Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Monday 6/21! What Are You Reading?

Happy Official First Day of Summer and Longest Day of the Year!  Though it seems odd that today is the first day of summer, since it's been 100 degrees every day here in Oklahoma all week.  We've been on vacation, so I've been completely disconnected  from the blogging world.  My father-in-law's next-door neighbors are graciously letting us use their wireless internet while we're here, so I thought I'd pop in for my Monday update.

What an update!  Summer vacation is great reading time, especially for my 15-year old son, Jamie, and me.  Here's what we've been reading lately:
  • I just finished Pendragon, Book Nine: Raven Rise by DJ MacHale, and I just have to say...WOW!  I have mentioned many times before  that this is one of our favorite middle-grade/teen series of all time, and it just gets better and better.  I read for hours yesterday as I neared the end of this latest installment.  We usually wait until the books come out in paperback, but I wanted to jump in the car and rush right out to the bookstore last night to buy the final book, Book Ten: The Soldiers of Halla.  It's just so good!!  Jamie was thrilled I finally read book 9 so we could talk aboutit.
  • I just started Lisa Scottoline's Everywhere That Mary Went, a book that's been sitting on my shelf for over a year!  I've heard lots of great things about Scottoline's books, and it seemed like a good summer vacation choice.
  • Jamie recently finished The Bourne Supremacy (book 2) by Robert Ludlum and LOVED it!  He only recently began reading some adult novels, and he loves the intricate plots.  My father-in-law has the DVD of The Bourne Ultimatum (based on book 3), so we watched that after Jamie finished his book.  Great movies, too.
  • Jamie is now reading a brand-new middle-grade/teen fantasy novel (start of a new series, I think) called Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede.  He says it's great so far, with a unique plot that combines historical fiction with fantasy, set in the early American frontier.
  • Craig, 12, has been coasting along since school ended and he no longer HAS to read.  He's been occasionally dipping into Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney, though he's never really loved these books - he thinks the main character is kind of mean and doesn't treat his friend well (that's my boy!).  He just got a copy of Sounder by William H. Armstrong, which he has to read during the summer for school, but he hasn't started it yet.
  • At bed time, we've been reading aloud from an advance copy of a new book, Hide & Seek by Katy Grant.  The cool thing about this book is that it's a mystery about geocaching, something that we enjoy doing ourselves (it's kind of like a treasure-hunting hike with a GPS).  It's good so far.
  • My husband, Ken, has been reading Here There Be Dragons, the first book in the series, The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owen.  This is a really cool fantasy series that's especially fun to read because it is chock-full of references to all kinds of kids' literature and has lots of action as well.  The Imaginarium Geographica is an atlas of of all the fictional places from myths, legends, books, and fables that a group of writers has been chosen to protect.  I read and enjoyed the first book, but Jamie's been telling me I need to read the rest of the series (4 so far, I think) - he says it just gets better and better!
  • And, in the car, we've been listening to The Oracles of Delphi Keep by Victoria Laurie, a middle-grade fantasy novel that is excellent so far.  Can't wait to get back on the road tomorrow to hear more!
I guess that's it for now.  What are you and your family reading?

(What are you reading Monday is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's Monday 6/7! What Are You Reading?

Well, it's actually Tuesday now, but I still wanted to post my weekly update because we leave on vacation soon, so I won't be around the blogosphere for a while.

I missed Monday because my mother-in-law passed away on Thursday morning after a 30-year battle with Parkinson's disease.  We scrambled to get flights out to Oklahoma as soon as we could, but my youngest son and I still missed the funeral service.  Our later flight on Friday was delayed for four hours, then finally cancelled.  We spent the night in a hotel near the airport and got up at 4 am the next morning, but we still arrived a couple of hours too late.  We were horribly disappointed, but at least we arrived in time to see some of our family before they returned home and to spend several days with my father-in law and our nephew and his family.

So, it's been a long, rough week for us.  We did have lots and lots of reading time, though, on planes and in airports, waiting and waiting and waiting...
  • Jamie, 15, finished The Game of Sunken Places by M.T. Anderson last week and enjoyed the middle-grade fantasy adventure very much.  He's looking forward to the sequel.  I think I'll take this one on vacation with me.
  • Jamie wanted to bring our hardback edition of Stephen King's The Stand with him to Oklahoma.  Though I know he'll love it and I've been wanting him to read it, I talked him out of carrying the heaviest book in our house through all those airports!  Instead, I set him up with a nice lightweight paperback of Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Supremacy.  He recently enjoyed the movie version of The Bourne Identity, so I thought he'd like this.  It kept him well distracted during our long flight last night (we didn't get home until 2:30 am!)
  • Craig has been working hard to read Charlie Bone and the Red Knight by Jenny Nimmo before school ends this week, so he can meet his Accelerated Reader goals.  He's really impressed me, reading more in one week than I've ever seen him read before.  He's only 40 pages away from the end of this 600-page book.  Of course, again, all those hours in planes and airports helped (though he slept all the way home last night - lucky!)
  • I finished and absolutely loved D.J. MacHale's new Morpheus Road: The Light.  Scary, suspenseful, great characters, and lots of surprises!  I hoped to post a review last week, but now I may not have time before vacation - we'll see.
  • I started How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers by Toni Bernhard, a good online friend of mine who has the same immune system disorder I have (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).  I love her book so far and am finding it very inspirational, but I knew I needed some gripping fiction for the trip, so I had to set it aside temporarily.
  • During our trip, I read What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell, a recent teen/YA release that won the National Book Award.  It was definitely award-worthy, a mix of a coming-of-age story, history (set after World War II), romance, suspense, and even a possible murder mystery.  It easily held my interest during those long waits and flights.
  • On last night's flight, I started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  It pulled me right in - I barely noticed when our plane returned to the gate to straighten out some sort of passenger mix-up (after an hour on the runway).  I'm about halfway through it now and am thoroughly entranced by the unique post-World War II story told through a series of letters.  Hmmm...I just noticed I read two books set in the same time period this week, but the first was set in the U.S., and this one is set in England.
  • Finally, I've been slowly working my way through a middle-grade audio book, Keeper by Kathi Appelt, about a ten-year old girl who sets off in a small rowboat to find her missing mother, who she believes is a mermaid.  It's very good so far.
So, that was our very long week.  Thank goodness for good books to distract us from all of life's craziness.

What are you and your family reading?

(What are you reading Mondays is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey).