It’s Monday, January 1, 2018

I just practiced writing 2018, some years it takes me a few tries to get the new year correct, but maybe this year will be easier than most for some reason. Time to start the new year with a list of books I have been reading over the holiday break. Thanks to the folks at and for their continued support and hosting of this weekly update.

Books I finished this week

Challenger Deep

An absolutely brilliant book chronicling a teenager’s battle with mental illness. I also loved the way the book acknowledges that no two journeys through mental illness are the same. Highly recommended, it sat on my shelf for way too long.

What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses?

A neat little picture book where the narrator asks the question from the title to a number of people that he knows as he lives too far north to have much experience with horses. Some interesting cultural facts as well.

Me and Marvin Gardens

Another book that I highly recommend. I have read several of A.S. King’s young adult novels and was excited to see what her middle grade book would be like. It’s a little meditative and thoughtful, and some of my readers might not respond that well. Minor spoiler alert- There is reference to a fight in the book, but for King the details of the fight are not that important, but the impact it has on the character’s lives is important.  So, in this book there may be less action, but more thoughtful reflection on the fight and so many other important topics and themes. This one is a great addition to my library.

Half Brother

I loved the simple cover of this book which I kind of missed when it first came out. After the success of The Nest in my school a couple of years ago (reading that is like a rite of passage into grade 5, even this year) I thought I would go back and read this one eventually. For me, this one straddles MG and YA with some of the language and events. A boy moves to Victoria with his scientist parents who are starting an experiment integrating a baby chimpanzee into their family in an effort to teach it language skills. This book kind of reminded me of early teen moments when you realize the world is not really centered in your actions and things can and will often go awry. That sounds like it could be quite comic and it is funny at times, but there is seriousness about this one too.

Currently Reading:

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King (The Guardians #1)Shadow Weaver (Shadow Weaver, #1)Refugee

Nicholas St. North is our current family read aloud. It was my choice for the holiday season. My youngest (7) has had it for a while and I was concerned that she might never read it on her own as she gets distracted reading and re-reading longer books in series (Land of Stories, Harry Potter). I fear she will have this huge stack of books for kids 6-9 that never gets read. We are enjoying it.

I am reading an early copy of Shadow Weaver that I got from NetGalley, which comes out tomorrow. I am really not too far into it, but the first few pages are very interesting. There seems to be an interesting world being built here.

Refugee is my current hard copy book (I have trouble only reading on my IPAD with the NetGalley stuff). I just started this morning and I feel like I can safely say that this one will live up to the hype.

On deck: I have a lot of books that I have been wanting to read for a while, but I was working through the list I made at the beginning of 2017 first. I have added them to my new MustReadin2018 list and it starts with Refugee, and from there I think I will move on to Wishtree.

Thanks for reading, Happy New Year to everyone, and I look forward to reading about all of your reading years in the months ahead.

5 thoughts on “It’s Monday, January 1, 2018

  1. I loved Challenger Deep and Refugee, and thanks for that Nicholas St. North title. I’ll note it for next year! I do need to read Marvin Gardens, will be on my list for #MustRead. I like books by AS King very much. Thanks, Aaron!


  2. Refugee was such a riveting, fast-paced read! Too bad I wasn’t able to review it for our previous reading theme, but I really enjoyed it. I’ve read Challenger Deep too a few years back – if you’re into these kinds of novels, I would recommend that you also find Benjamin Alire Saenz’ Last Night I sang to the Monster – that one is a gut-wrenching read. Have a great year ahead of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I frequently told my kids that there’s no such thing as a book too young for you. There’s books you don’t find interesting anymore, but never avoid a book because someone (a teacher!) tells you it’s too easy. And then I would hand them the latest Elephant and Piggie.


    1. Elephant and Piggie seems to be the perfect book to drive that home. My two still really enjoy picture books, but my youngest seems to think that her chapter books have to be really long despite my ranting that this is so not the case. Me reading Dory Fantasmagory helped a bit.


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