Reading Recap: A Look at What I’ve Been Reading Lately

FebReadingRecapI’m not sure if you know this or not, but my first job was at a county library – and I loved being so immersed in books that I pursued a Master’s Degree in Library & Information Sciences. (I’m not currently using said degree, but I really enjoyed getting it – can we all say #aftercollegeproblems) However, lately I’ve reclaimed my reading hobby and rediscovered the wonder of the local library. I’ve jumped head first into a pile of fiction and nonfiction checking of my to-read list that must be at least a mile long.

I’d forgotten how much I seriously enjoy reading – and how fast I can throw down a chapter-book. With fiction, I’ve never been great at taking it a few chapters at a time and spreading the reading out over a few days

4amFinishedBook photo credit

And that friends, is exactly what happened yesterday when I brought a book for lunch, agonized at the end of the hour when I had to put it away and get back to work, and promptly got it back out as soon as I got home. Finishing that book led me to starting, and finishing, another – and then I looked at my clock and realized my butt needed to be in bed or there was no way I’d be able to function at the office. But you know what? It was some of the best sleep I’ve gotten all week. Which totally tells me I need to get out of my own head more often.

But anyway, let me share what I’ve been reading, and encourage you to check at least one of these books out from your local library.

Schooled by Gordon Korman

A commune-living Hippie Child is forced to attend public school after his grandmother, and only care giver, breaks her hip. Hilarity ensues.

  • Last October, while I blogged about 31 Days of Slow Cooking Deliciousness, Amy, from Amy in Wanderland, did an amazing 31 day series on Young Adult Literature. I found myself bookmarking several of her reviews and adding books she mentioned to my to-read list. Schooled was one of those books. You can read her review here. Overall, this book was a very quick, and very touching read. 

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban

Best book I’ve read this year! Duncan discovers 1st-hand how life & literary themes intersect & how even the smallest choices have great magnitude.

  • I also follow a literary blog, the bookshelves of doom – which is where I first read about this book. The premise intrigued me, and I am seriously so glad I gave it a shot. This book will not be for everyone, but if you’re a “literature” or “english major” type, then you should definitely pick this one up. I would say that it should be required reading for highschoolers except that requiring a book to be read takes some of the power away from the story, and really, I feel like this is one of those stories that has a much greater impact when its discovered by the reader and not the teacher. 

Just a Minute by Wess Stafford

A look into the lives of children who attribute their turning points to casual & often short interactions with adults. Small act/big effect

  • I’m an advocate for Compassion International and this book has been making the rounds on their forums for quite some time. Dr. Stafford is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of Compassion International, and this book showcases just a small sampling of his passion for children’s ministry. Taking a look at numerous children and how positive or negative moments shaped their outlooks, the book both inspires me and scares me. Mostly, however, it makes me carefully consider how I handle a conversation with a child, and how I can use that small moment to make a positive impact.

The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow

Two tween girls set out to document what it takes to make a popular girl & how they can apply those findings to their own social standings

  • So, to be totally honest, I picked up this book after bookshelves of doom posted that it had been “challenged” by a social studies teacher in Washington State. Book challenges are not uncommon – but challenges made by teachers kind-of are. So, naturally, when it was suggested that students should not read this book, I went and found it at my local library and read it in a single sitting. In and of itself, the book is benign. Essentially it’s a graphic novel “written” by two tween girls, Lydia and Julie. Lydia and Julie set out to research what makes a popular girl popular & how they can be popular before they enter into middle school. It’s a cute, entertaining look at tween worries and antics. I’d say it’s a possible girl version of the Wimpy Kid Diaries. I certainly found nothing wrong with it, and obviously neither did my local library (since that’s where I got the book). But, just so you can be an informed reader: the challenge is for “promotion of the homosexual agenda” Essentially, one of the main characters, Julie, has two fathers. That being said, the book does not revolve around her familial make-up, and presents the family as just that, her family.

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

Siblings Joey & Mary Alice spend their summers with their grandmother – who proves to be a terrible influence, getting into all sorts of antics.

  • This was anther book off of Amy’s 31 Days series that made its way onto my list. Set in the 30s it recounts the nine summers Joey & Mary Alice spent with their grandmother – who herself turns out to be quite a character. Overall this was a cute book, but I just couldn’t really get into it. All the reviews are stellar, and the characters were really memorable, so maybe I was just in a funk that day…


What have you been reading lately? Anything I should add to my list?


Today I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Twitterature and sharing my reading reviews in the form of tweets. For more info & book reviews click on over here.

5 thoughts on “Reading Recap: A Look at What I’ve Been Reading Lately

    • Emily says:

      haha I’m glad I can make someone feel normal 🙂 that’s totally me though – I can tell if it’s a good book or not by the ratio of how quickly I get to bed vs how much book is left to read. Brilliant books are read fast and all at once. Terrible books are read slowly and possibly never finished.

      Also, you’ll love Schooled. It’s really a fun, easy read 🙂

      & Thank YOU for the chance to link up and connecting me with so many other fabulous books!


  1. Yvonne says:

    Major bookworm here! I was the child who would read by flashlight at night, when the flashlight was taken away, I would move to the window and read my window light. I usually have bookmarks in no less than 3-4 books at any given time! Are you on Goodreads?


  2. Leila says:

    Glad to see that you enjoyed The Tragedy Paper — I’ve seen a pretty varied range of responses to it, so I’m happy to know that I wasn’t the only one who liked it!


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