February 2019 Books

Around the beginning of each month, I’ll take a look back at the books I read from last month. Since most of the book reviews I post on this blog are from books I read months ago, this gives all my readers a good opportunity to see what I’ve been recently reading, as well as how my reading goals are going!

As a side note, you can see every book I am currently reading on both the Goodreads sidebar on this blog as well as on my Goodreads profile.

Books read in February: 13

Very bad reading month for me in terms of goals, and far less exciting and more tedious reads than January. I hope to finish the Newbery Medals by the summer, and Dear America by the end of the year.

Reading Goals:

Newbery Medal Winners: 1 (81/96 total)

Dear America: 0

Other Reading Stats:

*These stats are separate from goals (so, for example, even though Newbery Medal winners count as children’s books, I do not include them in my children’s stats) and from each category (rereads will not count in their respective genres)

Non-fiction: 0

Adult fantasy: 0

Adult fiction: 2

Rereads: 4

Children’s: 3

Middle Grade: 1

Young Adult: 0

Publisher Copies (or Christian fiction): 2

Favorites:

January 2019 Books

Around the beginning of each month, I’ll take a look back at the books I read from last month. Since most of the book reviews I post on this blog are from books I read months ago, this gives all my readers a good opportunity to see what I’ve been recently reading, as well as how my reading goals are going!

As a side note, you can see every book I am currently reading on both the Goodreads sidebar on this blog as well as on my Goodreads profile.

Books read in January: 20

Sometimes I really don’t know how I manage to read so many books per month.

Reading Goals

               

Newbery Medal Winners: 4 (80/96 total)

    

Dear America: 2

Other Reading Stats:

*These stats are separate from goals (so, for example, even though Newbery Medal winners count as children’s books, I do not include them in my children’s stats) and from each category (rereads will not count in their respective genres)

Non-fiction: 1

     

Adult fantasy: 2 (I am counting the volume as 1 book, despite the fact that it contained 2 books)

Adult fiction: 3

Rereads: 3

Children’s: 1

Middle Grade: 2

Young Adult: 2

Publisher Copies (or Christian fiction): 0

Favorites:

              

December 2018 Books

Around the beginning of each month, I’ll take a look back at the books I read from last month. Since most of the book reviews I post on this blog are from books I read months ago, this gives all my readers a good opportunity to see what I’ve been recently reading, as well as how my reading goals are going!

As a side note, you can see every book I am currently reading on both the Goodreads sidebar on this blog as well as on my Goodreads profile.

Books read in December: 16

This month, I officially finished my 2018 Reading Challenge! I read a total of 220 books in 2018. My goal was only 160, so technically I suppose I didn’t “finish” the challenge this month. For 2019, my new goal is 175 books. I hope to finish the Newbery Medal books and the Dear America books this year.

Check out my year in books!

Reading Goals

        

Newbery Medal Winners: 2 (76/96 total)

Dear America: 1

Other Reading Stats:

*These stats are separate from goals (so, for example, even though Newbery Medal winners count as children’s books, I do not include them in my children’s stats) and from each category (rereads will not count in their respective genres)

Non-fiction: 1

   

Adult fantasy: 2 (I am counting the volume as 1 book, despite the fact that it contained 3 books)

Adult fiction: 0

Rereads: 5

Children’s: 1

Middle Grade: 1

Young Adult: 3

Publisher Copies (or Christian fiction): 0

Favorites:

   

November 2018 Books

Around the beginning of each month, I’ll take a look back at the books I read from last month. Since most of the book reviews I post on this blog are from books I read months ago, this gives all my readers a good opportunity to see what I’ve been recently reading, as well as how my reading goals are going!

As a side note, you can see every book I am currently reading on both the Goodreads sidebar on this blog as well as on my Goodreads profile. There you can also check out the progress of my 2018 Reading Challenge.

Books read in November: 18

What I find the most interesting from doing these statistics is the number of YA books I continually read. Consistently the number is equal or just below the number of children’s and middle grade. I thought I had cut back on YA, but apparently not as much as I thought!

