Favorite Books of 2014

I love lists and picking out my favorite books read in 2014 was difficult but so much fun. I divided the books into categories and sometimes included up to two honorable mentions. Asterisks denote that these titles have made My Most Favorite Favorites.

(Click on links for reviews.)

Adult Fiction (Published in 2014)

ajfikry
-The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Adult Fiction (Published before 2014)


-Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin*
-The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck*


Adult Non-Fiction



-Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

-My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
-The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson

Graphic Novel


-Amulet (series) by Kazu Kibuishi
-Comics Squad: Recess! by Various
-Earthling! by Mark Fearing

Middle Grade Fiction (Published in 2014)


-A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
-The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern
-Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart

Middle Grade Fiction (Published before 2014)


-The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White*
-The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
-The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Picture Book


-Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers
-Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman
-Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Young Adult (Published in 2014)


-The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
-Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
-Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen

Young Adult (Published before 2014)


-Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
-Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Reading Resolutions: August Update

With so many Reading Challenges out there, I figured doing a monthly update of the ones I’m doing will be a great way to keep track of my progress!

Check Off your Reading List Challenge
Check Off your Reading List Challenge

Check Off Your Reading List– Currently my (ever growing) Reading List has 66 lines with some of them covering an entire series or author’s work and includes upcoming releases. Most of these are for my Reading Challenges. With 39 of these read, I’m down to 27!

Part of my Reading Challenge was to read The Chronicles of Narnia. Click on the cover to read my reviews!

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]
Must Read in 2014 Challenge
Must Read in 2014 Challenge

I also ticked off another title from my Must Read in 2014 Challenge list! Read my review of Laini Taylor’s Daughters of Smoke & Bone!

The Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge is hosted by Alyson over at Kid Lit Frenzy.
The Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge is hosted by Alyson over at Kid Lit Frenzy.

With 10 more nonfiction picture books read this month, that brings my total to 78 of 104 books.
-Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by John O’Brien
-Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, Illustrated by Christian Robinson

-The Rat by Elise Gravel
-The Fly by Elise Gravel
-The Worm by Elise Gravel

-Trains Can Float: and other fun facts by Laura Lyn Disiena and Hannah Eliot, Illustrated by Pete Oswald
-Mr. Cornell’s Dream Boxes by Jeanette Winter

-The Slug by Elise Gravel
-The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert

-A Rock Is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston, Illustrated by Sylvia Long

Readings & Literary Events
Amy Bloom Reading
Booksellers Meet the Author: William Ritter (Jackaby) Publisher Event
David Lee: A Poet’s Papers Exhibit
Family Book Club

How are your Reading Resolutions going?

What Are You Reading? (107) #IMWAYR – August 10, 2014

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!
Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!
Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!
Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!
Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!
Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

This week, I posted:

New Releases: August 5, 2014– Read my reviews for:

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my reviews for:

Reviews: The Chronicles of Narnia– Read my reviews for:

Celebrate This Week– I celebrate life’s random moments.

2014 #PB10FOR10– This is my first ‪#‎pb10for10‬ and I’ve shared my top 10 books I’ve recommended most as a children’s bookseller!

I hope you take the time to read some of the posts above!

Countablock by Christopher Franceschelli, Illustrated by Peskimo [***]- It was like Christmas when I unboxed this book at work. I loved Alphablock and I didn't even know about this. Naturally, the art is still awesome. And counting to one hundred has never been so fun!
Countablock by Christopher Franceschelli, Illustrated by Peskimo [***]- It was like Christmas when I unboxed this book at work. I loved Alphablock and I didn’t even know about this. Naturally, the art is still awesome. And counting to one hundred has never been so fun!
The Best Book in the World by Rilla Alexander [**]- A cute book about everything that makes reading awesome. Wonderful illustrations. Can be  gift for any voracious reader regardless of age.
The Best Book in the World by Rilla Alexander [**]- A cute book about everything that makes reading awesome. Wonderful illustrations. Can be gift for any voracious reader regardless of age.

