The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading

Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts  and Unleashing Readers for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme!  This has been a week that I didn’t feel very productive with my reading of regular books. I enjoyed audiobooks, eBooks, read alouds with my son, but I think I’ve begun too many books and become a little overwhelmed with which one I should complete. Sure to get through some more in the next week! Or at least I can enjoy more audiobooks! Just love the rereading time with my son lately.

Mr. Penubra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – Mystery/Suspense – Adult (High School) – I enjoyed listening to this book quite a bit, it was perfect timing for listening to a fascinating, complex mystery. I enjoyed the characters, loved the really odd 24-hour bookstore setting, and also the secret society that was revealed through the book. Quite an interesting book I’d recommend to others. Goodreads Summary: “Global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, young love, and the secret to eternal life — mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore. The Great Recession shuffles Clay Jannon from his web-design drone job to night shift at Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Curiously, few customers come in repeatedly and never buy. Analysis reveals astonishing secrets …”

Secret Ninja Spies – Tokyo Surprise by Alex Ko – Early Chapter Book, Adventure, 2nd grade and up – Interesting little adventure, I enjoyed the twists and turns as I read this aloud with my kiddo. He was entertained… Publisher book description: “She’s high-kicking. She’s power-punching. She’s back-flipping. Quick as a cat. Silent as a shadow. She’s over 70? When twelve-year-old twins Josh and Jessica visit their old gran in Tokyo things aren’t quite what they expected, for starters her flat is the most high-tech place they’ve ever been outside Dixon’s. Suffice to say it makes them a little suspicious. But when their friend, popstar Kiki, is kidnapped and the twins set out to investigate they find themselves aided by a mysterious hooded ninja. But who is this shadowy crimefighter? None other than their gran! She’s been busting crime for as long as she can remember as Tokyo’s secret ninja agent. But can the twins and their granny piece together the kidnap mystery and rescue Kiki in time? The first in the high-kicking martial arts adventure series filled with crimefighting action!”

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale – Adult – Mystery/Romance – It was lovely to return to Austenland so quickly after I read the last book. This was a surprising turn since there’s a good quality murder mystery that leads you through the story. I enjoyed how Shannon Hale had you hump back in time to read how the character was a mite too passive in her past and comes to her own with the help of experiences in the present. I guess I don’t tire of those books that have a character learn how strong they were all along… This was a really good vacation book for me! Goodreads Summary: “When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests’ Austen fantasies. Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn’t sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside’s mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte’s heart be a sign of real-life love?”

Merlin and the Ring of Power by Tony Bradman – Fantasy, 3rd grade and up – Students who enjoy fantasy will enjoy this book quite a bit! It is an easier book, published in type and spacing that is “dyslexia friendly”. The story follows Merlin as a young man who is taking on responsibilities, dealing with royalty’s ignorant moves, and flying around on his dragon. This is a sequel to Young Merlin which was frustrating to realize. Publisher Summary: “Merlin must find a Ring of Power in order to save the kingdom! A gripping sequel to Young Merlin, plotting Merlin’s journey from his youth to his mastery of magic. Merlin is doing everything he can to keep Britain from being captured by the Saxons. But when the foolish King decides to try and steal a statue from the Irish, Merlin finds that the Kingdom’s enemies have now doubled. The only way to defeat the approaching armies is to find a Ring of Power to amplify Merlin’s magic – but will Merlin be able to find one before the enemies attack?”

Re-Reading Reflection

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume – So special to jump back into Judy Blume’s world… innocent and realistic dialogue throughout with a stubborn, slightly annoying character, Sheila, who rarely tells the truth because she’s worried about revealing her fears– of water, dogs, etc. Since my son is learning how to ride a bike presently, I am looking forward to getting him to listen to this one and seeing how it’s ok to overcome your fears. Thrilled to be introducing him to this series! Goodreads Summary: “Sheila Tubman sometimes wonders who she really is: the outgoing, witty, and capable Sheila the Great, or the secret Sheila, who’s afraid of the dark, spiders, swimming, and dogs. When her family spends the summer in Tarrytown, Sheila has to face some of her worst fears. Not only does a dog come with the rented house, but her parents expect Sheila to take swimming lessons! Sheila does her best to pretend she’s an expert at everything, but she knows she isn’t fooling her new best friend, Mouse Ellis, who happens to be a crackerjack swimmer and a dog lover. What will it take for Sheila to admit to the Tarrytown kids — and to herself — that she’s only human?”