Reading Goals

         

Newbery Medal Winners: 2 (74/96 total)

Dear America: 1

Reading Stats:

*These stats are separate from goals (so, for example, even though Newbery Medal winners count as children’s books, I do not include them in my children’s stats) and from each category (rereads will not count in their respective genres)

Non-fiction: 1

   

Adult fantasy: 2 (I am counting the volumes as 1 book each, despite the fact that the series is 5 books)

Adult fiction: 1

Rereads: 5

Children’s: 1

Middle Grade: 1

Young Adult: 3

Publisher Copies (or Christian fiction): 1

Favorites:

October 2018 Books

Around the beginning of each month, I’ll take a look back at the books I read from last month. Since most of the book reviews I post on this blog are from books I read months ago, this gives all my readers a good opportunity to see what I’ve been recently reading, as well as how my reading goals are going!

As a side note, you can see every book I am currently reading on both the Goodreads sidebar on this blog as well as on my Goodreads profile. There you can also check out the progress of my 2018 Reading Challenge.

Books read in October: 17

I hit a bit of a slow crawl towards the end of October.

Reading Goals

                  

Newbery Medal Winners: 3 (72/96 total)

Dear America: 1

Reading Stats:

*These stats are separate from goals (so, for example, even though Newbery Medal winners count as children’s books, I do not include them in my children’s stats) and from each category (rereads will not count in their respective genres)

      

Non-fiction: 2

Adult fantasy: 0

Rereads: 2

Children’s: 0

Middle Grade: 2

Young Adult: 7

Publisher Copies (or Christian fiction): 0

Favorites:

September 2018 Books

Around the beginning of each month, I’ll take a look back at the books I read from last month. Since most of the book reviews I post on this blog are from books I read months ago, this gives all my readers a good opportunity to see what I’ve been recently reading, as well as how my reading goals are going!

As a side note, you can see every book I am currently reading on both the Goodreads sidebar on this blog as well as on my Goodreads profile. There you can also check out the progress of my 2018 Reading Challenge.

Books read in September: 22

Seems like reading every night and morning is working out for me in terms of book completion.

Reading Goals

Newbery Medal Winners: 0 (69/96 total)

Dear America: 1

Reading Stats:

*These stats are separate from goals (so, for example, even though Newbery Medal winners count as children’s books, I do not include them in my children’s stats) and from each category (rereads will not count in their respective genres)

            

Non-fiction: 2

Adult fantasy: 1

Rereads: 4

Children’s: 1

Middle Grade: 4

Young Adult: 7

Publisher Copies (or Christian fiction): 2

Favorites:

           

August 2018 Books

Around the beginning of each month, I’ll take a look back at the books I read from last month. Since most of the book reviews I post on this blog are from books I read months ago, this gives all my readers a good opportunity to see what I’ve been recently reading, as well as how my reading goals are going!

As a side note, you can see every book I am currently reading on both the Goodreads sidebar on this blog as well as on my Goodreads profile. There you can also check out the progress of my 2018 Reading Challenge.

Books read in August: 19

With the start of school, my reading pace has surprisingly not slowed down at all.

Reading Goals

                         

Newbery Medal Winners: 5 (69/96 total)

       

Dear America: 2

Reading Stats:

*These stats are separate from goals (so, for example, even though Newbery Medal winners count as children’s books, I do not include them in my children’s stats)

Non-fiction: 0

      

Adult fantasy: 2

Rereads: 2

Children’s: 0

Middle Grade: 3

Young Adult: 4

Publisher Copies (or Christian fiction): 1

Favorites:

                          

Series Week IX (The Great Brain): The Great Brain Is Back

The Great Brain is Back, by John D. Fitzgerald, was published in 1995 by Dial.

Tom D. Fitzgerald—better known as The Great Brain—has turned thirteen, and pretty Polly Reagan has put a spell on him. But when it comes to swindling his younger brother J. D. and all the other kids in Adenville, Utah, Tom hasn’t changed a bit. From thinking up the slippery soap deal and the numbers game to outwitting a band of murderous outlaws, The Great Brain is at the top of his form. And one thing’s for sure: life is more exciting when he’s around!