Mix It Up! by Hervé Tullet [***]- The best way to talk about this book is not to talk about Press Here since we all loved that book and it was a unique experience for all of us. This follow-up is also good even though now there is a "been there, done that" kind of feeling. It does manage to be different though since it tackles colors and all the things that happen when you mix them up.
Mix It Up! by Hervé Tullet [***]- The best way to talk about this book is not to talk about Press Here since we all loved that book and it was a unique experience for all of us. This follow-up is also good even though now there is a “been there, done that” kind of feeling. It does manage to be different though since it tackles colors and all the things that happen when you mix them up.

Expected publication: September 16, 2014

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

This week, I’m finally getting to one of my #MustReadin2014 title, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor!

Have a great reading week!

Reviews: The Chronicles of Narnia

My Summer of Narnia has ended. My time there had been a little bit extended. And it’s somewhere I’ll definitely plan on visiting again!

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]

I can see why people the world over has fallen in love with the series. I’m kind of bummed I hadn’t read and appreciated the books sooner! The writing style is like listening to a grandfather telling a story around the fireplace. There are lots of asides, commentary, and personal beliefs thrown into the mix. (Don’t be afraid of the religious allegories!) But, for the most part, it’s an exciting tale full of adventures, heroics, good and evil, flawed beings, and redemption. I highly reading the series in publication order to get the most out of the books.

Below are my reviews for each individual title ranked from my most to least favorite:

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]

I definitely haven’t read this before. It was a great return to Narnia- and I highly encourage reading the books in publication order. You get the feeling of being thrown into the middle of things and there’s a sense of excitement in trying to figure out how things fit together.

So much more adventure than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And, to me, the religious overtones were more apparent here. I wasn’t really bothered by them. In fact, I think it’s great to believe wholeheartedly in things- as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]

It’s been a long time since I first read this that it seemed completely new and fresh. There were definitely some things I didn’t remember- and a particular character was a big surprise!

I enjoyed the writing style. The style was very “Come children, let me tell you a story.” For some reason, I found the repeated warnings of not closing the wardrobe door to be hilarious. I’m sure it was a joke.

Edmund was a delightfully wicked character but with very understandable motives. The Professor was an interesting character as well. (Some editions of the books list a cast of characters which spoils who he is!)

I can’t wait to read more!

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]

After a rather weak entry with The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy is a return to form of what made me start falling in love with The Chronicles of Narnia.

The pace is quicker and easier to get absorbed in the adventure. In fact, I could have read more of this book had there been more pages!

The characters seemed more real because of their flaws. I liked the shades of gray, how Aslan didn’t shy away from doling out punishment when necessary.

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]
The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]

Another delightful travel to Narnia- this time discovering the genesis of the land, of all the magic, and of all the adventures. This is always very tricky but this was done successfully and in an entertaining way. Of course, there were lots of religious references but the story was strong enough on its own. Lots of heart and character growth.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]

Once more, a return to Narnia… Familiar faces return. New characters are introduced.

Having this story take place mostly on a ship and the islands they encounter sets it apart from the other books. It had more of a quest feel to it.

I also found this installment slightly more gruesome in parts which is odd considering the other books were about war.

The religious aspects were also more apparent here. I’m actually interested to read more about this (and C.S. Lewis’ life and beliefs, in general) after I finish the series.

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [***]
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [***]

All good things must come to an end- and, overall, The Chronicles of Narnia wasn’t just good, it was great.

Coming up with “Big Bads” in a series is always difficult because how can they top the evilness of the one that came before. But, while I was skeptical with the first few chapters, C.S. Lewis manages to do this successfully. Narnia has never been so bleak and never has there been more at stake than with The Last Battle.

One of the problems I had with this book was that it seemed pretty racist when dealing with the Calormenes. I must have overlooked it during The Horse and His Boy.

The ending was kind of depressing but at least it tried to be hopeful!

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [***]
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [***]

This has been the bleakest Narnia yet. Some scenes seemed to have no end in sight. It may be because none of the Pevensies were in this book so I didn’t really care about the characters all that much. And, a piece of furniture as a source of evil? Puh-lease!

