New Books This Month

This is my monthly roundup of books that were added to my shelves in the last month. I also share an update with you on other things going on in my life.


We had a bit of a lull in activities for a short time period and now we are back into a crazy schedule with wrestling (our daughter cheers), basketball, and all the holiday concerts and activities.

Family Christmas 2018

We had our first family Christmas in November. It gathers my mom’s sisters and all the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. We are so fortunate to have such a huge, loving family!


Our team won the Post Prom Trivia night! It’s the second one we’ve attended and it’s a super fun fundraiser and a night full of laughter.


We made a quick trip to see my parents over Thanksgiving. The kids love playing games with Grandma and of course, the conversations.

I have actually found some time to read or listen to books in the last month. But, they have tended to instead be books for my own enjoyment rather than for review. I’m kind of in a reading slump. You can see all my recent book reviews by clicking, HERE.  Or you can stay up to date with my monthly Quick Lit Roundup. I didn’t get a chance to write a post last month, so this month I’ll be writing up two months worth of mini-reviews.



Currently Listening: Podcasts – Criminal, What Should I Read Next, and The Crystal Paine Show



If you would like to purchase any of the books in this post, click on the photo or title of the book to be directly taken to the product on Amazon. If you choose to purchase the book I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. 


There are so many amazing books in this months post. Most of them would make excellent gifts for the upcoming holiday season! If you are looking for gift ideas for the book lovers on your list, be sure to check out my Books as Gifts posts.


November 2018 Kids Books



By: Edward Hemingway

Published: September 11, 2018

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co

Format: Hardcover Picture Book


I absolutely loved this sweet Christmas story. You can see my review, HERE. I highly recommend adding this book to your Christmas reading library.

Once upon a time, while Fox was visiting the land of Holiday Treats, a little cookie—still warm from the bakery oven—burst out the front door looking sweet and ready to be devoured. But, as it turns out, Cookie is not as fast as he thinks and when Fox finally catches him, they’re both in for a big surprise: Sugar Cookie does not taste delicious—and he’s certainly not fit to be eaten. What’s an unsavory cookie to do? Is there another option for this not-so-sweet treat? This inventive story celebrates the joy of being accepted for who we are.




By: Sue Fliess

Illustrated by: Mark Chambers

Published: September 18, 2018

Publisher: Two Lions

Format: Hardcover Picture Book


Another great selection to add to your Christmas reading list!


It’s Christmas Eve morning, and Santa Claus is still in bed! He’s feeling stuffy and sneezy and slow as a Yeti. Will Christmas have to be canceled? Not this year! Because Mrs. Claus is ready to take the reins in Santa’s place. With a plan in mind, Mrs. Claus assembles the crew, maps out the route, and preps the sleigh. Then, with a snap of the reins, she shoots off into the night. Delivering gifts all over the world without Santa’s magic won’t be easy, but Mrs. Claus proves she has some holiday sparkle of her own…

With lively rhyming text and adorable artwork, this delightful Christmas adventure will get kids into the holiday spirit.





A Song for Endangered Animals

By: Terry Pierce

Illustrated by: Carol Heyer

Published: October 16, 2018

Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers

Format: Hardcover Picture Book


Bedtime stories were my absolute favorite ones to read to your kids. The illustrations are gorgeous and I love how it focuses on endangered animals. This is a good one!


Mother Earth’s Lullaby is a gentle bedtime call to some of the world’s most endangered animals. Rhythm, rhyme, and repetition create a quiet moment for children burrowing down in their own beds for the night, imparting a sense that even the most endangered animals feel safe at this peaceful time of day. In successive spreads, a baby giant panda, yellow-footed rock wallaby, California condor, Ariel toucan, American red wolf, Sumatran tiger, polar bear, Javan rhinoceros, Vaquita dolphin, Northern spotted owl, Hawaiian goose, and Key deer are snuggled to sleep by attentive parents in their dens and nests under the moon and stars.




By: Britta Teckentrup

Published: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Prestel Junior

Format: Hardcover Picture Book


I loved Britta’s book BIRDS AND THEIR FEATHERS and was thrilled to check out this book. Oskar is an adorable raven and has a good message for even the youngest of kids.


Britta Teckentrup has established herself as one of the most popular children’s book authors today. Her vibrant, collage-based illustrations have made her books a favorite in homes, schools, and libraries. And her character, Oskar, based on her family cat of the same name, is the perfect companion for young readers. This new book sends a simple, positive message that will empower kids to claim their own accomplishments. Tie a shoe? Brush their teeth? Wash their dishes? Bounce a ball? If Oskar can do it, they can too. Fans of Oskar’s adventures will be thrilled to discover their friend is back with a new story. And readers meeting Oskar for the first time will discover a delightful, relatable character who makes them feel good about themselves and the world around them.




