Tag Archives: Our Week in Books 2014

Our Week in Books #1 2015

I used to do ‘Our Week in Books’ posts on a Saturday (or Sunday), but I’m moving to Wednesdays to fit in with the year and because I usually have more time to blog on weekdays than on weekends.

The first week of 2015 is almost complete, and I think I shall spend the rest of the year much like I did last year, asking “How did it go so quickly?!” Although maybe this year I’ll be more mindful and not have the year rush by so fast.

With my youngest child now five-and-a-half, although we still read lots of picture books, she’s now interested in listening to chapter books over several nights so we’re starting there. The almost-eight year old has also decided to listen to the longer books, and input into which ones are read, so after two years of her avoiding story time because she can read herself, I’m getting to read to both girls again. Which is lovely.

This does mean that we might not read picture books every day, so I’m not committing to 300 picture books this year, but we’ll see how we go! Jax at Making it Up is running the 300 picture books challenge for 2015.

Therefore I’ve slightly altered the format of my week updates, and my Goodreads challenge of 156 books this year is split into 52 books for me (over 150 pages, longer than an hour to read, including read alouds if they are longer); 52 picture books (I’m sure we’ll do lots more); and 52 short reads (either read aloud or to myself). So although 156 looks less than my usual 352 challenge, the books are longer.

I’m also not putting every book received onto Goodreads, but onto my spreadsheet for personal tracking, but will add review books because I need extra reminders to get them written 😉

Again my aim for the year is to make a net gain of zero books. I have about 25 ready to go to charity, and will make a big picture book cull this year (cry!) because we do not have the space or means to store all these books. Gaining around 400 books each year is not sustainable long term. Much as I’d like a big house with a library, it’s never going to happen, and life is too short to keep hold of things that aren’t used. (More crying!) Being a hoarder at heart, this isn’t going to be easy, but I will try very hard.

Lots of boring ramble there, of no interest to anyone but me really but there we go 😉

Our Week in Books in Numbers
Year progress: 7/365 = 1.9%
Read 52: 0/52 = 0.0%
Picture books: 3/52 = 5.7%
Short reads: 1/52 = 1.9%

Books reviewed: none

Books read (excl picture books):
Baby Aliens Got My Teacher – Pamela Butchart (read aloud)

Books added to shelves:
The Naming of Tishkin Silk – Glenda Millard (review book from Phoenix Yard)
Layla Queen of Hearts – Glenda Millard (review book from Phoenix Yard)
My So-Called Life – Joanne Nadin (bought from Poundland)
Cumulative: 3 (£1)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: none
Cumulative: none

A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #8

Half Term.

The week went well actually. Usually we wouldn’t really go anywhere in a half term week off but with MG’s birthday in the week we planned every day more-or-less and had cinema trips and soft play that wouldn’t normally happen. We also got to feed a friend’s cats and chickens for the week which was a nice change for MG and DG. DG had her very first cinema trip (she doesn’t really sit through films so did really well) and MG is now seven. Eek.

Having a week offline more-or-less helped me think about things. I didn’t manage to stay off twitter for the whole week but I did start deleting myself off blogging networks and so forth. I wanted to write about things though, so I can’t give up all the other things I blog about so my plan is:
A weekly ramble in the ‘week in books’ post, that will be public.
General parenting musings at Mum Network, but I won’t post individually here.
I’ll continue writing my Asperger’s journey, but it will all be private. I will need to write as I go along though, so I remember the process and may write something in retrospect.
Other personal parenting and general posts will also be private, but I’ve realised that I do need to write things down for me as well.
Mostly there will only be book reviews appearing here, but I’ll also write about gender and difference in relation to books too which are things I’ve been wanting to write more about.

On the whole I’m hoping that keeping things for me will mean I stress less about what I’m writing, which will free up more time to write about the other things that I never seem to find time for. Which seems counter-intuitive as it looks like I’ll be writing more posts?!

My stats have dropped like a stone in the last week. This is not surprising as I set more than half of my blog to private, originally 355 posts but I unblocked 30 of them (annoyingly bulk changes sent them all out as e-mails, which I didn’t realise until I’d done 14 – sorry, subscribers!) But I’m going to try hard not to worry about stats!

