My Favorite Reads of 2015

I didn’t meet my goal of reading 100 books in 2015, but I did read 92 books totaling 33,317 pages. I’ll take it. 2015 was a great reading year for me, so it’s been hard to narrow down my favorites. I decided to break them down into fiction, non-fiction, and audio.

2015 Fiction Favorites

Swoon! I read the entire Throne of Glass series this year, and I just adore these four books. Action, romance, magic…you won’t be disappointed!

Such a powerful, thought-provoking read for me. Adichie is a gifted storyteller and writer. Read this.

It’s hard to review this book without giving things away, but this was a fascinating dystopian read.

I. Loved. This. Book. It was funny, exciting, and full of really cool science. This was just a damn good book.

My last read of 2015 might be my favorite read of the year. A Court of Thorns and Roses was just breathtakingly good. Sarah J. Maas is an expert storyteller, and I will follow her to the ends of the storytelling earth.  I cannot wait for more!!

2015 Non-Fiction Favorites

This tiny book took me an hour to read, but it’s so packed with awesomeness that I come back to it again and again. Austin Kleon is a genius and tells you exactly what it means to put your work out there.  Everyone ever should read this.

It’s no secret that I have a bit of a crush on Sir Ken Robinson.  His TED talks make me swoon. This book is a fascinating discussion on what’s wrong with the way we do education and what we need to do to change things.

I’m not going to lie…this book is a BEAST. 400 pages. Tiny print. That being said, this book is so very interesting. It’s long, but the chapters are short and engaging. I love reading about our brains and they way we think, and this did not let me down!

2015 Audio Favorites

This was so fun, so touching, so lovely. Even if you’ve never seen The Princess Bride (GASP! Fix that right now), this is an awesome book. Cary Elwes shares such wonderful stories of his time working on the film that I fell in love with it all over again.  Plus, you get to listen to him narrate!

Without a doubt, this series was some of the most delightful reading I’ve ever done.  I listened to the first three on audio and often couldn’t wait to have to drive somewhere so I could listen more. You might not think steampunk is your cup of tea…I didn’t…but you might just want to check out this finishing school for spies!

Wow.  Just…wow. Alan Cumming is a talented actor, but he’s also a gifted writer. This book is not your typical celebrity memoir. Cumming reflects on his dark and troubled relationship with his father. It’s vulnerable, raw, and Cumming’s narration brought me to tears several times.

I love this trilogy before listening to the audio, and I love this trilogy even more after listening to it. Spectacular.

So, there you have them.  Some of my favorite reads of 2015. What were your favorites?

August 2014 Reads

In August, I read 11 books and I’m now at 78 for the year.  With work starting back up again and taking graduate classes, my reading has slowed down, but I’m still hoping to finish 100 books this year!  Here’s what I read in August…

Spellcaster by Claudia Gray — 2 Stars. I was wooed by the cover of this book at the library, but it was just ok. I don’t think I’ll be reading the next installment.  There are definitely better teenage witchy magic books out there.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers — 4 Stars. This started a little slow for me, and I wasn’t sure I was all that interested. It didn’t take long for me to really become invested in the story, though.  Assassin nuns?  How can you go wrong?  I just picked up the next book in the series from the library, and I can’t wait to dive in.

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater — 4 Stars. My goodness, I love the way this woman tells a story.  Another book in the Realm of Faerie.  I liked this better than Lament.

The Naming by Alison Croggon — 3 Stars. I’m actually a little undecided as to how I feel about this book.  I liked it, but it didn’t wow me.  Still, for being as long as it is and the constant walking in the woods plot, I am interested in the story and what happens next.  I really do hope there is less walking in the woods in the next installment, though.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys — 4 Stars.  Loved the setting.  Loved the characters.  Josie is an interesting and unique female protagonist.  She lives in a bookstore and is the daughter of a prostitute.  This was an engaging young adult mystery.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson — 4 Stars.  This is one of those cases where I would never have picked up the book if I didn’t already like the author.  The cover is just stupid and in no ways conveys anything about the book.  Anyhow.  This was a sweet, fun, sentimental travel adventure about finding yourself.  Ignore the stupid cover.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin — 3 Stars.  This was creepy, weird, paranormal young adult read.  Creepy in a good way.  Only three stars because I wish the story had been more developed.  Perhaps the next book will have more answers for me.

