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January Books

Posted by KristoCat, 02 February 2011 · 1704 views

Because of a huge blizzard, the library closed today and so I get to sit here nice and cozy in my PJs and blog--and try not to think about digging out from under a foot of snow. It could be a lot worse, though. At least I don't have to go in to work today, like Dad, or work from home today, like Rich.

I saw this on Whedonesque, which is a fan-run blog that aggregates all news related to Joss Whedon. It's called "Ten catch phrases you swore you'd never use (and when you used them). A cool Firefly quote is on there, as well as "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." :D

Anyway, I should get to the books.

In-Between: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green. Fantastic story about two teens, one gay and one straight, both named Will Grayson, who run into each other in a very unlikely corner of Chicago. Their lives suddenly intersect in interesting ways when one Will Grayson starts dating the other Will Grayson's best friend. Highly recommended for high schoolers.

Under 200 Pages:
  • Iggie's House by Judy Blume. I don't remember reading this as a kid so I wanted to take a look. Good story about racism for kids, but a bit outdated in its terminology (it was written in the 60s I believe).
  • The World According to Humphrey by Betty Birney. This was an utterly charming story about a classroom hamster named Humphrey who is taken home for the weekend in turns with members of an elementary school class. He helps the kids solve problems over those weekends in funny and touching ways. I really enjoyed this one!
  • I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron. My expectations were too high for this one, or maybe I'm too young to appreciate it. My 60+ coworker was laughing her butt off while reading it, but I didn't find too much of it very funny. Oh well.
  • Just Grace and the Terrible Tutu by Charise Harper. Another great Just Grace story. Perfect for elementary school-aged girls looking for a realistic story with a fun heroine.
Regular Books:
  • Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve. Cool sci-fi with a steampunk-like twist to it, with a smart, brave heroine. When the next book comes out, I'll read it!
  • Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell. This book was odd, but fairly original in concept, so points to Jonell for that.
  • Fool Moon and Grave Peril by Jim Butcher Books 2 and 3 of the Dresden files, which is a very fun, very action-packed series with supernatural bad guys and a main character who is Chicago's only openly practicing wizard.
  • Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg. Another story set in Chicago, this one during WWII. Of course it's a sad story, but also very well-written and absorbing. I didn't want to put it down.
  • The River by Mary Jane Beaufrand. This would have been a pretty decent mystery for teens, except the main character suffers from extreme stupidity of the "don't go in that dangerous place alone, you idiot" variety.
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. Another enjoyable nonfiction offering from Bryson, this time going into the history of common household features and objects.
  • Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson. A British teen is unexpectedly invited to an A-list party with the popular kids from her high school. After experiencing her very first kiss with a cute boy, the boy immediately keels over and dies. She then tries to figure out why he died/who killed him.
  • Crash Into Me by Albert Borris. Ultimately uplifting story about four suicidal teens who go on a road trip to see the grave sites of celebrity suicides. I'm kind of surprised that this book isn't more mainstream, despite its controversial subject matter.
  • The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card. Another great new book by Card, this time about a boy named Danny who can create holes in space-time called gates that will instantly transport people and objects into another location. A strong link to Norse mythology adds another dimension of interest.
  • The Enemy by Charlie Higson. Finally, a good zombie story for teenagers! All the grown-ups in this book have succumbed to the zombie disease, leaving the under-seventeens to fend for themselves in post-apocalyptic London. The story is action-packed and complex--very good!
I read 11 official books, and listed a total of 16. And I read quite a few good ones last month! Let's hope February turns out well, too.

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