Despite all that, this was entertaining- as part of a larger story. At some parts, C.S. Lewis’ writing seemed to have improved. I loved the speech in the cave about beliefs.

And, Puddleglum was quite hilarious in an Eeyore (of Winnie-the-Pooh) and Sheldon (of The Big Bang Theory) way.

What Are You Reading? (105) #IMWAYR – July 27, 2014

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!
Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!
Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!
Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!
Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!
Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!
Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey's album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)
Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey’s album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

This week, I posted:

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my reviews for:


Celebrate This Week– This week I’m celebrating trying and the book Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff! Read my review for:
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff [*****]
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff [*****]


Bonny Becker’s Bear and Mouse books have been quite popular and it only took the latest installment for me to try it out. Bear has all the books he needs so he doubts he’ll enjoy going to the library with mouse. But of course a library is more than just books and Bear is in for a surprise!

A bookseller saw me reading this book and she gushed over A Visitor for Bear so I just had to read it. It’s cute but Mouse seemed like a mooch to me.

My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown [**]- Peter Brown is another one of those authors that everyone but me seems to love. Not that I don't like his books- because I do- and it's not that I don't like his illustrations- because I do- but I'm just not that crazy over him. I do recommend his books a lot though like I'm sure I will with this book!
My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown [**]- Peter Brown is another one of those authors that everyone but me seems to love. Not that I don’t like his books- because I do- and it’s not that I don’t like his illustrations- because I do- but I’m just not that crazy over him. I do recommend his books a lot though like I’m sure I will with this book!
Goodnight Darth Vader by Jeffrey Brown [*]- Definitely not as good as the other books in the series. Maybe my not having watched the movies made me like it less since I didn't get all the references. Some of the rhyming was so bad I had to reread the lines to make sure I was reading the right words.
Goodnight Darth Vader by Jeffrey Brown [*]- Definitely not as good as the other books in the series. Maybe my not having watched the movies made me like it less since I didn’t get all the references. Some of the rhyming was so bad I had to reread the lines to make sure I was reading the right words.
Andrew Draws by David McPhail [**]- This picture book has cute illustrations and lots of heart an humor. I didn't like the ending. (Oh, at first, I thought this was a reprint of Barney Saltzberg's Andrew Drew and Drew!)
Andrew Draws by David McPhail [**]- This picture book has cute illustrations and lots of heart an humor. I didn’t like the ending. (Oh, at first, I thought this was a reprint of Barney Saltzberg’s Andrew Drew and Drew!)

For my Summer of Narnia Reading Challenge:

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [***]- This has been the bleakest Narnia yet. Some scenes seemed to have no end in sight. It may be because none of the Pevensies were in this book so I didn't really care about the characters all that much. And, a piece of furniture as a source of evil? Puh-lease! Despite all that, this was entertaining- as part of a larger story. At some parts, C.S. Lewis' writing seemed to have improved. I loved the speech in the cave about beliefs. And, Puddleglum was quite hilarious in an Eeyore (of Winnie-the-Pooh) and Sheldon (of The Big Bang Theory) way.
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [***]- This has been the bleakest Narnia yet. Some scenes seemed to have no end in sight. It may be because none of the Pevensies were in this book so I didn’t really care about the characters all that much. And, a piece of furniture as a source of evil? Puh-lease!
Despite all that, this was entertaining- as part of a larger story. At some parts, C.S. Lewis’ writing seemed to have improved. I loved the speech in the cave about beliefs.
And, Puddleglum was quite hilarious in an Eeyore (of Winnie-the-Pooh) and Sheldon (of The Big Bang Theory) way.

Expect a review of this book on Wednesday:

Read to Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells [**]
Read to Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells [**]

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

As always, I’m hoping to finish another Narnia book and another nonfiction picture book and hopefully the selection for the Family Book Club.

Have a great reading week!

What Are You Reading? (103) #IMWAYR – July 13, 2014

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!
Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!
Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!
Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!
Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!
Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!
Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey's album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)
Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey’s album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

This week, I posted:

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my review for

Jubilee!: One Man's Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Matt Tavares [***]
Jubilee!: One Man’s Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Matt Tavares [***]

Celebrate This Week– This week I celebrating having one of the best jobs in the world! I asked our customers to write birthday messages for the store’s anniversary and compiled them to surprise my boss with!
gbb1

Drop It, Rocket! by Tad Hills [**]- Rocket is such an adorable character. I think kids will enjoy his adventures in this new leveled reader format!
Drop It, Rocket! by Tad Hills [**]- Rocket is such an adorable character. I think kids will enjoy his adventures in this new leveled reader format!
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****- My Pick of the Week]- I definitely haven't read this before. It was a great return to Narnia- and I highly encourage reading the books in publication order. You get the feeling of being thrown into the middle of things and there's a sense of excitement in trying to figure out how things fit together. So much more adventure than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And, to me, the religious overtones were more apparent here. I wasn't really bothered by them. In fact, I think it's great to believe wholeheartedly in things- as long as it doesn't hurt anyone.
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****- My Pick of the Week]- I definitely haven’t read this before. It was a great return to Narnia- and I highly encourage reading the books in publication order. You get the feeling of being thrown into the middle of things and there’s a sense of excitement in trying to figure out how things fit together.
So much more adventure than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And, to me, the religious overtones were more apparent here. I wasn’t really bothered by them. In fact, I think it’s great to believe wholeheartedly in things- as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.
Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear, Illustrated by Julie Morstad [**]- A charming story about friendship and the wonderfulness of being young inspired by the life of Julia Child. Cute illustrations.
Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear, Illustrated by Julie Morstad [**]- A charming story about friendship and the wonderfulness of being young inspired by the life of Julia Child. Cute illustrations.
My Pet Book by Bob Staake [*]- I like the concept of having a pet book and I enjoyed the lively illustrations but the writing left me uninspired.
My Pet Book by Bob Staake [*]- I like the concept of having a pet book and I enjoyed the lively illustrations but the writing left me uninspired.
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison, Illustrated by Frank Morrison [**]- Music is all around in this picture book featuring a multicultural cast. This might be a good read aloud with two or more people!
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison, Illustrated by Frank Morrison [**]- Music is all around in this picture book featuring a multicultural cast. This might be a good read aloud with two or more people!
The Day I Lost My Superpowers by Michael Escoffier, Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo [**]- A sweet enough story that might make a great daughter-to-mother gift. The illustrations are more winning than the story.
The Day I Lost My Superpowers by Michael Escoffier, Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo [**]- A sweet enough story that might make a great daughter-to-mother gift. The illustrations are more winning than the story.

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

I’m hoping to finish Shelby Bach’s Of Giants and Ice for my work’s Family Book Club and another Narnia novel- plus, at least one non-fiction picture book!

Have a great reading week!

What Are You Reading? (102) #IMWAYR – July 6, 2014

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!
Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!
Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!
Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!
Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!
Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!
Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey's album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)
Daydreams & Fairy Tales: A Collection of Words and Images (Inspired by Mariah Carey’s album Daydream) will be available as an e-book October 3, 2014! (This is a picture of my notebook for it, not the cover!)

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

This week, I posted:

Reading Resolutions: June Update
Summer of Narnia– Join me on my Summer Reading Challenge: The Chronicles of Narnia!
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my review for:

One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin by Kathryn Lasky, Illustrated by Matthew Trueman [***]
One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin by Kathryn Lasky, Illustrated by Matthew Trueman [***]

Celebrate This Week– This week I’m celebrating library hopping!

Oliver and his Egg by Paul Schmid [**]
Oliver and his Egg by Paul Schmid [**]

A sequel to Oliver and His Alligator, the said-boy has another adventure- this time involving a rock and his imagination. I didn’t have a particularly strong emotion about this book either way but I do like Paul Schmid’s illustrations.

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton [***]
Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton [***]

I can see why everyone enjoys this book so much. Very funny and cute!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes [****]

It’s been a long time since I first read this that it seemed completely new and fresh. There were definitely some things I didn’t remember- and a particular character was a big surprise!

