Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Summer Reading (or listening) June 5, 2012

Filed under: audiobook,summer reading — bestbookihavenotread @ 2:33 pm
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All you parents trying to figure out how to keep your kid reading, check out this summer’s free downloads at Sync. There is a popular new title and a classic each week all summer long. Some of them are right off the summer’s required reading list.

Schedule of SYNC Downloads


SYNC Titles
Summer 2012

June14 – June 20, 2012
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, Read by Dan Bittner (Scholastic Audiobooks)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Frank Galati [Adapt.], Read by Shirley Knight, Jeffrey Donovan, and a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

June 21 – June 27, 2012
 by Francisco X. Stork, Read by Carrington MacDuffie (Listening Library)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Media)

June 28 – July 4, 2012
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud, Read by Simon Jones
(Listening Library)
Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang, Read by Toby Stephens
(Naxos AudioBooks)

July 5 – July 11, 2012
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Read by August Ross (AudioGO)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Read by Ian Holm (AudioGO)

July 12 – July 18, 2012
Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka [Ed.] et al., Read by Michael Boatman, Kate DiCamillo, John Keating, Jon Scieszka, Bronson Pinchot (Harper Audio)
The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Stories by Mark Twain, Read by Norman Dietz (Recorded Books)

July 19 – July 25, 2012
Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter, Read by Kirsten Potter (Oasis Audio)
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare, Read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)

July 26 – August 1, 2012
Pinned by Alfred C. Martino, Read by Mark Shanahan (Listen & Live Audio)
TBA (Brilliance Audio)

August 2 – August 8, 2012
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Read by Khristine Hvam (Hachette Audio)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Read by Simon Prebble (Blackstone Audio)

August 9 – August 15, 2012
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, Read by Rupert Degas (Harper Audio)
Dead Men Kill by L. Ron Hubbard, Read by Jennifer Aspen and a Full Cast
(Galaxy Press)

August 16 – August 22, 2012
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, Read by Jay Laga’aia (Bolinda Audio)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London, Read by William Roberts (Naxos AudioBooks)


Books Floating Around the House September 8, 2010

Filed under: audiobook,book reviews,young adult — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:03 am

Reviews to write:

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

I’ve stalled reading The Replacement and it is creeping me out. I don’t think I can get through it.

I am loving Revolution by Jennifer Donnley. It’s a book that keeps amazing me with how good it is!

I’m still reading The Magician by Lev Grossman to see if it might be a good fit for my book club.


Out of my comfort zone… August 14, 2010

Filed under: audiobook,book reviews — bestbookihavenotread @ 10:34 am
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I started to listen to The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan, smack on the heels of finishing the audiobook of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I listen to them with teeth gritted, half-wincing

Here’s how turning The Forest of Hands and Teeth on for our last drive to Michigan for the summer went:

Hubby, hitting pause during disc 1. “You know this is a zombie book, right?” (Incredulous and excited that I would pick something so up his alley, and so not mine.

“What do you mean? Before we started the CD we talked about what Unconsecrated meant and never once did you mention Zombies!”

“Couldn’t you tell from reading the back of the book?”

“No! What clues are there that it was a zombie book? You know I’ve never seen a horror or zombie movie, much less read a zombie book! I just got over my vampire fear with Twilight! Werewolves-also okay because of Jacob. Faeries-fine, Harry-Potter like demons-no problem, but ZOMBIES??!! You know I never even wanted to see E.T. because the alien guy freaked me out!”

I did end up listening to The Forest of  Hands and Teeth. I couldn’t remember anything I’d read about it (obviously) but knew it kept coming up as a highly recommended YA book, often when dystopian or post-apocolyptic settings came up. I had to reserve it at the library and wait two months! So…I agreed to give it a try, even though it was so out of my comfort zone.

Despite my severe zombie-phobia, I did find the premise of the books interesting enough that I went to the library to check out the companion book within days. I say ‘interesting’ because I don’t “love” them or “enjoy” them, but I can’t stop because I need to see what is going to happen!

It’s funny, as educators, we are so often trying to get kids to read out of their comfort-zone genre, but are often unwilling to do the same thing ourselves.

First Light by Rebecca Stead-wouldn’t have read it if someone had told me it was “science fiction”. Loved The Last Town on Earth, even though I wasn’t in the mood for historical fiction.

What got me past my initial turn-off? Recommendations of friends and people whose reading opinions I respect.

So am I saying, yes, force kids to read genres they “don’t want to”?

No-I’m saying, never underestimate the power of an excited, sincere recommendation for a child when you tell them, “I was thinking of you when I read this book. I know it’s not your typical pick, but I really think you should give it a chance.”


Free Audiobooks! May 31, 2010

Filed under: audiobook — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:27 pm

Seeking to build the audience (13 and older) for audiobooks, the online community plans to give away two free audio downloads each week:

a popular Young Adult title paired with a Classic title that appears on Summer Reading lists–starting July 1 through September 1, 2010.

The download schedule for Summer:

Available July 1 – July 7

Available July 8 – July 14

Available July 15 – July 21

Available July 22 – July 28

Available July 29 – August 4

Available August 5 – August 11

Available August 12 – August 18

  • Coming Soon…

Available August 19 – August 25

  • Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Available August 26 – September 1

SYNC is hosted by Audiobook Community Ning, a new social networking site for the discovery of audiobooks.  Young listeners are welcome to take part in the optional book-related networking opportunities which will include authors, narrators, publishers, librarians, and other listeners.


Recent Audiobooks January 12, 2010

Filed under: audiobook,book reviews — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:44 pm
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I’ve just recently finished listening to two different audiobooks. I enjoyed them both, for very different reasons. The one I finished most recently is John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines.