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Calahan — 4 Stars.  This was a fascinating medical memoir.  Like an episode of House, except real.  Extremely interesting non-fiction read.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach — 5 Stars.  This is one of those Great American Novels.  So, so good. I loved the characters and felt like I knew them personally. Don’t be fooled by the baseball premise. This book is about baseball in the way that baseball is about life.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin — 5 Stars.  I checked this out from the library, but I’m going to need to own a copy of this book.  This is going straight to the top of my recommended reads. I can’t even tell you how much I loved this lovely little book. I wanted to take up residence in it. It was over far too soon. If you are a book lover, you will love this book. This book is about a bookstore, books, book selling, and life. Loved every page.

A More Beautiful Questions: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger — 4 Stars.  This book is about exactly what the title says: the ways that asking questions can help us solve problems.  It took me over a month to read this book because it constantly caused me to stop and reflect.

That’s it for my August reads!  Stay tuned for an exciting bookish announcement later this week!

 

July 2014 Reads

July ended up being my most readingest month yet with 15 books!  Currently, I’ve finished 66 books this year.  At the rate I’ve been going, I decided that my reading goal needed to be a little more challenging, so I’m pushing myself to finish 100 books by the end of 2014.  Wish me luck!

So, what did I read this month?

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi — 4 Stars.  This is the final book in the Shatter Me trilogy, and I think it might have been my favorite of the three.  Juliette annoyed me as a character throughout much of the trilogy, but I felt like she started to come into her own in this book.

The One by Kiera Cass — 4 Stars.  This is the final book in The Selection trilogy.  This trilogy is so The Bachelor meets dystopia, but I found it to be a lot of fun.  Full of teenaged drama, so be prepared for that!

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell — 4 Stars.  This was a fast, intriguing read that left me with more questions than answers.  It ends quite abruptly, so if you like neat endings, this book is not for you.  A haunting tale about a woman who lost her life to a mental institution.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell — 5 Stars.  I found follow Rainbow Rowell to the ends of the earth.  I love her books so much.  Reading about Georgie and Neal’s relationship left me feeling very emotional and raw at times.  Plus, there was the added bonus of a magic phone.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins — 5 Stars. Jenny recommend this to me, and I just loved it.  I couldn’t put it down.  Such a sweet young adult romance.

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins — 4 Stars.  I loved the Hex Hall series by Hawkins, so I was excited to discover this at the library.  It definitely didn’t disappoint!  Another great supernatural read from Rachel Hawkins!

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson — 5 Stars.  London, Jack the Ripper, boarding school, and ghosts?  Yes, please!  I devoured this.

Forest Born by Shannon Hale — 3 Stars.  Shannon Hale is a great storyteller, and while I enjoyed this fourth installment in the Books of Bayern, it just didn’t grab me the way the others did.  I had a hard time with Rin as the main character.  I just couldn’t connect with her.

The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation by Elena Aguilar — 5 Stars.  If you work as a teacher leader or coach in any capacity, I cannot say enough good things about this book.  I will definitely return to it again and again.  Such a valuable resource.

Conversion by Katherine Howe — 4 Stars.  Something is happening to the girls of St. Joan’s.  Witchcraft?  This was an intelligently spooky read.

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson — 4 Stars.  After The Name of the Star, I couldn’t wait to get my hand on the second book in the Shades of London series.  Another awesome read.  And now I want to move to London and hunt ghosts.

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness — 4 Stars.  It just dawned on me that I finished a lot of trilogies this month.  This final installment in the All Souls trilogy jumps right in where the last book left off.  This was a solid end to a thoroughly enjoyable vampire/witch romance.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink — 5 Stars.  I know people probably aren’t as geeked out about psychology and learning as I am, but this was fantastic.  Such a fascinating look at what motivates us and how work and school get it all wrong.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart — 4 Stars.  I loved the voice in this book.  Such a great female lead, too.  I read it in a day.

Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater — 3 Stars.  Maggie Stiefvater is a remarkable storyteller.  While this wasn’t my favorite of hers (The Scorpio Races.  Go read it.  NOW.), I really did enjoy it and plan to grab the next book from the library ASAP.

Well, there you have them — my large pile of read books for July.  What have you been reading this summer?  What should I check out next?

March-June 2014 Reads

Remember when I said I would post monthly about what I’ve been reading? Oops. I am determined to get back on track because I love sharing books. Since I’m a few months behind, I’m just going to list titles and link them to my Goodreads reviews, with the occasional comment on a few of my favorites.

March 2014 —

April 2014 —

May 2014 —

June 2014 —

So, that’s what I’ve been reading over the past few months.  What have you read lately that you’ve loved?  I always need more books to add to my neverending to-read list!

February 2014 Reads

I didn’t read quite as many books in February (8) as I did in January (12), but it was still a good reading month!  Here’s what was in my reading stack in February:

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson — 4 Stars.  I always enjoy Laurie Halse Anderson, and this book was no disappointment.  This book tells the story of Haley and her veteran father who suffers from severe PTSD.  Like most of Anderson’s books, this was hauntingly realistic.

Creating Innovators:  The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner — 2 Stars.  I was disappointed in this book.  The author told half a dozen redundant stories about the lives of modern innovators and the people who influenced them.  The conclusions he drew appeared to be largely based on personal opinion rather than research.  Wagner lost me fairly early in the book when he referred to a student as a high school and college dropout, yet the student left his boarding school early to attend Stanford and then left Stanford before completing his Master’s degree.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo — 3 Stars.  This book started off slow for me.  It was fine, but not all that into it.  The second half, however, sucked me in and I’m eager to read the next book in the series.  Definitely worth a read if you are a fan of YA fantasy.

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi — 3 Stars.  I was really looking forward to the conclusion of this trilogy, but it fell kind of flat for me.  The first two books really grabbed me, and this one…well…didn’t.  It wasn’t bad.  It just wasn’t great.  I’d love to hear how others felt after reading this!

Speaker For the Dead by Orson Scott Card — 4 Stars.  I loved Ender’s Game, but I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the sequel.  Turns out, it was great!  I loved seeing Ender as an adult, and the world that Orson Scott Card has created was as fascinating as ever.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab — 3 Stars.  I think I got this for free from the Kindle store.  The premise is interesting —  when you die your life is archived and kept in a library, sometimes those archives wake up.  Another book that started out slow for me, but in the end I enjoyed it enough to want to see what happens next.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion — 5 Stars.  This was, by far, my favorite read of the month.  Don is an adult with Asperger’s (though he doesn’t know it) looking for a wife.  Don’s voice was just fantastic.  This was quirky, sweet, and lovely.  I missed Don and Rosie as soon as I closed the book.  Read it!

 The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood — 4 Stars.  Oh, Margaret Atwood.  Such amazing writing.  Believe it or not, sometimes I like my dystopia a little more grown up.  I loved Oryx and Crake, so I was excited to dive into The Year of the Flood.  It took me a bit to figure out the who, the what, and the when in this book, but overall, it was fantastic.

There you have them, my February reads.  I think my theme for February was “it took me a while to get into this book”.  With the exception of Creating Innovators, I was glad that I stuck with each of these titles.

What did you read in February?

January 2014 Reads

My reading year is off to a great start…so much so that I’m thinking I need to rethink my reading goal.  So far this year I’ve read 12 books.  My goal is set as 60 currently.  So, one month in and I’m 20% done with my reading goal.  I think I underestimated myself a little!

It kind of blows my mind that I’ve already read 12 books this year while working full time and raising my girls.  To be fair, I did have an additional four days off of work this month due to the disgustingly cold temperatures.  Still, that’s a lot of reading!  I frequently get asked how I have so much time to read.  We Still Read wrote a great post this week addressing exactly that, so since they already said it, I’ll save my time for more reading!  The post also includes these great badges to show off when you find time to read.  I love them all, but this is my favorite:

What did I read while drying my hair this month?  So many great titles that I’m excited to share with you!

