Audiobook, Hardcover, It's Monday! What are you reading?, The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post #1

Aloha on this chilly, 48° Sunday morning. I’m trying something slightly new with my book post…

I’m joinin’ in with Kimberly of Caffeinated Reviewer on Sundays to talk about anything new, to share what books have been read &/or have come in, and a heads up on what’s coming up next. I figure since I’m always prepping my book post on Sunday to publish in the wee hours of Monday, why not link up with her meme first?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

And of course I will also link up with It’s Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Kathryn of The Book Date later on today. Kathryn took over this weekly, Monday meme from Shelia of Book Journey who had taken it over from J Kayne Book Blog. This meme is not just about adult books either. If you read picture and chapter books, juvenile fiction, or even YA, they count as well. Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers give this Monday, book post link up a kid-focus.

The Dillio

Not much has happened personally up in here. My Yer a Wizard, Harry socks almost have full feet. I also was finally able to gift a friend’s baby a handknit beanie that fits her 17 1/2″ head; I had assumed before she was born that all Asian babies were born with small heads like mine – the two hats became keepsakes.

Oh! My fifth grader memorized the first, 100 digits of Pi. There was a class competition on who could memorize the most numbers of Pi. She said she messed up and was stopped at that point, disappointing for my little perfectionist (takes after her mama). However, my daughter got third place which I think is terrific.

“Books are the plane, the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”

Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

I grew up reading Beverly Cleary but mostly her Ramona books which are stuffed in a box somewhere. I do faintly recall reading Ellen Tebbits and Socks of this selection also back in the day.
When my youngest is busy talkin’ trash while gaming on this laptop, I am usually knitting on the couch. I always feel I need an accompaniment to my fiber crafting so I listen to an audiobook. This one didn’t disappoint. Oh, the times when there were simple childhood pleasures such as playing outside and when it was safe to walk to and from school on your own. These evocation of memories made me smile.

  1. Ellen Tebbits: The narrator had cute, voice interpretations. Such innocence there was in her third grade. There was focus on making new friends where you find things in common which I found sweet. I LOL’d at the girl-boy encounters and I liked the problem solving.
  2. Otis Spofford: What a mischievous boy! He and his perpetual need to stir up excitement. I was highly entertained at how he constantly got into trouble. And oh boy did he pick on poor Ellen, the yin to his yang.
  3. Emily’s Runaway Imagination: I had never read this book. This one took me back to the days of horses and wagons, the new introduction of the Model T-Ford, where a mother cleaned house in her high heels, where a grandmother trimmed hats for the ladies in her millinery room, and where a grandfather’s store sold rotary beaters. Imagine living in a old house that had 13 rooms and you and your family were like “gypsies in your own home”. This was a charming read. Imagination was the key of childhood; it made me reminisce to back when I had Barbie dolls and how I would make furniture out of shoe boxes.
  4.  Mitch and Amy: This was another book I never knew about and I was surprised it was set in the Bay Area, maybe on the Marin side. Beverly Cleary really captures the dynamics between a fraternal set of twins. Oh boy did they get on my nerves some whenever each tried to needle the other in order one up or to show off. Mitch was the typical boy, physically active and good in math. Amy was the typical girl who sewed and was a high reader. The mention of kickball and hopscotch brought back my elementary school memories! Going back…There was a kick ball game that played every lunch and was headed by Mrs. Davis. I didn’t join in until the fifth grade because I used to play hop scotch, Chinese high jump, and then basketball court tag. I loved kickball. I felt brave catching that red, rubber ball. The only thing that bugged me about this book was how bullying was handled. I guess this story just reflected how it was dealt with back in that day.
  5. Socks: I have an old copy of this book in that same box with the Ramona books. It’s basically about a house cat who was spoiled when he was first adopted and then has to figure out his new place in the family when the couple has a baby. The book is written from the feline’s POV which makes it entertaining and interesting.
  6. Muggie Maggie: A fourth book I never had read. Okay, this girl made me think of my teaching days. I thought she was kind of bratty because of what she didn’t want to learn. Then when I learned she was a GATE student, I thought to myself, oh boy, one of those, an under-performing one. I had a boy once who was smart and identified as GATE. However, he was lazy – turning in half-assed work or even forgetting to finish and turn it in. I probably had him on a behavior chart where he could earn privileges and the sort. One great thing about him was he loved to read; he could sit all day and just do that – not minding if he was grounded and had to stay in his room all day. His dad owned a shop and so as a different consequence, he would make his son dust the shelves, something his boy was indignant at, LOL.