The other audiobook is Going Bovine by Libba Bray.

Two very different books, but both had me driving around laughing my

head off. I’m sure that makes funny viewing for the other driving, like when you pull up at a stoplight and someone is singing like crazy.

While looking at both covers, I’m struck by another similarity! Both books have teenage boys going on a road trip at a pivotal time of their life! Hmmm…..

That hadn’t crossed my mind until just now.

An Abundance of Katherines is the story of Colin Singleton and his best friend Hassan. They take off on a road trip to cure Colin of his heartbreak of being dumped by the nineteenth Katherine in his life. How does one guy get dumped by 19 Katherines with a K? Colin, child prodigy/hoping to be a genius has managed. The boys end up in Gutshot, Tennnessee, making friends, interviewing townspeople for their summer job, writing mathematical theorems and trying to decide what life has in store for them. Not a YA book you can listen to with your children in the car, as both Colin and Hassan are prone to use “fugging” in place of another curse word frequently throughout their speech.  There are so many amusing parts that I it’s hard to name one, but the hunt for the “feral pig” would be in my top three.

Going Bovine, by Libba Bray, is funny in a whole different kind of way. The cover of a cow carrying a lawn gnome, was just too good to pass up! Main character, Cameron, is having a hard enough time surviving high school and that is even before he comes down with Mad Cow Disease of the human form! Hallucinations of fire demons, a road trip with side kick and midget, Gonzo, a punk angel, a quest to save the world. all of which Cameron endures as he either is a: dying in his hospital bed or, b: really going on the trip of a life time. You’ll have to decide as you read (or listen) which you think.  I might need to go back and read Don Quixote.

I do love Libba Bray’s humor. From scanning her blog, she sounds like a hoot to hang out with.


What I’m Currently Reading April 7, 2009

Filed under: audiobook,books,KidLit,kidlitosphere — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:46 am
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Just finished Scat by Carl Hiaasen. It’s one of the best books I’ve read! Now I need to read Hoot and Flush!

Bedtime reading Greetings from Nowhere by Barbara O’Connor with my daughter.

Bedtime reading Roscoe Riley Rules #1 Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs by Katherine Applegate with my son.

Listening to The Calder Game CDs by Blue Balliet in the car when I’m by myself.

Listening to Beyond Spiderwick #1 The Nixie’s Song by Holly Black and Tony diTerlizzi and Past Perfect, Present Tense: New and Collected Stories by Richard Peck with my children in the car 

Currently and actively reading The Art of Teaching Reading by Lucy Calkins, Graceling by Kristin Cashore (recommended to me by one of my former students-he even brought it to me at school-I love that!)

Started but yet to finish: Leepike Ridge by N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson (they are both good, I just got distracted)

need to start, but haven’t Room With a View by E.M. Forester, Drood by Dan Simmons


New Books April 6, 2009

Filed under: audiobook,book reviews,books,KidLit,kidlitosphere,picture books,read alouds — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:36 am
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The goals: spend less than $75 on new books Saturday, find new release books I hadn’t read yet, try to include one each for my son and daughter to get excited about. Here’s how it ended up

Word Builder by Ann Whitford Paul (beautiful new picture book with a construction crew taking letters and eventually turning them into a book) 

The Pet Sitter: Tiger Taming by Julie Sykes (a series from England starring a young pet-loving boy. Will be good for my son as he is not ready for Magic Tree House, but insists on chapter books that look “grown-up”)

Smoke by Mavis Jukes (I’m not sure what gravitated me towards this book. The cover has a cat in profile, the title is the same as one the characters in the book Scat I just finished, I need a new read aloud for my son and thought this would be a nice change from Wimpy Kid, thought he would love the cowboy connection. I’ll let you know.)

Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children’s Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green Edited by Dan Gutman (Good short stories are sometimes hard to come by and 100 by authors such as Ralph Fletcher and Gail Gibbons can’t be beat!)

Change Has Come with illustrations by Kadir Nelson (Kadir Nelson’s drawings, Barack Obama’s words-need I say more?)

The Beautiful Stories of Life: Six Greek Myths by Cynthia Rylant (Love Cynthia Rylant. Love that this myths are retold at a level that I can use to introduce them to my children and students)

Total Damage $71.96

I’m pretty excited about my haul!


100 Cupboards December 21, 2008

100-cupboardsimg_11862The funny guy in the photo is author  N.D. Wilson. I just finished listening to his 100 Cupboards in my car. It was one of those great audiobooks that make you want to hang out in your car or drive the long way home. The main character, Henry, has ended up living with his aunt, uncle, and 3 cousins in Henry, Kansas after his parents were kidnapped. You don’t learn much about those parents, except that they were wildly overprotective, and often not around to raise their only child (there was a nanny of course).  

In Henry’s new bedroom, he soon becomes aware that there is a hidden door behind the plaster of the wall. Through a great deal of nighttime working and some help from his cousin Henrietta, Henry comes upon not just one cupboard, but 100 cupboards. One door allows a peek into what appears to be a mailroom with a postmaster walking back and forth putting mail into the boxes. Another allows wind and rain to blow through. 

The cupboards in his room are also linked to a mysterious door that led to what was the family’s grandfather’s room. Since his death several years before, the family has been unable to open the door.  Henry and Henrietta find the secret to opening that door as well as traveling through to worlds on the other side of the cupboards. 

While there are some creepy parts, the storyline is intriguing and I can hardly wait for Dandelion Fire, the second installment of the trilogy.  

Random House has a clever little sneak peek of what might be found behind the doors.