Onwards and upwards. Here’s to the new-ish Child-Led Chaos…

Books added to shelves: 4
The Pig’s Knickers – Jonathan Emmett & Vanessa Cabban (bought for gift in an earlier week from Mostly Books, but gave other books as gifts and decided to keep this one)
Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends (birthday present for MG)
Science (birthday present for MG)
The Yes – Sarah Bee & Satoshi Kitamura (review book from Andersen Press)
Cumulative: 60 (£28.70)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: 1
Cumulative: 61 (27 still to post)

Read 52 books finished this week:
Phoenix – SF Said
A Necklace of Raindrops – Joan Aiken & Jan Pienkowski

Year progress: 53/365 = 14.5%
300 Picture Book progress: 105/300 = 35.0%
Read 52 progress: 7/52 = 13.5%

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #7


Books added to shelves: 3
I Want My Mummy – Tracey Corderoy & Alison Edgson (review book from Little Tiger Press)
Mummy’s Little Sunflowers – Angela McAllister & Alison Edgson (review book from Little Tiger Press)
Me and My Mummy – various (4 mini books, card & stickers) (review book from Little Tiger Press)
Cumulative: 56 (£25.70)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: none
Cumulative: 60 (27 still to post)

Read 52 books finished this week:

Year progress: 46/365 = 12.6%
300 Picture Book progress: 97/300 = 32.3%
Read 52 progress: 5/52 = 9.6%

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #6

750 Picture Books.

This isn’t a new reading challenge.

750 is apparently roughly how many picture books we own.

It’s a broad definition of ‘picture book’, and includes board books, novelty books and some treasuries. But not all treasuries, and no non-fiction, and none of the colourful early readers, or the box of complete Mr Men and Beatrix Potter, or the mini books…

I thought that it was probably likely that we could do our 300 Picture Book Challenge without borrowing or buying any more books. I didn’t expect that we could do it two and a half times over without adding to them.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I’m a book addict, and I was aware that we probably had nearly 2,000 books in the house. On the other hand, it’s so much when so many people have so little.

I have been trying to declutter as I go along, plus I’m offering out review books in monthly giveaways. My aim for the year is to have a net gain of zero books or less. So far we’re doing well, with an overall loss of 7 books – even if 27 are still waiting to be posted. Last year, despite ‘removing’ 299 books we still had an overall gain of 220 books.

I really need to write reviews more often, there are 45 books waiting for review now. Eek.

Books added to shelves: 9
Dangerous – Tim Warnes (review book from Little Tiger Press)
Boo – Tracey Corderoy & Caroline Pedler (review book from Little Tiger Press)
Red, Blue, Peek-a-Boo! – Annette Rusling & Katie Saunders (review book from Little Tiger Press)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be an Egyptian Mummy – David Stewart & David Antram (review book from Salariya)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Slave in Ancient Greece – Fiona Macdonald & David Antram (review book from Salariya)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be in the Trenches in World War One – Alex Woolf & David Antram (review book from Salariya)
Macavity – T S Eliot & Arthur Robbins (review book from Faber & Faber)
Hog in the Fog – Julia Copus & Eunyoung Seo (review book from Faber & Faber)
Squishy McFluff: The Invisible Cat – Pip Jones & Ella Okstad (review book from Faber & Faber)
Cumulative: 53 (£25.70)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: 15 to post
Cumulative: 60 (27 still to post)

Read 52 books finished this week:
78% through Quiet

Year progress: 39/365 = 10.7%
300 Picture Book progress: 84/300 = 28.0%
Read 52 progress: 4/52 = 7.7%

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #5

Oops, we seem to have acquired a lot of new books this week! I really need to get cracking with reviews… I’ve been a bit slow with the reading; slightly behind on reading books for me and not that great with the picture books. I’ve been doing a book sort-out this week. I started by taking all most of the children’s books off the shelves.


Eek. I’ve still got a huge pile of books to put away but some of the shelves are looking lovely and neat 🙂 I’ve also been putting the picture books onto Goodreads, which has been taking time, and I’ve probably still missed several, but you can have a nose at our current selection of traditional tales; dinosaurs and dragons; monsters, spooks and aliens; and pirates. I think I will struggle to fit everything into one category and want to put my favourite authors together instead of spread over categories.

Lovely shelves of books

There is absolutely no point in me doing this. We’ll start taking the books out to read and they’ll end up in a total mess again. However, I am doing some minor weeding whilst going through, which is something…

Between sorting books, getting some paid overtime, and stressing about my doctor’s appointment, I don’t feel like I got anything really done this week. Two weeks until half term so I need to get some decluttering out of the way now. Three weeks until eldest child turns seven and I’m burying my head in the sand. I don’t want her to be seven. I don’t want to plan the party she wants. That probably deserves its own post, I doubt I’ll write it.

