Monday, April 30, 2012

For the Record: April 2012

I recently posted about being busy busy mentally, and how reading fits into that.  It's just been that kind of month.  I began with my Junior Lit Challenge, but decided to postpone the second half until May, so that I could take a break with some lengthier reads.  There are books that I've wanted to read all year that I still haven't gotten to, and I'm thinking it will not happen in May either.  In any case, I am reading good books, which is what counts.

13 Books Read in April: (49 year-to-date)
1 just for fun:
  - A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness (5)
4 for Challenges/Obligation:
  - Watership Down, Richard Adams (4.5) [Read for my TBR Shelf Challenge]
  - My Antonia, Willa Cather (4) [Read for my Willa Cather Challenge]
  - Shanghai Girls, Lisa See (4ish) [Read as a precursor to my Book Club selection]
  - An Invisible Sign of My Own, Aimee Bender (3.5) [Recommendation Obligation]
8 for my Junior Lit Challenge:
  - Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Paterson (3)
  - Rascal, Sterling North (3.5)
  - Princess Academy, Shannon Hale (4)
  - Lincoln: A Photobiography, Russell Freedman (4.5)
  - Mary, Bloody Mary, Carolyn Meyer (4)
  - Catherine Called Birdy, Karen Cushman (3.5)
  - Because of Winn-Dixie, Kate DiCamillo (4)
  - The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken (3.5)


This month I read 4 books of 51 (17 year-to-date) for my various year-long challenges, as well as 6 of 10 for my Spring into Junior Lit challenge.
   - TBR Shelf: Watership Down (7 more to go)
   - Willa Cather: My Antonia (2 more to go)
   - Newbery: Jacob Have I Loved and Lincoln: A Photobiography (3 more to go)

3 Current Reads:
  - Dreams of Joy, Lisa See.  I actually haven't started this one yet, need to finish it by next Monday night for Book Club.
  - The Warden, Anthony Trollope.  I get to pick the next book club book, and I warned them I wanted to pick a classic...I was considering Trollope but wanted to get an idea of his writing first.  I may end up going with Thomas Hardy, since he seems to be loved by my group (&I've been meaning to read him anyhow).
  - Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Highly recommended by you all as a follow up to the Lincoln Photobiography.  This is a CHUNKSTER.  Serious doorstop.  Good so far (barely at p. 69) but it might be slow going for me considering all of my other goals.  I may need to buy it, as I won't be surprised if my library time get used up before I'm halfway through.


On My Nightstand:
  - I'm planning on finishing my Junior Lit in May, so that's 3 Newbery books & 4 others on my shelf.
  - I borrowed Wildwood from the Library and I'd like to actually read it before sending it back.
  - I have 3 books that have been on my nightstand for MONTHS that I don't feel like naming again.  It makes me feel a bit guilty.  But, yeah, I'd still like to get to those.  We'll see how it goes.
  - Other obligations: a couple ARCs, and all those other books on my challenge list...I'm itching to get back to them.


  1. So many books, so little time. I'm in the same situation as you - there's so many books I want to read that I just can't get to them all.

    Enjoy Dreams of Joy, I thought it was a fitting sequel to Shanghai Girls.

  2. 13 books in April! Wow! I would probably read like 8 or 9! Great books you have on your post too! I read several of them and I liked some of them, but now I know what books to read next! (Though it may be a book that I wouldn't enjoy) (Just to let you know, I'm in 5th grade, in your brother, Eric Baland's class!)

  3. Oh, you have such lovely titles for books read in April! Love Because of Winn-Dixie, love Watership Down, and long to reread My Antonia since I read Cather's book Shadows on The Rock and was crazy about it. Somehow, I missed the beauty of My Antonia when I was required to read it in high school.

  4. Sam, I did enjoy Dreams of Joy! I'll hopefully be posting about it soon. I'm really glad that I read both of them. I think Shanghai allowed me to enjoy Dreams even more than I would have. I loved the historical aspect in Dreams.

    Jennifer, thanks for the comment! I love that you guys work on your own blogs. That brother of mine has some pretty good ideas. :) I'd highly recommend Because of Winn-Dixie, and my 6th grade daughter loved A Monster Calls (you should see if Eric's heard of that one!)

    Bellezza, aren't those some of the heart-warmingest titles? The last 3 Cather titles I've read have been rereads, but all the rest will be first experiences - exciting! Willa Cather seems rather contemplative to be fully appreciated in high school, at least she would have been for me. Some things are just better with age. :)



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