It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/13/2021 #imwayr


I’ve sure missed this community the last two weeks. It seemed Monday was coming ’round far too quickly each week with company in town and our holiday preparations, so I just put it off while enjoying family. We had a wonderful time over Thanksgiving with my mom having flown in with my 11-year-old niece, from Texas. We played games, went swimming, cooked delicious foods, watched movies, decorated our tree, and went out to eat on our last night together. It was terribly sad to have to say goodbye! 😢

This year has unexpectedly provided some turbulence in my reading schedule. Nevertheless, I am firmly committed to finishing my #MustReadin2021 list. Over the last two weeks, I’ve been chipping away at my remaining books. So I’ll provide a visual update on my progress, below. Yep, just four more books to finish (and I’ve started all of them, thankfully)!


If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome! Today is Monday, and I regularly participate in a weekly #IMWAYR meme. Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

I’m still mostly sharing book covers and short blurbs in an effort to juggle life, reading, and blogging during December. But perhaps you’ll still find something of interest to add to your reading list.

YA and MG Novels Finished:2021-12-13-Finished

Tigers Not Daughters – Such a sad story about loss with quite a bit of spiritual and paranormal mixed in. In the beginning, The Witching Hour by Anne Rice is discussed as a favorite book which tipped me off that I might want to listen up (I always loved Rice’s books and was saddened to learn she’d passed away this past weekend 😢).

Fortune’s Pawn – I don’t know why I don’t include more science fiction novels in my regular reading, because I almost always enjoy the setting and descriptive storylines. I believe Beth of Library Chicken is the one who first recommended this title. The story was complete with aliens, romance, battles/fights, a powerful female lead character, and wonderful world building. My only complaint is that I bought the audiobook along with the print book and I didn’t much care for the narration when I first started listening. Nevertheless, the story was fresh and the mystery really hooked me. Fortune’s Pawn is the first book in a trilogy and I’ll definitely be reading books #2 and #3 (I already purchased them, in fact).

The Westing Game – I couldn’t remember if I’d read this classic before, so I added it to my #MustReadin2021 list. There were so many unique characters to watch throughout this mystery. However, please don’t laugh, but… once I got a bit into the story, I realized that the book I meant to add to my list was Wuthering Heights. I know, pretty big mix-up. But I’ll plan to remedy this in 2022.

We Are Not Free – Really good YA historical fiction set in the Japanese internment camps during WWII. Watch out for some language in this one – probably not best for the middle grades.

In the Shadow of the Sun – This historical fiction story takes place in North Korea. There’s a turn near the beginning where the main characters must take off running and they never really looked back. There’s continual action, serious danger, they aren’t sure who to trust, they’re lost, hungry, have painful injuries, and much of the time it’s all “will we ever survive this day.” At the end, there’s a lengthy Author’s Note about the years the author spent in North Korea and a list of professional organizations to find out more.

Stealing Mt. Rushmore – And I finished yet another historical fiction this week. Talk about taking me back to my childhood! As a child of the 70s/80s, there were so many story details that reminded me of my pre-teen years – the 64 color box of crayons with sharpeners, soda pull tabs, playing hopscotch, blackboards with chalk, Kool-Aid, Nancy Drew books, reading the comics in the newspaper, tie-dye & bell-bottoms, Flintstones, Captain Kangaroo, I love Lucy, Walter Cronkite, Mr. Rogers, I Dream of Jeannie, The Roadrunner, Mr. Magog, Scooby Doo… I was pretty horrified at the lack of PARENTING happening in this story and it was clear that both mom and dad had mental issues, but I really enjoyed watching the siblings interactions and Nellie’s attempts to solve the family’s problems and work out her friendship issues. I originally bought this book because we live near Mt. Rushmore. But once I got into the story, I realized it had much less to do with this historical site than it did depression, mental instability, and family bonding.

Picture Books:


Currently Reading/To Be Read:



Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge:  270/365
#MustReadIn2021: 45/49

What are YOU reading?

14 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/13/2021 #imwayr

  1. I’m happy you had such a special time with your family, Shaye. That’s important, too! I don’t believe I will finish my #MustRead list. I have the books but have lost interest. Maybe next year? Thanks for those you shared. I put them on my list as each is new except We Are Not Free & yes, I have read The Westing Game, a fun mystery for the middles. Wishing you a special Christmas time with everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know why my “must read” list is the hill I’m willing to die on. LOL It seems this year I just have to make sure I finish at least one of my reading goals. I’m finally down to my last two books and think I’ll make it just fine. Thanks for swinging by, Linda, and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Shaye,

    I’m on a Jerry Craft kick at the moment, and am reading Class Act and New Kid…in reverse order (the order that my library holds came in). I love your reading lists and wonder how you come up with the titles you’re going to read?

