Friday, January 22, 2010

To Read List

So, thanks to all of the links over at Kelly's master list on YAnnabe, I've compiled a huge list of YA books I plan to read. Specifically, I'm looking forward to:

I Want to Go Home! By Gordon Korman - gave it the 50 page test. Cute but not for me.
I Am the Wallpaper by Mark Peter Hughes
Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples
The Garden by Elsie V. Aidinoff
Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine
The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Deadline by Chris Crutcher
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser
Thaw by Monica Roe
Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Ash by Malinda Lo
I Know It’s Over by C.K. Kelly Martin
Take Me There by Susane Colasanti
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles - READ IT (4 stars out of 5)
Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn
The Lit Report by Sarah N. Harvey
My Heartbreak by Garrett Freymann-Weyr
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Best part about this list is that all but five titles are available at my library. I've already made one visit!

Great idea. Thanks, Kelly!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Best YA Books You Haven't Read

As a person who stopped being a young adult nearly 25 years ago but who never outgrew a love for YA stories, I was thrilled to be asked to participate in YAnnabe’sThe Best YA Books You Haven’t Read” Day. I’m always game for a chance to talk about my favorite YA titles.

But Kelly over at YAnnabe made things a little more challenging. Rather than have us wax rhapsodic about the books everyone already knows are fantastic reads, she asked those of us willing to scan our YA libraries for titles that we loved that maybe have continued to fly under the radar when it comes to mainstream love.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Tale of Two Kitties

Instead of using this blog as a progress tracker, I've created a special place where I'll confess my failure update my efforts to whittle down my TBR pile. I invite anyone who might want to tackle the same job - to plow through an embarrassingly high number of books to be read - to post their progress in the comments section over yonder.

So, for Christmas we got our kids two kittens. And what a story...

For those who hate cats or who couldn't care in the least, I'll just break here so you can leave quietly to go pet the dog.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Report Card 1

Book: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Date Finished: Jan. 3, 2010
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5) - Great read but requires dedication to get through the confusing first third of the book.
Updated Number of Books TBR: 294

Next Book: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Summary: Helen died 130 years ago as a young woman. Unable to enter heaven because of a sense of guilt she carried at death, she has been silent and invisible but conscious and sociable across the generations. Her spirit has been sustained by its attachment to one living human host after another, including a poet and, most recently, a high-school English teacher. While she sits through his class one day, she becomes aware of James and he–unlike the mortals all around them–is aware of her as well. James, who also died years earlier, inhabits the body of a contemporary teen, Billy. James and Helen fall in love, he shows her how to inhabit the body of a person whose spirit has died but who still lives and breathes, and the two begin to unfold the mysteries of their own pasts and those of their adolescent hosts. Jenny, whose body Helen now uses, is the only child of strict religious parents who controlled her beyond what her spirit could endure. Billy's spirit left his body after a string of tragedies resulting from drug abuse and domestic violence. James and Helen court in both modern and old-fashioned ways; here is a novel in which explicit sex is far from gratuitous or formulaic. Whitcomb writes with a grace that befits Helen's more modulated world while depicting contemporary society with sharp insight.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Decade

I think I'm just under the wire for posting on the first day of the new year. I'm not sure if I'm correct in saying we're in a new decade given all the confusion on whether or not 2000 was the last year of the 1990s decade or the first year of the 2000s decade. I'm going with 2000 as Year 1 and 2009 as year 10, thus making 2010 part of a new decade.

Regardless, as part of my plan to read through as much of my TBR pile as possible in 2010, I'm going to try posting my progress here. If I have a sense of accountability, even if it is only virtual and basically only to myself, maybe I'll stick with the plan. Kind of like weighing in at Weight Watchers every week.

Number of books on TBR pile: 295 (this number may change once I go through the list and whittle it down to a true reflection of what I actually will read vs. what I will never read)

Book chosen: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Summary: For years, three factions—Townies, Cadets (city kids doing a six-week outdoor education program), and Jellicoe School students—have engaged in teen war games in the Australian countryside, defending territorial borders, negotiating for assets, and even taking hostages. Taylor Markham, a 17-year-old who was abandoned years ago by her mother, takes on leadership of the boarding school's six Houses. Plagued with doubts about being boss, she's not sure she can handle her Cadet counterpart, Jonah Griggs, whom she met several years before while running away to find her mother. When Hannah, a sort of house mother who has taken Taylor under her wing, disappears, Taylor puzzles over the book manuscript the woman left behind. Hannah's tale involves a tragic car accident on the Jellicoe Road more than 20 years earlier. Only three children survived, and Taylor discovers that this trio, plus a Cadet and a Townie, developed an epic friendship that was the foundation of the many mysteries in her life and identity, as well as of the war games.

Status: Page 45 (out of 419)

Now this is the kind of New Year's resolution I can live with.