Sunday, June 24, 2007

Summer Reading, Part 2

I don't know how this escaped my notice before, but I suddenly realized last week that if I want to be a children's librarian, I should brush up on my knowledge of picture books. So here's what I've read (and re-read) so far:
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Freight Train by Donald Crews
  • Miss Nelson is Missing! by Henry Allard
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
  • The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  • 86 Years: The Legend of the Boston Red Sox by Melinda R. Boroson

I read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs aloud to my little sister. She's read it and heard it read before. This was a first time for me. I was rather gratified when, during my reading, she kept exclaiming, "This is the first time you read it?!" But no, she didn't mean that my reading was exceptionally good. She was just shocked at how behind the times I was.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

Books I'm currently reading: 4
Books I have checked out of the library: 15
Books I have on my NoveList "books to read" list: 160

Something tells me there's a problem here.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Of interest to teens?

For most of the month of May, I was reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. To be perfectly honest, I started reading it because I was bored before class and saw it on display at my school library. I figured it would probably be good for me to read one of the books that won an Alex Award for this year.

It really surprised me when, one hour later, I was only 40 pages into the book. The writing style reminded me a lot of Wuthering Heights and (when I was further on) Jane Eyre. I wasn't at all surprised to learn that the auther has studied 19th century works. The "feel" of the writing for me was similar to that of classics I have read, which tend to make me read slower and take longer to get interesting. The first forty pages primarily describe the narrator's love of reading and the antiquarian book store her father owns. The plot starts out slow, getting going about one hundred pages in, and moving faster from there on.

Mainly because of the writing style and the fact that the plot takes a long time to really get moving, I question whether this was the best choice as an adult book that would capture a teen's interest. Personally, I enjoyed the story very much, but I wonder how many teens would? The narrator, after all, seems late-twenties to early thirties (my apologies if Margaret's age is told and I've forgotten), and she's writing the biography of a woman in her eighties. I read the last eighty or so pages in a day because of the gripping plot, but I spent three weeks before that getting to that spot. I don't think I would have stuck with it when I was in high school. I probably wouldn't have stuck with it even now if it hadn't been summer vacation. I would love to find a teen who has read the book (or tried) and get his/her opinion.

Setterfield, Diane. The Thirteenth Tale. New York: Atria Books, 2006.
Personal Opinion: brilliant; would definitely re-read.
Recommendation: for adults or (maybe) older teens who enjoy reading and don't mind a slow starter

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Summer Reading, Part 1

Now that I've recovered from the semester, rested up, and read a lot, here's a list of the books I've started (and finished) since school let out:
  • Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
  • FullMetal Alchemist (Volumes 1-4) by Hiromu Arakawa
  • American Born Chinese by Gene Yang
  • Physik by Angie Sage
  • The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
  • The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
  • Death Note (Volumes 4 and 5) by Tsugumi Ohba
  • Runaways Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
  • This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
  • Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
  • Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
  • Last Chance by Sarah Dessen (the British version of Keeping the Moon)
  • The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
  • The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The Game by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Instead of Three Wishes by Megan Whalen Turner
  • Evil Genius by Caroline Jinks
  • Steady Beat, Vol. 2 by Rivkah
  • The Plain Janes by Cecil Castelluci
  • Castle Waiting by Linda Medley
  • Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Conrad's Egg by Diana Wynne Jones

I would love to write my reactions to each of them, but there's simply too much to try to catch up now. I'm planning on posting my strongest reactions to books I read over the summer, as well as an ongoing update on summer reading to remind myself of books I've read. I hadn't realized I was so heavy on the fantasy reading...hmm...I'll have to try to broaden that out in the next month or so.

I would post books I want to read, too, but that would keep me busy forever.