It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? Feb 1, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at BookDate, and was adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. This weekly roundup is a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

It’s been a bit of a crazy week, so I don’t have too many books to share, but here they are!

nerdy

Title: Nerdy Birdy
Author: Aaron Reynolds / Illustrator: Matt Davies
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Picture book

My Two Cents: First off, let me just say how much I dislike Amazon’s summary of this very charming book:

Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd.

One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle.

When he’s at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky.

No, no, no! One of my greatest pet peeves is when picture books suggest to children that friendship means finding people who are just like you, and that friendship can only exist between similar individuals who fit into a common mould.

What makes Nerdy Birdy so special is that it blows this trope completely out of the water. Nerdy Birdy is indeed lonely, and he does eventually find a group of nerdy birds who share his passions and interests and warmly welcome him into their flock. But this is really just the beginning of the story. When a new bird appears who is neither nerdy enough for nerdy birds group nor cool enough for the cool birdies, Nerdy Birdy must decide what is really means to be a friend.

Nerdy Birdy is a wonderful little story that turns children’s book tropes on their heads, and really argues that labels are less important than values, and that children can be friends regardless of their appearances, their backgrounds, or their interests. Friendship is about accepting others for who they are, and embracing individuality.

thrones

Title: A Game of Thrones : Book One
Author: George R. R. Martin
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: 1997
Genre/Format: Fantasy / Novel

I’m sure I must be the last person on Earth to crack into A Song of Fire and Ice, but I’ve finally started on A Game of Thrones (book one). I’m about half the way through, and to be honest I’m struggling to understand what all the fuss is about. Sure, there’s sex and violence, but a lot of books have those. The writing is fantastic and the world building is highly detailed, but there’s just nothing particularly magnetic about the storytelling that’s really drawn me in. I’ve read a lot of fantasy and a lot of historical fiction, and I’ve read some pretty incredible writing, but I really can’t say that I’m particularly invested in this story, and I honestly don’t think I’ll be picking up the second novel. Thoughts?

pirates

Title: The Pirates
Director: Lee Seok-hoon
Release Date: 2014
Genre/Format: Movie

My Two Cents: This isn’t a book, but I just had to include it this week because I really, really enjoyed it! This film is like a Korean version of Pirates of The Caribbean – there’s a bounty to be had, and a motley array of pirates, bandits and navy officers are competing to snag the ultimate prize. A winning combination of action, slapstick humour and endearing characters makes this a highly enjoyable film, and the best part is the depiction of a strong, totally awesome female character. Yeo-wol is the female captain of the pirates who rules with fairness and respect, and who will take on the world to defend her crew. A fun, lighthearted romp reminiscent of the Errol Flynn pirate movies of yore.

So, what have you been reading this week?

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32 thoughts on “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? Feb 1, 2016

  1. I also have yet to crack that first Game of Thrones novel. It has sat in my basement for a couple of years. I think I have thought that I would have the same reaction to it that you have and it would prevent me from reading a lot of other books as it is so long. Nerdy Birdy sounds great! It reminds me of Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes with the friends at the beginning being similar and at the end not so much. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I’m one of the few who has not read A Game of Thrones. I did read a bit of it a few years ago when a lot of hype was surrounding it but I just didn’t get along with it and at that length, I was quick to give up!

    I hope you enjoy any upcoming reads.

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  3. Nerdy Birdy is cute, and I agree. Don’t pigeonhole kids! I’m glad the book has such a good message. And Game of Thrones- I’m a big fan in books two and three. Three is probably the high point of the series, but the characters are more complex by then- Jon and Arya and Jaime (hated him initially but loved him by book three). But I know what you mean- when I reread book one it was least interesting of the three.

    The Pirates looks fun!

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  4. Your review of Nerdy Birdy is spot on. It is about accepting all different kinds of people & celebrating their uniqueness, learning from them, too. How boring if we only ran with the same crowd! Every classroom should have the book to help the conversations about friendships. Thanks, Jane!

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  5. I haven’t read A Game of Thrones either, so you’re not alone! I haven’t even watched the TV series. Everyone tells me it’s great, but I hope people view it that way because it’s genuinely interesting and not because everything else on TV is CSI and Survival shows.

    Thanks for stopping by my IMWAYR post!

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by! I don’t typically read books with a lot of hype, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder what all the fuss is about and decide to give it a look for myself. Who knows, maybe it will grow on me!

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  6. I am intrigued by Nerdy Birdy. My family members have read Game of Thrones & a few of them have watched it too. From the conversations we’ve had, I can tell it’s clearly not my thing. I have many other books that will fit me better, but I know many people have enjoyed the series.

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  7. Too bad to hear that Game of Thrones doesn’t resonate with you – there is something so delicious about the storytelling that just got to me – the worldbuilding is exquisite, and I felt really drawn into the narrative, and I really looked forward to escaping to George Martin’s world every night before I go to sleep – I hope it becomes better for you.

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  8. Well, we shall see! Sometimes you need to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate a book, too. It’s been pretty stressful around these parts lately so my brain’s been in a bit of a fog, so I might come back to it and give it another go. I did that with LOTR, the first time I read it I just couldn’t get into it, but I came back a few years later and devoured it.

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  9. I started reading A Game of Thrones only after the show premiered. I have only read the first two books but I’ve watched all the seasons of the show so far. I don’t know if I will continue with the books. I’ve heard that after book three, the quality goes downhill.

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