Sunday, November 08, 2009
It's Rabbit Season!
Okay, it may not be rabbit season, but I am feeling daffy - and testing season is now over until the spring. So sad that my book smorgasbord-ing will be drawing to a close and I am going to have to actually finish something now.
But yesterday was the small SAT and I got to take a look at 10 new titles. But before I get to them, I want to mention the comments. I have received 2 comments from writers of books which I gave less than glowing reviews. So I imagine that they get pinged when they get mentioned online. (And Francie Nolan is out of a job... - And if you get that reference, leave me a comment and I will take you out for lunch, because we are kindred souls!) Anyway - the people about whose books I say nice things never comment. So I am thinking of just saying everything stinks so that EVERYONE will comment and I can just say, "Oh just kidding!" after.
Many of this post's books came recommend by Theresa Maturevich, reference librarian from the Beverly Public Library. (Let's see if she has one of those little blog gremlins who tells her when she is mentioned...) So thanks Theresa - it must be great to have a job where you get to sit and read books all day!
And now, the books:
FLANNERY: A LIFE OF FLANNERY O'CONNOR by Brad Gooch. This is well written, the cover is beautiful and Flannery O'Connor is one of the classic writers who can draw me in like nobody's business. I loved the beginning with the chicken who can walk backward. But the truth is, I am just not much for biographies nowadays. I lack the intellectual curiosity and the attention span. But this one was a nice one.
INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER by my new best friend Julie Halpern. I was going to devote a whole post to this book because it is absolutely delicious. And you know what? I think I shall. Stay tuned for that one!
SOMEONE KNOWS MY NAME by Lawrence Hill. Oh my. Oh my. I never buy books for myself, because I just buy them for the library and act like they are mine. But I put this one on my Christmas list. I will be reading it for me. It is about a girl taken into slavery who eventually travels the world. And I started crying on page two where she matter of fact-ly says, "I never had the privilege of holding on to my children, living with them, raising them the way my own parents raised me for ten or eleven years, until all our lives were torn asunder." Well go ahead and grab me by the throat and shake me, Lawrence Hill, because you are KILLING ME! It got great reviews and I am going to wait until I have time to just leap into it.
GETTING THE GIRL: A GUIDE TO PRIVATE INVESTIGATION, SURVEILLANCE AND COOKERY by Susan Juby. Why is it that I just love books that are a tiny bit too explicit for summer reading? This one is so good and so far it has nothing that will get me fired, but I am nervous because the story is that girls are getting"Defiled" at his high school and Sherman Mack, short, awkward and mildly clueless is on the case. There are so many sweet details in this book, the best friend who tries to talk "street" to cover up his voice that sounds like a 6 year old girl, the burlesque-dancing mom who is still rebelling from her straight laced parents, the wry heavy-set gal pal, and of course the dull pretty inamorata. (And she may get more interesting, I am only on page 50). Am I going to finish this? Hell yes! I need to know how it ends. Am I going to put it on summer reading? If everyone is able to keep the graphic details to themselves (I am talking to you, Juby!) perhaps. Of course, maybe I could get the scholastic version. Grrr... But I digress.
NO CHOIRBOY: MURDER, VIOLENCE AND TEENAGERS ON DEATH ROW by Susan Kuklin. Come for the titillation, stay for the politics. This looks like it is going to be one of those "true crime" stories that are practically salacious in their fetishization of the crime, but it ends up being a really moving, sad and educational book about how juvenile offenders are defined by their worst moment. The story of Roy Burgess, Jr. broke my heart. I browsed through the rest o the chapters and it certainly looks like summer reading to me, if it ever comes out in paperback. Um, kind of sad, summer reading. But it will interest kids, I think.
Okay, I have to do some laundry and drink some coffee. I will put out the other five later. This is an embarrassment of riches, right here!