Monday, January 17, 2011

In Which I Do a Happy Dance

I'm thrilled to have new followers! When and if I break 10, I may just fall over! I am extra grateful to the Comment Challenge (in previous post) for meeting some great new people already! Because I don't currently have internet at home (various reasons, usually a good thing), I tend to write my posts, save to my flash drive and upload from work.....usually off the clock. : ) This is one long one that I started Thursday. Enjoy!

“Once there was the sun, bright and warm and wonderful, shining like the love within my heart. Now there’s no more sun, Winter has killed everything…”

These lines are from a song from the 1994 animated film Thumbelina. I’m starting to feel that way about winter. The truth is I’m not getting any younger, and the cold hurts. I’ve spent the majority of the week cold. Cold feet…chilled to the core. The bulk of my thoughts these days, unless preoccupied by something important, have been consumed by thoughts of somewhere warm.....or hot tubs. *sigh* Sadly, the warmest I get tends to be in my bed just before time to get up, or so it seems.

Not that this has anything to do with anything. I’m just whining.

Now that that part is over, I can get back to books. Much more pleasant subject matter.

Earlier, I mentioned that I had finished Kiersten White’s novel Paranormalcy.

I enjoyed this story. I wasn’t sure at first if I would, to be honest. C’mon, a perky teenage girl with a pink sparkly taser that she has nicknamed “Tasey”? Ok, so she tracks down paranormals (werewolves, vampires, etc.) for an organization called the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency), and has a mermaid for a best friend, that‘s interesting. Her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, and she has the ability to see through the glamours of the paranormals. All pretty interesting. The way the faeries transport her along the faerie paths…..ok, I’ll read it. So I read it, and I really did enjoy it.

This book has well written, believable characters (in spite of many of them being paranormals), a really interesting, super cute boy, engaging plot, and humor. What is not to love?

I learned not to make assumptions about girls who like pink and watch cheesy teen angst-y dramas on tv, because sometimes, all that girl wants is to be ‘normal’, when she is anything but. The author posted very eloquently about this here.

My new favorite thing about this debut novel is the fact that I walked into my sister’s house the other day and my niece was holding a copy up to me pretty much as I walked in the room. A friend of hers had given it to her, and she wanted to share it with me. Apparently, she read it in 3 days, and loved it. I was excited to tell her that I had already read it, so we could talk about it then and there. She loved how romantic the story was, and was super excited when I told her that there would be two more. The fact that she has to wait until fall for the second installment didn’t seem to phase her too much, “That just gives me time to read it again.” she said. I love sharing books with the kids in my life! Funny side note: when her Mom had asked her if there were any bad words in it (my niece is 12), she replied, “Nope, she just says ‘Bleep’.” : )

Thursday, I read Amelia and Eleanor Go For A Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Brian Selznick. This is one of those picture books that, though based on actual events, completely captures the imagination. I don’t know if kids would react to it the way I did, but as a ‘grown up’ who is fascinated by both Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart, I found the story wondrous. It brings to light so many things that are different, very different today than when this takes place, which is 1933. Few women were as bold and adventurous as these two famously independent women. It was considered too bold for a woman to drive in 1933 (something Eleanor loved to do), much less fly an airplane. Secret Service is much more rigid, and rightfully so, not to mention much harder to slip past. The nighttime flight over Washington D.C., and subsequent car ride would never be able to happen today. But then, we women take driving for granted today. We take the fact that we have more freedoms and opportunities today completely for granted. We forget what our, um, foremothers ? went through to get us to this point. I learned many things just because of this book (looking things up on the internet can be very distracting-so easy to get off on tangents and lose a whole day).

The way Ms. Ryan talks about gloves, and stars, and the White House dinner is rich with detail. She is eloquent and paints such a vivid picture there is almost no need for illustration. Mr. Selznick, however has provided amazing artwork that could almost tell the story in itself. What really struck me the most was that I had seen this book around the library for some time, possibly years, and hadn’t ‘gotten around’ to reading it until that day. How many more wonderful books am I missing out on? May I live to 100 and still not have read all the books I want to read. So many great books, so little time to read them all. What a problem to have.

This brings me to something else I did that day. I listened to the first part of the audio version of The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams while I ate my lunch. (and a little longer….) Wow. I had been told it was wonderful. I had been told it was powerful. I was not prepared for it apparently. It brought me to tears, I was so moved. This book…..and I have not even finished the first “part”. (I downloaded this from our digital library, it comes in 5 ‘parts’, which is like 5 discs if it were on CD.) --"Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father's multiple wives and her twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. Or at least without questioning them much--if you don't count her secret visits to the Ironton County Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her occasional meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of marrying a man who is chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her sixty-year-old uncle, and her parents are powerless against him, Kyra must confront the increasingly violent lengths to which the Prophet and his followers are prepared to go to enforce his will over the entire community." (Copied from the above linked Overdrive site) -- I just passed the point where Kyra has discovered the Bookmobile and read her first fiction book. The book? Bridge to Terebithia. Yeah. She is so amazed and moved by this book, and has so many questions, yet she has no one to whom she can talk about it. How frustrating and sad that would be. Because of her faith, she should not be anywhere near a public library with its “brainwashing books” whether or not it is on wheels. She definitely shouldn’t be reading fiction. This imaginative and sensitive young girl in imminent danger of being married off, so eloquently read by Jenna Lamia, went strait to my heart. I cannot wait, and yet am afraid to listen to more of her story. The work is fiction, but for how many girls can it be reality? I shudder to think. Yes, I have to finish this one for sure.


  1. Not that I want to play a part in making you fall over or anything, but I'm enjoying your blog and had to add myself as a follower! I love the story about your niece liking the same book. Sharing book love, especially with nieces and nephews and the kids in our life, is an awesome thing.

  2. Thanks so much! I am very glad that I found your blog as well. : ) I love sharing books, which is probably why I started this blog in the first place.

  3. I loved the Amelia and Eleanor one so much, but just can't justify it for my middle school library. Well...

  4. I'm glad that the Comment Challenge is working out for you. To get you closer to your follower goal, I'm now a follower. Even though I'm still not sure exactly what that means.

  5. Ms. Yingling: it is my firm opinion that middle schoolers (well, everyone really) should read more picture books. But, I do understand maybe it would be frowned upon to have a picture book section in a middle school library. Sadly.

    MotherReader: Welcome, and thank you for visiting....and following. I am honored to have any followers at all, and grateful. Maybe I am doing something right. : )