It’s Monday! What are YOU reading? 1/14/13

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What’s Are You Reading? is a meme originally hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  Jen and Kellee over at Teach Mentor Texts  host a KidLit version celebrating picture books to YA novels.


What I read last week…

So last week I was successful in reading both books that I set out to read:

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake – I was very happy with the conclusion on the Anna series.  After loving Anna Dressed in Blood, I could not be happier about the sequel.  Stay tuned for a review of Anna and this one later this week!

The Evolution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!  Thank goodness The Retribution of Mara Dyer  is being released this year!  I am totally engrossed in Mara’s world and want t know what is going to happen next!

What I plan on reading this week…

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – I still don’t know how I have never read this one before!  I am lost in the 1920’s when I read this.  I will probably be done with this by tomorrow.

Dead to You by Lisa McMann – This one has been getting a ton of love from my friends on Goodreads and Twitter.  I used a Christmas gift card from my uncle to get this one.

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson – Another loved one by Goodreads and Twitter fans.  I have also been approved from Netgalley to read Hattie Ever After.  Have to get the first one done to appreciate the second!


Last week I finished reading several books, and have just begun a couple more. Here’s a recap!

Before I Go To Sleep I finished reading Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson. While not really YA (really, not at all) this book was extremely interesting and thought-provoking for me.  It’s about a woman with double-amnesia- she can’t remember what happened to her yesterday, nor can she remember what happened to her 15 years ago. As she struggles to get through every day, I was left with a million questions about what life must be like for someone in that condition.

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)I also finished reading Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake, which I will review for you in full in an upcoming post (see? Making good on my resolutions already!). Suffice it to say that the top of my to-read list this week includes the sequel. We’ll talk more about that later.

My currently-reading list is fairly short, for me. I am reading this little gem:  it’s called Shakespeare: The World as Stage
Shakespeare: The World as Stage and it’s written by the ever-witty Bill Bryson. It’s not really a biography of our friend Will, but instead an examination of the previous works written about him and why they are all-too-often wrong. It’s actually making me a little sad, as I just keep thinking about how little we know about the man and the fact that we will probably never know much more than we do now. It’s cleverly written, and very interesting.

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)

I am also reading The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness in my attempts to find more books that appeal to teenage
boys. I’m about a third of the way though, but I’m not quite sure just yet what to say about this book. I’ll review it in full once I’ve finished it.



Time for Ten Bookish Goals for 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is our top ten bookish goals for 2013.

Because it’s always good to have goals, right?

Jacqueline’s goals:

  1. In 2013 I vow to write better reviews of the books that I read. Like, reviews that actually tell a person something and may help them decide to read (or not to read) that particular book. Really. I will.
  2. I will perform more booktalks for our kids. Along with that, I will actually put more than 2 seconds of thought into the booktalks before giving them, in hopes of actually enticing more kids to read said books.
  3. In order to do both #1 and #2 more effectively, I will take notes as I read. But let’s be real here, these notes will just be a post-it on the back of the book where I at least track the names of the characters.
  4. To hopefully attract more of my male students (who are tough to win over, it seems) I am going to attempt to read more books that appeal to boys. Now I just need some boys who read to help put me on that path.
  5. This year I would really like to become more involved in, and aware of, the book-world in general. I need to get that Tweety thing, read more reading blogs, and go meet some authors somewhere. If you can help, let me know!
  6. I am giving myself a pass this year. A pass to be more in control of my own reading. On reading books just because I think I should, on continuing books that are terrible, and on agreeing with others that a book was good when I didn’t think it was. Not going to happen in 2013.
  7. I have 2 daughters- a 3 year old and a 1 year old. While they both already love books (well, one likes to “read” them, the other thinks they taste good), I feel like I could really spend more time reading TO them and less time modeling reading myself. I’ve made a point to make sure they see me reading all the time, but it’s time to actually sit with them both and read a bit more.
  8. This is the year when I will finally tackle a few of those “classics” that I should have read (and sometimes pretend I have read) but never did. I know this seems to run counter-intuitive to goal #6, but that’s the way it goes I guess.
  9. To off-set #8, I am going to let myself read at least one book this year that I have already loved and adored. The Fountainhead, probably, and also The Great Gatsby in preparation for the movie. Because that movie? It. Looks. Awesome.
  10. My last goal is going to be the hardest to actually achieve, I think. I’ve already mentioned my love for audiobooks, but this is the time to take it to the next level. I load books on my ipod, plug it into my car stereo, and listen. But, I never take the darn thing out of the car. Ever. I know that ipods are transportable and that I really could be listening while doing a plethora of other things, and it’s time to just do that already. Because I was wickedly jealous of the man in Meijer the other night listening to his ipod while selecting his eggs. Genius, really.


