Wednesday: What I’m Reading

On Wednesdays, I vow to inconsistently list some good books I’ve recently read.

shadow  siege  ruin


The third book in the Grisha trilogy recently released. Which prompted me to reread the first two this week. (I have terrible long-term memory for books. Terrible, I tell you.) I just finished up the second one and am about to dive into the third. The first two books were loads of fun. This is a well-built world with interesting magic and fantastic characters. If you like fantasy with a strong female lead–

Go forth and find these books.

Best Middle Grade Books

Christian Science Monitor recently released a list of their picks for best middle grade books out so far this year. And it includes Caminar. Wow! Such nice things they had to say about it. 

I just want to give a plug for three of the novels on the list that I’ve already had the pleasure of reading:

hopeRobin Herrera’s Hope is a Ferris Wheel  is a warm, funny story about poetry, poverty, and finding friends. You will read this book and fall in love with Star Mackie – I guarantee it.






secretThe Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer is a lovely, heartfelt story about a girl coping with the death of her mother, and finding a new way to define home. There’s beautiful poetry woven in and origami cranes! (Who doesn’t love origami cranes?)






steeringDon’t you love the cover of Steering Toward Normal by Rebecca Petruck? This is a story about what it means to be a family. It’s warm and true, but also packed with hilarious hi-jinks and 4-H fun.






If you’re looking for a great summer read, you can’t go wrong with any of these.

The entire list looks great. I’ve just maxed out my holds limit (again!) at the library, requesting a slew of these for the readers in my house. I can’t wait to dig in!

Guatemalan Monday: Volcano edition

In Caminar, Carlos talks about Xuba–which is not a real volcano. But did you know Guatemala has plenty of actual volcanoes? Not all of them are active, but Pacaya is. It’s often smoking, and sometimes spewing out lava. Outside of Antigua and Guatemala City, this mountain is very visible to most tourists who visit Guatemala. You can even take a guided hike up the side. (But you might melt your shoes!)


The music is a little dramatic, but the footage is beautiful. Volcanoes are terrifying and mesmerizing, aren’t they?


Here’s another video I found of Pacaya at night –




Writing Wisdom

Markus Zusak wrote the amazing The Book Thief  which has been, of course, a huge success. But here he is talking about failing –


If you’re short on time, skip ahead to the seven minute mark, where he starts to talk specifically about his writing.

My favorite quote from this talk is:

“No one’s going to read it. So I might as well write it exactly how I want to.”


Guatemalan Monday: Coffee edition

In Caminar, Carlos spends a day earning money in the coffee fields. Did you know coffee beans start out as coffee cherries? Here’s a video I found of someone picking these red, ripe fruit, just like Carlos did that day.




Quotable Thursday

I love when someone writes the heck out of a sentence. On Thursdays, I try to post some of my favorites.


“My answer to you would be that the truth is a fog, in which one man sees the heavenly host and the other one sees a flying elephant.”
~Terry Pratchett’s Dodger