By: Jason Tucker

Illustrated by: Nick Roberts

Published: September 28, 2017

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Format: Paperback


Getting our cleans to clean up their rooms was always a chore (actually it still is) and this story would have been a fun motivator for them!


This is the story of two very imaginative little boys and their resistance to cleaning up their toys…

Two little boys are about to go out for the day to the swimming pool as a treat. But before they can go, they must tidy up all their toys – which are all over the house – as requested by their Mummy. The boys consider this a mission! The boys attempt to clean up their toys in various parts of the house while making all sorts of excuses to Mummy to leave the toys where they are. The boys are easily side-tracked when attempting to clean up each room, as they find themselves playing with their toys again, their imaginations taking over. They find themselves driving trains, defending castles from ogres, climbing high mountains, flying spaceships, catching sea serpents and meeting prehistoric dinosaurs. All while trying to clean up their toys!




By: Stacy McAnulty

Illustrated by: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Published: December 4, 2018

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Format: Paperback


I loved Stacy’s book MR. FUZZBUSTER KNOWS HE’S THE FAVORITE. This one is perfect to teach about all the ways to show love to the youngest readers.


What is love? Can you only express it in fancy meals, greeting cards, and heart-shaped chocolates? Kids will find love everywhere in this delightful book. It can be found in everyday moments such as baking cookies with grandma, notes from Mom in your lunchbox or a family singing together on a car trip, and it isn’t always what you expect!

With delightful illustrations by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff and sweetly simple prose by award-winning author Stacy McAnulty, this is the perfect book to teach children what love means, why it’s important, and how they can spread the love in their daily lives.




30 Fun Activities to Stay Calm, Happy, and in Control

By: Carole P. Roman and Robin Albertson-Wren

Published: November 13, 2018

Publisher: Althea Press

Format: Paperback


Mindfulness is the new yoga. I have a couple of classrooms that I sub in that use these types of activities daily with their students. I’m pretty sure these activities will help adults as well.


Mindfulness for Kids offers fun activities for kids ages 6-12 to stay cool, happy, and present with mindfulness.

Homework horrors, chores, and not-so-friendly friends―that’s enough to make any kid’s brain hurt. The secret to staying cool is easy: it’s called mindfulness―and this book gives kids fun activities to practice it on their own.

Mindfulness for Kids applies mindfulness exercises to stories and real-life scenarios that kids go through at home, school, and with friends. Shared through the voices of five children: Jasmine, Willow, Kayli, Colby, and Zeke, Mindfulness for Kids is an engaging, kid-friendly guide for handling tough situations and powerful emotions mindfully.




November 2018 National Geographic Books



Over 1,111 Answers to Everything

By: Crispin Boyer

Published: August 21, 2018

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Format: Hardcover


You know I love these National Geographic books! If you have a kid that wants answers to everything, get them this book!


With the first book in the series, we answered WHY? In this exciting follow-up, we figured WHY NOT? The concept is simple. Got a question? Boy, do we have answers! Over 1,111 of them. Why don’t you keep growing your whole life? Check out the human body section. Why aren’t we traveling by jetpack yet? Tech has your answer. Why aren’t school buses red? Flip to the pop culture chapter. Why aren’t dinosaurs still alive? Why can’t you walk on clouds? It’s all there! With hundreds of topics ranging from silly to serious, we’ve got the expert information in a fun Q&A format that will keep kids digging for answers. Answers include all kinds of fascinating extra info like top 10 lists, weird-but-true facts, explorer profiles, and cool activities. Now, go stump your parents!




A Celebration of Birds through Pictures, Poems, and Stories

By: Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple

Published: October 16, 2018

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Format: Hardcover


I had no idea 2018 was the year of the bird. Our family loves birds and we love to watch them gather around the feeders in our backyard. This is a gorgeous coffee-table type of book.


This thoughtful and beautifully curated collection of our flying, feathery friends highlights the role birds play in human life from centuries ago to the present day. While it’s beautiful, it’s also full of valuable real science about these wondrous creatures. From history and behavior to spotting and photographing, there’s sure to be something for every bird fan in your flock. Young birders will learn all about migration and the importance of habitat conservation. They’ll find stories about bird rescues and fun facts about the fastest, strongest, and tiniest fliers. They’ll also discover the best bird nests, sweet songs to sing, ways to listen for and identify the birds around them, and more. Paired with stunning art and photography and beautiful design, this treasury is sure to become a classic for bird enthusiasts of all ages.

