It’s Monday! What are you reading? adult fiction and Messner

I had a long list of books to read this past week and thought I would get throughSONY DSC them but a quick trip to the northern woods of Minnesota slowed me down. Reading is one great love but the other is walking. Hiking a northern trail up hills and down, through mud and muck and just a few mosquitoes left me staring into the late night fire instead of read.

imgresWhat I did read was a great little guide for wildflowers.


The Wildflowers of the BWCA and the North Shore ( Minnesota) by Mark Sarky Stensaas and Rick Kollath. This little gem was just what I needed after a days hike and photo taking of flowers I could not name. The book uses botanical drawing to help you identify flowers. The written material gives you habitat information, bloom time and a bit of history of the plant or the plants name. It is quick and easy to use. Perfect for individuals or families out hiking the north wood of Minnesota. An added plus was that it was small and lightweight to fit into my day pack.

Manhunt by Kate Messner was my kids read for the week. (released July 1, 2014)  This fun little book is a great middle grade book. Messner continues the fun of  The Silver Jaguar Society series. Our group of mystery solvers find themselves in Paris this time seeking the stolen paintings of artists like Vermeer and Rembrandt. I love the way Kate mixes real places and things with a fictional story line.manhunt-198x300

As a teacher I like the quick action, easy plot line for readers and the use of details that engage my reluctant readers. She also added at the end photos and information about her research process while writing this book.  This text works as a great mentor text on how to research for writing. She talks about visiting places, reading books and the value of talking to people first hand that might give you ideas and information not found in other places.

My adult book group was reading The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. This story takes place (mostly) in the late 1890’s in New York City. Here a Golum, a creature made of clay brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic, and a Jinni, a being of fire – born in the jpegancient Syrian desert and trapped in a tin flask, chance to meet. This unlikely pair find themselves navigating the daily lives of several families and the wider community hoping to hide their true nature and yet also discovering who they are in this world. One of cool, powerful strength, caring and curious to learn all she can but timid. One hot, firery bold and impulsive. This book is a struggle between ones personal nature and the choices that are made. For a more detail review from the New York Times click here.

It took me a bit to get into the tale but was so glad I finished reading it. Lots to think about and great for discussion.

Hoping to read this week:

  • The Storied LIfe of A.J. Kikry: a Novel
  • Absolutely Almost
  • Wake Up Missing
  • Under the Egg

What are you reading this week?


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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2 Responses to It’s Monday! What are you reading? adult fiction and Messner

  1. Megan says:

    I loved the Storied Life of A.J Fikry! I hope you get to it and enjoy it! Have a great week ~megan

  2. Myra GB says:

    The Golem & The Jinni sounds like my kind of read. I’ve been meaning to read my copy of AJ Fikry too, hopefully before the summer ends.

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