Reading & Blogging Review for June, July and August (A Housekeeping Post)

Well, if this isn’t an overwhelming post then I don’t know what is!  I usually do these posts monthly but I never managed it all summer.  So this is  basically my what did I do over my summer vacation post!

And really, in all honesty the past three months have not been up to par.  I pretty much postponed all of my features and didn’t conduct a single author interview.  And you can see that I’m really behind on my book reviews.  I’d like to blame it all on the warm weather and vacations.  I’ve just been playing a lot more than I have been blogging.  I’d like to get back into the swing of things around here while trying to find a balance in my personal life.

As always, skim this post and see if you missed anything interesting and for me, it’s nice to do housekeeping every once in a while.

Summer Books Read & Reviewed

FictionBook Reviews Button

Young Adult Fiction

Middle Readers

Picture Books


Guest Posts



More Posts During June

Flashback:  The Maw Books Blog a Year Ago

What was I reviewing a year ago: So according to my monthly review report from last summer, I reviewed way to many books to list here.  But a few of that are worth highlighting are: Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, We Are On Our Own: A Memoir by Miriam Katin, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center, The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway, If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson, Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast,   Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Escape by Carolyn Jessop.  Last summer I interviewed Mary Ann Rodman, author of Jimmy’s Stars, Sara Zarr, author of Sweethearts and Story of a Girl, and J. Scott Savage, author of Far World, Water Keep.

Challenge Updates

I finished four challenges this summer:

librarychallengeI finished the Support Your Local Library Challenge hosted by J. Kaye by reading 51 out of 50 library books.  I should have signed up for a larger number.  LOL   I still have a stack of unreviewed library books as well.  Out of curiosity, I’m going to continue to list library books, just to see what I get too, but this one is officially finished.  Thanks J. Kaye for a great challenge!

  1. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look
  2. Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross (since purchased)
  3. I Hadn’t Mean to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson
  4. Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
  5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  6. Feathered by Laura Kasischke
  7. I Know It’s Over by C.K Kelly Martin
  8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (since purchased)
  9. On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
  10. The Sisters Grimm, The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley
  11. Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller
  12. Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  13. Always by Ann Stott, Illustrated by Matt Phelan (since received as gift)
  14. There’s a Wolf at the Door: Five Classic Tales Retold by Zoe B. Alley, Illustrated by R.W. Alley
  15. Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez
  16. Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbot
  17. Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West
  18. Shooting the Moon by Frances O’Roark Dowell
  19. Alvin Ho:  Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
  20. Snow by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Lauren Stringer
  21. Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka
  22. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
  23. Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki, Illustrated by Steve Rolston
  24. Chiggers by Hope Larson
  25. Fade by Lisa McMann
  26. The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith
  27. The Lightning Thief, Book One of Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan
  28. Jellaby by Kean Soo
  29. Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  30. Holbrook: A Lizards Tale by Bonny Becker
  31. My Brother, The Robot by Bonny Becker
  32. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  33. Mary Veronica’s Egg by Mary Nethery, Illustrated by Paul Yalowtiz
  34. A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
  35. An Ant’s Day Off by Bonny Becker, Illustrated by Nina Laden
  36. The Christmas Crocodile by Bonny Becker, Illustrated by David Small
  37. Ella the Elegant Elephant by Carmelia and Steven D’Amico
  38. Ella Sets the Stage by Carmelia and Steven D’Amico
  39. Ella Takes the Cake by Carmelia and Steven D’Amico
  40. Ella Sets Sail by Carmelia and Steven D’Amico
  41. Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki, Illustrated by Dom Lee
  42. Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine, Illustrations by Kadir Nelson
  43. Be Water, My Friend: The Early Years of Bruce Lee by Ken Mochizuki, Illustrated by Dom Lee
  44. Passage to Freedom, The Sugihara Story by Ken Mochizuki, Illustrated by Dom Lee
  45. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
  46. The Voice That Challenged A Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman
  47. The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles, Illustrated by George Ford
  48. Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope by Nikki Grime, Illustrated by Bryan Collier
  49. Freedom Walkers, The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman
  50. Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
  51. Frogs by Nic Bishop

Themed Reading Challenge hosted by Wendy at Caribousmom wrapped up in July.  Dang.  I wish I had the full year for this one because I’m definitly not stopping especially considering that I still have 4 books in my to be reviewed pile that would count for the challenge and several more in my TBR.  My theme was to read books from my local Utah authors.  This challenge wrapped up with 5 out of the 4 required books reviewed.  So officially it’s completed but this will be an ongoing challenge for me.

