#IMWAYR – July 4, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.


Happy Independence to all my Yankee friends! Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy holiday.

On the blog front, I’ve got a few exciting bits and pieces of news to share!

First off – I’m now a regular host for the incredible kids lit meme Diverse Kids Lit, which is an opportunity for kid lit bloggers to share diverse children’s lit! As a children’s librarian and co-chair of my local library association’s LGBTQ interest group, diversity is a subject that is very dear to my heart. I shared a powerful Canadian picture book as part of the linkup on Saturday,you can check it out here, and don’t forget to check out all the other great posts on the list.

Next up, I’m now an official Book Warrior! I’ve been a guest contributor to this amazing children’s literature blog for a few months now, and the fantastic ladies behind the site have invited me to become a fully-fledged member. I couldn’t be more excited – it’s like being invited to sit with the cool kids in the school cafeteria, except these cool kids are also incredibly smart and nice to boot. I’ll hopefully be posting fairly regularly over there, focusing mainly on picture books (of course), so check it out!!

Now, on to some of this week’s reads.

The Hangman’s Daughter

I read this historical mystery for my book club, and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it either. To be honest, I found the whole thing pretty meh, and had to force myself to actually finish it (I’m a serial DNF-er).  I love historical fiction, and I’ve always been fascinated by Medieval Europe, so the story of a hangman and a young progressive physician who work together to solve a mystery and prevent the eruption of witch hunting mania sounded really promising. But the text is just kind of clunky. There’s a lot of “but what do X, Y and Z have to do with A?” dialogue, as if the author knows that the plot is getting overly complicated and is worried that the audience won’t be able to follow along. There characters aren’t particularly fleshed out, the inevitable romantic pairing isn’t all that romantic, and it’s just a lot of meh.

I did wonder if some of the clunkiness of the text might have to do with the fact that this is a novel in translation. Even the best translations risk losing some of the spark of the original language, and some expressions and cultural assumptions simply don’t translate easily.

Either way, it’s not a terrible book, but if you enjoy historical fiction set in Medieval Europe, I would recommend Ken Follet, Bernard Cornwell, Philippa Gregory,  and many of the novels on this list instead.

Maybe Something Beautiful

Super Happy Magic Forest

Reviews coming this week!

Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year

What an inspiring article! Whether you’re a writer, artist, creator, athlete or job hunter, this article is a must-read. Putting yourself out there again and again can be terrifying (my job interview batting average is an unspeakable horror at the moment), but as the author explains, it’s only by actively courting rejection that you can ever hope to secure success.

Have a great week everybody!!

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26 thoughts on “#IMWAYR – July 4, 2016

  1. I hope to get a copy of Maybe Something Beautiful soon. The Hangman’s Daughter seems like it should have been so good. Too bad it did not meet the expectations you had from its premise. A case of an author not giving the audience credit? Is it written for YA, MG, or adult? My favourite historical fiction for MG this year was The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands. I would like to see more in that genre. I thought Sands did not dumb things down and some of my students were eager to learn more about the history in this time period (it was set in 1665 in London).

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  2. Too bad about The Hangman’s Daughter….I have DNF’ed more books this year than ever before, primarily because I’m trying to clear out the unread books on my Kindle. I hate when I’ve bought a book, thinking I will love it…and then, meh. That’s the right word, for sure. lol.

    Enjoy your week…and thanks for visiting my blog.

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  3. Congratulations! I know you will do a great job with your new ventures. I am bad at DNFs. I really try to finish what I start but I’m getting more picky about what I read. I’ve had a couple of DNFs in the last week. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  4. Congrats on all these new things, Jane. I’d like to participate in the Sat. meme, but already do another one. I’ll at least try to read some of the posts, am always looking for wonderful diverse books! I assume you’ve read Sepety’s Salt To The Sea, a recent wonderful hist. fiction story. Thanks for all!

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    • Yes, Salt to the Sea was incredible! I love being able to share titles like that with people who think anything set in the past has to be a bodice-ripping romance novel (which can be fun, but aren’t everyone’s cup of tea) or incredible dry and informational.

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  5. Lots of good news here!
    Maybe Something Beautiful was a great surprise title for me this spring! Absolutely loved it – got it at the library but was one I ended up purchasing.

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  6. I loved Maybe Something Beautiful and totally want to get my own copy for my classroom. One of the other teachers in my grade level bought it, so for now I’ll just have to borrow hers! I’ll have to check out those other kidlit sites you mentioned above. I’m always looking for more sites to find more stuff to read! Have an awesome week!

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  7. I am not a DNF-er but sometimes really wish I could be. I just can’t put something down. “What if it gets better by the end?” Once in a while it does but for the most part, if it’s a struggle, it’s always a struggle. Still find it hard, though.
    Job interview batting averages. THE HORROR. Must go read article …

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  8. Congrats on joining both those blogging outlets! And I agree The Hangman’s Daughter has a very interesting premise, sorry it didn’t work out. I’ve thought of trying both Cornwell and Gregory as I’ve heard good things about both of them.

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  9. Congratulations on being an official Book Warrior! You already were a book warrior, but now it is a proper noun!
    Also, I didn’t realize you lived in Canada! 🙂
    I got Maybe Something Beautiful at ALA, and I cannot wait to read it!
    And like Ricki said, my son would love Old MacDonald Had a Truck 🙂

    Happy reading this week!

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