Looking at my reading stats this year, I did pretty well. I read 124 books all the way through. Now, because I am me, I probably started 248 books, read 20 pages and walked away. It is very liberating to walk away from a book! As a result, I don't have any books on my list to which I gave less than 3 stars. Not one book did I read out of a sense of obligation. Some of those books were, admittedly, rereads. I have my Betsy-Tacys and my Little Houses, I tend to revisit THE STAND and 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD with alarming frequency, but of my 124, 109 of them were brand new! (Well, new to me. I don't keep track of publication year for the books that I read, a flaw that I have fixed in the 2017 spreadsheet.)
When I look at the list I see that only one of my 3-star books was not a picture book! It was CON ACADEMY by Joe Schreiber, a perfectly acceptable book that I thought might be good for summer reading. It was a boarding school crime caper that was perfectly readable and about which I can remember virtually nothing. All my other 3-stars were picture books.
And now time for the dreadful confession. If you take away all the picture books on my list, I only read 66 new books. Gee, I was feeling so proud of my 124 books, but now that I have done the math. Yikes. I guess the reason that it feels like I am not reading much lately is because I am not reading much lately. Must do better. Must step away from the internet. Must stop binge watching.
Well, of those picture books, I gave out seven 5-star ratings:
- DJANGO by Bonnie Christiansen – I love Django Reinhart and didn't know he had disability issues.
- THE PRINTER by Myron Uhlberg – I could not love Myron Uhlber more, he writes beautful books about his dad who must have been amazing.
- THE PIRATE OF KINDERGARTEN by George Ella Lyon – I feel like all kindergarteners are secretly pirates...
- DAD, JACKIE AND ME by Myron Ulberg – Myron's dad, again!
- A FINE DESSERT by Emily Jenkins & Sophie Blackall – Some controversy here, but and I think that in the hands of some revisionist history nuts, this book could be interpreted badly, but it is thoughtful and shows the humanity of enslaved people, albeit in a way that might not be clear to an audience of children without historical context.
- FOR THE RIGHT TO LEARN by Rebecca Langston-George & Janna Bock – Who doesn't love a picture book where the heroine gets shot in the head? Um... everyone? Except the writers handle the more terrifying parts of the Malala Yousafa story delicately and make it work for young readers.
- PIANO STARTS HERE by Robert Parker – First off, this is not the Robert Parker who wrote the Spenser books, so don't be disappointed. But it is a great story about a young boy, legally blind, who wants to play the piano, and does. I read a lot of books about kids with disabilities for a course I am teaching and this was one of my favorites.
Below you will find a list of my 4-star books. Some of them I did review on Goodreads before Goodreads began to feel like a job, some of them you are just going to have to look up for yourself if you are interested. These are all books that I enjoyed tremendously, I just didn't loooooooove them.
Adult Books -
- ELIZABETH IS MISSING by Emma Healey [fiction]
- WEEKENDERS by Mary Kay Andrews[fiction]
- UNDERGROUND AIRLINES by Ben H. Winters [fiction]
- THE FORGOTTEN ROOM by Karen White, Beatriz Williams & Lauren Willig [fiction]
- WINTER STREET by Eiln Hilderbrand [fiction]
- THE STAND: AMERICAN NIGHTMARES by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa [graphic novel]
- FILMISH by Edward Ross [graphic novel]
- A LIFE IN PARTS by Bryan Cranston [memoir]
- ROUTE 66 STILL KICKS by Rick Antonson [non-fiction]
- LAFAYETTE IN THE SOMEWHAT UNITIED STATES by Sarah Vowell [nonfiction]
- UNMENTIONABLE by Therese Oneill [nonfiction]
- HARRY POTER AND THE CURSED CHILD by J.K. Rowling [play]
Children's and Middle Grade non-fiction
- JUDY BLUME by Kathleen Krull
- TURNING 15 ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM by Linda Blackmon Lowery
- SALLY RIDE by Tam O'Shaughnessy
- DOLLEY MADISON by Kathleen Krull
- SONIA SOTOMAYOR by Kathleen Krull
YA [fiction unless otherwise noted]
- THE DISTANCE FROM ME TO YOU by Marina Gessner
- PAPER HEARTS by Meg Wiviott
- DENTON LITTLE'S DEATH DATE by Lance Rubin
- KISSING IN AMERICA by Margot Rabb
- THE UNLIKELY HERO OF ROOM 13B by Teresa Toten
- THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu
- KILL THE BOY BAND by Goldy Moldavsky
- DAN VS. NATURE by Dan Calame
- THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU by Lily Anderson
- EARTH GIRL by Janet Edwards
- A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE by Brittany Cavallaro
- WE SHOULD HANG OUT SOMETIME by Josh Sundquist [memoir]
- A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS by Jessica Spotswood
Next up is my five stars with blurbs!