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Kristen's Reading Nook

 I'm currently obtaining my masters in Library Science and Information from the University of Alabama. I graduated from Texas A&M in 2006, and have been teaching and coaching ever since. I love reading new books, and finding books that I can share with my students. I read a little bit of everything, but a large majortity of that is YA and Classics (or anything else that interest me when I pick it up).

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

(This review is written for a grad school assignment.)


It's 1968, and Doug Swieteck just moved to a new town with his family. Doug has a very volatile home life; with a violent father who flies off the handle at the littlest things, a bully older brother recently accused of committing a crime, and an eldest brother recently returning home injured from the Vietnam War. The only thing helping Doug fight the negative attitudes people have for himself is drawing copies of the book of Audubon prints at the public library, and befriending a feisty girl from class, named Lil Spencer.


You instantly feel protective of Doug because he struggles with reading, and the fact that  adult seem to be very distrusting of him. Doug's voice and tone make him instantly relatable, and make you understand exactly what is important to him. This is a very serious book, but there are a lot of humorous moments that will make the reader laugh out loud. The book has the similar quirky writing style as the book The Wednesday Wars, but much heavier in tone. This books is one of those inspirational stories that shows the impact of giving a person a chance, and how that can empower them.  This is one of those few books, that I feel like everyone should read.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black read by Christine Lakin (audiobook)

(I'm writing this review for an audiobook assignment for one of my grad classes.)


Tana lives in a time that doesn't seem to far from our own; in a time where vampires are no longer a myth, but a very dangerous threat to our society. Our government has established guarded cities to contain these vampires in, called Coldtowns, that still connect to the outside world through live feeds, blog posts, and news stories from those who live within (human and vampire alike). After recently attending a local "Sundown Party", Tana wakes to find that she is one of two survivors of a recent vampire attack. Now she is on the run with her recently infected ex-boyfriend, Aiden, and mysterious boy with secrets of his own, Gavriel, trying to make it to a cold town before Aiden is fully changed. 


This story is a very interesting take on the popular subject. I felt the book was well written, dark, and a bit snarky with a very unique take needed for the overdone subject of vampires. Tana is a easy character to root for from the very beginning, with a determination to do what is right while trying to save her humanity. The story balances plot and characterization very well. The story has twists, revelations, and danger at every turn, while included a diverse set of character relations from gay, straight, bi, and transgendered. In the audiobook, Lakin does a fabulous job with voice reflection and assigning voices for different characters. It was very easy for the listener to distinguish mental from spoke conversation throughout the audiobook. The occasional background music added to the drama and context for different scenes. I would recommend this book to the vampire enthusiast, and those who like action packed horror novels. 


I downloaded this audiobook straight from iTunes. The original download on my phone, ended up not downloading properly, but ended up downloading on my computer faster and correctly. The sound quality was of professional grade.  The audiobook was found under the teen audiobook section in iTunes, and I think that is appropriately labeled according to the book topic and writing style of the author. I really enjoyed the Christine Lakin reading the audiobook, and would listen to another audiobook if she was the reader.



19 Quirky Conundrums Only Book Lovers Understand

Reblogged from Kate says:

This is so true! I don't feel like I'm the only one how! 


old book

 OMG!! How come strangers know so much about me?!


via HuffPost:


1. Finding a comfortable reading position is a never-ending quest. Chair or bed? Side or back? In a box? With a fox?

2. On airplanes, you hesitantly flick on the overhead light while everyone else is napping.

3. Paper cuts may look like minor injuries, but the pain can be excruciating.

4. Walking and reading at the same time requires hand-eye coordination only professional athletes have been endowed with.

5. What on earth are you supposed to do with the jacket on a hardcover while you're reading it? Keep it on and risk damaging it? Take it off and store it in a weird nook, never to find it again?

6. Deciding what to read is a choice that presents you with an embarrassment of riches.

7. The typeface and page length of a book can seriously impact your reading experience, sometimes for the worse (sans-serif font is a huge no-no).

8. A book can be composed of the worst drivel you've ever laid eyes on, you're still afflicted with major guilt when you banish it to the "I Will Never Ever Ever Finish This. Like, Ever." shelf.

9. You lament time that you've wasted in the past; all of those hours scouring celebrity Twitters could have been put towards finally reading Moby Dick!


10. Some people count down the minutes until their lunch hour; you count down the minutes until Jeffery Eugenides or Donna Tartt releases their next book (roughly 5 million for Tartt, but who's counting?!)

11. Finishing a book you loved is like saying goodbye to a good friend. You've been through so much together! And while you may see each other again, it won't be quite the same.

12. Forget finding roommates; the most stressful thing about moving is figuring out a way to transport boxes upon boxes of heavy books.


13. You're constantly rethinking your bookshelf strategy. Should you color-coordinate, or take a more practical approach, such as publication date or alphabetization? Or, if you're feeling ambitious, should you tackle the autobiographical bookshelf, à la Rob Gordon from High Fidelity?

14. Your mood is directly impacted by the mood of the book that you're reading; your friends have learned to avoid you during Dostoyevsky months or Bret Easton Ellis weeks.

15. You take found books home like abandoned puppies, chirping, "Can we keep it?!" That'd be well and good if it didn't happen once a day.

16. One does not simply walk by a bookstore. One must poke around, at the very least, and one usually ends up filling one's tote bag with more books than one can carry.

17. "I don't read" is a relationship death knell, akin to "I loathe my mother" or "I enjoy upsetting kittens."

18. You may or may not own two (or three or four) copies of a beloved book. You can't help it, the redesigned covers are irresistible!


19. Laundry day and other important obligations get completely overlooked when you're in the middle of a great, un-put-downable book. "Same shirt Saturday"? Sorry you're not sorry. 


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/10/book-lover_n_4562002.html?ref=topbar
Reblogged from The Book Lantern:

From http://www.pinterest.com/pin/100697741640109167/


Oh, this looks like fun! I will have to try this! 

Source: http://startorius.booklikes.com


Divergent - Veronica Roth

Ok, so I'm finally biting the bullet and reading this book. Some of my friends are really curious why I have waited so long to read this book that they just loved, or more like LOVED!!!! And that is precisely the reason why I have. I'm afraid that this book has too much hype and will not live up to my expectations. I'm also a little afraid that it is too similar to Hunger Games (yes, I know they are the same genre, but I don't want to read the exact same book with different character names). Since I really liked the Hunger Games, I'm afraid if this book, will somehow not live up to what I loved so much about that book. 


However, I still would like to read it before the movie comes out. I much rather read a book first than watch the movie first. Mainly because I feel like movies skip over certain details (yes, as a reader I love the details! Shocker!) that actually play pretty important roles later on in movie/book series. Sometimes if important details are left out, it makes the endings feel rushed or not done in a format that I can live with (that was how the movie version of City of Bones was for me). 


So, here goes. I will let you know how much I liked (or not liked) this book. 

Great infographic about finding the right book for you child


Great Article about saving reading by James Patterson


Great article about New Adult genre


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

  I finally finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.For those who don't know, the premise of this book is about (Lance) Nick Dunne, who comes to his small town Missouri home to find that his wife, Amy,  is missing, and their house looks as if there an altercation took place there. As the investigation continues, it appears that a lot of things about Nick and Amy's marriage isn't as it appears. There are constant twist and turns in this action packed plot that keep you guessing until the very end.


I really liked this book because it was action packed, and constantly had me guessing what would happen next. I went from being sympathetic for the main characters, to hating them( except for Go, who was the only character I liked the entire book), pitying them, and finally feeling like they got what they deserved by the end.I enjoy books that allow me to see multiple characters point of view, and like the insight that you gained when reading Nick and Amy's point of view.


Then ending of the book what genius to me. It blew my mind at first, but eventually the longer it settled with me, the more I liked how it ended. I was surprised a bit, but not wanting to give anything away, it was an ending that I could live with. Overall I like the writing style of this book, and thought it was very well written.


I would recommend this books to anyone, especially those who like mysteries or "who done it" type reading. I would warn that the book deals more toward mature content, while it is not overly graphic, and would not be suited for younger readers (but really that is for them to decide, not me). I would also be interested in reading other books by this author, such as Dark Places and Sharp Objects


Source: http://shabbyblogs.com/?page_id=110
Love this image! Love Shabby Blogs
Love this image! Love Shabby Blogs
Source: http://shabbyblogsblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/free-digital-paper-winifred-fancy-whale.html

virtual bulletin board

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/463589355362169525

Banned Books to check out...

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/26317979045078755

Love this!!

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/24980972905711620

How to Build Your Classroom Library on a Budget!

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/120471358754554029

Support your Libraries!

Here is another great inforgraphy showing why supporting your libraries are so important! http://www.statestats.org/support-your-local-library
Source: http://www.statestats.org/support-your-local-library