Six Children’s Books From the Cybils Shortlist

Let’s see…

JMP loved Joe and Sparky Go to School. The book was in the back seat of my car and he read it many times all by himself. I didn’t read it until last night and it’s very cute.

I read most of Sophie’s Squash to JMP and while he was not impressed, I was. It’s a very cute story. I’m going to read it to him again next year, I think he just wasn’t in the mood to read the night we tried it.

When Thunder Comes was excellent. Very well done with a wide range of civil rights leaders represented.

What the Heart Knows is a beautiful book. The illustrations. The charms, chants and blessings. The little red ribbon. I might have to buy this one.

Pug and Other Animal Poems was ok. The illustrations were better than the poetry. I was fascinated by the poem about the mouse. That’s not something you see very often in children’s poetry. What? Go read it for yourself.

The Meanest Birthday Girl was my least favorite. In fact, I hated it. Which is too bad because there’s a big white elephant in the book. There’s enough meanness in the world that we really don’t need it in a children’s book — not like this.

2 Non-Fiction for Grandparents

I impulsed picked a bunch of books from a Grandparents’ Day display at the library. The two non-fiction were Grand Activities: More Than 150 Fabulous Fun Activities for Kids to Do with Their Grandparents and Kids and Grandparents: An Activity Book.

The first was… not good. It was primarily things that kids can do with PARENTS in relation to the child’s grandparents or things to do and send TO grandparents. Not what I was looking for at all.

The latter was a nice enough book if you need help thinking about old-fashioned games and activities to do with kids. One thing that was interesting to me was thinking about the fact that so many of these activities are really REALLY old-fashioned. It won’t be long before grandparents have never done any of these activities as kids… which leads me to wonder what the next book of old fashioned fun for grandparents and grandchildren will look like. If I had more time or inclination, I’d write that book, lol.

The Waking Dark

Not only am I behind on reading, I’m behind on blogging what I have read. I’ve almost forgotten what I’ve read — thankfully, there’s GoodReads.

So, the easy one first. The Waking Dark. On audio. From the Cybils shortlist.

Shudder.

All the killing. And the descriptive killing.

Shudder.

Did not enjoy.

Also, too many characters and we found ourselves constantly confused by which was which.

Would hope my teens wouldn’t enjoy it if they read it.

Shudder.

Adam

I generally like trans lit, particularly coming of age trans lit but Adam … just annoyed me, disturbed me and then ticked me off.

If there was a stereotype not displayed in the book, I don’t know of it. I just… no. All the no.

I Quit Another Book

Ghost Writer — it was on some list of creepy books I saw around Halloween. I’d never read it. I reserved it. It stunk.

So slow.

I tried to get through it. I gave it a full week and was half way through and for two days I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it up so I quit and it’s back at the library where I hope it finds someone who enjoys it. That someone would not be me.

Dexter’s Final Cut

Sigh. I’m disappointed in Dexter’s Final Cut. So disappointed. I get that Dexter wasn’t a good guy, even though most of us grew to really love him. But… this. This was too much. It’s ok to kill off the Dexter series, it’s not ok to fuck with the people who’ve read your books for all of these years and have come to appreciate the characters and the storytelling.

It’s not OK at all. If you’ve ready all of the other books, don’t read this one. :-(

Woman

I’ve never seen Woman, by Richard Matheson, before. Didn’t know it existed. So, I was kind of excited by it when TW put it in the library bag. I liked I Am Legend and Hell House. (TW is a Somewhere in Time fan.)

But… I didn’t particularly like Woman.

I didn’t hate it but I definitely did not love it. It’s a mean book, I think that’s what bugged me. A cautionary tale for men that’s completely irrational because it’s about women. I don’t know. It bugged me.

Between the Lines

I hate to say it, because I normally enjoy Jodi Picoult’s books but… Between the Lines is one you can probably skip.

I liked the idea of Picoult writing a YA book with her teen daughter but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It took me three days to read the first three chapters. TW said it gets better… and it did. But not a lot better.

It’s not truly horrid but it’s just not great, either.

I really, really disliked the ending. Maybe it works for kids but for me, a mom, it did not work AT ALL. Not even a little bit.

168 Hours

Some people I know (ahem) swear by 168 Hours. Some of those people told me I should read it. Some of those people told others they should read it. Some of those people should be SHOT.

What a waste of time, speaking of time management. AHEM.

I thought the book might have potential and after the first chapter I was looking at time trackers (again.) Also, why isn’t there a 168Hours App? Seriously. You have this book with PRINTABLE PAGES and you don’t have an app? Ho hum. Also. AHEM.

No.

I quit the book half-way through it.

I don’t know if I’m just good at managing my time. Or if I’m not all that unhappy about not having time to do x, y or z so this book doesn’t speak to me. Or… I don’t know.

Squeeze This!

The title, the cover and the photos are the best things about Squeeze This! — otherwise, it’s dense and dry and not fun for someone like me. I really can’t believe I slogged all of the way through it, but I did. I don’t recommend you do so, unless you really love the accordion and even then… no, I don’t really recommend it.