Fly with Me was created to help celebrate Year of the Bird, National Geographic’s 2018 initiative to bring awareness to the plight of birds around the world.




More than 200 Poems that Celebrate the People, Places, and Passions of the United States

By: J. Patrick Lewis

Published: September 25, 2018

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Format: Hardcover


Another wonderful book that celebrates the wonder of the people and places of the USA. Gorgeous photos and heart-warming poetry makes this an amazing collection of stories.


Celebrate the gift of language and the vibrant culture of the United States with this collection of classic and never-before-published poetry. Poems are arranged by region, from coast to coast, and among them, you’ll find works by Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, Robert Frost, Naomi Shihab Nye, Walt Whitman, and more. From the familiar to the surprising, subjects include people, places, landmarks, monuments, nature, and celebrations. Designed for sharing, but geared to younger readers, this beautifully illustrated treasury is a must-have for the whole family.




350 Outrageous Facts

Published: August 28, 2018

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Format: Paperback


These are such great books for kids. They are always chosen by students when I bring my book bag. Great photos and fun facts always keep kids interested.


The world can be a pretty wacky place! Kids will have a blast exploring just HOW wacky in the 10th book in the wildly popular Weird But True series, full of 350 surprising and amazing facts. Topics include science, space, weather, geography, food, pop culture, and just about everything else under the sun, presented with fascinating photos and illustrations. This quirky little reference is so much fun, kids forget they’re learning. 




The Most Complete Predator Reference Ever

Published: October 2, 2018

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books

Format: Hardcover


In true National Geographic fashion, this book gives you everything you need to know about all the predators. Super interesting even for adults!


Welcome to the amazing world of creatures who prey on others for their survival: From high-profile sharks, lions, tigers, and bears to the tiniest ants, mites, and spiders. Every animal in this book is ferocious, fierce, and fantastic in its own way! With colorful photographs and fun facts, this easy-to-use encyclopedia features profiles accompanied by Did You Know details, and fast facts (including scientific name, size, diet, and habitat), as well as thematic spreads covering topics from predatory techniques to defenses and communication, and much more.





November 2018 Books



By: Kristin Harmel

Published: March 27, 2018 – Paperback, November 6, 2018

Publisher: Gallery Books

Format: Paperback


I have several of Harmel’s books on my to-read list but this is the first to make it on my shelf. She also contributed a story in DEAR BULLY (see below). This one just came out in paperback after doing well in hardcover. WWII historical fiction is a favorite of mine to read.


When newlywed Ruby Henderson Benoit arrives in Paris in 1939 with her French husband Marcel, she imagines strolling arm in arm along the grand boulevards, awash in the golden afternoon light. But war is looming on the horizon, and as France falls to the Nazis, her marriage begins to splinter, too.

Charlotte Dacher is eleven when the Germans rolled into the French capital, their sinister swastika flags snapping in the breeze. After the Jewish restrictions take effect and Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star, Charlotte can’t imagine things getting much worse. But then the mass deportations begin, and her life is ripped forever apart.

Thomas Clarke joins the British Royal Air Force to protect his country, but when his beloved mother dies in a German bombing during the waning days of the Blitz, he wonders if he’s really making a difference. Then he finds himself in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and he discovers a new reason to keep fighting—and an unexpected road home.

When fate brings them together, Ruby, Charlotte, and Thomas must summon the courage to defy the Nazis—and to open their own broken hearts—as they fight to survive. Rich with historical drama and emotional depth, this is an unforgettable story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.




By: Ronald H. Balson

Published: September 6, 2016

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Format: Hardcover


A good friend of mine raved about this book and I spotted it at Half-Price when it took a huge box of movies and books there to sell. I used my cash to get this book. It’s based on a true WWII story and my friend said she could not put it down.


Lena Woodward, an elderly woman, enlists the help of both lawyer Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart to appraise the story of her harrowing past in Nazi-occupied Poland. At the same time, Lena’s son Arthur presents her with a hefty lawsuit under the pretense of garnering her estate—and independence—for his own purposes. Where these stories intersect is through Lena’s dubious account of her life in war-torn Poland, and her sisterhood with a childhood friend named Karolina. Lena and Karolina struggled to live through the atrocity of the Holocaust, and at the same time harbored a courageous, yet mysterious secret of maternity that has troubled Lena throughout her adult life. In telling her story to Catherine and Liam, Lena not only exposes the realities of overcoming the horrors of the Holocaust, but she also comes to terms with her own connection to her dark past.

