Today, I will (finally) be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, especially bookworms.
The newsletter is normally sent out about once a month, depending on how frequently I'm able to post on my blog. However, during the COVID-19 lockdown I've found my time for blogging to be severely limited. I always work full-time from home (in a job unrelated to the blog), but doing that with my 10-year-old daughter here has been more challenging. Now that she's done with distance learning for 4th grade, I find myself with a bit more time for blogging. I'm not sure what my motivation level will be going forward, but I'm here today. I hope that all of you where are reading this are safe and well and finding plenty to read during your unprecedented time at home.
Newsletter Update: I'll be including one post rounding up my Twitter links for the past month or so. You can find others on my blog if you are so inclined. I also have a Bookworm Moments post about a book-inspired declaration that I am the best mommy in the world, and a post about the joy of re-reading a favorite childhood book series. I had only one other post since the last newsletter (besides the links), about home learning in the very early stages of the shutdown. I find it's a bit dated, so I'm not including it in the newsletter.
Reading Update: I wasn't reading much early on in the shutdown. I had trouble concentrating (as others reported), and had no appetite for things that were bleak. While my concentration has improved, my reading preference has leaned toward lighter fare. Lately I've been re-reading some old favorites, and I expect that to continue. Overall I read eight middle grade and 14 adult books. I read/listened to:
- Julia Nobel: The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane Sourcebooks. Middle Grade Mystery. Completed March 21, 2020, on Kindle.
- Chris Grabenstein: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. Random House. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed April 11, 2020. Read aloud to my daughter.
- Amy McCulloch: Jinxed. Sourcebooks. Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. Completed May 9, 2020, on Kindle.
- Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Coder. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed May 13, 2020. Read aloud to my daughter.
- Lawrence Yep: The Earth Dragon Awakes. Harper Collins Children's Books. Middle Grade Historical Fiction. Completed May 14, 2020. Read aloud to my daughter for school.
- Julia Nobel: The Secret of White Stone Gate. Sourcebooks. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed June 6, 2020, on Kindle.
- Elizabeth Enright: Gone-Away Lake. HMH Books for Young Readers. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed June 8 2020, personal copy.
- Elizabeth Enright: Return to Gone-Away. HMH Books for Young Readers. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed June 11, 2020, personal copy.
- Gytha Lodge: Watching from the Dark Random House. Adult Mystery. Completed March 14, 2020, on Kindle.
- P.J. Tracy: The Guilty Dead. Penguin Random House. Adult Mystery. Completed April 11, 2020, on Kindle.
- Suzanne Redfearn: In an Instant. Lake Union Publishing. Adult Fiction. Completed April 12, 2020, on Kindle and MP3.
- Julia Spencer-Fleming: Hid from Our Eyes (Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne). Minotaur Books. Adult Mystery. Completed April 19, 2020, on Kindle.s
- P.J. Tracy: Ice Cold Heart. Crooked Lane Books. Adult Mystery. Completed May 2, 2020, on Kindle.
- Michael McGarrity: Hermit's Peak (Kevin Kerney, No. 4). W. W. Norton & Company. Adult Mystery. Completed May 4, 2020, on MP3.
- Iona Whishaw: A Killer in King's Cove. Touchwood Editions. Adult Mystery. Completed May 16, 2020, on Kindle.
- Graham Norton: A Keeper. Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed May 18, 2020, on MP3.
- Michael McGarrity: The Judas Judge (Kevin Kerney, No. 5). W. W. Norton & Company. Adult Mystery. Completed May 4, 2020, on Kindle.
- Harlan Coben: The Boy from the Woods. Grand Central Publishing. Adult Mystery. Completed May 25, 2020, on MP3.
- Mark Greaney: The Gray Man (Court Gentry, Book 1). Berkley. Adult Thriller. Completed June 17, 2020, on MP3.
- Madeline Levine: Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World. Harper. Adult Nonfiction. Completed June 4, 2020, on Kindle.
- Victoria Thompson: Murder on Pleasant Avenue (Gaslight Mysteries, No. 23). Penguin Group. Adult Mystery. Completed June 7, 2020, on MP3.
- D.E. Stevenson: Listening Valley. Sourcebooks. Adult Fiction. Completed June 20, 2020, personal copy.
I read Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library aloud to my daughter early on during the lockdown, and also read aloud one of the books that she was assigned for school. It turned out that reading about the San Francisco earthquake during a time of personal anxiety was a challenge. The only way I could get her to read The Earth Dragon Awakes was to read it to her. We also read the newly published book in the My Life series, My Life as a Coder. I tried to read How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin to her. It was a book that I had really enjoyed a few years earlier (my review was even blurbed in the paperback copy), but we ended up stopping half-way through as she lost interest. I also tried to read Gone-Away Lake aloud to her, but (sigh) she wasn't interested. We are currently between reads together, but I'm sure we'll find another one soon. My husband just started reading her The Hobbit, and I hope that one takes.
On her own she's been reading and re-reading the Land of Stories books by Chris Colfer, the Candymakers books by Wendy Mass, and a variety of Scholastic Wish novels, mostly the ones by Suzanne Nelson. She continues to re-read graphic and notebook novels, mostly while she's doing something else (eating, riding in the car, etc.). She's in need of her next big series, but hasn't found it yet, despite my best efforts. She misses being able to browse in her school library and pick things out for herself. The stacks of books that I hopefully pull from the stacks for her lie mostly unread. That's reading choice for you! I'm sure she'll find her next thing soon. I've been very grateful during this time that she enjoys reading. You can find her list of reads for the year here.
That's all I have time for today. I wish you all well and hope to be back soon. Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms!
© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage.