My craft blog was morphing into a book blog. So I started this blog to primarily include book reviews and related challenges in which I participate. I review young adult and adult fiction, but I mention kids books here and there.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Read-A-Thon

Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century is hosting a New Year Read-a-thon.

I'm going to give this a try, although I don't know how much I'll get read. Even though it has already begun, I probably won't get started until tomorrow afternoon. I probably will just do a wrap up post.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.com
 The books I have read in the past week:
 I didn't complete anything this week.

 Books I am currently reading:
I'm reading Asleep by Wendy Raven McNair, which was gifted to me from Color Online.

 Books I plan on reading this week:
A good friend loaned me My Life as a Rhombus by Varian Johnson and Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.com
 The books I have read in the past week:
 I read the most recent short story by Laurel Dewey, Anonymous.

 Books I am currently reading:
I don't have anything in progress at the moment.

 Books I plan on reading this week:
I was gifted with the book Asleep by Wendy Raven McNair from Color Online. My teenager and I will read this one together. Given the holiday, I will likely only be reading recipes this week.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Author: Laurel Dewey

I discovered this author via Daily Lit during the ReadAThon. Since I don't have a lot of time to read, I decided to try a couple of short stories. I read An Unfinished Death and You Can't Judge a Book By it's Cover, both by Laurel Dewey. Beginning in October 2009, Laurel Dewey is publishing five short works featuring Jane Perry. These are the first two of these five.

These stories reminded me of how much I enjoy the mystery genre. An Unfinished Death follows Detective Jane Perry as she solves a crime using information that she garners from visits with the deceased. When I read the description, I was sure that I would find this lame (for lack of a better word), but I really enjoyed this short story. Honestly, I found the resolution predictable, but I enjoyed how information from the deceased effected her personal life.

You Can't Judge a Book was set up a blog entry by Perry. In truth, this was far too long to be a blog entry, but it was a nice short story. Perry meets an emotionally disturbed child how guides her in solving an unknown crime.

I enjoyed both of these short stories so much that I plan to add Dewey's novels featuring this character to my holiday reading list. Surprisingly, I enjoyed Perry's faulted character and her gruff nature.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.com

The books I have read in the past week:
I haven't had a moment to read a single thing just for the fun of it. Not even to my kiddos.

Books I am currently reading:
I'm determined to finish the Shack this week.

Books I plan on reading this week:
I don't think it's wise for me to start any new reading this week.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Diversity Roll Call

I'm a bit late, but last week's Roll Call question came from Ali at Worducopia. Participants were asked to find early readers with children of color as main characters.

In combing through the books I've purchased for my children over the years, I decided to share these.

I have all of the books in this Essence Series.

Bill Cosby Book Cover
I have several of the books in this series.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.com
The books I have read in the past week:
I finished the short stories an Unfinished Death and You csn't Judge aBook by its Cover, both by Laurel Dewey. Loved them both!

Books I am currently reading: 
I'm still in the midst of reading The Shack and This Child Will be Great.

Books I plan on reading this week: 
I have papers due, so I plan on reading education research this week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Hardcover: 288 pages ISBN: 0316114278

I finally found time to finish Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
by Grace Lin.

This is the story of a family that has few earthly possessions. The father entertains his daughter with fables, but the mother sees these stories as useless. Because of the mother's dissatisfaction with the family's financial position, the daughter sets out on an adventure to change their fortune based on what she has heard in the fables.

I enjoyed the story within a story format. I also loved how the stories told by the characters weaved into the plot. The hopefulness of the main character, Minli, kept the story going for me. And watching the distress of the parents gave it the right amount of tension.

I actually have very little time for fiction right now, but I picked this book up at every opportunity. I was ready to see who Minli would meet next and how that would tie in to what had happened so far. This book is aimed at a youth audience, and I am sure that my 9 year old will enjoy it immensely. I know that I did, and I am MUCH older than 9.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.com

The books I have read in the past week:
I finally finished Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. I LOVED it. I'll try and get my review up this week. I finished the short story Home Again, Home Again.

Books I am currently reading:
I'm in the midst of reading The Shack, This Child Will be Great, and the short stories an Unfinished Death and The Black Monk.