Four stars in total for this audio collection.

I don’t know about you but when I read a book by a male author, I feel the content of his work is no-nonsense because it’s about the main character and her/his story. It’s about getting from point A to point B, going through the hurdles to get there. The violence can be brutal and bloody with a mix of profanity and sex.

Mia shows little emotion after her childhood is upended by powerful men and after she learns how to survive in the streets. Her future goal: revenge, and to be able to do that, she needs to gain entry into a secret school that trains assassins.

I liked the book’s dark mood, I liked the time period (where men wore tricorns), and I liked Mia. What drove me crazy was how the extra information about the world she lived in was handled/added throughout the book. Before she reaches the school, there is so much 411 footnoted into places that I would have preferred an index of infographics or a glossary of terms available. The constant disruption of my flow of reading made me wonder if I should DNF this book because these footnotes were no joke, some were extremely descriptive.

However, I got to the point where Mia was finally a student and I was a happier reader. Learning the craft of how to kill in different ways was fun to read about. Seeing the mix of personalities and how they interacted was entertaining. I certainly was surprised at some parts of journey could be, brutal and unforgiving out of nowhere. Three stars.

I recently finished this middle grade, realistic fiction audiobook. I needed something to keep me company while I knitted as I feel an audiobook helps me stay focused while my needles bring yarn around the back or through the front of stitches.

When I was a teacher, I really liked reading books I was going to teach because some had a bunch of characters that came together and united through something in common. This book was similar to that, told through two POV. I walked in the shoes of an introvert, of a boy who was different from his siblings. I saw his world through his eyes of how he felt about how he was treated and what his inner desires were. I loved how this read had a cultural mix and a diverse cast of characters who were unique in  her/his own way. I don’t read middle grade books much but was glad I listened to this one. Three stars.

Batter Up!

  1. Map of Shadows (Mapwalkers #1) by J.F. Penn – a Goodreads giveaway copy for the Kindle + I was desperate to read something while waiting for my virtual turn at Rebel of the Sands.


  1. The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg – what may be an ARC/Gallery Copy as it’s an uncorrected proof + I got it from a Goodreads giveaway.

What book are you on the holds list for? Do you get irritated when your library has parts of a series but doesn’t have the first installment? Do you ever wonder how decisions are made when purchasing books for the library?

I need to get ready to take the teenager to the library soon; we have books to return and she’ll probably want to replenish her reading stash. What’re you up to today? I have the former and hope to get in some sewing as I have a stack of fun, flannel prints waiting to be made into pajama pants. TTYS.

27 thoughts on “The Sunday Post #1”

  1. “Emily’s Runaway Imagination”… Sounds great about the big house. But the mother doing housework in high heels…. Nahhhh… When the Model T Car just came out, women did not do that. The crazy idea of mothers in high heels came with “Leave It To Beaver” on tv. (1957-1963) And “The Donna Reed Show”… (1958-1966) Not only high heels, but dresses, and pearls.

    Back story about the mom in “Leave It to B.”… Barbara Billingsly played the mom. She did not like something about her neck. So she wore pearls. They became a staple, on the show.

    I am into Simplicity books and De-cluttering books. Waiting for the last in a great series. My library had the rest of the books, but had not ordered the last. So I asked at the Desk, and the nice man ordered it. 🙂 And my name is down, first, when it comes in. Gotta’ speak up, I guess.


  2. 100 digits of Pi? Wow!

    I’m on hold with the second instalment of N k Jemisin’s Inheritance Series. Apparently the series just gets better and better, so I can’t wait. And I just finished The Marrow Theives by Cherie Dimaline. It’s YA dystopian fiction. I liked that one enough to buy a copy for my brother-in-law who is aboriginal – I’ll be interested to hear his thoughts.

    Is it just me? Or does everyone read “You’re a wizard, Harry” in Hagrid’s voice?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. On a blog, while chatting about books… the only place where this line won’t raise eyebrows: ‘Learning the craft of how to kill in different ways was fun to read about.’


  4. I’m reading The Haunting of Maddy (something…). So far it isn’t catching me but then I am reading right before bedtime so I think it’s my own user error….


  5. I remember those days when we played outdoors and walked to places without worries. My son marvels when I tell him about my neighborhood I grew up in. I’m curious about those socks!

    My Sunday Post


  6. Hey there- happy Sunday!!! Congrats to your daughter- 100 digits of pi??? I could never do that many lolol.

    I just finished Obsidio, which was co- written by Kristoff, but I don’t know if I would like his solo books?


