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Newbery Update

I am a little disappointed not to have read through all the Newbery books in a year. (Technically, the year isn’t up yet since I didn’t get started until mid-February, but I don’t think I’ll be finished by then either.) While I’m not expecting less distractions in 2015, I plan to continue reading and catch up on reviewing. Although it may take me two years instead of the intended one, or even if it ends up taking three, I won’t be giving up.

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Book Review Rating Process

Before I get back to posting Newbery book reviews, I thought I would explain my rating process. Since I’m tracking my reading progress on Goodreads, I adopted a one to five rating scale. Instead of stars (because I find it amusing), I assign an item or theme from the book being reviewed. For The Story of Mankind, that item was missing maps. Continue reading

Returning to Stalled Projects

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There’s a room in our house empty of furniture, its walls displaying patches of tested paint color and spackled over imperfections. It’s the first of several interior painting projects we planned in winter and started to work on in late spring. Since then, other events and projects have taken priority and the room has sat, prepped and full of potential, awaiting a fresh coat of color with an eggshell sheen.

It’s become a bit like this blog. Continue reading

Reading Through the Newbery List

The library and bookstore ranked high among the favorite places of my childhood. Here, my parents displayed endless patience as they waited for me to pick out my selections. Cautionary words about not judging books by their covers were only partially heeded, as a book’s physical appearance was often what caught my eye and prompted further investigation (i.e., reading the dust jacket or back cover to find out what this beautiful book was about).

Like anyone else with a love of reading, I developed favorite authors whose works often made it to my check-out pile or shopping bag. Criteria for the unfamiliar typically depended on two characteristics. One was thickness of the volume (the thicker the better so the delight of reading it would last longer). The other was the presence of a medal or seal related to the Newbery Award on the front cover. Continue reading

The (Real) End of Summer

Well, here we are — the official end of summer.

Even when I lived by a school calendar, I never bought into the Memorial Day to Labor Day summer mentality. For one thing, my pre-college school days didn’t break for summer until almost a month after Memorial Day. I also recall enough hot and sticky September days that evidenced summer’s refusal to be pushed aside early for school buses, last week’s frost, or pumpkin spice lattes. Continue reading