  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvator — 5 Stars.  This was a great first read for 2014.  I absolutely loved this book.  I had great Maggie Stiefvator’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy this past summer and liked them fine.  I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did.  A slightly paranormal young adult read with great characters.  Highly recommended!
  • Cyberstorm by Matthew Mather — 3 Stars.  Adult fiction about what happens when a cyber attack shuts down communications and power just as a giant blizzard hits.  This book was interesting because it really felt like this could happen, and I realized how vulnerable many of us would be without our usual access to communications.
  • The Blight of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler — 2 Stars.  This is the second book in a trilogy that I borrowed from Amazon Prime.  I enjoyed the first book well enough to try this one, but overall this was kind of ‘meh’ for me.  The plot was still interesting enough, but the allegory and deeply religious LDS symbolism were so intense that it actually got in the way.  Not sure if I will bother finishing the trilogy.
  • Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt — 5 Stars.  Oh my heart, I loved this book.  This book tells the story of a young girl grieving the death of her uncle.  The writing was breathtaking and the story heartbreaking.  Definitely check this title out if you haven’t already.
  • Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller — 5 Stars.  This is a nonfiction title about cultivating a culture of reading in your classroom.  Donalyn Miller and Susan Kelly researched the habits of “wild” readers.  A great read if you are a classroom teacher or a parent…or a book lover.  I could listen to Donalyn Miller talk about being a reader all day long!
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvator — 5 Stars.  This is the second book in the Raven Boys trilogy.  I was trying to put it off since I had loved the first so much and the third wasn’t out yet.  I always like to have a highly anticipated read in my back pocket, but I just couldn’t wait.  You shouldn’t wait either.
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell — 3 Stars.  Having devoured Eleanor & Park and Fangirl last year, I knew this would be an enjoyable read for me.  Not my favorite by Rowell, but still a sweet, funny love story.
  • The Distant Hours by Kate Morton — 4 Stars.  This was my first Kate Morton, and I really enjoyed it.  This book reminded me of books like The Thirteenth Tale or The Little Stranger.  It’s the perfect kind of book to read on a rainy day with endless cups of tea.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvator — 5 Stars.  Hi, my name is Erin, and I’m suddenly addicted to Maggie Stiefvator.  Honestly, her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy just didn’t grab me the way that the books I’ve read this month have.  I completely and utterly adored The Scorpio Races.  Easily my favorite book of the month, and I think it will be a contender for my favorite book this year.  I always loved horse stories as a kid, and this was the perfect combination of horse story, mythology, and magic.  Ignore your t0-read pile and just read this instead.
  • The Curse Girl by Kate Avery Ellison — 3 Stars.  Fun, fast Beauty and the Beast retelling.
  • Visible Learning for Teachers by John Hattie — 4 Stars.  If I’m being honest, I actually started this book last November and it has taken me this long to finish it.  It’s an excellent book, but it’s dense and full of statistics.  My brain could only handle reading a few pages at a time because there was so much to digest.  This book is a comprehensive look at the things we do that truly impact learning.  If you are a teacher, read this book.
  • The Glister by John Burnside — 2 Stars.  I’m having a hard time with what to say about this book.  We bought it when Borders was going out of business.  We have a mountain of books from that time since Ted would just bring them home.  This one caught my eye on the shelf the other day.  The cover and synopsis make it seem like a suspense/horror type story.  It is, in a way, but really there was very little plot.  The writing was great and the characters were interesting, but I didn’t really get what I expected, so I left a little disappointed.

Looking back, it feels like I was a little heavy-handed with my 5 Star reviews this month, but honestly I got lucky and read a lot of really wonderful books this month.  What have you been reading this month?  What are you looking forward to reading next month?