1. I will conference with my students more about their reading.  I swear to do this all the time.  I think because I have not done it much, I don’t have the confidence.  It is a mix of not wanting to disrupt my students and not knowing what to say.  I have been reading Book Love by Penny Kittle and she has some great suggestions.  I will follow them this year.

2. I will read more of the “Classics.”  Sometimes, people are surprised about books I have not read when I am an English teacher.  I know it is giving into the stereotype, but I know there are amazing titles out there I have missed in my education.  I plan on making that up.

3. I will expand outside of YA this year.  As much as I love Young Adult Literature (I tell my students how lucky they are because of all the amazing titles they have at their disposal) and know there’s value in that so I can share the titles with students, I have many books for adults on my bookshelf and on my Nook that have been looked over for years in some cases.  I will read more of those along with my YA.

4. To go along with that, I am going to address one of my reading gaps – nonfiction.  I went through a memoir phrase a few years ago, but I have not done much informational reading.  I know I have students who enjoy these types of books and I am at a lost for titles to share with them.  Plus, the information I gain from them can help me in teaching and in life.

5. I will start sharing book trailers with my students.  I love doing book talks, but there is a whole wealth of book talking  available with book trailers to share with students.  And they are very visually appealing, which will draw in many students.

6. I will get back into reading aloud to my students.  Last year, Jacqueline and I read Wonder by RJ Palacio out loud to our tenth graders.  Many of them loved it.  I even lost it in front of one class and Jacqueline had to take over.  I started reading this year and then it fell away because I got overwhelmed about time.  However, I know the value of students being read to and will continue this again.

7. This is more writing, but I want to get back into writing again.  Being a published author is a dream I have had since I learned how to write.  However, I always give up on my writing.  I want to dedicate time to my writing again and find joy in sharing stories.

8. I will read more picture books.  I have seen the power picture books have in my own classroom.  I am still not as familiar with picture books as I would like to be in order to know newer texts to share with students.  I want to read more and bring more into my classroom.

9. I will give students more opportunities to talk about books.  I will give them the opportunities to share books in class and talk about what they are reading with each other.  As much as Jacqueline and I can talk about what we have read, a peer telling how much he or she enjoyed a book carries much more weight than anything we could say.

10.  I will continue to be an advocate for choice reading in English classrooms.  Because I am lucky to be surrounded by many like-thinking people, I forget how some educators are not sure about dedicating time to reading in class and giving students so much choice.  I was one of them a few years ago.  I could not imagine giving time in class for silent reading; now we do it almost every day.  I will use this blog and my social networks to help promote the importance of choice and getting books in students’ hands.

What are your goals this year?

It’s Monday – What are you reading? 1/7/13

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is originally hosted by Shelia at Book Journey and Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts  host a kidlit and YA version as well.

Mrs. Crawford 

With last week still being break, I read a little more than I usually do over the last two weeks.  I read two books last week.

Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix – I loved this piece of historical fiction.  I learned so much more about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and the fights for rights as well as the fire.  I book talked it today to my classes.

Matched by Ally Condie – I have heard a lot about this one and finally read it.  Overall, I enjoyed it and plan on reading the rest of the series.

I have a few plans for this week, which I am calling the week of book 2’s:

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake – I loved Anna Dressed in Blood last year and am enjoying reading the next part of Cas and Anna’s story.  I can’t wait to see where this ends up!

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – I also loved The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.  My sister-in-law even got me a signed copy of it for Christmas.  I read the first chapter at the end of the first book and desperately want to know what is happening with Mara.

Mrs. Terbrack

This week I am finishing up a few books and looking forward to starting another. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, mainly while I drive. I used to think there was no way I could follow a story in short bursts and with no visual reference, but I have really grown to love audio over the years! I never listen to the radio, and love the feeling of extra accomplishment I get when I’m driving to work or out running errands. I have been listening to Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor for awhile now, and am almost to the end! It is slightly more fantasy than I am used to, but I am really enjoying it. I will probably be picking up the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight, sometime soon.

Next up I plan to listen to Speaker of the Dead by Orson Scott Card, which is the sequel to Ender’s Game (which I LOVED). I’m also powering through a challenge another teacher friend and I embarked on to read the Bible from cover to cover in 90 days. I’m 60% through!
Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2)Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

As soon as I get a second, I am going to start reading Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. While technically an adult novel, I think the concept would be interesting for high school kids to think about: the main character, Christine, suffers from both types of amnesia. Most days, she wakes up thinking she is a child and soon realizes she is a middle-aged, married woman. She cannot remember anything past her youth, and forgets everything that happens in her life every night when she goes to sleep. I can’t wait to get started reading!

Before I Go To Sleep

Jessica and I also both created our reading goals for 2013 on Goodreads. If you don’t already use Goodreads, you should! We love to make new friends, so please add us both so we can see what you are reading too!