  1. The 13th Reality, The Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner
  2. The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith
  3. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
  4. That Went Well: Adventures for Caring for My Sister by Terrell Harris Dougan
  5. The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

nonfictionfiveI also finished the Non-Fiction Five Challenge hosted by Trish at Trish’s Reading Nook which was to read five non-fiction books between May and September. Easy enough for me.  I’ve got at least that many sitting in my review pile.

  1. That Went Well, Adventures in Caring for My Sister by Terrell Harris Dougan
  2. Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller
  3. First Comes Loves, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite
  4. Zlata’s Diary, A Child’s Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic
  5. Travels with Tarra and Just for Elephants by Carol Buckley

color me brownSusan at Color Online hosted the Color Me Brown Reading Challenge in August which encouraged participants to read and review POC books.  I was late to the game but thrilled with the challenge.  During August I reviewed three books which qualified for the challenge:

  1. A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman
  2. Wife of the Gods, An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
  3. 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy in Collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah, Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

Bloggiesta: PedroThis summer I hosted my very first challenge!!  The Bloggiesta wasn’t a reading challenge but rather a 48-hour blogging challenge and if I say so myself, I think it went fantastic!  Thank you to everybody who participated.  I’ll be doing it again.  If you missed it, you can check out the following links:

48hourbcAnd it now seems a distant memory but this summer I also participated in my first 48 Hour Book Challenge hosted by Pam at MotherReader. It was awesome and I can’t wait to do it again.

Still plugging away on the following challenges.   Click to be taken to my list and then to be taken to challenge blog.  So far I have resisted from signing up for anything else.


Proximidade Awardliterary-blogging-awardBlog FriendsKreative Blogger Awardbingo awardHumane Award

Thanks everybody!  As many of you know (or may not know) I don’t pass on awards (the pressure!) but I like to give you recognition in return for your thoughtfulness and kind words.  Do check these kind bloggers out!

  • Mark from Absorbed in Words also passed on the Kreative blogger award.  Although it seems like I should totally know about this challenge, but Mark pointed me to the China Reading Challenge which is one that I just might not be able to resist.
  • Tif from Tif Talks Books also passed the Kreative Blogger Award.  Tif just changed her blog design after some discussion about it on Twitter.  Go check it out and tell her what you think!
  • Tam from Bailey’s and Books passed on the Let’s Be Friends Award.  Tam has been blogging for three months now (really? seems like you’ve always been on my radar!) and I highly recommend that you check her out.  Plus, she’s a freelance photographer.  Double p0ints!
  • Emily from Emily’s Reading Room and Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through a World Of Books both passed on the Humane Award which recognizes bloggers who are kindhearted.  I could say the same thing about both of these awesome bloggers.  I’ve been able to meet Emily as she lives locally to me and she’s just as cool in person on her blog as she is on her blog.  Sheila has hit the blogging world with a whirlwind.  I don’t know how she does it.  Everywhere I go, she seems to be one step ahead of me.
  • Amy from Park-Avenue Princess passed on the Humane Award as well.  If you are not following Amy, you are missing out on one of the most inspiring bloggers ever.  Her enthusiasm is amazing and I get a little thrill every time she comments on my blog.  Love ya Amy!
  • Melanie from Melanie’s Musings passed on the Promixidade award.  Melanie’s a teen in Florida and she has a horse!  Sorry, I think that is pretty darn cool!  Melanie has been blogging since May and to tell you the truth, blogging teens are pretty awesome.
  • Desert Rose Booklogue passed on the Literary Blogger Award which recognizes blogs who energize and inspire blogs by going the extra mile.  What a hard month over at the Desert Rose blog, as she’s recently lost both her father and her father-in-law.  Go pay her a visit and check out the great books she’s reading.
  • Grace from Books Like Breathing (love the name of that blog!) passed on the infamous Zombie Chicken Award which still makes me giggle.  Grace’s favorite author is Jane Austen and she has over a hundred of Austen books and its sequels.  Hmm . . . this is making me wonder if I should pick up an Austen book.  I haven’t since high school.


Send me your book review links! I’m hosting!

bookworms_carnival.jpgFor those of you who may not be familiar with carnivals, a carnival is a blog event where a host collects links from participating blogs and then rounds them up on their blog.  If you are a blogger, carnivals are open to anybody to submit their links and if you are a reader, carnivals are a great source to find great new blogs and book reviews.

