Thursday, November 09, 2006

Yes, Reading Again

Wasn't this a crafting blog? What happened? What are all these books? I do have some finished pictures to post but I keep forgetting various elements. In the meantime I'm resting my hands and reading!

November 6
Totally Joe by James Howe. Joe was one of the Misfits in the earlier book by Howe (also highly recommended!) and here he gets to tell his own story in an "alphabiography." This is cute - heartwarming - touching - the story of a young gay boy who still thinks kissing someone is an icky mess, but wants to have a boyfriend. A wonderful growing-up-gay book.

November 7
Seven Spiders Spinning by Gregory Maguire. This is his first Hamlet, Vermont story, set in a school with the wonderful Miss Earth as teacher. I liked a lot of things about the book but I found the spiders sort of extraneous and I didn't like their fate. However Miss Earth and the Tattletales and the Copycats are great companions. I plan to read at least one more in the series (the next is Six Haunted Hairdos.)

November 8
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell. Wonderfully weird short stories. I realized I'd read one of the stories in the New Yorker some issues ago. The title story was absolutely the best. I don't often read adult literary fiction but this had enough fantasy elements for me to really enjoy it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Reading Continues

November 4
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding
This anthology has stories by a couple of authors I really like (Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine) and others that I didn't know that well. Harris's and Butcher's stories were set in worlds that I've come to know well from their novels. Caine used a world that I didn't recognize from the Weather Wardens series, but her tale had a nice sting in it. Spellbound by L.A. Banks was another unexpected joy. That said, I think that the Elvis story by P.N. Elrod was really wonderful!

November 5
The Iron Tower by Dennis McKiernan
I heard of an early series by Dennis McKiernan that was either very derivative of Tolkien or else (in some other stories) was written by request from the publishers who wanted a Tolkien sequel. I found the trilogy in one paperbound volume in the library basement and tried the first one, The Dark Tide. It wasn't terrible but there were so many similarities to Tolkien that I just wasn't that interested in reading the rest of it. I did skim the next two books to make sure that the Darkness was conquered but I won't look for more in the series.

More Reading

I had a sad thing befall me during NaNoReadMo. I have about 20 books picked out to read this month, and planned to take some home on Thursday, since I had a 3-day weekend. Alas, I went home sick on Wednesday evening, forgetting all about the books, and then had none of them! I was scratching about for something new to read and found the following:

November 2, 2006
Devilish by Maureen Johnson.
A cute twist on the popularity story, with a serious note to it. Unpopular Alison would sell her soul to be popular - literally. Can her best friend Jane save her? There's definitely a dark side to this one along with a great friendship story.

November 3, 2006
Mary's Meadow And Other Tales of Fields and Flowers, by Juliana Horatia Ewing.
I've wanted to read this ever since reading the Golden Name Day series by Jennie Lindquist. In it the girls read Mary's Meadow and decide to emulate Mary and her family by planting flowers on the roadsides for travelers to enjoy. It's really a sweet Victorian story and there are funny bits as well! The other tales were not as good as MM but still worth reading (for free too!)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I blame this idea on my friend Marci, who came up with it as an alternative to NaNoWriMo. I came up with a good selection of children's and YA books and am pleased to announce that I have finished the first day of November by reading my first book for the month.
Frindle by Andrew Clements. It's a wonderful middle-grade book, with humor, good grownups, great rewards, and as a bonus, excellent illustrations.
Check it out!