Check this out! Cat Library
Yet another book I will have to order from Amazon.uk because it takes too long to be published in the US!
THE THORNTHWAITE INHERITANCE wins the 2011 Doncaster Book Award
Gareth P Jones' novel The Thornthwaite Inheritance has won the 7th Doncaster Book Award. The winner was announced at the Finale Event at Doncaster Racecourse on 25 March 2011. Special guests at the event included popular favourites the Two Steves and Tommy Donbavand.
WOW! Interesting. Whatever you may think about the issues that come up every few years or so about the book, Gone with the Wind is a masterpiece of storytelling~
The Original Manuscript of ‘Gone With the Wind’ Rediscovered
2:32 pm Wednesday Mar 30, 2011 by Caroline Stanley
The final typescript of the final four chapters of Margaret Mitchell’s 1937 Pulitzer Prize-winner Gone With the Wind, which was assumed to have been burned by the author’s husband following her death (per her instructions), has turned up in the Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut — the same place where it has been “hiding” since George Brett Jr., Mitchell’s publisher, donated it to the library’s collection in the 1950s. Related trivia: Two additional chapters from the final typescript are located in a vault in Atlanta which is only to be opened “if a question ever arises about the authorship of Gone With the Wind.” [via NYT]
10 Movies That Were Better Than The Book 10:30 am Wednesday Mar 23, 2011 by Jason Bailey
flavorwire discusses these 10 movies with some pretty good arguments. And I do LOVE High Fidelity. (It is mostly John Cusack, but it is a great movie in general.) I blogged about movies based on books not too long ago. (Go me!)
I really liked The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier. Part of the beauty of this book is the seamless integration of the fantasy elements with the tragic realities and everyday mundanities plus just a touch of steampunk. Trei is an outsider whose mother was an Islander, giving him some claim to a life on the floating islands with his uncle, aunt, and cousin after the death of his family while he was away from home. He is welcomed by his remaining family though somewhat warily by his cousin Araene, who does not dislike him, but is jealous of the freedoms he has a boy. That is just one of those mundane details about the society, girls are not educated and have few freedoms, that really is not mundane after all, as Araene's disatisfaction with the status quo drives her to make some radical (for that society) choices about her life.
I have read quite a few books lately (The 13 Series and The Iron King series) in which the special powers of the characters are odd because the story takes place in our world. When the book is set in an alternate world, no time has to be spent discussing how odd the powers, creatures, devices etc. are, we can just get right into the heart of the story, with only minor exposition about the world and its inhabitants.
I am excited to read Neumeier's The City in the Lake. Reviews I have read say it is better than this one.
If you will recall, I was so excited for this book that I began reading it immediately after I finished The Iron King, which was a great book. Sadly The Iron Daughter did not live up to its predecessor.
I blame Meghan Chase...and her incessant whining about Ash. I have read quite a few YA titles recently that involved a love story...The Vespertine, The Body in the Tower, The Big Crunch, but only in this one does the heroine obsess so completely over the boy. Meghan was practically worthless as a heroine because she spent all her time either moping about wondering why Ash was acting the way he was or running around making ridiculous decisions based entirely on her feelings for Ash and not on what was best to fulfill the need to find the scepter. And while I can appreciate that selfishness and single-mindedness are often characteristics of teens in love, she did not act this way in the first book. If Meghan were moony and sappy then I could have accepted her behavior in this book, (though if she were moony and sappy I probably would have stopped after the first one), but it just seemed out of character and annoying when I was hoping for the strong-willed Meghan to come back and kick some faery ass.
As anticipated, The Iron Queen arrived just before I finished The Iron Daughter, and while I do still intend to read it, I have put it down the pile a bit. Sad, but I cannot go back so soon after being so tragically disappointed.
What a great use of an outdated "technology." I experience waves of nostalgia whenever I see a card catalog...they make me smile. I want to have one in my house, even though I have not decided how I will put it to use. I love the idea in this article; it is just a wondeful mix of old and new. And what a cool surprise to open a little drawer and find....
Always interesting to see which books crop again in the awards and nominees lists and which are unique to a list.
I have been amazingly fortunate in my book choices recently...or more accurately I have been taking reading suggestions from excellent sources. While reading The Iron King I put the second book, The Iron Daughter a few books down in my TBR pile, but since finishing I have taken the second book out and placed it within reach so when I need a break from some work I need to do tonight, I can start reading it. Partly that attests to how much I liked The Iron King, and partly it shows how impatient I am....I just NEED to know what happens to Meghan Chase, Ash, Puck, Oberon and all the other inhabitants of the Nevernever.
