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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Venus Brown, you are so lucky! You still have The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia, both starring Gen, and another book starring Sophos still ahead of you. I wish I could read them again for the first (or even tenth!) time.

Thanks, rab! I'm glad to hear the rest of the series will be fun, too. Can't wait to dig in!!
#961 - May 31, 2015, 04:43 PM

I just finished GONE GIRL, which I found very entertaining. Next up is EMBER IN THE ASHES.
#962 - May 31, 2015, 05:29 PM
THE DARING PRINCE DASHING, Sky Pony Press - available now!

I'm on a Raymond Chandler binge. Also about to begin the Benedict Society series, finally.
#963 - May 31, 2015, 07:08 PM

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Just finished Sarah Dessen's SAINT ANYTHING. Very satisfying. Her normal romance tropes, but this time the narrator is a good girl whose older brother is in prison and who feels unfairly penalized (not to mention ignored) by her parents because of his problems. My only complaint is the single black character, a mostly uncharacterized sidekick, who feels like a gratuitous addition for the sake of diversity, but who, in the end, only highlights the lack of diversity. Still, if you want to see some masterful story construction (not to mention a compelling read), I'd recommend it.
#964 - June 02, 2015, 06:20 PM

Jenn Bertman
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Rab, I'm glad to hear you liked SAINT ANYTHING. I started that a few weeks ago and couldn't get into it, which was so odd because I normally love her books. I'm going to give it another try now--I had a lot going on when I started it before so maybe that was the problem.

I'm currently in the middle of MOONPENNY ISLAND by Tricia Springstead and I'm really enjoying it a lot.
#965 - June 13, 2015, 01:09 PM
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
jenniferchamblissbertman.com

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J-Bert, maybe Dessen's book spoke to me because of my own experiences. There have been a couple of others of hers that I couldn't get into, although in general, I'm a fan (and not just because her dad was a professor of mine!).

Hope you're loving Tricia Springstubb's book---it's on my list, too. As is Book Scavenger!

Currently I'm loving Naomi Novik's first non-Temeraire novel, a very satisfying fantasy called UPROOTED. It could easily have been marketed as YA; the protagonist is a teenaged girl. Her best friend plays a big role, too. The magic is beautifully described, and the pace is breakneck.
#966 - June 14, 2015, 05:20 PM
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 05:28 PM by rab »

I'm reading TELL ME by Joan Bauer. I read her ALMOST HOME and CLOSE TO FAMOUS previously. She writes strong (yet vulnerable) contemporary heroines so well!
#967 - June 25, 2015, 07:41 PM
Writing & Illustrating Quietly Bold Kidlit

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Just finished Danette Haworth's THE SUMMER OF MOONLIGHT SECRETS. MG. Lovely from cover to cover.
#968 - June 25, 2015, 07:49 PM
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Currently re-reading Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff. :yup

#969 - July 22, 2015, 02:42 PM
"This is your life and you be what you want to be.
Just don't hurt nobody, 'less of course they ask you."

XTC, "Garden of Earthly Delights" (1989)

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Will finish Lisa Graff's A Tangle of Knots this evening. Maybe go on to Bone Gap or The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender or Drizzle or wait for The Aviary to arrive from Amazon. So many choices!
#970 - July 22, 2015, 03:13 PM
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I'm reading Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit by Corey Olsen. It's very interesting, I'm loving it!  :love5
#971 - August 01, 2015, 07:33 AM

I'm finally getting to DAVID COPPERFIELD. I try to read a Dickens every one or two years. The last one was GREAT EXPECTATIONS and I read it under giant trees at a park in wintry Australia. It was amazing.
#972 - August 02, 2015, 10:10 PM
Writing & Illustrating Quietly Bold Kidlit

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Just read Illusions of Fate, by Kiersten White. I think it's my favorite book by her. I really like turn of the century historical fantasy mysteries. If you like Jackie Dolamore's books, you might like this one.

Also, Clayton Stone, At Your Service, by our own Ena Jones! Great MG thriller with a very likable main character.
#973 - September 03, 2015, 01:47 PM

Mike Jung

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I'm currently reading Michael Keevak's BECOMING YELLOW: A SHORT HISTORY OF RACIAL THINKING and Lysley Tenorio's MONSTRESS. Next up will probably be Alex Gino's GEORGE.
#974 - September 03, 2015, 03:23 PM

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Re-reading Angela Thirkell's HIGH RISING. Just like my rereads of the Maud Hart Lovelace books, I like to cycle through Thirkell's early pre-war, during-war books. Perfect comfort reading during the back-to-school upheavals in my house and soothing when playing the waiting game with pitched mss.

Next will be Katie Coyle's second Vivian Apple book as soon as I can get my hands on it!
#975 - September 04, 2015, 07:52 AM
The End of Something Wonderful (Sterling 2019)
Hello, Star (Little Brown 2021)
The League of Picky Eaters (Clarion 2021)
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Recently read and loved MG spy novel, CLAYTON STONE: At Your Service, by Ena Jones. As Olmue says, the main character is charming, flawed, and very funny.