Rating: 2/5

The Great Brain is Back was published posthumously, cobbled together from the late Fitzgerald’s writings. It is the last Great Brain book (obviously) and ends fairly well for being so—Tom goes off to high school in Pennsylvania, leaving John and Frankie bemoaning how boring it will be with him gone. It’s a good end, though in my opinion, the series ended best after book 5, when Tom reforms. The last three books weren’t anything special.

This book starts with perhaps the meanest trick Tom has ever pulled on his brother. John is occasionally at fault for falling for Tom’s cons, but the first chapter of the book details Tom maliciously and purposefully undermining his own brother. I became so irritated that I almost stopped reading, to be honest. It ends with Tom getting his just desserts, though, so that at least makes up for it, but the ending pales in comparison to the trial at the end of The Great Brain Reforms, mostly because there’s no indication that Tom will actually change.

Perhaps it’s because this was published after the author died, or perhaps it’s because even Fitzgerald was getting tired of these books, but this book (and the two before it) most prominently displays how quickly this series fell apart after having to explain away Tom’s reform. There’s no longer any lessons, no development—just story after story of Tom swindling people and mostly getting away with it. It’s always clever, occasionally heroic, and sometimes amusing, but there’s nothing connecting the stories to each other anymore. Tom has become a villain in his own series, in a way, because all the good things he does pales in comparison to the heartlessness he shows his friends and brothers.

I’ m glad I revisited this series, but now I’m glad it’s over. Tom was becoming too annoying for me to enjoy the books, and all of the lovely learning and development was tossed aside for more of the frustrating shenanigans. I would recommend to stop reading the series after book 5.

Series Rating: 3/5

Ranking (best to worst, or most favorite to least):

1. Me and My Little Brain

2. The Great Brain Reforms

3. More Adventures of the Great Brain

The Great Brain at the Academy

5. The Great Brain

6. The Great Brain Does it Again

7. The Return of the Great Brain

The Great Brain is Back

Recommended Age Range: 8+

Warnings: None. 

Genre: Historical Fiction, Children’s

You can buy this here: https://amzn.to/2Ba3Jah

July 2018 Books

Around the beginning of each month, I’ll take a look back at the books I read from last month. Since most of the book reviews I post on this blog are from books I read months ago, this gives all my readers a good opportunity to see what I’ve been recently reading, as well as how my reading goals are going!

As a side note, you can see every book I am currently reading on both the Goodreads sidebar on this blog as well as on my Goodreads profile. There you can also check out the progress of my 2018 Reading Challenge.

Books read in July: 18

I’m pleasantly surprised I managed to read that many books in July, as it was quite a busy month for me.

Reading Goals

           

Newbery Medal Winners: 2 (64/96 total)

Dear America: 1

Reading Stats:

                            

Non-fiction: 2

Adult fantasy: 1

Rereads: 2

Children’s: 2

Middle Grade: 2

Young Adult: 2

Publisher Copies (or Christian fiction): 4

Favorites:

                                            

 

June 2018 Books

I’m introducing a new feature on my blog: around the first of each month, I’ll take a look back at the books I read from last month. Since most of the book reviews I post on this blog are from books I read months ago, this gives all my readers a good opportunity to see what I’ve been recently reading, as well as how my reading goals are going!

As a side note, you can see every book I am currently reading on both the Goodreads sidebar on this blog as well as on my Goodreads profile. You can also check out the progress of my 2018 Reading Challenge (I’ve set a goal of 160 books and am almost 3/4 of the way done).

Books read in June: 26

June was a big reading month for me: school’s out and I’m not doing much work. This will probably be my biggest reading month of the year, as most months I’m lucky if I get half that number.

Reading Goals:

                                                                   

Newbery Medal Winners: 3 (62/96 total)

Dear America: 1 (17/43 total)

Reading Stats:

            

Non-fiction: 2

                                           

Adult fantasy: 3

Rereads: 6 (lots of rereads this month; four of which were the first four Penderwick novels, which I read in preparation for the fifth)

Children’s: 9

Middle Grade: 2

Young Adult: 3

Publisher Copies (i.e. Christian fiction): 1

Favorites: