Friday Finds: A Day Late

ff2_md1I know this is a little late, but here it is.

After a lengthy facebook chat with Kris, I have ordered both Tweak and A Beautiful Boy by Nic and David Sheff. These two books recount the true story of a young man who is addicted to methanphetamines. One is told from the young man’s point of view and the other is told from his father’s point of view.

Keeping with the same event told from differing points of view theme, I am also going to read Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We knew It and the dead & the gone. From the inside jacket cover of the dead & the gone:

Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event from a small-town perspective. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City…. With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

look-coverAnd last but not least, I am finally going to read Madeline George’s Looks. Talk about an opening paragraph, check this out:

Start in the sky. Look down in the valley. Green, plush, peaceful landscape. Drop down a little, toward the town, then skim over it, past the low beige buildings of the university, the clean white spires of the Congregational churches, the flat green welcome mat of the town common, out toward the edge of town, toward Valley Regional High School, a rambling, one-story brick building surrounded by soccer fields, field hockey fields, football fields, parking lots. Hover above Valley Regional High. Watch the crowd of kids as it streams into the school like water sucked down a storm drain. And listen: even from this high up you can hear the hum of a school on the first day back in September.

Can’t wait to read this one!!


Juggling Too Many Books

Currently I am juggling four different books: Pretties by Scott Westerfeld, The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller, Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin and Their Eyes Were Watching God (reading with my seniors for the ninth time) by Zora Neale Hurston. My problem is I can’t seem to stick with one of them and just finish it. Do others of you have this problem? Another book falls into your hands and you just have to start reading it, only to put down the one you were currently reading. How do you deal with this problem? My nightstand is stacked with abandoned reads, ones I know I will probably never go back and finish and others I have all good intentions of finishing at some point. Obviously, when I get a book I just love, I devour it and read it in a day or two, but others seem to take way too long. Is this a sign of my not seeing things through to the end? I also must confess that I always read the last page of a book before I finish it. So in a way, I do see it through to the end, I just sometimes skip the middle part. What does this say about me?

Sunday Salon

tssbadge1This week I have abandoned Pretties by Scott Westerfeld, but promise to pick it back up by next Sunday. His use of the word bubbly just really started to annoy me and I had to put it down. Instead, I have been reading Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin and I am loving it. I can easily see how that became a tv series; it is like Melrose Place, but in the 70s and in San Francisco. I think I have also been convinced to read The Hunger Games as well. I have resisted for so long, but everyone is telling me that resistance is stupid. Sue Miller’s The Senator’s Wife is still sitting on my dining room table waiting to be read as well. I also read an ARC of Laurie Halse Anderson’s new novel Wintergirls. This one is promising- I predict it will rank up there with Speak.

ARC: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

21633One of the perks of working at a bookstore is that every now and then a promising Advanced Reader’s Copy falls into my hands. Yesterday was such a day. Nestled in the middle of a stack of books was Laurie Halse Anderson’s newest book Wintergirls. With this novel, it seems she has returned to her stream of consciousness style which appealed to the readers of Speak. Chains and Fever, while both well-written, seemed to sort of miss the mark with her teenage audience, but Wintergirls seems to hit that mark dead-on.

Battling anorexia and the death of her friend, Lia takes us into the darkness of her world, one which is filled with secrets and pain. She is plagued with the guilt that she didn’t save Cassie and uses her anorexia to gain back some control of a life she feels is spinning out of control. With the ghost of Cassie cheering her on, Lia attempts to starve herself and join Cassie on the other side.

Anderson’s lyrical stream of consciousness forces her readers to enter into the mindset of an anorexic as we struggle with Lia and her journey back into the living. I have no doubts that this one is going to receive the same kind of attention as did Speak.

Booking Through Thursday


Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?

I have an ongoing list of TBR classics, which I turn to when I am feeling the need to challenge myself. Also, a good review of a book written by a person whose opinion I trust/value will always inspire me to read a book. For a while I was really inspired by world events and was on a big Middle Eastern kick. Sometimes I am inspired by a topic we are discussing in class and I chose a book related to that topic. Really, my inspiration depends on my mood and interest at the time.

The Wait is Over

images-12 I will admit it; I enjoy reading books that are part of a series. When I find an author I like, I tend to read all I can by him/her. I have been searching for a a good series for a while now. A few months ago I caught wind of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series and have been on the search for the first book ever since. Today my school librarian delivered.

From the back cover: Through the lovelorn tenants of a San Francisco apartment house, Maupin takes the teader into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, cutthroat debutantes, and Jockey shorts dance contests. Hurdling barriers both social and sexual, this cunningly observed comedy- and the five novels which succeed it- offer an unprecedented portrait of the agonies and absurdities of urban life in the last quarter of the 20th century.

Six novels altogether! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! Please don’t let me down.

Has anyone read this series? Thoughts?

Monday’s Musing

musingmondaysbigHow does your being sick (or injured) affect your reading? Do you read more? Less? Do you pick out a different book than you had already planned? Do you have a “comfort book” that makes you feel better?

I definitely read more when I am sick. Being sick is one of the rare times during the school year when I can actually read a whole book in one sitting. A few years ago I remember reading The Kite Runner while having one of the worst colds/flus I have ever experienced. When I re-read the book without the stuffed up head I realized that I had missed out on all the stylistic features of that book that makes Hosseini such a talented writer. His imagery, figurative language and narrative techniques sort of went unnoticed by me the first time I read it. So now I tend to lean toward the more “fluffier” novels when I am sick; the ones you read just to lose yourself in a good story that doesn’t require too much brain power.

Sunday Salon

tssbadge1A snowy Sunday led to a perfect Sunday Salon. Today I finished Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (see post below) and am currently about halfway through Geraldine Brooks’ People of the Book. I am enjoying that one to an extent. The novel begins in the present day when Hannah, a book conservator, is called to Sarajevo to study and preserve a rare Jewish Haggadah. As Hannah uncovers some clues as to where the Haggadah has been, the story jumps back in time and introduces the reader to several other characters and the role the Haggadah played in their lives. I am enjoying the sections which go back in time and tell the tale of the Haggadah’s history, but I really don’t care for Hannah or her story. I find her sections to be tedious and just want to get onto the next story.

On my TBR list I have The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller and Pretties by Scott Westerfeld.