Currently skimming ASIMOV's GUIDE TO SHAKESPEARE, for research purposes. (DH just happened to have it on the shelf, although he'd never read it.)   :love5
#976 - September 04, 2015, 09:45 AM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
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Just finished Life As We Knew It, by Beth Pfeiffer, and Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, by Karen Foxlee. Loved Ophelia, a retelling of the Snow Queen, but found Life As We Knew It grim, as most dystopian novels tend to be (for me, anyhow). Now starting A Night Divided, by Jennifer Nielsen.
#977 - September 04, 2015, 02:09 PM

Jenn Bertman
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I'm reading THE ARCTIC CODE by Matthew Kirby. Very good so far!
#978 - September 04, 2015, 02:40 PM
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
jenniferchamblissbertman.com

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Stella, I'm looking forward to A Night Divided. I read LAWKI just after going through a major ice storm (we got FEMA flyers out of it), and it was all just a bit *too* real to me. I'm not really a fan of grim dystopia, either, but I could definitely tell she'd done her homework (or been through a natural disaster herself), because some of the passages were all too real.

Right now I'm reading an adult memoir called Under the Same Sky: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America, by Joseph Kim. It's fascinating, about a boy whose life was normal in North Korea until the famine happened, and how he survived basically his whole family and society falling apart. I can't help thinking about all the refugees fleeing war in the middle east right now, and how disorienting it must be to go from a normal life (work, school, routine, family) to having literally nothing, not even basic constant rules of society. I don't know how humans can manage to go through something like that (and very much hope I never have to!)
#979 - September 05, 2015, 12:16 PM

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I recently read KINDRED. It was originally written in the 1970s. It was recommended by my library. A time travel/ante bellum South story. Very good.

Just finished A WITCH'S GUIDE TO COOKING WITH CHILDREN, a retelling of Hansel and Gretel for mid-graders. Hilarious and fun.
#980 - September 11, 2015, 09:46 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
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I've just finished three MG books with good 'boy' voices. Two by Lisa Graff: "Lost in the Sun" and "Absolutely Almost," and "Fort" by Cynthia Defelice.
#981 - September 11, 2015, 11:30 AM
ROLLER BOY (Fitzroy Books, 2018)
AMY'S CHOICE (Luminis Books, 2014)
CALL ME AMY (Luminis Books, 2013)
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Greggory Maguire's  -  Mirror Mirror a tale of snow white.
#982 - September 11, 2015, 03:29 PM

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Just finished RJ Anderson's new middle grade, A Pocket Full of Murder. Turn of the century history/fantasy/mystery--so enjoyable!
#983 - September 11, 2015, 06:18 PM

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I've just started Katherine Rundell's WOLF WILDER, even though I still have ROOFTOPPERS still sitting unread on my nightstand.
#984 - September 12, 2015, 04:48 AM
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Just finished SCUMBLE by Ingrid Law (enjoyed it), which is the follow up to SAVVY, and SWITCH was recently released. Now reading HOLES by Louis Sachar. Someone recommended it for the beginning - jumping right in, minimal backstory.
#985 - September 17, 2015, 11:22 AM
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Debra, I love Ingrid's books! They're very fun to read aloud, too.

I'm about a third of the way through FIXING MY GAZE, by Susan Barry. My optometrist recommended it. It's the true account of a woman who had strabismus as a child but never developed binocular vision (even though her eyes were surgically treated to look "straight" and each eye has 20/20 vision). Just as we were told with our son who had strabismus, she was told there was a critical period after which the brain can't be plastic anymore, and if you don't fix the binocular vision issue by then (age 9), you are out of luck. Well, neuroscience has come a ways, and it turns out the brain IS plastic in adulthood. And this woman learned to see in 3D at age FIFTY with optometric vision therapy (no, not pseudoscience internet therapy, but basically physical therapy for the brain done by licensed optometrists). I had never heard of this before (like her, my son uses both eyes very rapidly back and forth--but one at a time), and figured my kid would basically never seen in stereo. The book is FASCINATING. She is a neuroscientist and the original article about her was written by Oliver Sacks. Now I'm wondering what else could be solved with brain research. I'd love to know if there's any intersection with this kind of research and say, dyslexia. Completely different causes and phenomena, but both involve visual stimulus and the brain interpreting it. If you do not have stereo vision, I recommend reading this to find out about it!
#986 - September 18, 2015, 04:16 AM

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Coming back to say that I have FINALLY read A Drowned Maiden's Hair. Wow. That was a good one--creepy without magic. It's a totally different kind of book, but it has that classic MG sense of justice that someone like Eva Ibbotson was also good at.

A YA I can totally recommend is Every Breath, by Ellie Marney. It's a modern mystery set in Australia that's also a nod to Sherlock Holmes. The characters were SO well fleshed out, and the author did a fantastic job of weaving a tight mystery plot together with the various romantic and personal growth arcs. Loved the easy chemistry between the characters--there's a world of difference between an author telling you the characters are attracted to each other based on purely physical reactions, and showing that these people actually KNOW each other, have a complicated history together, by how they interact and read each other. Fair warning, it's a murder mystery (ie blood, if that makes you queasy), and there's some language, but it was really well done.
#987 - September 20, 2015, 05:37 PM

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I'm reading Mary Kole's Writing Irresistible Kidlit again. Love it!
#988 - September 26, 2015, 05:36 AM

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I read the YA novel All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and really liked it. Though I think I need a break from all the suicide and cancer YA books!
#989 - September 26, 2015, 09:37 AM
Author of SILVER PONY RANCH and ZEKE MEEKS series

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Reading Daniel Jose Older's SHADOWSHAPER, which looks like the break you might need from suicide and cancer books, Debby! YA urban fantasy with a hugely diverse cast of characters. Not far enough along to know how much I'll like it, but the way Older uses dialogue, with lots of slang, lots of nonstandard spellings, and lots of Spanish, is intriguing.
#990 - September 27, 2015, 07:02 PM

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