Happy Monday everybody!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books We Resolve to Read in 2013

It is a new year and we are starting off our new blog!  We are starting off with the top ten books we each resolve to read.  Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Mrs. Terbrack

After reaching (and exceeding!) my goal of reading 100 books in 2012, I now have to try to match (or exceed!) that number in 2013. My list last year consisted of a wide variety of genres, subjects, and writing styles, some of which stretched my reading boundaries quite a bit. Here are my top ten Must-Reads for 2013, in no particular order.

1. Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by R.L. LaFevers 

Historical, fantasy, nuns who are trained assassins. I’ll be reading this one quite soon.

2. Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

This sequel to Cinder is an absolute must-read for me. I’ll be waiting for the day it is released in February!

3. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

A GoodReads 2012 book of the year, this novel is set in a lighthouse on a tiny island in Australia. I love lighthouses, islands, and Australia, so this sounds perfect for me.

4. Speaker for the Dead (Ender’s Game #2) by Orson Scott Card

I know I’m a bit late to the Ender’s Game scene, but when I read the book late in 2012 I knew this would be a series I actually finish. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this “sequel,” especially because Card says this is the book he really wanted to write, and that he wrote Ender’s Game just so this would make sense.

5. Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie

Another series that I started in 2012 and really grew to love. This dystopian society matches teenagers with their mates at an early age. For Cassia, the matching did not go as planned, and her future has been in question ever since. I can’t wait to read this third installment of the series.

6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

I read and adored Anna and the French Kiss in 2012, and was so thrilled to hear that Perkins has written another novel that incorporates the same characters and setting, but through the lens of a completely new couple. I love  boarding school stories, and setting them in Paris just adds to the interest! Waiting until May for this will be difficult.

7. Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me was quite interesting, and I’m looking forward to this sequel. I can’t wait to learn more about the secret gifts that a small sector of this society has been endowed with, and to find out what they do with them.

8. Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones

The true story of four sisters who helped shape the course of history in Europe by marrying kings, running countries, and battling against bitter enemies. Another GoodReads top pick from 2012, and right up my alley!

9. The House I loved by Tatiana deRosnay

I read Sarah’s Key when it first came out, and have been waiting for deRosnay to write another book. This one is set in Paris and features a bold woman who refuses to leave her home despite the destruction of the world around her.

10. Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

This is one of the books I heard the most about in 2012 from other bloggers, so I think it’s time I read it. Celeana is an assassin who has been taken before the Prince- he agrees to grant her her freedom, as long as she assists him in a competition to find a new royal assassin. As the competitors come up murdered, she must figure out why before she is killed too.

Mrs. Crawford

In 2012, I set a goal of 50 books.  I met that goal much earlier than anticipated.  I upped it to 65; I finished the year having read 70 books.  I set my goal for 75 this year.  These are the books I must read:

Classics I have never read

I will admit that there are a few books I should have read at some point but never did.  I missed them somehow.  I resolve to read these three (at least):

1. The Great Gatsbyby F. Scott Fitzgerald

I really have no idea why I have not read this one.  I loved Fitzgerald’s short stories I read in high school.  I just never had to read it.  With the movie coming out this year, I must read it before I see it.

2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

I had the teacher in eleventh grade that did not have use read this one.  Everyone raved about it, but I never quite got to it.  This is number one on my Goodreads to-read shelf.  I have to do it!

3. Fahrenheit451 by Ray Bradbury

I have read Brave New World and 1984.  My brother has told me since his senior year I need to read this one as well.  Again, I love Bradbury’s short stories.  The time has come to make sure I finally check this one off the list.

Series Books

I found myself caught up in a number of series in the last year.  These are the books coming out in 2013 that I can’t wait to get my hands on!

4. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I read Cinder this summer and loved it.  I can’t wait to see where the series will go.

5. Requiem by Lauren Oliver

I have really loved the Delirium series so far.  Pandemonium went in a whole new direction and while I anticipated the twist at the end, what a great way to leave us all hanging and wanting more.

6. The Madness Underneath by Marueen Johnson

I devoured The Name of the Star this summer.  This was my first taste of Johnson’s writing as well.  I really liked Rory and am excited to see where she ends up next.

Other Must-Reads

These are books I have heard rave reviews about from friends over the last year that will be one of the 75 for sure.

7. Gone Girlby Gillian Flynn

This was a book everyone was talking about last year.  I received it for Christmas from my uncle and will be reading it very soon.

8. Every Day by David Levithan

EVERYONE has been talking about Levithan’s newest novel.  I have been a huge fan since I saw him speak in college.  I bought it with a gift card so it will be read soon as well.

 9. Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen

I have heard a lot about this book that deals with the important topic of bullying.  I am trying to get a lot of books dealing with this topic to my students.  I have yet to purchase it but will be soon.

10. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Carr

This is one of the choice books for 11th grade.  Jacqueline has also been telling me it is a must read.  I will probably listen to this one in the car when I am back to work.