Books I plan on reading this week:
If I get the opportunity, I plan to pick up Dr. Ebenezer's Book and Liquor Store from the library. I also plan to make time to visit the webcomic Bayou.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Finds

Due to my participation in the ReadAThon, I found lots of suggestions for reads and re-reads. Here's what I've added to my "to be read" pile this week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.com

Today's schedule is already packed for me, but I hope to squeeze in a bit of reading since, according to the clock, I'm up an hour early. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Finds

Due to my participation in the ReadAThon, I found lots of suggestions for reads and re-reads. Here's what I'd added to my "to be read" pile.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Throwback Thursday

For this week's Throwback Thursday, I'm reviewing a book that I reread and a short story that I discovered.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Salon: ReadAThon Wrap Up

The Sunday Salon.com
I have participated in my first 24 hour read-a-thon. I didn't catch up on nearly as much reading as I wanted. But I had a good time. I was awake until hour 21, but I stepped away for several hours because of various commitments.

I managed to complete a book from my in progress list, complete 2.5 short stories, and start a book in my to be read pile. I participated in 5 challenges, and I hosted one of my own. I also visited some blogs along the way. I guess that's pretty decent for a rookie.

ReadAThon Update: Hours 18, 19 & 20

At hour 18 I decided to switch to short stories. I had a few queued up electronically at DailyLit. I completed A Doctor's Visit by Anton Chekhov but fell asleep shortly thereafter (shame on me!). I woke up towards the end of hour 19 and decided to dive into another short story, The Lady With the Dog.

I was too tired to do any challenges this time. I'm about to start one more short story, but I think I'm going to sleep soon. I know I should force myself to get through these last 4 hours, but I just don't think I can. We'll see.

ReadAThon Update: Hours 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17

I was at a banquet the past few hours, so no reading occurred. I'll likely be sleep soon, but we'll see if I can squeeze anymore reading in before the end.

Since my last update, I've read:
I participated in these mini-challenges:

And I visited a few blogs.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

ReadAThon Give Me Five Challenge

Lynn asked us to name five favorite children's books.
Here's my list:
Harold and the Purple Crayon
The Sneetches
Where the Wild Things Are
The Monster at the End of this Book
Chronicles of Narnia

ReadAThon pdate: Hours 9, 10, 11 & 12

Since my last update, I've read:
NOTHING! So sorry, but I took children to a carnival and am now off to a church banquet. Maybe this wasn't the best weekend. But I got to host a mini challenge, so that was cool! Hopefully I'll tune back in in the wee hours of the morning.

Readathon Mini Challenge

UPDATE: The randomly selected winner is Emily . You will recieve one set of Katrina's booksmarks and 2 books of your choice. Please email your book choices (you get to pick TWO books!) and address info to deweyreadathon(at)gmail. You can find your book choices on the Prizes page.

Generally, I’m not the type of person who watches movies for grown-ups more than once or reads a fiction book more than once. I have been known to watch Disney movies ad nausea because I have children. I only buy sewing, crafting or education books, since they serve as references that I can return to. I love children’s books and will read them night after night to my children. But I get my fiction from the library.

That being said, I do have one fiction book that I reread from time to time. But before I tell you about it, I’d like to know about you.

What book or books do you return to read again and again and why?

You can leave your answer or a link to your short post in the comments. This is a 2-hour challenge, so you have until 6pm CST, which I believe is hour 12. One winner will be chosen at random, but you must answer the question to be eligible.

And now for my answer. I just love The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker. It is so rich in plot, that I’m able to get lost in it every time. Admittedly, I space my reading out about once every 18 months or so. That’s about long enough for me to only have a vague recollection of all of the interrelatedness of the characters. They are like old friends whom I haven’t seen since that last class reunion. I’m always excited to hear about what they’ve been up to. Maybe I’m a little weird, but I love me!

ReadAThon Update: Hours 5, 6, 7, & 8

I had to leave to run a girl scout meeting, so I read nothing during hours 5, 6, or 7.

Since my last update, I've read:
Chapters 2 - 3 from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. (pitiful, I know)
I participated in the Collection Obsession mini-challenge and visited a couple of blogs.

ReadAThon Collection Obsession Challenge

Wendy asks that we share what we collect besides books. Books are by far #1 for me. But I guess that there have been other collections along the way.

I used to collect Christmas angel ornaments. They are currently packed away, so I can't share a picture of those. I collect hobbies like sewing and jewelry making. The only related picture I could come up with is my fabric collection in my small sewing space. I apologize for the quality. I had to use my phone since I can't find my camera at the moment.