Narineh at The Novel World will be hosting the the next Bookworms Carnival which will focus on banned books.  I neglected to send in a link of my own but I love the theme (I plan on reading banned books later this month), I recommend that you check it out as soon as it’s posted.

I’m thrilled to let you know that I will be hosting the next edition of the Bookworms Carnival!! The theme is book reviews about Africa, set in Africa or with an African theme (not books simply written by an African American though).  So if you review books and you have a review that fits that criteria please send them to me by September 25th!  After that come back here for a great round up of book reviews!

Other Items of Note


  • Blogging Tips Group on the Book Blogs Ning. So if you are new around here (or not) I wanted to remind you about the Blogging Tips group that I moderate over at the Book Blogs Ning.  I know a lot of people have been frustruated from the spam but I wanted to ensure you that I’ve got our group under control.  Visit often for great blogging tips from getting advice about your theme, putting buttons on your blog, or how to best conduct an author interview.  I want the forum to benefit everybody so feel free to contribute!
  • Utah Book Bloggers Summer Social One of the highlights of the summer was the social that the Utah Book Bloggers had with many of our local Utah authors.  I’m very fortunate to live in a location with such a strong literary presence.  Check out this post for all the details and links to all the Utah book bloggers.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW)

BBAW Celebrate BooksTomorrow is the kick off of Book Bloggers Appreciation Week (BBAW) which is an annual celebration to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to the promotion and preservation of a literate culture actively engaged in discussing books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading. The week spotlights and celebrates the work of active book bloggers through guest posts, awards, giveaways, and community activities. The theme for the week is Celebrate Books!  It all starts right now and everybody, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, are encouraged to participate.

During this next week, I will be supporting BBAW through daily themed posts on my blog, perhaps a giveaway, visiting and discovering new bloggers, and writing a guest post for the BBAW blog about the awesome community of Utah bloggers.  On Wednesday I’m really excited to be contributing to a special Blog Talk Radio hosted by Miriam Parker of Hachette with Amy from My Friend Amy, Kathy of Bermuda Onion, Kate of Babbling About Books and More, and Adam of Letters on Pages!  I’ve never done anything like this before so be sure to check in on Wednesday at 9pm EST on the Blog Talk Radio site or check back here where I’ll post the recording the next day.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something but as it’s the middle of the month already and I wanted this posted on the 1st, I’m going to hit the publish button.

Let the madness begin!


  1. Wow!! You’ve been busy, even if it is slower than usual!! :) Thanks for the link and encouragement to hit my blog!! I truly appreciate it!! :)

    on September 13th, 2009 at 8:57 pm
  2. Oh, and by the way . . . I didn’t realize that there was this blogging tips group over at the Ning group! I’m totally going to be checking it out!! Thank you for everything that you do!

    on September 13th, 2009 at 8:59 pm
  3. Slower? Well, okay. If you say so! :)

    on September 13th, 2009 at 10:01 pm
  4. I’ll try to make time for that radio show. What fun.

    on September 14th, 2009 at 5:18 am
  5. The radio show sounds fun.

    on September 14th, 2009 at 6:49 am
  6. I wish I could be around for the radio show. I have class. Yuck. My Austen obsession has become quite infamous and it’s getting quite sad. I am thinking of branching out to maybe Phantom of the Opera sequels. I am glad you like the title of the blog. It took me most of the life of my blog to come up with it because of my general lack of creativity.

    I also have an award to pass on to you. You can find it here.

    on September 14th, 2009 at 4:46 pm
  7. Wow, did you somehow figure out how to fit more than 24 hours into a day? You are amazing!

    on September 14th, 2009 at 11:13 pm
  8. I’m impressed by all that you manage to do, even if you are behind. And I can totally relate to the being behind part!

    I’m also so glad to hear that the book I won from you (The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams) hasn’t gotten lost in the mail. I was so excited to win, so it was a bit disappointing to think it had disappeared.

    Since I’m commenting so late (another thing I’m behind on), congrats on your BBAW awards. I hope another Bloggiesta is in the works!

    on September 23rd, 2009 at 4:13 pm
  9. Coming by to say congrats on finishing the NFF challenge. Easy enough, huh? Maybe I’ll make it the NFT (ten). Just kidding…then I really wouldn’t be able to finish my own challenges.

    Hope you’ll join again next year, Natasha.

    on October 1st, 2009 at 6:04 pm

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