Books added to shelves: 27
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that just can’t stop Talking – Susan Cain (BritMums Book Club)
Penguin in Love – Salina Yoon (review book from Bloomsbury)
Marmaduke the Very Different Dragon – Rachel Valentine & Ed Eaves (review book from Bloomsbury)
The Perfect Princess – E.D.Baker (review book from Bloomsbury)
Princess Ponies: Best Friends Forever! – Chloe Ryder (review book from Bloomsbury)
Kid’s Garden Card Deck – Whitney Cohen & Roberta Arenson (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
Who’s in the Farmyard? – Philllis Gershator & Jill McDonald (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
Bear About Town – Stella Blackstone & Debbie Harter (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
How Loud is a Lion? – Clare Beaton (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
We’re Roaming in the Rainforest: An Amazon Adventure – Laurie Krebs & Anne Wilson (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
Skip though the Seasons – Stella Blackstone & Maria Carluccio (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
If you’re Happy and you Know it – Anna McQuinn & Sophie Fatus (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
Ruby’s Baby Brother – Kathryn White & Miriam Latimer (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
The Real Princess: A Mathemagical Tale – Brenda Williams & Sophie Fatus (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac – Dawn Casey & Anne Wilson (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
Shopping with Dad – Matt Harvey & Miriam Latimer (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
The Barefoot Book of Pirates – Richard Walker, Olwyn Whelan & Richard Hope (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
The Adventures of Odysseus – Hugh Lupton, Daniel Morden & Christina Balit (Barefoot Books Kickstarter 2)
Hair in Funny Places – Babette Cole (2nd hand from charity shop)
A Necklace of Raindrops – Joan Aiken & Jan Pienkowski (2nd hand from charity shop)
Rainbow Magic: Angelica the Angel Fairy – Daisy Meadows (2nd hand from charity shop)
Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2nd hand from charity shop)
Pants – Giles Andreae & Nick Sharratt (Mostly Books, 2 for 1)
My Mum and Dad Make Me Laugh – Nick Sharratt (Mostly Books, 2 for 1)
The Driftwood Ball – Thomas Docherty (review book from Templar)
Troll and the Oliver – Adam Stower (review book from Templar)
Who’s in the Tree that Shouldn’t Be? – Craig Shuttlewood (review book from Templar)
Cumulative: 44 (£25.70)

Books bought for gifts (from Mostly Books)
Handa’s Surprise – Eileen Browne
The Scallywags Blow their Top – David Melling
The Pig’s Knickers – Jonathan Emmett & Vanessa Cabban

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: 28 to school; 12 to post
Cumulative: 45

Read 52 books finished this week:
The Queen of Dreams
Started reading Quiet – Susan Cain

Year progress: 32/365 = 8.8%
300 Picture Book progress: 68/300 = 22.7%
Read 52 progress: 4/52 = 7.7%

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #4

Lots of books added to the shelves this week, including six lovely review books that I’m really looking forward to sharing. I need to grab all my review books in a pile and start getting those review written, I still have a pile from last year and now this year is gathering steam which is lovely but I do need to catch up.

This time last year we’d gained 77 books and I’d spent £84, so I am very proud of myself for only spending £10.29 so far this year. I very almost got a batch of books from The Book People but then the girls of the house needed some new clothes and shoes so that was my book budget gone!

I’m going slowly but steady with reading picture books to the children. I don’t think I’ll make 300 in 5 months like last year but I’m not rushing. It’s lovely seeing the progress that other people are making in the #300PBs challenge though, everyone is taking it at a pace that suits their family life 🙂

A better week this week than last, although I’ve been so tired the last few days but that’s ‘self-inflicted’ because I went to a friend’s house for chatting and drinks. However, in the first half of the week I got some good decluttering done and I have a flexible plan in place for the next few weeks.

It’s the second week with Mighty-Girl in after-school clubs and Brownies, which has been hard work with tiredness. MG’s gone from no outside-school activities to two after-school clubs, one lunchtime club, and Brownies. She’s doing board games, French and gymnastics, and loving them all. She adores Brownies, but it ends at 7pm and she then needs about 2hrs down time before sleeping but it’s Thursday and she’s also got two clubs on the Friday so she is exhausted. It’s hard, but I don’t want to take things she enjoys away from her.

