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Monday, January 22, 2018

The Paris Review Podcast

Interest Level: Adult/Young Adult/Varies
Reading Level (Readng Counts Level): NR
Lexile: NR
Genre: All Types

I recently discovered the "Levar Burton Reads" podcast. I so very much enjoyed that podcast that when Levar recommended "The Paris Review" podcast, I had to check it out. In the first episode, actor and writer Wallace Shawn read "Car-Crash While Hitchhiking" by Denis Johnson. It was phenomenal. A bit gory, the tale might not be appropriate for middle school students. Since I have heard all the episodes of "Levar Burton Reads" that are currently available, I will continue to listen to "The Paris Review."

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Interest Level:Adult
Reading Level (Readng Counts Level): NR
Lexile: NL
Genre: Mystery

Finished the book

I highly recommend this book for adults. I found the characters interesting and the plot captivating. The book follows three women, Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, and their lives in a beach-side community. Jane is the newcomer to their community. Madeline and Celeste take her under their wing and their lives are forever changed. Much of the book takes place in and around an elementary school. Being in education, I found a lot that I could relate to in that setting. A story of survival, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Levar Burton Reads

Interest Level: Adult/Young Adult/Varies
Reading Level (Readng Counts Level): NR
Lexile: NR
Genre: All Types

I have recently discovered the "Levar Burton Reads" podcast. My children loved
Burton's  "Reading Rainbow" when they were kids and so did I. "Levar Burton Reads" is "Reading Rainbow" for adults. I listen to the podcast while I exercise; and I LOVE it. Burton reads short stories of all genres. In the first episode Burton reads "Kin" by Bruce McAllister. It is a sci-fi story about a boy who hires an alien hit-man. "The Lighthouse Keeper" by Daisy Johnson is a realistic tale entwined with some fable-like fantasy about a female lighthouse keeper who is obsessed with a certain fish. After each episode, Burton tells why he chose that particular story. I enjoyed hearing why he choose "The Lighthouse Keeper" and about the women in his family. His postscript of this story made me look at it in a whole new way. I felt like I was in a book club with Levar Burton! The latest episode I listened to was "Empty Places" by Richard Parks. It is a fantasy story about a wizard and a thief. Although not my favorite of the three I have listed to so far, I still found it enjoyable. As for recommending these stories to read on your own or listen to Levar Burton perform them, I would say all three are appropriate for 7th graders and older. I give "Kin" 5 out of 5 stars, "The Lighthouse Keeper" - 4 stars, and "Empty Places" - 3 1/2 stars. As for "Levar Burton Reads," I give the podcast 5 billions stars.

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith


Interest Level: Young Adult
Reading Level (Readng Counts Level): 9.5
Lexile: 1000L
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Finished the book

This book covers 24 hours in the life of Hadley and Oliver. They meet at an airport. Is it love at first sight? This romantic novel is about family connections, second chances, and first loves. This day should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having just missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. Oliver, British, and he is on her same flight. What is Oliver's story? Is this their beginning and their end?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes


Interest Level: Young Adult
Reading Level: 5.4
Lexile: 840L
Genre: Fairy Tale Fantasy

Finished the book

Before Alice falls down the whole and before there is a Queen of Hearts, there is a princess. All that Princess Dinah wants is her father's approval and a future with the man she loves. But her father does not want to relinquish his crown. An exciting tale you find yourself reading just one more chapter in hopes of seeing a glimpse of a character that might turn into one of the characters from the classic tale. I highly recommend this book.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Interest Level: 11th grade to Adult
Reading Level: NR
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Finished the book

The lives of three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens. Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager acting as a courier for the underground resistance movement, is catch and sent to Ravensbruck, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. There she meets Herta Oberheuser a young ambitious German doctor who performs unspeakable experimental surgeries. Their story crosses continents from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland. Kasia meets Caroline Ferriday a New York socialite. Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten. A powerful novel this book made me cry. A must read so that we, the human race, never repeat the horrors of the holocaust again.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

I recommend this book for adults. It is a story of survival, of overcoming hardships, of strength, and of perseverance. It ran true and was inspiring.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Love Warrior: A Memoir by Glennon Doyle Melton

Interest Level: Adult
Reading Level: NR
Lexile: NR
Genre: Non-fiction, Autobiography

Currently on pg. 74, chapter 5

This book was given to me by a friend and colleague. We have yet to discuss it but I look forward to it. In the first chapter, Melton writes about her stay in a psychiatric ward. She was 17 years old. Melton has had many challenges in her life. I am ready for her to have some good luck.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Interest Level: Young Adult
Reading Level: 5.3
Lexile: 590HL
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Finished the book

Lately I have been disappointed in the human race. I dream of a world which everyone can live together side by side, where no one cares about race, religion, or sexual preference. I wish that we could each accept and appreciate each other's differences. This book helped me to try to see a crime from a point of view of a young African American witness. This powerful story was so very real that it could have easily been nonfiction. I highly recommend this book.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Backstories: Batgirl: New Hero of the Night by Matthew Manning

Finished the book

This turned out to be a reference book not a story. Keeping that in mind, it was not bad. But it had one huge error. Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl, is a librarian!