Fudge-A-Mania by Judy Blume – Interesting to reread this book after so many years in between, touching family. Goodreads Summary: “Fudge is back and driving his brother Peter crazy, as usual. This five-year-old human hurricane is more trouble than ever. His latest plan is to marry Peter’s sworn enemy, Sheila Tubman (how disgusting!). But Peter’s problems are about to get worse. His parents have decided to share a summer house with the Tubmans. And Peter will be stuck with Fudge and Sheila the Cootie Queen for three whole weeks! It’s going to be an unforgettable (and hilarious) trip for both families, filled with old friends and new ones, plenty of surprises and lots of laughs. It may not be the vacation of Peter’s dreams. But as millions of Judy Blume fans know, it won’t be dull. Because with Fudge around, anything can happen and does!”

Next up on re-reading? Listening to:
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu – I really love reading this book treasure again! I’m already lost in the world again…

Book I LOVED reading over and over throughout the book with many classes?
Journey by Aaron Becker, just adore this wordless picture book, fit perfectly into my Y1 classes, they’re focusing presently on journeys, what an amazing journey this little girl goes on. I’ve challenged students to think about the journey they’d like to go on… can’t wait to hear their ideas next week! Goodreads Summary: “Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship. A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.”

20131228_121007Lucy Maud Montgomery by Alexandra Wallner – Picture book biography – Lovely illustrations and fascinating introduction to this wonderful author’s life. I’m a huge fan of the Anne of Green Gables series, read around 20 books by Lucy Maud Montgomery when I was a teen. Goodreads Summary: “Before she grew up to be a best-selling author, young Lucy Maud Montgomery was raised by her grandparents on Prince Edward Island. Imaginative and tenacious, she loved to write. When Maud was sixteen, she published her first poem, but it took years of hard work and perseverance before she published her masterpiece, Anne of Green Gables, and its sequals. Complemented by her charming, folk-art paintings and a simple, lively text, Alexandra Wallner tells the story of Lucy Maud Montgomery, whose books captivated the hearts of readers throughout the world.”

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There are cats in this book by Viviane Schwartz – Way too cute of a book! Loved the flaps, actions, and the interactions throughout the book in addition to the little story. I can imagine that many children were excited about this book when they looked at the cover, isn’t it inviting? Goodreads Summary: “There they are, purring under a blanket. But not for long! Three sprightly cats named Tiny, Moonpie, and Andre are eager to involve you in their games, whether it’s tossing a ball of yarn (oof!), lifting flaps to find them in boxes (comfy), or getting caught in a pillow fight (biff!). As their antics get wilder still, they’ll need a kind soul to blow on the page to dry them off! With an irresistible story that directly engages the reader, this book’s clever design and bright, gestural illustrations make for cat-tastic lift-the-flap fun.”

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Sparkle’s Song by Samantha Hale – Cute picture book with a special celebration of music, self expression, and family understanding. Goodreads Summary: “Sparkle’s Song is Samantha’s first book for children and the story is of a little girl who has lost her parents and is sent to live with an old Aunt who likes everything quiet in her house. Sparkle isn’t even allowed to play her radio.”

I shared these this past week as well:


 The Adventures of Polo by Regis Faller 


What to do… books by Dawn Heubner, Ph. D.

Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader!  Please visit me at Goodreads: Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).
© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.

29 comments on “Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading

  1. lenorelook
    January 13, 2014

    I ran out and got JOURNEY the day it came out :). And loved it! What a beautiful book.

  2. Max Maclay
    January 13, 2014

    Interested to read Mr. Penubra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. And Journey looks like a fun one for my daughter. Thanks for the recommendations.

  3. Jennifer
    January 14, 2014

    Rereading these Judy Blume titles sounds fun! Now I want to do that 🙂
    I love how versatile Shannon Hale is…she can write anything!

