Friday, May 1, 2009

A Hint of Things to Come

Well, the semester is over, my projects handed in, and all finals completed. That means it's time to enjoy the summer! And what better way to do so than to spend the summer reading?

I've been trying to narrow down the available books-that-sound-interesting into one summer reading list. The goal is to make such a list, read like a madwoman, and blog about each of the books, and the experience itself of reading all those books. It's been difficult, though, to finalize my reading list--here's hoping for the end of the weekend. Then I'll post the list on my sidebar, and I'll link to my reviews and thoughts about each book, and whoever stumbles across this blog can leave their thoughts and comments. Deal?

I do know that all 16 books from the School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books will be on the list. The Battle has reached the final round, and I for one eagerly await the results. Octavian Nothing will go head to head against Hunger Games, and my money is on Hunger Games. I make this prediction not based on any particular knowledge of either book. It's just based on the general feel for which direction the winds seem to be blowing.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I haven't read a SINGLE ONE of the 16 Battle books, but I've so loved the debates and discussion surrounding them, I've decided I need to catch up and join in. So here's to summer reading!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Battle of the Books?!? Awesome!

I wish I had known about this earlier because I would have tried to read all the books, but the School Library Journal has created a Battle of the Kids' Books, which pits 16 of the most popular YA books from 2008 against each other à la March Madness. Four matches in the first round have already taken place, with one major upset, (it figures the only book on the list I've actually read gets knocked out in the first round) but there are plenty more rounds to go. Check out SLJ's blog about the competition here.

Up next is The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks vs. We Are the Ship. It's an awesome competition regardless of the fact I haven't read any of the remaining books. I'm thoroughly enjoying the comments from the author-judges as to why they've picked the books they did, as well as the remarks from the competition commentator. Their comments are thoughtful and fun, and I'm looking forward to following the rest of the competition!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


A couple posts ago, I wrote about a book I was looking for: Dear Enemy. Well friends, after searching (not that hard) for several months, I finally found it! A couple months ago, after our most recent flood, my mom and Jess went through some of the basement rooms and cleared stuff out. In that process, they put several boxes of books into a big plastic tub, which now serves as my pseudo nightstand for the time being. Saturday, I went looking for a cookbook in there and discovered my copy of Dear Enemy--huzzah!

If only I was in the mood to read it now ...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Here's two dates to add to your calendar:

March 20th is the 40th anniversary of the publication of Eric Carle's classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. His later book, The Grouchy Ladybug is my favorite Carle book, but this one's pretty good too. Pick up a copy and get ready to enjoy!

According to readergirlz, April 16th is Support Teen Literature Day. I'm a big believer in YA lit, so I'll help spread the word (because so many people read this blog lol!) The purpose of Support Teen Literature Day is to "raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens." I absolutely agree! There are some YA books that I still go back and re-read because they're so awesome and still appeal to me now that I'm adult. So get out there and read some YA lit!

To help you out, here's the 2008 Teens' Top Ten list. I can't vouch for all of them, but I know
that Laurie Halse Anderson, at least, can be one fabulous author.
  1. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  4. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  5. Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson
  6. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  7. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
  8. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
  9. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
  10. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quick Book Update

I don't want another year to go by without posting here, so I'm adding a quick updated about what I've been reading lately. I started Master & Commander (the first book in the series) about a month ago. I'm a couple chapters in, but haven't read much further than that. I like the book for the most part, but struggle to get past the early 19th Century sailor's slang--slang that is recreated through a late 20th Century author. We'll see how it goes.

I'm ashamed to admit, but the other night I couldn't sleep and had a craving to read a really crappy, I-don't-have-to-use-one-braincell-to-read-this kind of book, so I pulled out a Barbara Michaels book and read the whole thing in one sitting. She's entertaining, but really, I can shut my brain off when I read her stuff, which is sometimes exactly what I need.

What else? Oh yes. I've been wanting to read Dear Enemy lately, but can't find my copy of the book anywhere. I've searched high and low in my house, but no luck yet. If you've never read the book I highly recommend it. Also, I recommend the book that comes before it: Daddy-Long-Legs. These are two, semi-connected YA books written by Jean Webster; both are enjoyable, but Dear Enemy is my favorite. Now if only I could figure out where I put it last ...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"The Folk Keeper" by Franny Billingsley

Wow, I haven't posted on this blog in almost a year and a half! Mostly that's because I haven't been doing a whole lot of reading, or thinking about what I read. That's very, very sad. But lately that's started to change. I read the whole Twilight series over the Christmas/New Years holidays, in a weird obsessive compulsive act that's very hard for me to explain. I didn't like the books, but still found myself having to read them. Really, the only way you'll understand it is if you get inside my head, which (thank the Lord) isn't going to happen.

Today I am filled with the desire to completely immerse and lose myself in reading, which really, really hasn't happened in a long time. The best way I can describe the feeling is that I'm homesick for a good book. So I re-read a book that I haven't looked at for years: The Folk Keeper.

From the Cover: She doesn't really know who she is or what she wants ... Corinna is a Folk Keeper. Her job is to keep the mysterious Folk who live beneath the ground at bay. But Corinna has a secret that even she doesn't fully comprehend, until she agrees to serve as Folk Keeper at Marblehaugh Park, a wealthy family's seaside manor. There her hidden powers burst into full force, and Corinna's life changes forever....

Despite the overuse of ellipses on the back cover, this book is well worth the read. It's a weird little book that can be hard to get through, but I love anyway. Corinna has a direct voice that is a little difficult to immerse yourself in at first, but trust me, she gets better. Her descriptions of the sea are beautiful, and her developing self-assurance and developing relationships are touching. The Folk are sufficiently chilling, and the evil villain of the story has some humanity in him, but the climax loses no tension or excitement for it.

The book is a very quick read (I read the whole thing in only a few hours) and is told as Corinna writes down her thoughts in her Folk Keeper's Record. She describes not only the Folk and all their "mischief," but she also describes herself: warts, embarrassments, and all. She writes: "But I must tell the truth here ... If I lied in this Folk Record, I wouldn't be able to trust it ..." A powerful statement about being honest with one's self, because Corinna is really writing to herself and for herself.

All in all, a great little book, and a great way to get back into reading for the pure love of reading.