I’ve done pretty good this year with reading, as I ended up trying to read 285 and have read 290 (that’s over 42,000 pages!). I know it’s been awhile since I’ve done a proper non-review post as life and work especially has been crazy. I’m getting ready for 4 library programs that I’m presenting in the New Year and so have been busy working on those and making sure everything is put together. I’m doing an Art History/Craft program called Art Explorers (which is basically what I was doing before with Kids Cafe but no longer have time for), Discoverytime (Storytime + STEM for 2-5 yrs olds), a Tween Book Club called Page Turners, and I’m assisting with another program called Crafty Science. And that’s not counting my duties with Kids Cafe as Site Supervisor (mostly organization and paperwork) and occasionally presenting an easy craft on a Wednesday session. Anyways, on to the books in no particular order. The links are to my reviews of the books, might have to scroll a bit as the monthly reviews can be long. Liam’s choices are books my four year old son particularly liked and I read to him multiple times.
Favorite Picture Books
Emily’s Blue Period – a cute book about self-expression and dealing with parent’s divorce
Hi, Koo! – a great way to introduce kids to haikus, plus adorable illustrations as always. I love Jon J. Muth’s books!
How to Cheer Up Dad – This book made me laugh out loud b/c it is exactly what it is like to have to deal with a toddler, and the author/illustrator should know as he was inspired by his own son. Great illustrations.
Snoozefest – loved the idea of this book and the illustrations, plus cutest name ever in a picture book (Snuggleford Cuddlebuns)
If You Plant a Seed – Kadir Nelson, what can I say? I love the man and his work keeps getting better and better every time he comes out with a book. I loved the moral message of this book and even my son got it.
The Big Princess – I love Taro Miura’s storytelling and bold simple graphics in this book and The Tiny King!
Beautiful Birds – Another gorgeously decorated illustrations for an ABC book
I Will Take a Nap – I love naps so a book advocating them is always a bonus in my book. Plus this one is extra silly, and I love Mo Willems books.
What to Do if an Elephant Stands on Your Foot – a funny book that my son adored and had me read over and over again, including to his Preschool classmates
The Mustache Baby series – Hilarious books with adorable illustrations, trust me, kids and parents will love these! Both me and my son loved these!
Wolfie the Bunny – I loved it for the fabulous illustrations and got the humor of the “Wolf in Rabbit’s clothing”; My son just loved the story of the misunderstood Wolfie
Bea Makes Tea – A Rhyming/Phonics book that my son just fell in love with and we both knew most of the lines by heart (in separate voices) after we finally returned it.
Rutabaga: The Adventure Chef – really cute graphic novel featuring your classic knights and dragons tale but with an “adventure chef” kid for a hero and his kid companions. Looking forward to more from this author/artist; My son also really enjoyed this one as well.
Favorite Children’s Books
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters – I haven’t read an Alvin Ho book in a over a year and forgot how funny it is, esp because of his Shakespeare cursing father.
I am Albert Einstein – A great simple introductory biography to the world famous physicist
Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe – after using O’Keeffe for one of my Kids Cafe Art Lectures, I was ready to learn more about her and this biography was very-well researched for a kids book and a great introduction to this fabulous artist
Smile and Drama – Cannot express enough how much I love these two graphic novels!
The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3) – love this series (adore the author’s work in general) and this is the latest one which literally keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Can’t wait for the next book in the series, but hate when they end on a cliffhanger!
Favorite YA Books
The Kamisama Kiss series by Julietta Suzuki- both the anime and manga (I’ve read through #19, though review is for #1-5) are a lot of fun to read, even though they are a bit silly and over the top
Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1) – a continuation of the Parasol Protectorate series by the same author but from the viewpoint of Alexia Tarabotti’s daughter Prudence many years later and all sorts of supernatural steampunk fun ensues
Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School #4) – Adored this series by Gail Carriger! Really her stuff just keeps getting better and better!
An Ember in the Ashes – Hard to believe this is her first book as her world-building is so awesome in this pseudo-Roman world! Probably one of the best books I read this year, definitely one of the best ARCs (Advanced Reader’s Copies).
Wolf by Wolf – Another of the most original stories I’ve read this year, this alternative history (what if Nazis and Japan won WWII) with a shape-changing Holocaust survivor
Templar – Fantastic illustrations and a great story (very well-researched), very Indiana Jones meets Ocean’s Eleven in terms of an impossible task being pulled off
Library Wars #12 & 13 – Futuristic militant librarians battle censorship with a bit of romance thrown in, what’s not to love? I have had #14 on hold forever waiting for it to come out
Favorite Adult Books
Outlander series – introduced to this series by watching Season 1 Vol 1 of the new Starz show; have now read through book 5 and loved all except 2nd book (which was okay but not as good as first one); Jaime is seriously one of my favorite book characters ever
Lord John Grey series – Usually spin-off series aren’t this good, but she puts just as much work and research into this series as she does with Outlander and I really like Lord John’s character (have read/listened to 10 out of 13 stories)
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – This book club selection was a fabulous first book by the author, despite being about 60 yrs old romance and racism; looking forward to her new book coming out in March 2016 called The Summer Before the War.
Transatlantic – another book club selection, I really enjoyed this book even though I was a bit lost for awhile as to what the connection between the stories was
Fool and its sequel The Serpent of Venice – hilarious comedies based off the tragedies King Lear (Fool) and The Merchant of Venice/Othello/Cask of the Amontillado (The Serpent of Venice). Two of my favorite Christopher Moore books.
Did She Kill Him? – a fascinating look at Victorian True Crime and sexuality/gender