My Favorite Books of 2013 & Some 2014 Reading Goals

Well, I didn’t do much blogging this year, but I certainly did a lot of reading.  More reading than I’ve ever done before, in fact!  My original reading goals for 2013 were to read a total of 45 books, 5 nonfiction books, and 5 classics.  I only read 2 classics this year, so I didn’t meet that goal.  I read 19 nonfiction books, so clearly more than five.  And, I ended up reading 85 books total this year!  I know.  I’m blown away too.  In 2012, I read 38 books, so I figured that 45 was a reasonable goal.  By mid-year, I’d already reached that goal, so I bumped it up to 60 and eventually to 70 books.  I’m really pleased with my reading life this year, and I can’t wait to see what books next year will bring!  I don’t want to get ahead of myself, though, so let’s talk about what I really loved in 2013…

Fiction:

  • The One and Only Ivan — This is children’s literature, but such a sweet, sad, lovely store.  You can read it in a nap time if you need to.
  • The Little Stranger — A slightly spooky, old-timey mystery.  Loved the writing, the characters…everything!  If you enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale, I think you would like this book.
  • The Snow Child — I absolutely adored this book. It was lovely and quiet and soft and just a little bit sad. I wanted to curl up inside it and stay there. Loved it!
  • Half of a Yellow Sun — Historical fiction from the Nigerian/Biafra wars in the sixties.  Fantastic writing.  Even if African historical fiction isn’t your cup of tea, I still highly recommend checking this book out.
  • Eleanor & Park — This book touched my heart in so many ways.  Lovely, sweet, and sad.  If you haven’t already read this, what are you waiting for?
  • The Golem & the Jinni — A tale of a Golem and a Jinni trying to make their way in the human world.  Different, but so good. I loved the way that the storylines in this book intertwined.
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore — Inventive!  Delightful! Enchanting!  Intriguing!  This book is my new favorite recommendation.  A fun, different story that was a perfect blend of books & technology for me.
  • Fangirl — This book just charmed the pants right off of me.  Absolutely delightful.  Why are you reading this blog post when you could be reading Fangirl?  Seriously.  Off you go now.
  • Oryx and Crake — Dystopia from Margaret Atwood.  Do I need to say any more?

Nonfiction:

  • Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children From Birth to Age 5 — This book was excellent.  Full of research, balanced, and easy to read.  It was a very pragmatic look at how and why we use media with young children, and what effect that media has.  I think every parent and teacher of young children should take the time to read this book.
  • Mindset — Carol Dweck’s book is amazing.  It’s not a parenting book by any means, but it’s one I think all parents & teachers should read.  The powerful differences in success between those with a growth mindset and those with a fixed mindset speak for themselves.
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking — I learned SO MUCH about myself as an introvert and really came to understand a lot of why I do what I do. Plus, I feel like I have a much better grasp on the best ways to parent and teach introverts, as well as a good grasp on what it means to lead as an introvert.  Excellent book.
  • Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better — Very readable, well-researched, and simply fascinating.  We are constantly talking about the negative impacts of technology and social media, but what about the good that they are doing?  Clive Thompson does an excellent job of pointing out the positives.

So, that was my reading year in a nutshell…well, that and dozens of YA dystopian novels.  What about next year?  Here are my reading goals for 2014:

  1. Read 60 Books — I feel like I should go for more than I read this year, but I also know that this was a huge reading year for me, sometimes at the expense of doing other things I enjoy.  I think a goal of 60 will help keep my momentum going, but also allow me some time to get back to writing.  Plus, I can always up my goal later if I need to!
  2. Read 5 Classics — I really did want to do this last year and didn’t quite make it.  Time to try again.
  3. Write About My Reading — I’m not entirely sure how I want to tackle this one yet, but I will definitely be blogging about what I’m reading.  Weekly?  Monthly?  Sporadically?  I haven’t decided yet.

I am really proud of myself as a reader this year.  I read a variety of things, and I read a lot in general.  Even with two little girls and a crazy new job.  I’m excited to keep up my momentum and can’t wait to see what 2014 brings to my reading life!

Is This Thing On?

My mind has been very full lately, and I’m sure this is what has lead to my recent itch to blog.  It’s been a while, huh?  Tonight, the desire was so strong that I just had to sit down and get some words out.  But then I got stuck…what should I write about?

