Book Chat

Reading Log: June 2014

June was a fun month of reading!  I dove into some children’s literature and then kept reading more because I always remember how much I love it!  I wouldn’t say I’ve got my reading mojo back completely because I still haven’t found any adult’s literature that’s really kept me engaged lately, but I’m getting there.  Sometimes it’s fun to relish some good ole YA and Children’s Lit, for sure!

Below is my Reading Log for June 2014, with my thoughts about each book to help me remember what I read.  I’ve included all the books that I’ve read or finished during the month (even if I started some of them outside of the month).  And of course I keep track of my rating on the grade system, the binding, genre, etc… just for fun!

June 2014

HB = Hardback, PB = Paperback, AB = Audio book, K = Kindle.
F = Fiction, HF = Historical Fiction, NF = NonFiction, YA = Young Adult,
CL = Children’s Lit, B/M = Bio/Memoir, SFF = Sci-Fi/Fantasy, C = Craft

Title Start Finish Grade/
Format
Genre 
Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul,
by Melodie Beattie
1/1/14 Still Reading TBD
PB
SH
One Man’s Meat,
by E.B. White
1/11/14 6/26/14 A
PB
M
What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures,
by Malcolm Gladwell
5/21/14 Still Reading  TBD
K
NF
Anne of Green Gables,
by L.M. Montgomery
5/24/14 Still Reading TBD
AB
CL
The Cuckoo’s Calling,
by Robert Galbraith
5/31/14 6/4/14 A
AB
F
Code Name Verity,
by Elizabethe E. Wein
6/12/14 6/16/14 A+
K
YA 
14,
by Peter Clines
6/13/14 Still Reading TBD
K
F
Stuart Little,
by E.B. White
6/14/14 6/14/14 B
HB
CL
Rules of Summer,
by Shaun Tan
6/14/14 6/14/14 A
HB
CL
Charlotte’s Web,
by E.B. White
6/14/14 6/26/14 A+
HB
CL
Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison,
by Piper Kerman
6/18/14 Still Reading TBD
AB
M
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard,
by Leslea Newman
6/27/14 6/27/14 A
AB
F
Super Stitches Sewing,
by Nicole Vasinger
6/27/14 6/27/14 A
PB
C
The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread,
by Kate DiCamillo
6/28/14 Still Reading TBD
PB
CL

Thoughts:

Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul, by Melodie Beattie – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // January 2014 Reading Log

Still reading!  Fell off the bandwagon for a bit, and I suspect that I will again when we got on vacation in July, but this monthly check-in keeps me accountable.  Still enjoying the moments of meditation each night.

 …

One Man’s Meat, by E.B. White – A

The Amateur Librarian // January 2014 Reading Log

Well, this took forever and I day to finish but I still enjoyed it the entire way!  It’s not a page turner and some of the commentary seemed dated, but E.B. White’s gentle criticism and deadpan humor is just a delight to read at a leisurely pace. One Man’s Meat is a collection of his essays and monthly columns between the years 1938-1942 at the onset of World War 2. I wish it continued through the end of WW2, but it was originally published in 1942 and updated a couple times I think. Loved reading his thoughts about life on the farm, especially compared to his children’s stories Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, and Trumpet of the Swan.

 …

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures, by Malcolm Gladwell – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // May 2014 Reading Log 

Still reading… except I haven’t at all since last month.  I don’t have any other unread ebooks on my Kindle right now, so maybe I’ll pick it up again soon.  I’ve actually been listening to audiobooks and picking up “real” books more often these days.  It’s a nice change of pace, actually!

 …

Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery – TBD (but we all know A+)

The Amateur Librarian // May 2014 Reading Log

Loving another re-read of AoGG, although the audiobook I’m listening to by Librovox has some painfully awful narrators.  Almost all of the secondary characters are just laughably terrible… Diana especially.  Thank goodness Anne is great, or It would be insufferable.  I always enjoy hearing different audiobook versions though, to see how different narrators interpret the same stories I’ve read in my head so many times before.

 …

The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith – A

The Amateur Librarian // May 2014 Reading Log

I finally figured out that I could access hubby’s Audible account on my own devices, woohoo!  Not all the books he collected are my cup of tea, but JK Rowling’s detective novel was in my To-Read queue so I gave it a go.  It was fun to listen to an audiobook after a long hiatus, and I got completely hooked!  I don’t read too many mysteries, but I liked the classic detective feel with a modern setting.  My only criticism is the same one I had with HP #4 – in the end there is a really long monologue from one character that explains the entire “whodunit” and why… on one hand I appreciate having everything spelled out so I’m not wondering if I missed any clues, but on the other hand it just seems like there has to be a more elegant way to reveal the details.  But I really enjoyed the characters, who felt like real people with plenty of flaws without veering into total misery like The Casual Vacancy (I was not a fan).  I’m excited that the second book in the series is coming out this month!

Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth E. Wein – A+

The Amateur Librarian // June 2014 Reading Log

I found this free audiobook through SYNC, and absolutely fell in love with the narrators – I think it actually enhanced my overall experience to listen instead of read this YA novel.  The story of two women and their friendship during World War 2 – one a spy, one a pilot – sounds unbelievable at first glance but the details are obviously well-researched and by the time you get to the second half of the book the twists and turns of the plot unfold in so many well-crafted and intriguing ways that you can forgive any implausibilities. I heard good things when it came out in 2012 and it has since garnered plenty of awards… now I totally understand why!  I loved the characters and the AHA moment when the clues start to click into place… completely gripping and horrifying at the same time. This book accompanied me by the sewing machine and while I cross-stitched, but by the end I had to just lay down and listen without any other distractions… and yes, I cried. Certainly one of the best war (and YA) books that I’ve read in a long time.

14, by Peter Clines – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // June 2014 Reading Log

Still reading.  Picked this up because it’s one of the best sellers at the publishing company where I work.  I keep getting distracted by other books, but so far so good!

 …

Stuart Little, by E.B. White – B

The Amateur Librarian // June 2014 Reading Log

The abrupt ending always catches me off guard, even when I’m prepared for it. The more I read E.B. White, the more Stuart Little doesn’t seem like a children’s story at all but rather allegory for the loneliness of being an adult in a modern world. I will always, always want to know if Stuart ever finds Margalo and I hope he does. I also hope that he calls his family once in a while because it seems awfully callous to just up and run away without leaving a note.

 …

Rules of Summer, by Shaun Tan – A

The Amateur Librarian // June 2014 Reading Log

Picked up this children’s book at a bookstore and had to read it… beautiful illustrations that invite you to imagine a story on every page to go along with the sparse text.  I suppose at its heart is about sibling dynamics, but mostly it’s surreal and spooky and fun.  Love it!

 …

Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White – A+

The Amateur Librarian // June 2014 Reading Log

Re-reading this again prompted me to pick up One Man’s Meat once more and read them side by side. Reading the two in tandem was interesting to see how E.B. White’s adult experiences leaving the city for farm life amidst the onset of WW2 and then how it translated into children’s literature.  I still love the characters as much as ever, although this time it slightly annoyed me that Fern drops out of the picture when she becomes interested in Henry Fussy.  I never read this book as a child – in fact, I only read it for the first time a couple years ago, so I looked back for my original thoughts (posted in August 2009) and here they are, short and sweet:

“So glad I finally read it!  Wonderful characterization, so much more vivid than modern children’s lit.  Loved it.”

Still agree!

 …

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, by Piper Kerman – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // June 2014 Reading Log

Still listening.  Another audiobook, this time through the library.  I haven’t watched the show yet, but the book is interesting so far. I’ve actually heard the show is better, so maybe we’ll watch the Netflix series after I’m done.

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, by Leslea Newman – A

The Amateur Librarian // June 2014 Reading Log

Another free audiobook through Sync – A collection of poems from many points of view in many different styles about the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998.   Sync pairs a YA title with a classic to offer for free each week, so their main focus is young adult readers, and I can see how this would be effective played aloud in a classroom. I know I keep repeating myself when I say that the audiobook version is a different experience from reading, but it was especially true hearing poems read aloud rather than seeing the words on paper.  For me, the visual format of the words in a poem often affects how I read it in my head, so it was a little disconcerting to keep up with it aloud, but I can also see how listening to it is more visceral and forces you to let go of the structure a bit.  I also read in other reviews that an appendix is included in the book about the different poem formats and why they were chosen – I wish I could have read that but I understand why it wasn’t included in the audiobook.  The only time the audio hit a false note for me was the few poems with multiple voices: it felt a bit cheesy but probably wouldn’t have if I were reading it in my head. But over all, very powerful stuff and although a quick listen, affected me all afternoon after listening.

Super Stitches Sewing, by Nicole Vasinger – A

The Amateur Librarian // June 2014 Reading Log

This is a great comprehensive stitch dictionary showcasing 50 sewing machine and hand stitches. Each stitch includes photographs and illustrations showing how to do a seam, hem, and any specials uses. There are also essential facts listed such as common uses, alternative names, presser foot needed, fabric/thread type and  skill level. The tutorials are comprehensive but not as detailed as I’d like if I’d never attempted it before. I would prob rather google a tutorial for more step by step pictures, but it would be fine as a starting point or refresher.  And of course it’s invaluable to have them all in one place!

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread, by Kate DiCamillo – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // June 2014 Reading Log

Still reading.  Quick middle-grade read that I’ve had on my bookshelf for a while.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I had a preconception that it would be like Redwall or The Rats of Nymph, but so far it’s quite original and delightful!

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of June.  Anyone reading a good book?

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