    It’s great that you took time out to be with your family. My partner and I did the same this past weekend when we chucked work in favour of a spontaneous visit with my partner’s step-daughter, her husband and their one-year old. There’s nothing like crawling around on your hands and knees to shrieks of delight from a toddler. This time goes so fast!


    1. On my #MustRead lists, the last time I participated, I mostly chose MGlit and YAlit titles that others in the #kidlit community raved over that I hadn’t yet read. I also let my kids and husband add one title that I absolutely had to read (hubby added like FOUR 🙄😂.). But this past year, I primarily combined (1) award winners AND (2) books that I’ve purchased and haven’t yet read. That meant I had to wait until many of the awards were given out to see what all I missed in 2020. So I linked up with the ‘must read’ community a couple weeks later than others. That community posts 3 or 4 times throughout the year to touch base on how they’re doing. I was significantly behind by mid-summer, to I shoved much of my list into these last few weeks. Whew!

      And YES on family time. It’s been so great getting to be with my mom and niece. And now that school is out, I’m loving the time with everyone at home and no school assignments or grading for hubby! Thanks for dropping by, Linda!


  3. I’m so glad you got to spend time with family over Thanksgiving—it sounds like you all had a fun time together! And I am seriously so impressed at your commitment with getting that hefty #MustReadin2021 list finished—very nice!

    The books you’ve been reading all sound great—I’ve heard good things about Stealing Mt. Rushmore (I recall other reviewers liking the details from decades past as well!), and We Are Not Free and Fortune’s Pawn both sound great as well. And I’m glad you enjoyed The Westing Game even though it was the wrong book—I tried to read it many years ago, and I could not get into it for some reason, but I’m glad it worked for you. Also, I’ve read and enjoyed My Two Border Towns and Your Mama, so I’m glad you got to read those! Thanks so much for the wonderful post, Shaye!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On The Westing Game, hubby and I were talking about how differently writing can be between generations. I mean, there are books I enjoy that were written decades ago. But sometimes I have to prepare myself or I have to be in the mood for it (after having read SO MANY modern books right in a row). There’s such a different way of world building, these days. Rules, world view, etc. – it all changes over time. Anyway, I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but there it is. lol I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I couldn’t help but laugh when I read you mistook The Westing Game for Wuthering Heights!
    I agree with Linda. Family is important and time spent with them is even better than reading. After being told that our sons and grandchildren were not coming for Christmas because of road closures, we have discovered that one of them has decided to travel through Washington State to get here. I will be taking time off from blogging from now till the holidays are over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? It’s hilarious that I would mix up these two titles. I wasn’t exactly thinking of the content, just the names of the titles. LOL I hope you enjoy your family and your blogging break over Christmas, Cheriee!!


  5. Great progress on your list. I had to giggle at Westing Game vs. Wuthering Heights. We all have too many titles for our brains to hold. I have some great selections to add to my list. An historical fiction set in North Korea?!?! I remember seeing that one a while ago but then I forgot about it. It sounds great. I have been reading a lot of Hist Fic lately. Thanks for the shares, I appreciated your thoughts on one book not being necessarily great for MG, and also the tip about Anne Rice references (my wife is also a huge fan).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I KNOW, Aaron!! But I think you’re exactly right about holding too many titles in our brains. I depend so heavily on my notes to remember the details of the books I read just last month. Ugh! And FIST BUMP (with your wife) over the appreciation of Anne Rice. My husband turned me on to her books before we married and it was quite a leap from what I’d been reading previously. Makes me want to go back and re-read. Thanks for swinging by!


    1. I’m so glad I finally got to read Stealing Mount Rushmore, Laura! I’ve had it on my bookshelf for a while. I added it to my #mustread list to make sure I didn’t miss out. Sure glad I did! And I totally agree on one book leading to other books. I should go back and re-read The Parker Inheritance now that I’ve finished The Westing Game!! Let’s face it, The Parker Inheritance it TOTALLY worth the re-read – loved that book. ❤️ Thanks for visiting today, Laura!


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