Two months ago, I compiled a list of my favorite books featuring dragons. There we only two books on the list that I hadn’t read myself, and both are books I’ve been meaning to read for a while now. A conversation with a friend Seraphina by Rachel Hartman that same week convinced me to check my local library for a copy. The audiobook was available without a wait, so I immediately downloaded the files and found some laundry to fold.
Since April, I confessed my obsession with Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co. series. I could not wait to get my hands on The Creeping Shadow, so I eagerly preordered my first book since the final Wheel of Time. It came in the mail two weeks back, and I devoured the entire thing in a matter of days. If you missed my review of the first book in the series, here’s a quick summary: In an alternate version of modern-day England, ghosts come back to haunt the living. Because only sensitive children can see and hear the Visitors, children are pressed into service by the various psychic detection agencies founded to deal with The Problem. The series follows the young adults of Lockwood & Co., the only independent (adult-free) agency in London. I don’t usually like scary books or movies, but I love this series. Stroud interjects his trademark humor into even the creepy bits, which keeps everything pretty light. Plus since the series is written for a late elementary/early teen audience, the gore and the horror are relatively mild. I haven’t enjoyed ghost stories this much since staying up late to watch “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” as a kid. Continue reading
Earlier this year, I shared my favorite podcasts for finding books to read. Podcasts have quickly become one of my favorite ways to add to my list of books to read. Despite finding those wonderful resources, I was still getting most of my picture book and middle grade recommendations on Instagram and a few favorite blogs. That is until this summer, when I embarked on The Great Quest for Podcasts About Books for Kids. Turns out, there are a whole host of podcasts devoted to the love of children’s books. For the purposes of narrowing down the choices, here were my criteria (modified slightly from the original podcast search): Continue reading
In the spirit of The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, I call my discovery of it “The Case of Forgetting an Author.” I’d read The Amulet of Samarkand a few years back and enjoyed it enough to read the rest of the series. Then I promptly forgot about Jonathan Stroud. When I heard he had a series following a couple of teen ghost hunters, I was intrigued. Since I’m a wimp when it comes to scary things, I wasn’t sure how I would like the series. Plus, my library only had an audio version of the first book, and I generally prefer to read my fiction and listen to my non-fiction. But one afternoon I was out of new podcast episodes to listen to on my run, so I downloaded the audio files and told myself I could stop at the first gruesome scene. I loved it. Continue reading
If a book is good, I will probably recommend it to my book-loving friends. If a book is great, I might also recommend it to friends and family who don’t read often. The true test of a book, though, is whether I keep recommending for years. The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks by E. Lockhart is such a book. When I first read the book back in 2009, I was blown away by how much I loved it. I’ve since read (and enjoyed) everything by E. Lockhart that I can get my hands on, but The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks has always remained my favorite.