Initially I thought this book resembled The 13 Treasures but really the similarities are superficial. I am sad I missed so much YA literature over the years when I was not paying enough attention, but now that I am back, I am thrilled to see so many strong heroines. Meghan is half human and half fey giving her extraordinary powers without some of the weaknesses. As Meghan is told, her real weakness is her concern for others. So that takes care of the fantasy.
The steampunk elements come from the iron king who rules a strange steampunk underworld that exists because humans have stopped believing in nature and magic and instead love only technology. Not a new idea, but certainly a unique approach.
The romance is the usual..girl meets boy, boy tries to kill girl, girl and boy fall in love, boy still needs to turn girl over to his evil queen. Just your typical teen angsty romance, yet you cannot help but root for something to change so they can be together. This is why I MUST read the second book NOW. The third book should arrive about the time I finish the second. And rumor has it a fourth in the works. If Julie Kagawa would hurry up I will be just fine.
Russell Freedman's The War to End All Wars is as expected informative, well-written, and visually interesting. Russell Freedman is one of my favorite children's non-fiction writers.
1. He picks such interesting topics (ie Martha Graham, Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln).
2. His research is impeccable and he provides a source list.
3. He includes pictures and illustrations as supplements to the informational text, instead of replacements.
4. His books are written for students (upper elementary up to high school) but they are chock full and could be used by a teacher seeking preliminary information on a topic as in-depth as World War I or as an only source for topics such as Martha Graham and Marian Anderson who will not be the focus of a lesson, but rather an important element of a larger topic.
5. I have read almost everything he has written and never been disappointed by ommissions or glossing (I dislike when writers sanitize history for students...the truth does not have to be graphic, but it should be the whole truth.)
6. I love history and like to read non-fiction, and have, but I still learn from his books because he seems to make an effort to include interesting elements that do not appear in other works.
I have been lucky enough to have a weekend of beautiful weather as well as great reading. I just finished the wonderful The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman. I think I can best illustrate why I liked the book so much with a quote. The two main characters, June and Wes, who are 17 and in love, are watching a meteor shower and she says "You will always be the first boy I ever loved. And I will love you forever, even if we are living on opposite sides of the world. Even if someday we hate each other, I will always love you." (Hautman 280)
On one hand she sounds awfully pragmatic for a teen in love, but that is one of the best things about the book and June, she is complicated...one moment she is caught by the chest pain you get when you do not know when you will see the person again, other times she is swept up in doubts, and others she just admits that they may not last forever. On the other hand, she has just verbalized the power of first love, pretty wise.
Too often adults brush off teen love, because from our superior position as experienced adults we know it is not likely you will end up with your first high school love (though it has been known to happen, my own parents are an example). But that first love is real and true most especially when you are immersed in it. This book really could be a love story about people of any age, but there are the normal teen hindrances such as curfew, limited cell phone minutes, and no car. The descriptions of June and Wes's feelings as they fall for each other will take you back to your first love...I mean it.
The Big Crunch is also the best title ever...it refers to the scientific theory that after the universe stops expanding it will start contracting, resulting eventually in a big crunch after which there will be another big bang and it will all start over again. Maybe Pete Hautman and I just have similar ideas about how to descibe love, but I think the view of first love as a big crunch is universal.
Bottom Line: Read this book. It is perfect for spring.
I have not yet decided if The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell is fantasy historical fiction or historical fantasy fiction. Amelia has moved to Baltimore for the season in the spring of 1889 to find a husband, as there is no one suitable in Broken Tooth, Maine. What she finds instead is the power to see the future. Sometimes she sees a mundane future about a lost glove, but other times she sees a death or other tragedy. She discovers this power by accident one evening at vespers (hence the title) as she looks into the setting sun.
One element I really liked about the book is the way the fantasy elements naturally fit into the story. (Clearly I have decided it is historical fiction with elements of fantasy.) They do not feel contrived or forced. Amelia simply does what a young woman does, which is flirt and dance and giggle and rebel, but there is much more to her and her powers. The novel is a celebration of young womanhood and the discovery of the magic within. Sounds a little hokey, but I cannot help but admire Mitchell's portrayal of Amelia as she discovers her feminine power and finds the male who is her complement.
The writing is also beautifully descriptive, which I always like. I can appreciate books that qualify as brain candy, but I like when novels, especially those for young people have a compelling story as well as being strongly written literature.
The book also ends well, though I did have my worries for part of it...suitably vague but optimistic. This is another novel I would like to see remain as a stand alone. I care enough about Amelia and her soul mate to wonder what happens to them and content to remain wondering. I think a sequel would lessen the power of the story.
