Books We Read – April 2013


Books that we have read during the month of April. (Titles with ** are our favorites for the month)



Miss M:

Miss C:


How about you? Read any good books lately? Thanks for taking the time to share.

Books We Read – March 2013

Brave Girl Jacket

Below is our monthly list of the books we enjoyed during the past month.


  • 31 Days of Faith: Finding Joy by Tracie Stier-Johnson (enjoyable; full of comfort and warmth)
  • Lying Awake: a novel by Mark Salzman (what a great book to read during Lent. would be a good book group pick too)
  • The Return by Victoria Hislop (read for book club. interesting subject on Spain Civil War but only an OK read)
  • Seven Sacred Pauses (non-fiction) by Macrina Wiederkehr (good Lenten reference/reminders to take time for God)
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (finally got around to reading this one. is youth fiction but is so powerful and dark that I think is more for 13+. sad yet very good)
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (first time read of this classic. thought it was terrific and terrifying on how very true it applies to today)
  • We the Animals: a novel by Justin Torres (quick read; interesting and holds your attention but takes an unexpected turn towards the end. good read)


M (age 8):


C (age 3½):

  • Louise the Big Cheese and the Ooh-La-La Charm School by Elise Primavera
  • Simms Taback’s Farm Animals by Simms Taback
  • Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems
  • Waterloo & Trafalgar by Oliver Tallec
  • Hide & Seek Farm by Dawn Sirett
  • Utterly Lovely One by Mary Murphy
  • Waking Dragons by Jane Yolen
  • I’m Big! by Kate McMullan
  • What a Party! by Sandy Asher
  • Poodles (non-fiction) by Mari Schuh
  • Duck & Goose, Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills
  • Chomp! by Heather Brown
  • The Scrambled States of America Talent Show by Laurie Keller
  • A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse by Frank Viva
  • Pigs Make Me Sneeze! by Mo Willems
  • Let’s Say HI to Friends Who Fly! by Mo Willems
  • Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis
  • Perfect Square by Michael Hall

Books We Read – February 2013

Here are the books we were found reading in the month of February.


  • Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen PreJean (read for my church book club – have been wanting to read this for a long time and am glad I finally did. Even though is now dated 20 years is just as meaningful and powerful).
  • Splendors & Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz (Junior Fiction. Newberry Honor Book. Bit gloomy and dark but good for ages 12 and up).
  • Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin (Youth Non-Fiction. Very informative about a topic I didn’t know really happened).
  • Calling Dr. Laura: a graphic memoir by Nicole J. Georges (Adult comic book. Strange yet enthralling. Sad and tragic. Very good).
  • Granny Torreli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech (Junior Kid Read book for our library. Quick read but such a sweet neat book).
  • The Book of Mormon Girl by Joanna Brooks (Non-Fiction. Started out slow but really enlightening, especially about Prop. 8 & Mormons and having a two religion family. Very good).
  • The Story of Jesus: Experience the life of Jesus as one seamless story (NIV) (Quick Read and perfect for Lenten reflection. Excellent. Made the Bible/New Testament very approachable and engaging).

Miss M’s Books:

  • Little Kids First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields / National Geographic book
  • Big Nate Strikes Again by Lincoln Peirce
  • Miss Suki is Kooky! by Dan Gutman
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling (the Harry Potter kick continues! She loves them).
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
  • Calvin & Hobbes: There’s Treasure Everywhere by Bill Watterson
  • Archie Comic Books (various)
  • Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy by Francesca Simon
  • Should I Share My Ice Cream? Let’s Go For a Drive by Mo Willems (read to her sister)
  • Ivy and Bean Make the Rules by Annie Barrows
  • Bad Kitty: School Daze by Nick Bruel
  • The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley
  • Meg Mackintosh and the Case of the Missing Babe Ruth baseball: a solve it yourself mystery by Lucinda Landon
  • Diary of the Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

C’s Books: (read aloud)

  • Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: the Great Pancake Adventure by Matt Luckhurst
  • Louise the Big Cheese and the Back-To-School Smartypants by Elise Primavera
  • More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt
  • A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy
  • Ginger and Petunia by Patricia Polacco (a favorite this month about a woman and her pet pig)
  • Our Marching Band by Lloyd Moss
  • Mud Puddle by Robert Munsch (another favorite about a girl and a mud puddle that keeps finding her)
  • Tarantulas: Cool Pets! by Alvin Silverstein (C loved looking at the cartoon of a tarantula eating popcorn!)
  • Glamorous Glasses by Barbara Johansen Newman (originally got this for M to look at but C quickly took it into her room. She is always saying she wants to get glasses. My response: your time will come. The odds are in your favor).
  • Animals and Their Families by Barbara Nascimbeni
  • Big Top Scooby-Doo Movie Reader
  • The Thanksgiving Mystery (Scooby-Doo)
  • Today I Will Fly! by Mo Willems
  • The Tale of Mr. Tod by Beatrix Potter (this and the next three are all “little books” that C demands to check out every week at the library).
  • The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter
  • The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse by Beatrix Potter

Books We Read – January 2013

[Disclaimer: Yes, I am well aware that February is almost halfway done, but this is how I roll sometimes..]

