Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Reading Recap

Because series soothe me
Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires #1) by Chloe Neill
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson #1) by Molly Harper
Hard Eight (Stephanie Plum #8) by Janet Evanovich
Bewitching Season (Leland Sisters #1) by Marissa Doyle

Because I can't resist new picture books at the library
Dear Vampa by Ross Collins
The Purple Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black
Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals
Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
The Cajun Cornbread Boy by Dianne de Las Casas

Because I like to read to the kiddos
Second-Grade Ape by Daniel Pinkwater
Beatrice Doesn't Want To by Laura Numeroff
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
My Librarian Is a Camel by Margriet Ruurs
Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter

Because there are a ton of books about the library
The Library by Sarah Stewart
Library Lil by Suzanne Williams
Wild About Books by Judy Sierra
The Librarian from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler

Because I'm such an emo kid
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (long ago review)
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (review)

Do I even need to say that Shiver and Linger were my favorites?

The Purple Kangaroo made me smile and giggle. A grown-up picture book full of the sillies.

Compost Stew deserves all the rave reviews it's getting. Not only does it cover environmentalism, but it's also an ABC book, and the rhyming is flowy and flawless.

My Librarian Is a Camel disappointed. A book about how children around the world get their books? Awesome. Too bad that it reads so dryly.

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs is about a children's librarian-turned-vampire. You now see the appeal.

September Aspirations
I'm going to stick with my August goal of reading one novel from my own collection at school per week, maybe per two weeks. I'm not finding a whole lot of time to read for myself besides the weekend, and that's only when I'm not traveling. Maybe instead of going home for a nap after school, I'll head to a coffee shop for some afternoon reading. This month, I will read The Help. I will! And I'm re-reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire so that when I get my turn at the library, I'll be caught up and ready to read Mockingjay. Good goals, I think. Attainable.  Hello September, here I come...


Monday, August 30, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
published July 2010 by Scholastic
362 pages (hardcover), YA

If you haven't read Shiver yet, please leave. Not because I don't like you anymore but because it's the first book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, and I'm writing about the second. You've been warned.

Linger picks up a few months after the end of Shiver. Sam is just Sam, even though the winter has nearly passed. Grace and Sam are still very much in love. And we're introduced to the new wolves that Beck made, one of which is a leading voice in this book, Cole, a burned-out musician at the ripe, old age of 19. Told through four alternating perspectives (Grace, Sam, Isabel, and Cole), we learn more about the wolves and why they are the way they are because the four almost-friends have no choice but to figure it all out. Why does Sam get to stay Sam? Why do some wolves change more often than others? Why did Grace get to stay Grace? But really, who cares about all the stuff that happens in this book? I think the plot is just fine, but my love is for the characters and the writing.

I wasn't too keen on the addition of two narrator voices, I won't lie. I didn't care much for Isabel in Shiver, and I wasn't happy about a new character. But after the first few chapters, I was glad for the break from the sickeningly sweet Sam and Grace story. And I found that I really liked Cole and Isabel. Separately and together. Cole's bad boy lifestyle is quite the match for Isabel's self-pity and self-loathing. These two balance the truly-madly-deeply couple-in-love nicely. Minor characters kind of fell away in this book (and Grace's parents were just annoyingly normal parents for once), which I didn't mind at all, especially having to keep four perspectives straight. I'm not one for large casts of characters, but I felt like I did get to know Grace, Sam and mostly Isabel better while catching up with Cole's life story.

Do I even need to say how much I love Maggie's writing? Great characters. Good plot. Amazing words and flow. It's not even about putting together a fantastic scene, but really putting together a fantastic sentence and then stringing a bunch of those together. I wish I took note of them, but alas the library would not appreciate my sticky notes. And Sam's songs! Beautiful. Makes me want to read poetry again. I don't know what else to say about it. I'd like to go buy a copy and read it again.

So, I thought I'd hop on the rating bandwagon and add my own. I already do on GoodReads, but I never shared it here for some reason. It's absolutely subjective - not all fives are equal, that's for sure - but it's something people enjoy, I suppose. Anyhow, Linger gets five purple crayons.Which means that I love love loved it. Will buy it (gasp!) and definitely read again. Perhaps at the same time next year before the release of Forever, the final book in this trilogy.

Other people said:
Presenting Lenore; Jen Robinson's Book Page; Teens Read and Write; Pure Imagination; Bookworming in the 21st Century; Tattooed Books; All About {n}; GreenBeanTeenQueen; Book Crazy; Parajunkee's View + many more


Friday, August 27, 2010

Book love

I just finished re-reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. This is a BIG deal. For me, at least. I don't re-read. As much as I love a story, I don't feel it's fair to all the books I have not yet read for me to read a novel twice. But I made an exception. I've been drooling over Linger for quite some time now, but I told myself that I'd have to first read my personal copy of Shiver (because of course I bought it after I read and loved my library copy) before I could indulge in the green font.

So how was the second telling of Shiver, you ask? I didn't think I would, but I love it just as much as the first time around. Don't be fooled, this is not a review. I can't do that with this book. It's too emotional of an experience, lending itself to many romantic sighs and sad but happy tears. Maggie's writing is lovely. The last thing she writes in this book is a thank-you to her husband, who made the romance in her words come alive. Isn't that just heart-tickling?

There are only a handful of books that affect me in grand ways, and this is one of them. And I know that that's just a really personal thing to say, but this blog is rather personal. I don't pretend to be objective, and there's no way that I could with this book. I wish that I knew better how to describe all the ways that it just gets me. I'm so happy that I broke my rules and read it again before reading Linger. It's exactly what I needed right now. A soft, cozy, happy place to go to.

And now I can read Linger!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What's on your nightstand?

  1. I'm alive and well. Just trying to get settled into my new life.
  2. I've not been reading much else besides back-to-school & library-themed picture books.
  3. I miss blogging, but there aren't 26 1/2 hours in a day - which there should be.
  4. So, I present you with a new-to-me meme that I quite like for the moment. 
  5. Because it's easy to post a picture.
  6. I leave you with a view of the tower of books on my nightstand.
  7. No, I won't read them all. Maybe not even half.
  8. But I am reading those top two.
  9. Three, four. 
  10. What's on your nightstand?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Okay reading

The last nine (NINE!) books I read were just okay. Not bad, but not wowing either. Not much to write about there. Not much of a reaction. Just a steady enjoyment throughout with little thought involved. Which I suppose is normal for summer reading, but I'm a bit tired of it now that I'm back home and nearly back at work. I'd like to be wowed, thank you very much.

I have a few books checked out that I think will do it for me, but I'm scared to dive into them because what if they don't wow? It's too much pressure. It's just not fair to them. Here they are anyway:

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Newbery predictions for this one - I hesitate mostly because I rarely agree with the Newbery committee. And really, I've had my fair share (and yours too) of 1960s fiction.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Again with the 1960s fiction, but this one's for adults, so I guess I should give it a try. So many people and their mothers have read and raved about this one. And I currently have it checked out after being on an eons-long waiting list, so I HAVE to read it. The first page is always the hardest.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
I don't know how I've resisted the temptation to absolutely devour this one. But I really want to re-read Shiver first and actually savor Linger. And I don't think I can do that right now. Oh, but the font is green!

So, this is just a little note to say, Hi! I'm still here and reading! Just haven't had much to say lately. Hope that changes soon!

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