Destructo-Girl doesn’t get to do any clubs yet because they’re not offered until Year 1, and she’s got more than two years until Brownies. She really wants to do things though, so it’s hard on her too. I’m doing pick-up swaps with my friend whose children are in the same years and the same clubs so we either collect the younger ones at 3pm or the older ones at 4pm. If I need to pick up DG on her own she’s really sad: “I don’t want to be on my own”, she wants to be with her sister or friends.

I still owe loads of comments, but I’ll try to grab a batch of time this evening or tomorrow to go through and sort that out. Right now I promised the laptop to MG and it’s time to make lunch!

Books added to shelves: 10
Who’s Hiding – Satoru Onishi (2nd hand from charity shop)
Not Last Night But The Night Before – Colin McNaughton & Emma Chichester Clark (2nd hand from charity shop)
Hubert Horation Barton Bobton-Trent – Lauren Child (2nd hand from charity shop)
Rise of the Wolf (Wereworld #1) – Curtis Joblin (2nd hand from charity shop)
Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party – Lucy Coats & Chris Mould (review book from Nosy Crow)
There’s a Dinosaur in my Bathtub – Catalina Echeverri (review book from Bloomsbury)
Dino-Mummy – Mark Sperring & Sam Lloyd (review book from Bloomsbury)
Cuckoo – Fiona Roberton (review book from Hachette)
Mortimer Keene: Ghosts on the Loose – Tim Healey & Chris Mould (review book from Hachette)
The Quirks in Circus Quirkus – Erin Soderberg & illus Kelly Light (review book from Bloomsbury)
Cumulative: 17

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: none
Cumulative: 5

Read 52 books finished this week:
Started reading The Queen of Dreams – Peter Hamilton

Year progress: 25/365 = 6.8%
300 Picture Book progress: 51/300 = 17.0%
Read 52 progress: 3/52 = 5.8%

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #3

I thought it was going to be a week of no books received but the post today added a review book to our shelves. A gorgeous looking fact book, so I’m really looking forward to going through that. We need to read non-fiction more, it’s hard to convince the children though even though they’re actually interested if they listen!

I also had three NetGalley books approved. I’m a bit rubbish at reviewing longer novels (and picture books in electronic format do not work for us at all) so don’t use NetGalley much but liked the sound of these. Therefore the next three books I need to read are The Queen of Dreams: Peter Hamilton; Ghost Hawk: Susan Cooper; and Phoenix: S.F. Said. At some point I’ll also have Quiet by Susan Cain to read, via the BritMums Book Club. I’ve wanted to read that for ages so really looking forward to it. Although based on previous timelines for their review books, that won’t arrive until March…

I’m not really keen on having my next few books to read proscribed, I like to choose something based on what I feel like but I do feel obliged with the review books, and as I’m so slow with reading I can’t put them off. It’s not that I am a slow reader, just that I don’t put the time aside to read all the time. And ideally I’d prefer to read something two or three times before I review it, which just isn’t possible. It’s one of the reasons I review picture books and early readers.

I almost didn’t finish The Hounds of the Morrigan this week but I’m writing this later in the day than planned and I finished the book during the day today because my coping mechanisms broke again last night. This regularly happens due to the pressure build up of no space because the children don’t sleep until late, and the brief time they are at school is not long enough to recover, besides being filled with too many tasks that seem never ending.

I’m still reading an average of 2-3 books to the children every day. Which lurches wildly between ten books one day and none another, depending on how much I’m coping. The last few days have been erring on the side of none. Destructo-Girl is asking for early readers regularly, but still wants two or three of them, so I’m also suffering from having to say too many words. I don’t understand why people feel the need to fill the air with so much sound all the time, I am in desperate need of silence.

Anyway, some numbers and such forth, before I grumble even more:

Books added to shelves: 1
Infographics: Animal Kingdom – Simon Rogers & Nicholas Blechman
Cumulative: 7

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: 5 (to post)
Cumulative: 5

Read 52 books finished this week:
The Hounds of the Morrigan

Year progress: 18/365 = 4.9%
300 Picture Book progress: 41/300 = 13.7%
Read 52 progress: 3/52 = 5.8%

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #2

I wrote about how this week was going in Postponing the To-Do List. I am internalising a bit at the moment, this post from Inner Aspie was very timely as I recognise some of myself in it. I have lots of comments to leave and tweets to reply to that I’m not keeping up with because when I am online I’m reading and absorbing, and not capable of replying and interacting in the way I feel I should be.