Here are the titles that we enjoyed (for the most part) last month:


  • Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott (slight book but packed with good life reminders)
  • The Round House by Louis Erdrich (Winner of National Book Award. Excellent. Characters stay with you. Enjoyable)
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (YA novel. Bit slow at times but couldn’t put down towards the end. Very Good)
  • Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us by Laurie Kilmartin and others (Quick read. Not as funny as I expected it to be)
  • The One & Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (Youth Fiction. Excellent Read. Interesting writing format. Winner of the Newberry. I read it right before it won. Always proud of myself when this happens!)
  • A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans (Non-Fiction. Surprised how much I really liked it. So good and funny too)

Miss M:

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rawling
  • Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald Sobol
  • Lenny & Mel’s Summer Vacation by Erik Kraft
  • Lenny & Mel: After School Confidential by Erik Kraft
  • 8 Class Pets + One Squirrel [divided by] One Dog = Chaos by Vivian Vande Velde
  • Louise the One and Only by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff
  • The Fran That Time Forgot by Frannie K. Stein
  • plus many more that I didn’t write down – this girl LOVES to read!

C: (being read to)

  • What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf? by Debi Gliori
  • The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter
  • Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes by Beatrix Potter (she loves these “little books” by B. Potter!)
  • Where’s the Fish? by Taro Gomi (simple words that C then memorizes & reads back to me – she also does this with Mo Willems books).
  • The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman
  • Spike, the Mixed-Up Monster by Susan Hood (she loved this one. Bilingual in parts.)
  • The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany S. Haber
  • The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend
  • plus many more – loves to be read to and “practice” reading by herself.

Fifty Three

In 2002 I decided to record every book that I read during the year. I was working in libraries at the time and was reading a lot. Even though I was only 28 at the time I felt like I was rereading the same books without realizing it. So to solve this problem my reading log/journal was born. For ten years now I have written down every title that I have read (immediately after reading them) and record some initial reactions about the book. This is mainly so I can remember whether or not I liked the book and also if I would read the author again/recommend it to others.

Even though this journal is simply a listing of books and reactions, it has become a neat way to look back at my life over these past years. When I started it I was working full-time and had no children. I was discovering new authors (A. Manette Ansay/Myla Goldberg) and also reading some old favorites (Maeve Binchy/Anne Tyler). Then in the fall of 2003, J got a new job and we were suddenly moving back to Illinois (from Wisconsin). I stopped working in October and began the process of finding us a new home. That year saw titles like The DaVinci Code and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Early in 2004 we were pregnant and so the book choices took a whole ‘nother turn towards childbirth and child-rearing like Misconceptions: Truth, Lies and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and Babyhood. With a new baby and then toddler in the house, my reading took a back seat. Those were lean years of reading. But in 2008, M started preschool so with that came more independence for her and more free-time for me. I enjoyed Eat Pray Love and Every Last Cuckoo and Isabella Moon. Then in 2009, C happened. A baby (and a stong-willed one at that) makes herself known in our house and we decide to put our 2 bedroom house on the market in 2010. So the lean years returned for a while.

Which brings me to last year and the reason for the numbered title of this post. 2012 and 53. Much to my amazement I read 53 books this past year. It is the most I have ever read in a year. Some reasons for this are: this year I read more young adult fiction than I have ever in the past and C entered preschool this past fall. As I stated earlier, preschool truly helped both of my girls see that they are separate from me and gave them more confidence to not rely on me so much. So them being not so needy = more time for me to read, etc. My eyes were truly opened this year to the wonderful world of young adult/children fiction this year. I was mostly reading to get a heads up to what Miss M might be reading sooner rather than later. But boy was I in for a delightful surprise to discover books that touched me deeply, made me laugh and genuinely a joy to read.

My favorites for 2012?

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Sandcastle Girls by  Chris Bohjalian

The Age of Miracles by Karen T. Walker

How about you? What are your favorites over the past year?