Book Review: “Maniac Magee” by Jerry Spinelli

I have conflicting feelings about this book, and it took me a while to decide how to rate and review it. Overall, I liked it! However, it wasn’t my favorite and I did have some issues with it. I will be keeping this one in my classroom library, but probably won’t be using it for any lessons or activities.

Spoiler-Free Review: “Maniac Magee” is a middle grade novel that explores themes of…

Top 5 Saturday: Books with Weapons on the Cover

Welcome to Top 5 Saturday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by Devouring Books, and this week’s challenge focuses on books with weapons on the cover.

Honestly, I really struggled with the prompt for this week. The kinds of books I read don’t typically feature weapons, and if I were to be shopping for books and I saw a weapon on the cover, that would actually be a turn-off for me and I would be less likely to add it to my cart. However, I managed to come up with a list that includes some books I’ve read and some on my TBR that feature weapons in some way on their covers. Here is my top five (in no particular order)!

Top 10 Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020

Welcome to Top 10 Tuesday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s challenge is about authors I read that were new to me in 2020.

I was really excited to put together a list for this challenge! I appreciate how the focus is on authors that are new to me, but not necessarily new in 2020. For instance, I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the first time last year, but Bram Stoker certainly isn’t a new author! I tend to prioritize older books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while, rather than new releases each year. It’s not that I don’t read more current releases, it just isn’t usually what I prioritize. On this list, you’ll find a mix of authors that were new to me in 2020 as well as authors that were new to everyone last year! These were all authors that were not only unfamiliar to me, but whose work I truly loved. Here is my top ten…

Book Review: “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn

My first audiobook of 2021! I was a little nervous when I started this one because I didn’t realize how DARK it was. I was nervous that something dark and heavy maybe wasn’t the best way to start off a new year. However, it ended up being really gripping and I enjoyed it immensely. I don’t read mysteries/thrillers that often, but I really love books that keep me on the edge of my seat and are unpredictable.

Spoiler-Free Review: “Dark Places” is a dark thriller in which a young girl is the lone survivor of…

Top 5 Saturday: Books About Competition

Welcome to Top 5 Saturday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by Devouring Books, and this week’s challenge focuses on books about competition.

I don’t read a lot of sports books, but I actually managed to think of several books I’ve read that revolve around competition in some way! Very few of them actually have to do with sports, so it was fun to think of other ways to approach this prompt. Here are the five books I came up with…

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2020 But Didn’t Get To

Welcome to Top 10 Tuesday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s challenge is about books that I meant to read in 2020, but didn’t get to…

Book Review: “The Jumbies” by Tracey Baptiste

My first book of 2021! One of my goals is to read as many books from my classroom library as I can before our eventual return to in-person school. I managed to read many last year, especially during Spring, Summer, and Winter Break. While this one wasn’t my favorite that I’ve read, it was a creative and imaginative story, and a fun start to the new year!

Spoiler-Free Review: “The Jumbies” is a middle grade novel based on the Haitian folktale “The Magic Orange Tree”…

Top 5 Saturday: Books with Metal in the Title

Welcome to my first Top 5 Saturday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by Devouring Books, and this week’s challenge is about books with metal in the title.

I actually struggled to make my list for this week’s theme! Ends up, I haven’t read that many books with a metal in the title (nor do I have many in my TBR piles or lists). I feel like this is something that is more common in fantasy book titles, and I just don’t read a lot of fantasy. Regardless, I managed to come up with a list that includes some books I’ve read, books I own but haven’t read yet, and books I don’t own but would like to read at some point. Without further ado, here are my top 5 books with metal in the title…

2020 Goal Reflection & 2021 Reading Goals

One of the few highlights of the horrible year that was 2020 was how much more I was able to read than usual. I accomplished all of the literary goals I set for myself and discovered many new favorite books (as well as some least favorites, but I’m trying to forget about those just like I’m trying to forget most of 2020).

After my most impressive year of reading thus far, here are my reflections and updated goals for the new year!

Top 5 Audiobooks of 2020

As rough as 2020 was, being stuck in quarantine sure did make more time for reading! Without my commute to work, I listened to fewer audiobooks but was also able to get to more books in my physical TBR pile! Even with the reading slump I hit this summer (amidst pandemic wedding planning), I still managed to read an astounding (for me, anyway) 100 books, with many of my favorites being from the very beginning and very end of the year.

I have my top books divided up among physical books and audiobooks (since this greatly impacts the reading experience). I considered dividing the lists by genre or by target audience (adult, young adult, children’s), but decided to go by format instead since a great book can be written for any audience and from any genre. I also didn’t commit to a specific number of books to acknowledge for each category, I just identified my standout reads from the year and ranked them within that range.

Without further ado, here are my top audiobooks of 2020!