I'm super excited to have a blog where you can read my opinions and recommendations for books. Tell me what you think! You can leave comments here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Either way, I'll respond back to you soon!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I feel like I've been reading this book forever, but I finally finished The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream by Patrick Radden Keefe. So fascinating. Really. And, the fact that the events portrayed in this book are current adds to the level of immediacy and interest. (Well, relatively current, most of the events in the book happen in the 1990's, and are carried through almost up until present day.) This book touches upon culture, greed, history, immigration (legal & illegal), smuggling (mostly human!) and more. Anyone with an interest in History and/or Current Events would enjoy this book. It leaves the reader with a lot of heavy questions, much to think about and no easy answers.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
...wins the Race, right? Right? Yikes, talk about slow & steady and you've described my reading style this week. I feel like I'm stuck in a rut. I'm in the middle of 2 great books, and so close to being done with one of them, but I just can't wrap it up. I could blame it on my obsession with Gilmore Girls Season 7, or Criminal Minds Season 5, or the fact that I can't read at work. I know, I know. You think, "Oh, but you work in a library, you must read all day." I wish blogs had a laugh track, because I would cue it up right here. Sorry friends, nothing could be further from the truth. No reading time at work, but still, that's no excuse. I just need to go home & dedicate a few hours to these books & be done with it. So, what books, you ask? Well, the one I'm almost done with is The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream by Patrick Radden Keefe, and the one I'm smack dab in the middle of is Chime by Franny Billingsley. The worst/best part? I'm really liking both of them. They're not even the kind of books that I have to force myself to read. They are both fascinating and well-written. So, no more excuses. Memorial Day Weekend is almost upon us, and I have issued myself a challenge. I will have both of these books read by Tuesday. Stay tuned for my reviews and have a great holiday weekend!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
So...let's talk for a minute about how much I love my job. Last week, I got to attend an author panel at Cambridge Public Library, "Diversity in Young Adult Literature", and it was considered work! This national tour of authors, which was spearheaded by Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo, traveled around the country, and featured local and guest YA authors. So, last week, I got to listen to (and meet!!) Cindy Pon, Malinda Lo, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Deva Fagan and Francisco X. Stork. And can I tell you, what an amazing experience. It was slightly overwhelming however, now I want to read all of their books ASAP. So, I just have to give a shout-out to YA Literature & YA Authors. You make me proud to be a YA Librarian!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
...the Celtics would still be in the playoffs, I wouldn't be able to afford Sox tickets, because they would be first in their division. Alas, I don't have endless wishes on hand, but what would I wish for if I really had 3 wishes? Enter Viola & Jinn in the Young Adult Novel As You Wish by Jackson Pearce.
I recently finished, Sisters Red, another Jackson Pearce book and I have to say that I love her writing style. That being said, my feelings about As You Wish are mixed. Overall, I enjoyed it, and I would recommend it to readers. It a fun, easy read with a happy ending, but I wish Viola had been a little stronger, and believed in herself a little more. I'm not sure what I thought about the dual narration (Jinn & Viola alternate chapters). Sometimes it jarred me a little, and seemed discordant, then other times, I didn't even notice that the narrative perspective had switched. I did like a lot of the secondary characters, and I think Pearce does a good job capturing the high school experience. Also, it's kind of nice to read a supernatural romance that has nothing to do with werewolves, fairies, zombies or vampires!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
OK, Celtics. Win or lose, I admire you as a team, and I'm totally rooting for you, but I have to pay my respects to your elders. I just finished When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird, Earvin (Magic) Johnson Jr. and Jackie MacMullen. Here's a synopsis from the Publisher
"From the moment these two players took the court on opposing sides, they engaged in a fierce physical and psychological battle. Their uncommonly competitive relationship came to symbolize the most compelling rivalry in the NBA. These were the basketball epics of the 1980s--Celtics vs Lakers, East vs West, physical vs finesse, Old School vs Showtime, even white vs black. Each pushed the other to greatness--together Bird and Johnson collected 8 NBA Championships, and 6 MVP awards and helped save the floundering NBA at its most critical time. When it started they were bitter rivals, but along the way they became lifelong friends."
Whew! Talk about intense. I found myself really enjoying this book. I know, I seem to be on a roll with the sports non-fiction. Anyway, if you're a fan of basketball, or just want to know more about these two dynamic, larger-than-life rivals, this is the book for you. I highly recommend this!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Just finished Bloomability by Sharon Creech. Creech is an award-winning author of both Children's and Young Adult books, but strangely enough, I had never read any of her books. I found myself really enjoying Bloomability. It tells the story of 13-year old Domenica Santolina Doone (Dinnie), and the year she spends at a boarding school in Switzerland. Dinnie has spent her whole life moving, as her family bounces from one state to the next. Although her family is transient and can be chaotic, she is very close to them and loves being with them. When the book opens, Dinnie is being taken to Switzerland by her Aunt and Uncle, to an International Boarding School where her Uncle will serve as headmaster. Dinnie is very unhappy about this (she insists she is being "kidnapped") and resistant to the idea, but eventually she learns to give Switzerland a chance and appreciate her surroundings. It was fun going on this journey with Dinnie, as she learns more about herself, her family and the world around her. There are some great secondary characters in this book, I especially enjoyed Guthrie and Keisuke. I would recommend this book for middle-school readers, or anyone who is interested in travel or world cultures. It definitely made me want to go to Switzerland!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Apparently, sometimes it's best to let the past stay in the past. When I was younger I loved the Sweet Valley High Series. I'm sure this comes to no surprise to those of you who have read my postings in the past. Sadly, I'm a pretty predictable reader. Well, maybe I've matured (highly unlikely) but my 32-year old self was pretty disappointed in Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal. To be fair though, it's been years since I read a Sweet Valley book, and I did polish off this book in about 3-4 hours. As much as it was killing me, I couldn't put it down! What disappointed me the most (besides the writing, painful at times) was the people my Sweet Valley High friends had become. Not pretty. I won't go into too much detail, I don't want to give everything away, but Francine, did you have to make everyone & their lives so horrible? To sum it up...don't read this unless you must.