This Week’s Reads: Poems to Live Your Life By: Selected Poems by Chris Riddell – The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman #Books #BookBlog #Reads

This week has been slow for me in the reading department as I fell into a reading slump last week. Believe it or not, I had two DNF’s straightaway and then couldn’t figure out what to move on with next. Here’s what I’m reading now.

Poems to Live Your Life By by Chris Riddell

Blurb:

In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political cartoonist for the Observer, has selected his very favourite classic and modern poems about life, death and everything in between.

This gorgeously illustrated collection includes forty-six poems and is divided into sections covering: musings, youth, family, love, imaginings, nature, war and endings. Chris Riddell brings them to life with his exquisite, intricate artwork in this beautiful anthology.

This book features famous poems, old and new, and a few surprises. Classic verses from William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, W. B. Yeats and Christina Rossetti sit alongside poems from Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Carol Ann Duffy, Neil Gaiman and Roger McGough to create the ultimate collection.

My thoughts so far…

What a gem this collection is! I’ve been enjoying every poem and illustration from the first page. Chris Riddell has selected well-known poems, but there are plenty of new poems I’ve never been introduced to in this collection. I just can’t get over how much I’m loving this book. A few of the poems in the family section just about brought me to tears. It’s one of those books you wonder what took you so long to get to. Here’s an excerpt from a poem titled “Outgrown” by Penelope Shuttle…

“It is both a freedom and a prison, to be outgrown
By her as she towers over me as thin as a sequin
In her doc martens and her pretty skirt,
Because just as I work out how to be a mother
She stops being a child.”


The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Blurb:

Ada and her younger brother, Jamie, now have a permanent home with their loving legal guardian, Susan Smith. Although Jamie adapts more easily, Ada still struggles with the aftermath of her old life, and how to fit into her new life.

World War II continues, and forces the small community to come together and rely on one another. Ada has never been interested in getting to know her friend’s family—especially Maggie’s mother, the formidable Lady Thorton. However, circumstances bring them in close proximity along with other unexpected characters. 

Ada comes face to face with another German! This time she isn’t sure what she should do. How can she help the ones she loves and keep them safe?

Ada’s first story, The War that Saved My Life, won a Newbery Honor, the Schneider Family Book Award, and the Josette Frank Award, in addition to appearing on multiple best-of-the-year lists. This second, marvelous volume continues Ada’s powerful, uplifting story.

My thoughts so far:

We loved the first book The War that Saved My Life, and the kids wanted to move right on with the second book. We took a short break with Brian’s Saga, and now they’re settled in with The War I finally Won. The narrator for this audio does such a beautiful job, and the kids are enjoying it along with their physical books. My hope is to review these together in the future.


We ended up purchasing a massive book haul for the kids, which I haven’t shared yet. I’m going to try to post that tomorrow. In this haul, I grabbed a chapter book from a series my youngest reader loves.

Biggie (The Puppy Place #60)

Blurb:

Welcome to the Puppy Place! Where every puppy finds a home.

Charles and Lizzie Peterson love puppies. Their family fosters these young dogs, giving them love and proper care, until they can find the perfect forever home.

After getting home from school, Lizzie is surprised to hear that her parents are fostering another yorkie puppy. After all, their last yorkie foster, Princess, was a little spoiled. But Biggie is Princess’s total opposite: He’s energetic and tenacious! Can Lizzie find this teeny puppy with a big heart a perfect home?

My thoughts so far:

Can you believe there are 60 books in this series? I can remember grabbing some of these from rummage sales for my oldest daughter who’s now high-school age. We don’t have the entire collection, but we do have some favorites. This is likely going to be one of them. I’m reading Biggie with my youngest daughter who’s just getting into chapter books. She’s missing the illustrations in books through the transition, but luckily this story has captivated her. In Biggie, the family has a dog rescue and recently received a phone call about some college girls who need a home for their yorkie. We’re right at the point of the family obtaining Biggie, and it’s quite emotional.


Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman

Blurb:

“I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: t h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.”

“Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.”

Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious New York Times bestselling story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.

My thoughts so far:

Something was pulling me toward reading Gaiman, so I grabbed this one. I purchased this for my kids, but I’m reading it by myself for now. It’s a wacky story that almost reminds me of something Roald Dahl would write. Basically, a mom leaves on a business trip and the father is left home alone with their two children. They run out of milk, and the dad runs to the store, but it takes forever for him to get back. He returns with a story for the kids. I’m loving the characters in this one. It’s hilarious.


So that’s it for now. It looks like I’m mainly reading children’s books this week! Something tells me I’ll end up picking up another book. I guess we’ll see what happens.

What are you guys reading this week? Have any fun plans?

❤️ Mischenko

14 thoughts on “This Week’s Reads: Poems to Live Your Life By: Selected Poems by Chris Riddell – The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman #Books #BookBlog #Reads

    1. I haven’t seen many of his cartoons, except for the illustrations he’s done in books by Neil Gaiman. I’ll have to look online. He’s perfect for Gaiman’s stories though. Thanks for your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I read Unfortunately, the Milk a couple of years ago. Well, I listened to the audiobook narrated by the author himself and I loved it!
    So sorry that you’re in a reading slump, hope you get out of it soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Noriko! I just finished it this afternoon. It turned out to be such a fun story. I’ll reread it with the kids now.

      Hoping the slump will be gone by the weekend or sooner. I have another book picked out at least, but I’m really enjoying poetry right now.

      ❤️ Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: May Wrap-up 2021 #Books #BookReviews #MayWrapUp #Music – ReadRantRock&Roll

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