Karolina’s Twins is a tale of survival, love, and resilience in more ways than one. As Lena recounts her story, Catherine herself also recognizes the unwavering importance of family as she prepares herself for the arrival of her unborn child. Through this association and many more, both Lena and Catherine begin to cherish the dogged ties that bind not only families and children, but the entirety of mankind




A Literary Collection About Our Animals

By: Louisa McCune and Teresa Miller

Published: November 13, 2018

Publisher: Kirkpatrick Foundation

Format: Paperback


I love that the proceeds of this book go to animal charities. I enjoy reading story collections as well because you can read a couple and then come back in a few days and read a few more. This would make a great gift for that animal lover on your list!


Oklahoma native Woody Guthrie said it first and best. This new anthology of poems and prose, Love Can Be: A Literary Collection About Our Animals, is proof of what love can be, as thirty acclaimed authors join together to champion life in all its forms. This is their gift to the world, not just the artistry of their words, but their vision of an extended community that includes cats, birds, frogs, butterflies, bears, dogs, raccoons, horses—a full-out menagerie of being that enriches us all.

This broad-hearted vision comes with responsibility, and that responsibility speaks to the mission of the Kirkpatrick Foundation, publisher of the book. The Kirkpatrick Foundation will donate all net proceeds of sales of this volume to animal charities in Oklahoma as well as honoraria donated to the contributors’ selected animal charities.




An Illustrated Miscellany

By: Jane Mount

Published: September 11, 2018

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Format: Hardcover


I’ve been eyeing this since it came out this fall and the price dropped drastically so I snagged it. A must for the book-lover on your list!


Book lovers, rejoice! In this love letter to all things bookish, Jane Mount brings literary people, places, and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. Readers will:

• Tour the world’s most beautiful bookstores
• Test their knowledge of the written word with quizzes 
• Find their next great read in lovingly curated stacks of books
• Sample the most famous fictional meals 
• Peek inside the workspaces of their favorite authors
A source of endless inspiration, literary facts and recommendations, and pure bookish joy, Bibliophile is sure to enchant book clubbers, English majors, poetry devotees, inspiring writers, and any and all who identify as bookworms.




Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind – 99u#1

By: Jocelyn K. Glei

Published: May 21, 2013

Publisher: Amazon Publishing

Format: Paperback


This is one of those books you can read in a couple hours, perfect for a plane ride. I like these types of books and usually get something I can use from them. The price dropped dramatically, so I snagged it quick since it was on my list.


Do you work at a breakneck pace all day, only to find that you haven’t accomplished the most important things on your agenda by the time you leave the office? With wisdom from 20 leading creative minds, 99U’s Manage Your Day-to-Day will equip you with pragmatic insights for using your time wisely and making your best work. We’ll show you how to build a rock-solid daily routine, field a constant barrage of messages, find focus amidst chaos, and carve out the time you need to do the work that matters.




By: Donna Cooner

Published: January 26, 2016

Publisher: Scholastic

Format: Paperback


My daughter chose this book and the school’s Scholastic Book Fair. I don’t know anything about it, but the cover is definitely eye-catching.


Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey’s sister is killed in an accident—maybe because of Torrey and her videos—Torrey’s perfect world implodes.

Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn’t know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey’s internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there’s Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?




Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories

By: Dawn Metcalf

Published: September 6, 2011

Publisher: Harper Teen

Format: Library eBook


I just recently heard about this book and was able to get it through my library. I have been reading a few stories every night before bed. These stories take me back to my own childhood and situations on the school bus and in the halls of my school. I think this should be required reading for all teachers, school staff, parents, and students.


Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the “funny guy” into the best defense against the bullies in his class.

Today’s top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.




By: Lisa Genova

Published: March 20, 2018 (Paperback January 29, 2019)

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

Format: Library eBook


I love Genova’s books and my turn came up on the library wait list! I always feel like her books are a window into a devastating disease not just for the person with the disease but to their whole support system. See the other two books by her that I have reviewed, HERE.


An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.

He knows his left arm will go next.

Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn’t moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.

When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard’s muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it’s too late.




Reflections by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians, and Other Remarkable People

By: Bethanne Patrick

Published: March 29, 2016

Publisher: Regan Arts

Format: eBook


Another compilation collection perfect for book lovers. It’s only available in Kindle format right now but it is just $.99!

Leading authors, politicians, CEOs, actors, and other notables share the books that changed their life, why they love them, and their passion with readers everywhere.


To see all the posts featuring new books on my shelves, click HERE.


So many books, so little time!

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