New-2020-IMWAYR-Button
Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!

We’ve come to that period of the year where time just seems to be flying by!

Some highlights for me in November were visiting some new bookstores like Saint Rita’s Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary and enjoying some time off to just see what the day had to offer.

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And, of course, I voted during the midterm elections.I worked on a couple of scholarship applications to hopefully win some free membership to some online writing communities.

I was actually able to start my “December Days of Delights” a day early by checking out a Gingerbread Masterpiece unveiling at a nice hotel. They even had hot cocoa with whipped cream and gingerbread cookies. I didn’t actually stay to watch the reveal because I was feeling claustrophobic with all the people there so I just explored other parts of the hotel I hadn’t been to before. I had the lower level all to myself.

I’ll have to go back another time to check out this year’s design.

bensontree

So far in 2022, I’ve read 479 books.

The breakdown is:
16- Adult novels
7- Adult non-fiction
41- Graphic novels
73- Middle Grade novels (Goal: 52)
328- Picture Books and Board Books
14- Young Adult novels
of which
134- Nonfiction Picture Books (Goal: 104)
51- Audio Books
30- Books by Filipino Authors and/or Illustrators
75- Books by LGBTQ+ Authors and/or Illustrators

The People Shall ContinueThe People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As important and relevant as it was when released 45 years ago, this rhythmic retelling of the Native American People in the United States will be eye opening to some readers and hopefully a wake up call to all come together to fix a broken world.

Phoenix Gets GreaterPhoenix Gets Greater by Marty Wilson-Trudeau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Based on actual experiences of the authors, this picture book celebrates being oneself even when it doesn’t fit society’s idea of normal. This also introduces the Two Spirit identity within some Indigenous cultures.

A Song for the Unsung: Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the 1963 March on WashingtonA Song for the Unsung: Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the 1963 March on Washington by Carole Boston Weatherford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been excited about this book since I first heard about it. More people should know about Bayard and his contributions. A dream team of collaborators.

Too EarlyToo Early by Nora Ericson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sweet start of the day story even when the main character chooses to wake up too early. The simple text pairs well with the luminous art.

Beatrice Likes the DarkBeatrice Likes the Dark by April Genevieve Tucholke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is perfect for precocious readers and celebrates siblings.

I Don't CareI Don’t Care by Julie Fogliano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A dreamy collaboration between two illustrators who have very distinct styles but works complementary with one another and the fun text.

Butterfly ChildButterfly Child by Marc Majewski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A beautiful story about being oneself and how support from people we love can lift us up.

Knight OwlKnight Owl by Christopher Denise
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adorable and a little dark.

Symphony for a Broken Orchestra: How Philadelphia Collected Sounds to Save MusicSymphony for a Broken Orchestra: How Philadelphia Collected Sounds to Save Music by Amy Ignatow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The audio book was delightful.

The Christmas Book FloodThe Christmas Book Flood by Emily Kilgore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I felt like it was only a matter of time before someone would publish a picture book about this Icelandic bookish tradition when it became more common knowledge a few years ago. And this one is lovely.

My Name Is MalalaMy Name Is Malala by Malala Yousafzai
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now even the youngest readers can learn about and be inspired by Malala!

Sisterhood of SleuthsSisterhood of Sleuths by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of my favorite middle grade novels of 2022! I love a good mystery and anything bookish so when the main character discovers a box of original Nancy Drew novels at her mom’s store’s door, she ends up having to solve where they came from and why. I enjoyed learning about the fascinating history of Nancy Drew (the character and it’s writers) as well. I also liked the friendship dynamics the main character had to navigate which I think lots of the book’s intended audience can relate to. But the most tangential aspect I enjoyed about this was the students able to turn in a major project within a two-week time span which tells me I need to set up deadlines for myself, lol.

Key Player (Front Desk #4)Key Player by Kelly Yang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was surprised when this came out since I didn’t know about it and I thought Mia’s story ended perfectly with Room to Dream. With that being said, I’m always happy to read more of her and her friends and can’t wait for the next installment.

Marikit and the Ocean of StarsMarikit and the Ocean of Stars by Caris Avendaño Cruz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fans of Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Erin Entrada Kelly’s Land of Forgotten Girls will love this middle grade debut seeped in Filipino folklore. A young girl finds herself suddenly on a magical adventure where she must fight vengeful gods, hungry monsters, and other creatures who’ll do anything to stop her from fulfilling her destiny. I’m glad that readers will get a glimpse of Filipino mythology in Marikit’s story.

Brackenbeast (Thirteens #2)Brackenbeast by Kate Alice Marshall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this for a book committee I was on and liked it enough to want to continue with the series. Interesting premise for fans who may like a scarier version of The Land of Stories.

The Door of No ReturnThe Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This first book in a planned trilogy is destined to win some awards. The scope of the story it’s trying to tell is impressive and reminds me of The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing. I can’t see how things actually play out.

Akata Witch (The Nsibidi Scripts, #1)Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been curious about this book/series and am glad I finally took the time to dive right in. Fantasy fans will love the world in this one- having enough unique elements that doesn’t seem like a copy and paste of others before it. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Black Internet EffectBlack Internet Effect by Shavone Charles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great installment in this nonfiction series of different people in various fields of interests. Quick reads but satisfying enough to have readers want to learn more about the subject or the person.

The Night Marchers and Other Oceanian StoriesThe Night Marchers and Other Oceanian Stories by Kel McDonald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here’s an “extra” #FilipinoReads that I read in November that for some reason I wasn’t going to feature even though the graphic novel anthology has lots of Filipino creators.

The Night Marchers and Other Oceanian Tales edited by Kel McDonald is the fourth collection in the Cautionary Fables and Fairytales series exploring different countries’ folklore and mythology with this one containing selections from Fiji, Hawaii, and the Philippines. What’s odd is the uneven distribution since, out of the 16 stories, only 1 is from Fiji and Hawaii has 6 and the Philippines has 9. (Maybe there’s a different version with more countries being represented because the publisher’s official description mentions 24 stories and New Zealand?)

I enjoyed “The Story of Benito” and “The Ibalon Epic: a Retelling of Baltog” the most.

84, Charing Cross Road84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sure, I may have had 4 other books already started but I couldn’t resist this volume of correspondences between an American writer and a British bookseller as well as others characters that have benefited from the friendship between the two booklovers.

A Song of Comfortable Chairs (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, #23)A Song of Comfortable Chairs by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It seems that even after 23 books, I’ll just keep reading this series until it ends. I’m wishing something more substantial would happen now and then to change things up and add some spark back to the stories.

Trese Vol. 5: Midnight TribunalTrese Vol. 5: Midnight Tribunal by Budjette Tan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s always exciting when a new Trese comes out. While I was feeling the last volume was getting repetitive, this latest installment seemed fresh and exciting. Maybe because we dig deeper into Alexandra Trese’s life that she seems more human and we as readers care what happens to her?

In this one, more masked avengers are coming in to save the day but Alexandra discovers they’re more than nuisances but a bigger threat than she anticipated.

I love the change in format with these stories so I can’t wait to see what comes up next.

I had been trying The StoryGraph for the first half of this year to avoid the Amazon-owned Goodreads. Unfortunately, it didn’t provide the convenience Goodreads offered so I’m back using Goodreads.

You can view all my reviews over on Goodreads.

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2 thoughts on “My Reading Week #IMWAYR- December 5, 2022 / My November Recap

  1. Wow, Earl, there are many books here that sound delightful. I’ve only read “Knight Owl”. Thanks for sharing so many. I have some already on my list, but now will add more. Best wishes to you finding a good group for writing!

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