So if you’ve commented, I do appreciate it and I will reply, it’s just I haven’t got the words to hand yet.

I’ve left Noughts and Crosses somewhere in the middle. The problem is, I skipped to the end. So I know what happens. And then I forward flicked through to see how it gets to that point. And I didn’t like what was happening, so I wasn’t inclined to read more. I loved the set up, and it’s made me think about racism in things that I never noticed (the colour of plasters) but I think I’m not in the right frame of mind for this story right now.

I abandoned it for the third in the series of Penelope Tredwell mysteries, The Black Crow Conspiracy, which was a lot more fun and I enjoyed thoroughly. I reviewed Twelve Minutes to Midnight and Shadows of the Silver Screen last year, so ought to do this one to complete the set. The Black Crow Conspiracy is a strong finale for the trilogy.

I have a pile of childhood books I’ve wanted to re-read for a long time, and this week The Hounds of the Morrigan caught me. I didn’t realise it was such a long book so it may take a couple of weeks to get through, but I’m looking forward to being pulled into the fantasy world again.

Most of what I want to ramble on is picture book related so it will be in Monday’s #300PBs post instead. I need to catch up on all that, and set up a random selection for the giveaway winner. And decide which books I’m giving away next.

After a slow start in the first week, there have been several days of eight or ten picture books on the reading pile, so we’ve stormed to the 10% mark in the challenge. More on that in Monday’s update…

Books added to shelves: 2
The Black Crow Conspiracy – Christopher Edge (bought from Mostly Books)
Gigantosaurus – Jonny Duddle (review book from Templar Publishing)
Cumulative: 6

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: none
Cumulative: none

Read 52 books finished this week:
The Black Crow Conspiracy – Christopher Edge
Started The Hounds of the Morrigan – Pat O’Shea
Temporarily abandoned Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

Year progress: 11/365 = 3.0%
300 Picture Book progress: 30/300 = 10.0%
Read 52 progress: 2/52 = 3.9%

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #1

Another year, a new set of stats! I’ve slightly changed my format this year. I’m going to list the title of every book received (or series name if I get a set) and where it came from. I’m also going to write the books that I started or read some of during the week for the #Read52 challenge.

Picture books will be in a separate post on Mondays, for the #300PBs challenge, but I’ll still have stats as of Saturday for this weekly post. This is to stop the internet collapsing on itself in an infinite loop 😉

It’s also because I’ve been really surprised by the amount of interest the 300 Picture Book challenge has garnered, and think it needs its own post away from my weekly ramble on everything, book related or not.

It’s been a very slow start to the year. I’m looking forward to the children going back to school, not because I want to get rid of them, but because we really need an impetus to get up in the mornings and do things. The house is as messy as you’d expect from two weeks with children at home and an influx of new stuff so Project Declutter 2014 needs to start too.

Project Declutter is an ongoing thing. I don’t think it will ever actually end.

I am really surprised that we’ve acquired four books already this year. One was a pre-Christmas competition prize, and the others were a lovely surprise. Jo Lodge is one of my favourite author / illustrator / paper engineers, discovered when Mighty-Girl was a toddler and her books completely engage young children. Destructo-Girl hasn’t stopped reading and playing with them since they arrived.

As my eldest child is currently ‘experimenting’ with paint and the doors (“It was an experiment. To see if it would wipe off.”) I will end this week’s ramble for now. Happy New Year!

Books added to shelves:
The Gift – Carol Ann Duffy (competition prize from Redpeffer)
Up and Down: A Mr Croc Book About Opposites – Jo Lodge (from Jo Lodge)
Stomp! Little Dinosaur – Jo Lodge (from Jo Lodge)
Ride Your Tractor, Mr Croc – Jo Lodge (from Jo Lodge)
Cumulative: 4

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: none

Books removed from shelves: none
Cumulative: none

Read 52 books finished this week:
How to be Dead – Dave Turner
Also finished Dexter’s Final Cut – Jeff Lindsay, but in 2013
Started Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

Year progress: 4/365 = 1.1%
300 Picture Book progress: 7/300 = 2.3%
Read 52 progress: 1/52 = 1.9%

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup