Friday, March 27, 2015

The Cephalopod Coffehouse: Best Books of March

It's the last Friday of the month, which means it's time to reveal the best books of the month. It's part of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse:



My first book is by an author I've recommended here before. Have I said lately how awesome 
Allison Gutknecht is? Her latest is this adorable book:



Allison Gutknecht is one of the best chapter book writers I've ever read. She captures the voice of an eight-year-old girl perfectly. Pizza Is the Best Breakfast: (And Other Lessons I've Learned) is every bit as awesome as the other books in the series but if you haven't read the others, I recommend you start here and read in order!


The second book will look familiar if you read my blog. I revealed this cover earlier this month and immediately knew I had to read the book. I'm excited to say that One Hundred Thirty Stars is even better than its amazing cover!



Shelley Sly must write more books now. I'm addicted! She has a true talent for weaving conflict throughout her story, building up to the big moment when all seems lost. This story is about far more than gaming conventions--it's really about the complexities of blended families and the challenges fathers face in bonding with the daughters they only see occasionally. We're going to see a lot more from this author!

My loyal blog readers will remember this one. Our blogging friend Sandra Cox writes a mean book. (Mean=awesome in outdated "cool person" speak!)



Love, Lattes, and Mutants is a contemporary YA novel about normal teens who have a little something unique about them. I fell in love with this cover and the story was just as great! On the surface, Piper seems like a wallflower but it's just a disguise. The new boy in school sees past that disguise, though. He knows there's something special about Piper. This young adult sci-fi book is largely a love story but the social dynamics are fascinating. The entire book builds gradually to the exciting, action-packed ending. You won't be disappointed!

The fourth book is Deborah A. Levine's Kitchen Chaos.



I first learned of this book when it was recommended as a #WeNeedDiverseBooks selection by someone on Twitter. What an incredibly important book for young girls. It goes beyond simply teaching that we all descended from immigrants, touching on the issues of friendship and mom-daughter bonding. I love books that are not only fun but teach you a few things!

Like last month, my last book of the month in March is from an ARC tour. I discovered The Book Keeper series by Dare DeLano. (It's only one book so far but I know there will be more!) The first book, Odus and the Long Way Home, introduced us to characters who get to do what we've all wished we could do at some point in our lives--step inside our favorite books.



While reading it, I couldn't help but compare it to the Magic Tree House series we all know and love. Just as the Magic Tree House books taught children history in an enjoyable way, The Book Keeper series teaches them all about literary classics. Odus and the Long Way Home takes the children through Homer's The Odyssey, allowing them to not only participate in the adventures but help save the day.

What's the best book you read in March? Tell us in comments or add your name to the list and tell all of your readers!

73 comments:

  1. That's a good variety. I know several of those authors and have their books downloaded.

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  2. What a fabulous selection, Stephanie: my children are all grown up and grandchildren appearing now- the eldest is just beginning to read and seeing all these books is making me ridiculously excited about the reading journey of life :-)

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    1. Plus all the great classics they get to enjoy for the first time.

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  3. I've been reading a lot of Dorthea Benton Frank books and enjoying their beach themes. Your last children's book looked intriguing about the Odyssey.

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  4. I like the sound of all these books, infact I am sure I will enjoy reading all of them. Thanks for the book intros, Stephanie.

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    1. Hope you get to read at least a few of them.

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  5. These books all sound great. There are so many good books it's hard to read them all. Thanks for telling us about them.

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    1. I know. My stack just keeps growing and growing.

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  6. I finished Shelley's book this week. I loved it. The others look great, too.

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  7. I so wish those books were available when I was growing up. I would have been in heaven for sure. Long Live Good Books!!!.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. There were a lot of great books when I was growing up but not like today.

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  8. Only our Sandra would spice up the lattes with mutants :)

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    1. Well...there weren't too many lattes in the book but there were a lot of hamburgers, I noticed. I was craving junk food while I was reading it (which is funny, since I read on my treadmill).

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    2. Stephanie, is he talking about mutants again?

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  9. Love, Lattes, and Mutants! What a great title! I know that would be a big hit in my classroom! I'll have to grab a copy and feature it!

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    1. It has all the things teens like. Mutants, junk food, coffee, and love!

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  10. I'm making a note of PIZZA for my niece.

    I've struggled with reading this month - concentration and upheaval and not being "grabbed" by much - but I'm really enjoying THE BREACH by Patrick Lee. I don't usually read a lot of thrillers, but this is keeping me hooked! :)

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    1. When a lot is going on, it is very difficult to focus and lose yourself in a book the way you want.

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  11. A great variety of books indeed, really like the cover on the first one

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    1. Her covers are always so colorful and fun!

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    1. I know! Check them out if you get a chance.

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  13. Love, Lattes, and Mutants sounds especially fun for me, though all of them look like great additions to the list. I'm waiting for my daughter (age 4 right now) to get a bit older. Right now she still likes picture books.

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    1. It all starts with picture books!

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  14. These all seem like great reads. I didn't get a chance to read anything in March. Hoping to get to my TBR pile soon.

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    1. I seem to add two books for every one I read.

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  15. At last I've found a place to leave my comment. Love the new look to your site but this took some doing.

    Anyway, thanks for some great recommendations. Love, Lattes, and Mutants really appeals to me, I'll be sure to keep a look out for it.

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    1. All I changed here was the header. Unless you came from stephaniefaris.com, in which case I post a snippet from the blog every day in the left column so that all you have to do is click.

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  16. Sounds like some fun reads.

    You know, I love how you help other authors. Not everyone does this.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Thank you, Sandee. I try! Yes, another author and I were talking about how there are a few authors who come around, asking everyone to help with their blog tours/cover reveals but when you have one, they're strangely silent. I've found (at least here in the blogosphere) that most authors are very giving.

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  17. Oh, thank you so much for featuring my book!! The other books all look super fun, and I'll be on the lookout for them.

    One of my favorite books I've read this past month is 30 Days of No Gossip! (I was so into it, I even read it while we had family visiting for a weekend... luckily, they know I'm a book nerd!) 25 Roses is next!

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    1. Yay! Yes, that's a casualty of being a children's author. Luckily with the Kindle, nobody has to know what we're reading but I was first introduced to Allison Gutknecht's series through a hardback copy of the book that I got for free. I took it to my husband's eye dr. appointment, thinking I'd be the only one in the waiting room. WRONG. So there I sat, reading what was clearly a kids' book while surrounded by people!

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  18. What a great collection of books for young people. My daughter, who grew up in the 80s and I were just talking about when she was a 5th grader and there was one litle section at Crown Books with books for her age. I love that they have so many to pick from now! Thanks for the reviews.

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    1. Now a large wing of bookstores are usually dedicated to books for young readers. I think it's grown in part because many adults read books on our Kindle now but kids still read books in paper format.

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  19. I actually haven't read any of these, but thanks for recs

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  20. Joining this hop! My favorite in March was Sophie Kinsella. The Pizza Breakfast chapter book looks like something I would completely enjoy!

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    1. I need to read some Sophie Kinsella--it's been a while since I've read one of her books.

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  21. where has march GONE!!?? sheesh!

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    1. The year is already a fourth of the way over. Crazy, right?!

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  22. So many books, so little time. Not enough time. I intend to die trying to read them all though.
    Thanks.

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    1. We couldn't read all the books we wanted if we dedicated every waking hour to it!

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  23. These sound like great books and I will ear-mark them especially for an 8 yr old girl I know:) Oh and yes we did meet last year during the A to Z:)

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  24. Great books. Alas, I don't think I actually read anything in March. Which is unusual for me. But I've been fighting a cold, so I'm excused (I think).

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    1. Yeah, that seems like the perfect time to read but you usually don't feel like it.

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  25. Always good to see what you are reading and what you recommend! I read "The Story of Us" (can't remember the author and too lazy to go look, LOL). Just finished it a few days ago; it was a good read :)

    betty

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    1. That looks lovely! I had to look it up because I was curious if there was a relation to the Bruce Willis/Michelle Pfeiffer movie of the same name. There isn't!

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  26. Stephanie, thank you for this! All brilliant. I haven't heard of any of this.

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    1. Hopefully you've found something good to read!

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  27. Sounds like a great bunch of books. One Hundred Thirty Stars seems especially interesting.

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    1. It's among the most unique middle-grade books I've ever read.

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  28. Terrific book profiles. Thank you for bringing these books to my attention!

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    1. Hopefully I've helped grow a few people's Goodreads to-read lists today!

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  29. Wow that is quite a lot of book to read.
    I personalty am very interested in the One Hundred Thirty Stars.

    cheers, parsnip

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  30. Love, Lattes, and Mutants is an excellent title. I'm so glad you enjoyed the books you read.

    Love,
    Janie

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  31. I have Sandra's Love, Lattes, and Mutants and can't wait to dive into it! LOL

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  32. Great books; thanks for the post :)
    Have a cool weekend :)

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  33. Those books sound great! I LOVE Shelley's cover! :)

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  34. Awesome books! I like the covers.

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  35. So many great books! I definitely want to check out the Cooking Club one, and several of the others are on my TBR :) Great reviews!!

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  36. I read Animal Farm for the first time this month. Mind blown ;)

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  37. I'm yet to finish The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.
    I'm going to add these to my reading list. Although I can't promise I'd get to read them all before the year ends. So much to read! :D

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  38. What a great list of books. I will be looking into a few which tugged at me from your reviews. Thanks for sharing them.

    Cheers, Jenny
    2015 A to Z Challenge Ambassador
    @PearsonReport

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  39. This is a nice roundup of books, Stephanie.

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  40. What a lovely surprise, Stephanie. I really appreciate being included in your March best reads.

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  41. A lovely list of books. Thanks.

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  42. My daughter would love that chapter book. I'll have to look it up.

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  43. These all sound fantastic! :D

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  44. So many cool choices! Looks like you had a good reading month. Best of luck with the A-Z challenge.
    Best,
    Veronica

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