I'm behind on my reading, so I need to get back to it.

ReadAThon Update: Hours 3 & 4

I didn't do as well as I had hoped during this stretch. The kids woke up and wanted me to be a mommy! And I visited other blogs, so I got distracted.

Since my last update, I've read:
Chapter 1 of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin.
I participated in Hey Lady's mini-challenge.

I have to go be a Girl Scout Leader for the next two hours, so there won't be reading during that time period. See you at hour 7 or so.

ReadAThon: Update for hours 1 & 2

Since my last update, I've read:
63 pages from I know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. This was a read in progress, and I've now finished it. I plan to read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin next.
I participated in Wordlily's mini-challenge.
I don't have a definitive list of books, so I can't give you a count. Also, I'll be reading some in electronic form since I subscribe to DailyLit.

ReadAThon: Twitter mini challenge

This first challenge is hosted by WorldLilly and is to take a screen shot when the #readathon hastag starts to trend. For full details on how to enter click here.

Start your engines!

The read-a-thon has begun! I've got some electronic and "real" books to read, and I'm ready. I'll have to take breaks to attend to other matters, but I'm excited and raring to go. My goal is to update every 2 hours or so.

Don't forget to look for my mini challenge later today!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ready to read?

The 24 Hour Read-a-Thon is this weekend! I already know that I won't be able to hang for the full 24 because I have to lead a girl scout meeting and my kids have a school carnival. But I'm going to give it my best.

I also get to be a cheerleader! Please look for my mini challenge from Hour 10 through Hour 11, which is 4pm until 6pm Central time.

And go sign up if you haven't done so already.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.com
My life is a bit hectic right now with midterms underway. But I've tried to pick up a couple of books to read for fun.

I'm rereading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It's been years since I've read this book. I'm enjoying the stories of people who seem all too familiar. I love the colorful language and imagery.

I also picked up Beezus and Ramona as part of the childhood challenge. I'm reading it as a bedtime reading for my children. So far, they haven't been as excited by it as I have, but I'm sure that they'll find it funny.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Finds

I know that Friday Finds is supposed to be about books you've newly discovered, but I'm being different today. Since I'm relatively new to this, I'm listing my discoveries in the book blogosphere.

My biggest discovery was Novel Challenges. This blog lists the reading challenges that are going on in the book blog world. I've already joined a couple of challenges as a result. I can already tell that I'm going to be in trouble if I'm not careful.

I also discovered memes, many of which are listed on the Book Blogger Appreciation site.

(Much thanks to Jackie at Farm Lane books for pointing me in the right direction.)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Beyond the Bayou by Kate Chopin

I chose a short story for today’s Throwback Thursday. Beyond the Bayou is from the book Kate Chopin: Complete Novels and Stories (Hardcover: 1075 pages 1931082219).
This is a short story written near the turn of the 20th century. Apparently set in the time of slavery in Louisiana, it is the story of overcoming fear.

The main character, Jacqueline, experienced a fearful moment in her childhood. As a result, she has reached the age of 35 without leaving the small plot of land around her cabin. But when emergency strikes her favorite of the slave owner’s children, she must overcome this fear.

The author artfully illustrated the appearance of the bayou as well as what I suppose was the dialect of the time.

I think that I liked this story because I enjoy the feeling of combating fears and coming out triumphant. I love to see people who realize that they are more than they’ve given themselves credit for. It was a quick read, and one you might enjoy. (I read it via DailyLit.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Childhood challenge

I can tell I'm headed in a dangerous direction. I added Novel Challenge to my feed reader, and I keep finding tempting challenges. Perhaps I can combine some challenges. (Notice that I didn't suggest quitting.)

Anyway, I found the childhood favorites challenge, and I can't resist. But I can pick short books, and they can be bedtime reading for me and my girls, right? And I have a year to read five books. No problem!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

24 hour read-a-thon

I think that I'm going to give it a try! October 24-25, 2009. More info at http://24hourreadathon.com/

Welcome readers

My name is Erika. I'm a wife and mom living in central Texas. My career is in education, but I'm always looking for creative outlets.

This is a blog is a spin-off of my craft blog. I started that blog to talk about things I was making for my children and challenges that I participated in. But I found myself doing book reviews as well. I first reviewed books about making things. But I found challenges that led me to review other types of books. So I decided to separate the two.