Should I write about how much I’m learning at my new job?  How it’s crazy and fun and exhausting?  How it makes me wonder if I want to go back to the classroom?

Or should I write about my recently developed crush on Sir Ken Robinson and how I repeatedly watch videos of him on YouTube just to listen to him talk sexy about things like technology and transforming education?

Should I write about my voracious appetite for books and that I can’t stop reading?  Which of the 72 books I’ve read so far this year should I talk about?

Maybe I should write about how this boy said something to me in high school that I still think about regularly?

Or should I write about how my daughters are suddenly three YEARS old and sometimes my mommy heart can’t take how amazing they are?  Or about how sometimes they drive me batshit insane?

Should I write about my recent addiction to colored tights and coffee?

So, I pondered all of these writing possibilities and decided to take a bath instead of writing.  But then I got out of the tub and still wanted to write, so I just wrote all of this nonsense because sometimes you’ve just got to let the words out.

Maybe my next post will be more cohesive…

2013 Reading Goals

So, I realize that posting about my reading goals for the year halfway through March might be a little silly, but pretend I posted these goals in January and that this is just an update!

Goal the First — Overall, read 45 books in 2013.  Last year, I read 38 books, so I decided to try and up my game a little bit.  So far I’ve read 12 books this year!  Goodreads tells me that I’m 3 books ahead of schedule.  Yay me!

Goal the Second — Read at least 5 non-fiction books.  I’ve finished one non-fiction book already and I’m on my way to finishing a second.  Yay me again!

Goal the Third — Read or re-read at least 5 classics.  I haven’t read any classics yet.  Anyone have a favorite they’d like to recommend?

While 5/12 books I’ve read were Pretty Little Liars books, I have also read some wonderful books this year that I think you should check out!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone — This YA book was a little more fantasy than my usual taste, but I could not put it down.  Fantastic writing, engaging plot.  You want to read this book.

The One and Only Ivan — This book is juvenile fiction, so you can read it in an afternoon.  I adored this book and cannot wait to share it with my daughters.  This is a fictional account of a gorilla who lived in a shopping mall.  It’s guaranteed to make your heart all mushy.

The Little Stranger — This is one of those books that I will begin immediately recommending to everyone who asks me for book recs.  I loved it!  If you enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale, I think you will love this book too!

What have you been reading lately?

The Book That I Am In — Winners and My Favorite Summer Reads

I know this post is almost a week late.  Please forgive me!  Between being back at work, raising two toddlers, and frequent pain from the car accident, posting has gotten pushed to the bottom of the to-do list on more than one occasion.

I have to say that I am really impressed with your reading totals…and basically blown away by the winners.  I think you will be too!  Myself, I managed to read 12.5 books and 5,589 pages.  Not too shabby!  I really fell off the wagon towards the end of the summer, but overall I managed to keep myself reading at a pretty steady pace.  Now for the winners…

The reader who read the most book was Ranj with a total of 87.5 books!  Amazing.

The read with who read the most pages was Stephanie with over 29,500 pages read!  Wow.

You’ll notice neither winner has a blog or twitter for me to link to.  Perhaps this is their secret to reading so much.  Ladies, email me your address so I can send out your prizes!

Even though I didn’t manage to read 88 books this summer, I still had some really fantastic reads that I want to share with you.  These are a few of my favorites from this summer…

What I Did by Christopher Wakling — I already reviewed this book on the blog, but I have to mention it again.  Great writing, great character voice, and a book that makes you think.  Read it!

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman — Just an overall good book.  Nothing spectacular, but great storytelling.

The Flight of Gemma Hardy Margot Livesey — A novel clearly inspired by Jane Eyre, this was a true favorite for me this summer.

Looking for Alaska by John Green — I absolutely adore the way Green writes his teenage characters.  If you love YA, but need a break from dystopia, check out John Green.

Thanks for reading along this summer!  I think next summer I’ll modify the rules so that you get a certain number of entries based on how many books you read.  I had no idea people would be getting such high numbers.  Hope you enjoyed playing along and that you were inspired to read a little more than usual!