Friday, July 04, 2014
So Many Books in June!
Here is a not very well focused picture of all the books I took out of the BHS library for the summer. The top shelf are things that are new purchases that I want to take a look at either for summer reading next year or for my own interests. The bottom shelf are selections from the Barnico Collection which is a large collection of books, mostly technology and history based, donated by a Beverly family in honor of their parents. What a nice gesture!
My reading in June and July (as of the fourth) has been far more impressive than earlier in the year. I only read 2 books in March! That is shocking! Well, I did some rereads, but I don't count those unless I haven't read the book in over 5 years and I have to read the whole thing.
I started out with NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL by Siobahn Vivian and UNTIL YOU'RE MINE by Samantha Hayes. NTKOG is a YA romance with a prickly heroine who doesn't have a realistic picture of her own best interests. It was mostly something I read while waiting for stuff to happen.
UNTIL YOU'RE MINE is a British mystery about pregnancy and babies and murder and while I was intrigued with the mystery and figured it out at the last minute, it never really came alive for me.
JELLICOE ROAD!! JELLICOE ROAD!! (by Melina Marchetta) I just loved this. Kate from the Beverly Public Library has been talking about this since it came out and won the Printz. I assigned it to my students in the YA course I am teaching this summer, so I had to finally read it. It is just magnificent. I had given up on it a couple times because it is so twisty and doesn't make sense until you are well into it, but oh is the confusion worth it! Students at a boarding school in Australia are in a war with townies and military school cadets and it all harkens back to a group of kids from 20 years earlier who met in tragic circumstances. I LOVED it!
BECAUSE I SAID SO is one of the summer reading books that I really should have finished earlier. Ken Jennings, former Jeopardy champ and all-round hilarious guy, breaks down the old wives tales we have always believed to be true. Or not. I just finished the last third that I never got around to. And it was a hoot!
DEAD END IN NORVELT by Jack Gantos was another one that I assigned to my class so that I would finish it. I love Jack Gantos. I stalked him at MSLA a couple years ago. He is such a compelling speaker. I had read A HOLE IN MY LIFE which I found fascinating. But I just couldn't get off the ground in Norvelt. It was an interesting story about a town that was established by Eleanor Roosevelt and a bizarre family (Jack, his tightly-wound Mom and his jack-ass Dad) who live there. The one character I loved was Miss Volker, the elderly medical examiner who also writes lyrical obituaries for the deceased. She is a great character.
DEAR LUKE, WE NEED TO TALK, DARTH by John Moe was such a cute idea. Background sketches from famous pop-cultural characters. I read it quick, because there was no other way to do it. Funny, but ultimately not that great.
OPEN ROAD SUMMER, I am going to have to do a full post on this one.
CINDERELLA by Charles Perrault, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti was just beautiful! It is the story we all know and love, but illustrated as if it happened during the roaring twenties. It is one of the picture books that the Dohertys donated. Just lovely.
CHEAP SHOT by Ace Atkins is the newest Spencer novels created by Robert B. Parker. I am usually not a fan of dead writers continuing to publish, but Atkins is doing a terrific job of keeping Spencer viable. It still feels Boston-y, Spencer, Hawk and Susan retain the characteristics that make them so appealing - except Susan's bizarre eating issues. The mystery centers around a New England Patriot whose son is abducted. The mystery is twisty and the payoff excellent, as always.
Finally, I read UNFRIENDED by Rachel Vail and IN REAL LIFE by Cory Doctorow, illustrated by Jen Wang. They are both ARCs that I reviewed for VOYA with my beloved goddaughter and I can't really talk about them until the reviews are published. But suffice to say that I enjoyed them both.
So that's June. All I have read in July are grown-up books, shockingly although it is 9 am on the fourth and i have read 4 books. So, dang, I am reading a lot!