learning so much more about mountain climbing.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Goals for 2015

30 Dec

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a new list for bloggers to answer.  This week’s topics is Top Ten Goals/Resolutions for 2015 – books, blogging, or otherwise! I have some plans for 2015.

1. Read 75 Books

I had set my sights pretty high in 2014 going for 100.  A rough winter and a tough slump did not get me there.  To do more than this year, I am aiming for 75 next year.

2. Book Talk, Book Talk, Book Talk

Last trimester, I did not book talk enough.  I have really worked hard to book talk as much as possible this trimester and it is paying off!  Many more books have been checked out and read.  There is such a real power in doing this. 

3. Post at least 3 times a month

I strive to post at least once a month. I want to use the blog more.  Three posts would be just less than once a week and I think I can manage that.

4. Reviews

Within those posts each month, I want to get back to reviewing.  Reflecting on teaching is a part of this blog, but reviews have fallen off lately.  I like sharing my thoughts on what I read and I know I’ll get better the more reviews I write. 

5. Try new genres

Of course I love my YA and am passionate about it.  I want to expand my reading a little more and read some adult fiction and classics I have not gotten to as well. 

6. Write!

This is always a goal of mine.  I need to write more!  And more!  And even more!  I really think I would benefit from even a journal each night to reflect on my thoughts lately. 

7. Finish my re-read of Harry Potter

This summer I reread the first four books for the Harry Potter series.  I hope to finish and blog the last three books this year.

8. Build my picture book collection

I have some picture books in my classroom.  I do like to use them for lessons and students enjoy reading them as well.  I need more books in my collection.

9. Read teaching books

I have several teaching books that I have heard great things about but have yet to read.  I need to make sure I am aware of the current research and best practices for my students.

10. Have more students talk books

I love talking about books to my students. I want to encourage them to talk about them to me and of course, each other to build our community of readers.

What are your goals for 2015?

It’s Monday 12/29/14 – What Are You Reading?

29 Dec

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It is hard to believe that 2014 will be over in just a few days.  I may not have read anywhere near my goal of 100 books, but I am still pretty proud of having read 52 books at this point.  Here is a little bit of what I have been reading lately and plans as I wrap up break.

What I have read lately

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

I bought this over the summer and just got to it this month.  What an awesome book!  I am looking forward to sharing it with my students when I get back.  I really appreciated Steven’s honesty; he is a believable character.  It was one I couldn’t stop reading. 5/5 stars

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

I actually have owned this one for a few years.  I think I found it at a warehouse sale.  I had no idea it was a companion to Drums. I came across it in my bookshelves while looking for another book for a student.  I enjoyed Drums more, but I did still enjoy this book and an opportunity to see the story continue. 4/5 stars

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

I picked this one up at the library.  For the most part, I really like Elise as a character and even related to her at times.  Other times, I did feel a little annoyed with her, but I think that is because I’m older.  I think teenage me would have really liked her.  It was an interesting story line and kept me reading.  3.5/5 stars

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

This one has been on my radar for awhile as so many friends were singing its praises and giving it very high reviews.  I bought it with birthday gift cards, and then it sat on my shelf.  Why did I wait so long?  This is an amazing vampire book! It is creepy and bloody and suspenseful and hard to put down.  I read all 419 pages in just 5 days (being on break helps, of course).  I really loved Tana as the main character; she is pretty BA.  And I am happy to have another horror book to share with students as this is what they are asking for.  5/5 stars

What I’m reading this week

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I loved Giles’s book Shattering Glass and cannot keep it on my shelf. Ever since I read the summary of this one, I have been looking forward to reading it.  I started reading last night and I am already hooked.

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

I adore Neil Patrick Harris.  I also loved Choose Your Own Adventure stories growing up.  And I love autobiographies and memoirs.  I just had to ask for this one.  I received it as a gift and I am looking forward to reading it.  I can’t wait to share my thoughts on it.

I also took a trip to the library today, even with stacks of books at home.  With this being the last week of break, maybe I’ll squeeze in another book (or two) this week as well.

What are you reading this week?