I enjoyed the writing style. The style was very “Come children, let me tell you a story.” For some reason, I found the repeated warnings of not closing the wardrobe door to be hilarious. I’m sure it was a joke.

Edmund was a delightfully wicked character but with very understandable motives. The Professor was an interesting character as well. (Some editions of the books list a cast of characters which spoils who he is!)

I can’t wait to read more!

The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer [*****- My Pick of the Week]
The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer [*****- My Pick of the Week]

Reading this play was still an emotional despite having seen the film (which was amazing) and knowing what was going to happen.

Ned Weeks is such a very unique character for all his faults and imperfections.

Completely heartbreaking.

Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood, Illustrated by Jonathan Bean [**]
Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood, Illustrated by Jonathan Bean [**]

Told in a simple verse-like structure similar, this would be a nice book for kids who are dealing with having to move or have recently moved. I like how the illustrator was able to depict movement.

If I Wrote a Book About You by Stephany Aulenback, Illustrated by Denise Holmes [**]
If I Wrote a Book About You by Stephany Aulenback, Illustrated by Denise Holmes [**]

Sweet and warm. My only drawback for these kinds of books is that they seem to only work for very specific people.

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc [**]
The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc [**]

Everyone’s been talking about this book it seems! It’s a sweet message but maybe I had just read too much of the same theme recently that it just seemed repetitive. Reminded me of Mo Willem’s City Dog, Country Frog. And, maybe I had too high of an expectation since this was published by Enchanted Lion Books press.

Jubilee!: One Man's Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Matt Tavares [***]
Jubilee!: One Man’s Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Matt Tavares [***]

Expect a review for this during my Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge post on Wednesday.

 Once Upon an Ordinary School Day by Colin McNaughton, Satoshi Kitamura [**]
Once Upon an Ordinary School Day by Colin McNaughton, Satoshi Kitamura [**]

This was recommended by a librarian after I told her about What Would You Do With an Idea? It’s a cute story about how the right teacher can spark a student’s creativity.

Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers: Portraits of Fifty Famous Folks & All Their Weird Stuff by James Gulliver Hancock [***]
Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers: Portraits of Fifty Famous Folks & All Their Weird Stuff by James Gulliver Hancock [***]

A quick and quirky read to find out some fun facts of fifty famous people. Worth checking out!

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

This week, hopefully, I can finish another Narnia novel for my #SummerOfNarnia Reading Challenge. And, I need to get started with Shelby Bach’s Of Giants and Ice for my work’s Family Book Club.

Have a great reading week!

Summer of Narnia

Visit the official Narnia website!
Visit the official Narnia website!

Summer is the most perfect time to go on a vacation- literary or otherwise!

And where better to go than Narnia?

Everyone’s heard of it, I’m sure, picking up one or a few or all of the seven books in C.S. Lewis’ classic fantasy series as a child. But the appeal is timeless and for everyone.

I’m of the group whose tried reading the series in its entirety but only read a couple of the books. But, this July, I’ve decided to revisit and discover Narnia!

Before tackling this reading challenge, I had to decide in what order to read the books? The issue seems highly contested: publication or chronology order! Apparently, the author himself “expressed a mild interest” to the latter (as mentioned here) but I’ve chosen the former. If you were discovering Narnia as they were first being published, you would get them as they came. There’s a certain enjoyment in treating each book as a puzzle, and only after completing the series, would you see how everything fit!

I’m going to plan to read one book every four days starting tomorrow and posting reviews on Goodreads and my weekly IMWAYR posts with a wrap up at the end of the month. You can follow my progress on Twitter with #SummerOfNarnia.

Publication Order: [Scheduled reading end date]
1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) [July 5th]
2. Prince Caspian(1951) [July 9th]
3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952) [July 13th]
4. The Silver Chair (1953) [July 17th]
5. The Horse and His Boy (1954) [July 21st]
6. The Magicians Nephew (1955) [July 25th]
7. The Last Battle (1956) [July 29th]

Join me on my Summer Reading Challenge: The Chronicles of Narnia!

What are your thoughts on the reading order issue? Which do you prefer?