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 14, 2014

      I agree, I remember a few years ago how Shannon Hale was in an interview and mentioned how she appreciated authors who were versatile…

  4. Tara Smith
    January 14, 2014

    What a lot of great reading you’ve accomplished! Jourey is a treasure – as is the Ursu book. Both are very special.

  5. Megan
    January 14, 2014

    I went a little crazy with starting books recently as well. I think I have 7 or 8 going. I usually have 3-4, but this is a little out of hand! I enjoyed Mr. Penumbra’s as well. Have you listened to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline? It’s fantastic! Have a great week! ~Megan

    • Angie aka Ms. O
      January 14, 2014

      I loved that Wil Wheaton did the audio for Ready Player One. Talked about himself there for a bit.;)

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 14, 2014

      Glad I’m not the only one who is juggling too many books. Funny enough, I picked up yet another but this one I’ve plunged into. Perhaps I just needed the right book to set me in the right direction again! 🙂

  6. Ricki Ginsberg
    January 14, 2014

    Thank you for sharing about Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore! I hadn’t heard of it, so I just added it to my GoodReads TBR list! The setting seems like so much fun. It is such a clever idea. Have a great week! 🙂

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 14, 2014

      Oh, it is a great one. Had been mentioned here and there and I realized I really needed a fun adult audiobook break, perfect timing book… 🙂 Hope you have a little mommy quiet time for reading. 😉

  7. Myra GB
    January 14, 2014

    I am slowly gathering titles of picture book biographies for a conference presentation I hope to do this year. The Lucy Maud Montgomery one sounds like a real winner. 🙂 Great books as always. I remembered enjoying Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing with my then-fourth-grade daughter. Judy Blume is a genius. 🙂

  8. Angie aka Ms. O
    January 14, 2014

    K now I definitely have to check out Mr. Penumbra and Lucy Maud. Thanks for the recommendations!

  9. ejmam
    January 14, 2014

    I had a lot of fun reading Journey with my nephew. His excitement when the crayon dropped, his amazement when I pointed out the boy in the beginning, and his worry about what would happen when the parents found out she was drawing on the walls… all were priceless.

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 14, 2014

      I just loved sharing this with my students, when the crayon dropped I paused, did a double take, asked them if it could be a problem… and then waited for them to solve it. Many did say the bird would rescue her. 🙂

  10. carriegelson
    January 14, 2014

    Love Journey. Had to buy my own copy! It is so gorgeous! Loved The real Boy – bet it is wonderful on audio!

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 14, 2014

      Journey is one of those books, like Where the Wild Things Are, that I want carefully framed and on display. 🙂 I really am enjoying this re-read of The Real Boy, beautiful audiobook.

  11. Lorna
    January 14, 2014

    Mr. Penumbra’s has been on my list for a while, but I think I might need to promote it in the pile. Journey is a truly lovely book worthy of many readings, isn’t it. The Fudge books are a treat to re-read . . . it always surprises me that despite a few elements, they’ve aged well. Have a great week!

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 14, 2014

      Funny, the Fudge books have certainly aged well. I’m also reading Encyclopedia Brown books with my son and those… well, I clarify many things that pop up in the book. I do love the mysteries and discussing how we’d solve the mystery, etc. with my son…

      • Lorna
        January 15, 2014

        I have not picked up an Encyclopedia Brown in ages, so that’s good to know!

  12. Julee Murphy
    January 15, 2014

    Midnight in Austenland? I almost had a fit. How did I not know about this? I love Shannon Hale’s books and was quite put out when Austenland did not play in my movie theater. Thanks for the tip.

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 15, 2014

      HAH! Thanks for the laugh… You’ll really enjoy it!! 🙂 Valentines Day– can’t wait to see Austenland!! 🙂

  13. Mr. Penubra’s 24 Hour Bookstore is on my TBR list. Have you read Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale? If you love stories involving bookstores and beautiful language, I would recommend that.

    • The Styling Librarian
      January 15, 2014

      Well. Honestly? On Goodreads I’ve read this book and given it 5 stars but… I don’t remember any ounce of the book. So odd. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂 My favorite bookstore/library book is Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, amazing language…

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