"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

12 December 2017

Top Ten Books of 2017

2017 is the third year that I have not completed a GoodReads reading challenge, and although I miss the addition of shiny digital badges to my page, I stand by what I said about that before: reading challenges cause me to stress-read just to add books to my "read" shelf on GoodReads instead of reading books because I enjoy them. Before we get to my top ten list for this year, I want to share my reading stats (which may have changed slightly since it is November when I am typing this):

This year I read significantly fewer books than other years. Even if I speed through a bunch of books before the end of the year (something I have no intention of doing), I will not make it to 500 books. Or 400. Or even 365, which equates to approximately one book a day.

I can think of a couple of reasons why my list is shorter this year. I probably didn't log all the books I read in preparation for every storytime. For some storytimes, I reused an old theme, so I already had books picked out. The other books I read were significantly longer than books in previous years. Mostly, though, I was just plain too busy with other things.

That being said, here are my top ten books of 2017, in no particular order:

  1. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (also the follow-up titles Down Among the Sticks and Bones and Beneath the Sugar Sky). These are excellent fantasy books, perfect for teens or adults. The writing is lovely and lyrical, and I only wish there were more books in this series.
  2. Ship It by Britta Lundin. This is a great teen novel full of fandoms and fanfic and embarrassing parents and all sorts of good things. This isn't out until May 2018, but if you're a librarian you should be able to request an ARC on NetGalley. 
  3. Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken by Douglas Rees. I read this book to several classes during my outreach storytimes, and the kids and teachers alike were in stitches. It is hilariously funny and perfect for large-group or one-on-one reading.
  4. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. This is a great read-alike for fans of the Harry Potter franchise.
  5. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller. This is the first book I've ever read with a genderqueer character who requests that their pronouns be changed based on the way they present that day. Moreover, this character is respected by those around them. Plus there is the whole Hunger Games-esque fight to the death thing as well. 
  6. Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill. A graphic novel featuring a pair of lesbian princess who have no time for princes. LOVE IT.
  7. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison. I don't read as much adult fiction as I probably should, but I loved N.K. Jemison's series. This first book is the best place to start. It took me a while to get used to the story and the world-building, etc., but it was well worth it.
  8. Scythe by Neal Shusterman. Imagine there is no death by natural causes anymore. In order to control the population, people are tasked with being scythes and winnowing down the numbers. Two teens are apprenticed to the local scythe. 
  9. Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee. A sweet middle grade story, again with lesbian characters. To my knowledge, this is the first middle grade / tween book with lesbian main characters (as opposed to a kid with two moms). 
  10. Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World by Ashley Blake. If Star-Crossed is the first lesbian tween book, this is the second. And it's precious. It won't be out until March 2018, so look for it then.

05 December 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Bookish Settings I'd Love to Visit

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. 
  1. Hogwarts (from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling)
  2. Brakebills (from The Magicians by Lev Grossman)
  3. The Shire (from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien)
  4. Diagon Alley (from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling)
  5. Battle School (from Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card)
  6. The planet where Swans & Klons by Nora Olsen takes place. 
  7. Hogsmeade (from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling)
  8. The island the Amazons live on in Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo.
  9. The land of David Wiesner's Tuesday where the frogs fly around town. 
  10. The Burrow (from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling) - actually, I'd be happy living there if Molly Weasley would adopt me.