The third mystery from Alan Bradley in the Flavia de Luce series, A Red Herring without Mustard gives the reader even more insight into the precocious, 11-year old, amateur sleuth, Flavia de Luce. Flavia is a heroine for females of all ages; she is resourceful, clever, and independent, despite being routinely set upon by her two older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, whose attacks would defeat a weaker spirit, especially as they routinely tell her their now deceased mother, of whom Flavia has no memories, did not love her. (I hope there will be a book dealing with Harriet's life and death.) Flavia is also admirable as a self-taught chemist. Her experiments are clever and motivated by curiosity as learning should be. Though these are not specifically YA mysteries, they certainly would appeal to a young audience, yet the mystery is not so simplistic as to bore an adult. The historical elements of the stories, which take place in post-WWII, rural England draw the reader into Flavia's world. The first two mysteries, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag, are not required to jump in to the third book, but why wouldn't you want to spend time with Flavia.
#3 #2 #1
2 March 2011 Last updated at 05:50 ET
Mystery tale wins Blue Peter book prize
Dead Man's Cove, a tale about an orphaned 11-year-old who turns amateur sleuth, has been named the Blue Peter book of the year.
Lauren St John, who also wrote best-selling novel The White Giraffe, said winning was a "huge honour".
Deputy Blue Peter editor Joe McCulloch called the story "an absolutely enthralling and entertaining read".
Many times over the three years since I have been extensively reading YA lit., I have thought to myself "Where were all these great books when I was a kid?" There are days when I feel like I could give up adult literature entirely and be happy. This would cause some problems at home if I were to announce "I will not be reading all those shelves of books after all.", but there is just so much good YA lit. out there and clearly not enough time to read it. (Insert profound sigh lamenting the need to have a job and sleep here.)
I heard Anita Silvey speak in November and she claimed that in the children's publishing world they speak of BHP and AHP (Before Harry Potter and After Harry Potter). No longer was children's and YA lit. just for children and YAs anymore. (Notice how many adult writers have branched out. - Hmmm interesting.)
VERDICT: Though I could have plenty of high-quality reading material if I gave up adult lit. I am not quite ready...yet.
I finished Sing Me Home over the weekend. I liked it, but not as much as I have liked some of Picoult's other books. It was appropriately topical as usual, dealing with same-sex marriage and adoptions, as well as the über religious reaction to both. I really liked Zoe and Vanessa who are both involved in education in some form and I know people like them. They were well-developed, but some of Zoe's decisions or mistakes seemed too contrived, or possibly just unfathomable to me. That is what is great about reading: each reader brings a different outlook and interprets events and characters differently.
On a side note, I e-mailed Phobe Stone after finishing The Romeo and Juliet Code the other day. She was gracious enough to write back...as if I were not already a big (or shortish), new fan, now I will sing her praises FOREVER!
I just finished The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone....and I loved it! It is a beautiful story that takes place in Maine from May -December 1941. The war already going on in Europe is central to the novel about Felicity who has been sent from London to live with relatives for the duration. Naturally the novel is melancholy as is Felicity, but because she is 11 there are also moments of joy, and love, and laughter. If I had better words to describe how lovely this novel is, I would be a writer myself.
I hope there will NOT be a sequel or follow-up novel. It ended with unanswered questions, but they are appropriately unanswered. That is just the way it should be in some books. [Sure, we wonder what kind of adults Huck, Jem and Scout, and Holden turned out to be. And I would not mind knowing what happened to Tom, Daisy, and Nick (mostly Nick).] BUT, not all stories should have a sequel or even a book with the same characters that is not really a sequel. The not knowing is just like what people of the time were experiencing, not knowing if loved ones would return or if the Nazis really would be defeated, it is just the way it is sometimes.
I can now say definitively that the cover of this book is completely inappropriate. When I read this article from School Library Journal it got me thinking about covers in general. I get that covers can be a figurative representation of the content...but this one is downright awful. I mean, it is an attractive cover, but readers who are drawn in by the cover are likely to be disappointed by the content, and readers who love World War II historical fiction will not go anywhere near this book when browsing. It is really the book's only disappointment and sad since it is so wonderful.
The Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators is pleased to announce the winners and honorees of the 2011 Golden Kite Awards (for books published in the 2010 calendar year.) The Golden Kite Award is the only award presented to children’s book authors and artists by their peers.
Nerds Heart YA is a group of bloggers committed to bringing attention to under-represented by other awards, under-read, and under-blogged YA titles and authors. For this year's tournament, yours truly has been selected as a second round judge...woohoo!!!! The judges have already been chosen for this year, but anyone can nominate a title on the site.
I know I have written about this before, but have not yet figured out how to link to one of my own previous posts yet...I will soon! But in any case you can find out all about the tournament with the link to the site. Have fun and nominate, nominate, nominate!