Books and Things

August 2, 2011 @ 5:15 pm | Filed under:

Yet another day of internet troubles (and phone, and TV), but hopefully now resolved. Mostly. The guy still has to come back and fix the phones.

And hot hot here, so the kids are indoors most of the day, playing Wii and DS. Or cheering me on as I play Kingdom Rush, which FORTUNATELY I happened to have loaded before the internet went down, so it was playable when nothing else could be done.

I think I finally finished all the SDCC posting. The con may only last 4 1/2 days, but it devours nearly three weeks of my life. Not that I’m complaining!

I spent the morning culling books—a painful but necessary endeavor. We are simply overflowing here. I’m donating most of last year’s CYBILs YA fiction nominees to a school library, if my children don’t tar and feather me for it. But here are a few of the books I am keeping, because they grabbed me:
Three Rivers Rising

Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood by Jame Richards.

A verse novel telling the hair-raising and tragic story of the flood that wiped out a town. I have to say I am very finicky when it comes to verse novels. They must not be simply prose with arty line-breaks; the verse must be actual poetry, and good poetry to boot. This book is. I loved the characters, the voices, the water imagery running throughout.

Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick.

This is a very quirky book, and I will say candidly that it took me a good eighty pages to really fall in like with the voice. The teenaged narrator has a mannered way of speaking that grew on me slowly. But by the halfway point, I loved her, and I flat-out sobbed for the last fifty pages. It’s a sort of modern-day Pollyanna, if you will, and I mean that as a tremendous compliment. Obviously, since I’m keeping the book!

Stolen by Lucy Christopher.

This thriller became one of our five YA fiction finalists, and I remember saying at the time that this was a book I could see myself rereading. (These days, when ‘so many books, so little time’ has become my woeful reality—I have realized with dismay that I will never, now, read ALL THE BOOKS—to say I will likely spend precious reading minutes on a second or third immersion in a novel is high praise indeed.) It’s a dark tale, about a girl who is abducted and held captive in a remote Australian cabin, utterly dependent on her kidnapper for survival. Harrowing. MInd-messing. Compelling. I’m keeping it.

I’m keeping many others besides those three. And some of my favorite Cybils nominees, alas, were library books, long since returned. Some of the novels I’m donating are very good books indeed, but if I don’t reduce numbers I just might lose my toddler in a maze of bookstacks.

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4 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Avatar

    sarah says:

    How can ‘so many books, so little time’ be woeful? Surely it is a particular state of bliss? To *always* have something good on your TBR pile.

    Thanks for the excellent recommendations.

  2. Avatar

    Melissa Wiley says:

    Because in my secret soul I am Veruca Salt, and books are my bean feast. 🙂

  3. Avatar

    Laurie M says:

    Over here, over here!! Will trade pool time for books! We also have a/c! 🙂

  4. Avatar

    Jessica says:

    Just here to say thanks again for all the awesome book recommendations. After reading this post a few weeks ago, I put these titles on my library holds list. I felt EXACTLY the same way about the voice in Sorta Like a Rock Star. What a cool, quirky kid, but that voice! Drove me crazy, but totally fit (and can I say, LOVED the haiku-writing war vet. We all need one of those in our lives). Just read Stolen this weekend – wow. Intense. I really appreciated the way the author had Gemma work through her emotions at the end; it felt like a very believable – and compassionate – ending.

    Anyway, thank you!