  7. O.M.G. I loved Emily’s Runaway Imagination!!! That was one of my faves growing up, and I even have an old, battered copy of it. I was so Emily. I do have a runaway imagination. Beverly Cleary is the bomb.

    Nevernight. I agree, those footnotes are insanity. I know I missed a lot by skipping them, (I scanned them a bit) but I just couldn’t. Billy listened to the book, and I think that made it easier. He didn’t realize there were even footnotes. Lol. It does get better when she gets to the school – Harry Potter for Assassins. The end though! What what! Mia is pretty KA.

    Your daughter is amazing! That is such a great accomplishment – way to go!


  8. You really are into the audiobooks these days which is great. I remember reading Ralph and the Motorcycle to a class years and years ago and I think it was by Beverly Cleary and I did read a Ramona book as well. I’ve got quite a few books on hold at the library, hope they all don’t come in at the same time!! Happy reading/listening.


  9. I was a school librarian for 41 years and never read Beverly Cleary. I missed her in my childhood and she had faded from popularity when I was working. I had all of them in my media center but they mostly sat unread on the shelves. Come see my week here. Happy reading!


  10. I really enjoyed Nevernight and Hello, Universe. I was not surprised to see Hello, Universe win an award. My favorite Beverly Cleary was Ellen Tibbit and I always love reading aloud Ramona, the Pest.


  11. I remember loving Mitch and Amy, Socks, and Muggie Maggie as a kid. I finally read Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Emily’s Runaway Imagination a few years ago and really enjoyed those as well. My four-year-old enjoyed the Beezus and Ramona audiobook. I bet she would love this collection too!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I loved that you were able to get all of those in one audio collection…I really keep telling myself to at least try one audio book…and I will! Soon! Ramona books were really popular with second grade girls when I was teaching…the boys had Captain Underpants! My first readaloud for my students was Louis Sachar’s Sideways Stories From Wayside School! Have you ever read them? So worth reading…there are three books in the series and one of the books had the word “brassiere” in it…I remember my 7 year olds freaking out when I read it! I made it a spelling word! Teasing! Heeheehee!

    Have you read Julie Kagawa’s Blood Of Eden series? Three books…the first one is The Immortal Rules…if you haven’t I think you would love it! I want to link to that Sunday blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now kids giggle at words like butt, fart, and poop. Yes, when I taught Captain Underpants was really popular. I haven’t read Louis Sachar I think. I’ll have to look him up but I certainly have heard and seen his name around. Didn’t he write Holes? I’ll look up Blood of Eden. I read one of her dragon books and I’m not sure I like dragons in fantasy unless it’s like Harry Potter style.


      1. Yes…he did write Holes…I think the Wayside School set was one of his first books…there are three in the series…I did not like her dragon books either…but the Blood Of Eden series…my sister and I could not read them fast enough…but you have to read them in order!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah yes, I remember Beverly Clearly well from my younger years. That’s too bad on Nevernight. I get frustrated by constant side notes that interrupt the flow of the story. An index is great for that.. I enjoyed Hello, Universe, but not as much as I had hoped. I’ve blamed that on the audio version because I seem to remember at least one of the character voices kinda annoyed me. I may pick the book back up and read it with my eyes one day. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!


    1. Thank you for your thoughts. If you skip the footnotes, Nevernight would be easy to read. Erin of Quixotic Magpie did that; she said her husband had listened to the audio. I guess one couldn’t tell what was content and what was footnote.


  14. Many years ago when I taught grade 3/4, I had readers who loved Beverly Cleary. I read Dear Mr Henshaw and Socks out loud to the class. I am still fond of both of these. I liked Hello Universe, but liked Blackbird Fly even more.


  15. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to Jay Kristoff do a presentation while he was here during the Singapore Writers Festival, November of last year. This particular book has been in my radar for the longest time, thank you for sharing! I absolutely loved Hello, Universe.


  16. I’m super impressed, I know 3.14 and that is IT. LOL….I love the look of your blog Stefanie! I have no books read, and I just can’t find the time, but it’s nice to read your reviews! 🙂


  17. I’ve definitely questioned purchase decisions at my library. Luckily they’re pretty generous with purchase requests as long as you don’t abuse them so I’ve filled in a few gaps that way but I do wonder how it happened in the first place. Yay for the 5th grader though I can see how she’d be frustrated. I have two who would feel that way! I loved the Ramona books but am weirdly unfamiliar with the rest of her books. I did just discover the audio version of Socks so I’m looking forward to that one. Hope you’re having a great week!


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