If you find that you like what I have to say, please consider subscribing to Reading with Momma’s RSS feed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm a winner

This post originally appeared on my craft blog.

I created this blog hoping to exercise my craftiness. Somehow my true favorite took over, and it's starting to morph into a book blog! I can't complain because I've been rewarded for what I love.

Thanks to Color Online, I received this great book. I can't begin to express how much I LOVE this book.

And I neglected to mention that MotherReader awarded me this beautiful book. In fact I received it from the author herself.

I guess that I better get busy reading and writing reviews.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review: Sport of the Gods

This post originally appeared on my craft blog.

by Paul Lawrence Dunbar
1409963004 Paperback: 132 pages
Thanks to Tashi for the Throwback Thursday idea! Throwback Thursday is when you review a book that you read in the past or that was published a while ago. This is a serious throwback that I found at DailyLit.

This is the story of an African-American family from a post-slavery south. Unfortunate events cause this family to flee the south in shame and head to New York in hopes of a new beginning. The contrast in the harsh life of the big city to the slow life of the south serves in destroying the fabric of this family.

Being from the south, it was interesting to read the dialect portrayed in this book. I couldn't decide how realistic it was. I also know that the drawl of a Texan can be quite different than that of someone from Mississippi.

I found the story a bit predictable, but worth the read.

This book is part of the “August Color Me Brown Book Challenge” hosted by Susan from Color Online.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Review: Hell-Heaven

This post originally appeared on my craft blog.

Unaccustomed Earth: Stories (2009)
by Jhumpa Lahiri
0307278255 Paperback: 352 pages

I found this story at Dailylit. I loved receiving a bit of the story each day. It became my break in a hectic schedule.

This is a sort of coming of age story of an Indian-American girl and her attempts at coming to grips with her identities in the two cultures. While the story is told through her eyes, she focuses on her family's interaction with an Indian man as he deals with his identity in an American world.

I really enjoyed this story and felt like I knew this girl, though I can't quite pinpoint why I felt that way. I found it interesting to watch her admire those things that were different than what was expected of her. And I felt sad for the lack of appreciation of those things that shape who and what we are.

While this is a short story, it is full an it caused me to want to read more about this character. I want to know how her life has evolved and what she values today.

This book is part of the “August Color Me Brown Book Challenge” hosted by Susan from Color Online.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Color Me Brown book challenge

This post originally appeared on my craft blog.

I never intended for this to be a book blog, but I love books - I almost wish that I had become a librarian. The books I've reviewed so far have been how to books because I intended this to be a book about things I make.

I just stumbled upon the Color Me Brown book challenge, and it called my name. As a mother of four beautiful daughters, I want them to develop a love of reading. I also want to instill positive self images. So this particular challenge has personal value for me. I'm not yet sure which books I'll be reviewing in August, but I'm looking forward to whatever they will be.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Read with Kids challenge

This post originally appeared on my craft blog.

Reading for the 48 hour book challenge has me on a roll. I'm now particpating in the 2009 Read With Kids Challange. I didn't intend for this to be a book blog, but I am a sucker for a book. The challenge dosen't end until June 30. You ought to do it too!

From their site:
"Read and Win a Disney Vacation!
For a second year, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and US Airways are working together to help children nationwide discover the joy of reading. Starting April, adults are invited to join the 2009 Read with Kids Challenge and help collectively log 5 million minutes spent reading with kids. You’ll have the chance of winning a family vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort® and more great prizes. Get on board! Visit
www.RIF.org/readwithkids today."

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm done: 48 hour book challenge

This post originally appeared on my craft blog.

I completed something! Here is my summation.

Number of books (re-) read: 8

Number of pages read: 847

Hours spent reading/reviewing: 16

My comments: This was cool to do. It gave me a reason to add posts to a new blog. It refreshed my memory of what resources I have at hand. I wish I could have done more, but life got in the way this time. Next time, I might focus more on fiction books. And next time, I WILL get my kids to participate.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I'm in: 48 Hour Book challenge

This post originally appeared on my craft blog.

I’ve decided to participate in the 48 hour book challenge. So I think that I will reread and write reviews on some of those craft books I purchased.

I also hope to get my daughters to each read at least one book and write a review. I know that school just let out, but they’ll thank me for it later.

I'm starting Saturday morning. Why don’t you join in?