orangerful: (belle and a book)
Well, this is a bit embarrassing. I only finished ONE book this month (not counting the picture books I browsed when they arrived on the new cart). I have been reading but I just didn't finish ANYTHING this month. Too much going on, lots of books that just lost me about halfway or had holds so I had to return them and go back on the wait list.

This is the ONE book I read from start to finish (and, oddly enough, I did that in an hour during my lunch break one day):

Empire State: A Love Story (or Not)Empire State: A Love Story by Jason Shiga

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Jason Shiga is definitely becoming a must-read author for me.

This story is probably representative of a lot of people's lives, especially those that talk themselves out of taking the next steps in becoming an adult, those who wait too late.

Great story, quick read, worth picking up.




I am going to give a shout-out to the new Mo Willems books though because it made me tear up while reading it at my desk:

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New ArrivalsWelcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals by Mo Willems

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Okay, this is it - you can stop trying to publish the perfect book to give to new parents, Mo Willems has done it. You're not going to top this. Funny, bittersweet, and full of love. I laughed, I cried, and I wished that every child born from now on went home with this book.

Simple and Beautiful.



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September should be a more impressive list since I have a bunch of books I'm 2/3 of the way through and I am GOING TO FINISH THEM DAGNABIT!

How was everyone else's reading list this month? If I missed your post, please link in the comments!
orangerful: (belle and a book)
I can't seem to settle on my next read so I sorta stalled this month trying to find what to read next. I tried to start the audio version of 'The Gunslinger' by Stephen King so I would be ready for the movie, but the reader just didn't do it for me.

Anyway, this is why most of this month was children's books and comics!

RoughneckRoughneck by Jeff Lemire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


What a book. Intense and real, raw and gritty. Fantastic use of the medium to tell this story, one that could be happening right now. Lemire continues to put out top notch work at a surprising rate!



Real FriendsReal Friends by Shannon Hale

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A worthy shelf-mate for Smile, El Deafo, and Roller Girl - Shannon Hale takes a look back at her elementary school friendships and her family life, mostly dealing with being a middle child. It's honest and about as raw as you can get for a book for kids.

Even though Shannon's story takes place in the late 70s/early 80s, every kid today will identify with her struggle between being true to herself and wanting to belong.

4 stars and ALL THE FEELS!



Black Hammer, Vol. 1: Secret OriginsBlack Hammer, Vol. 1: Secret Origins by Jeff Lemire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Wow, what a great first trade! I'm really glad Lemire finally got around to making this book a reality. It's both a great new story and one that uses classic tropes to really pull you in. Cannot wait for the second collection!



Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt  (Narwhal and Jelly)Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This series is a great next step after my beloved 'Elephant and Piggy' books. Two best friends who delight in each other's company and just try to have a good time and also eat waffles.



Ronit & JamilRonit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Such a great idea, but poorly executed. I couldn't even bring myself to finish it and it is a very short book written in verse. I want someone else to take this idea and run with it, write a prose novel that can go into more details of the characters and the story.

Very disappointed. :(



Ms. Marvel, Vol. 6: Civil War IIMs. Marvel, Vol. 6: Civil War II by G. Willow Wilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Another solid story arc (even if it borrows a plot line from Minority Report). Wish Kamala Khan was in the line up for a Marvel Movie.



Captain Pug: The Dog Who Sailed the SeasCaptain Pug: The Dog Who Sailed the Seas by Laura James

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Cute little early chapter book, great for kids who are just starting out with the longer reads. Pug is adorable and his main goal in life is finding strawberry tarts so I could identify with his struggle. :)



My Favorite Thing Is MonstersMy Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


That was not at all what I expected which probably made it even more enjoyable as I tried to wrap my head around it. This is definitely "literary fiction" in graphic novel format. If anyone scoffs at your graphic novel reading, give them this book and watch as they have to sit down and examine each page, sometimes turning the book on its side to read the notes scribbled near the spine.

Just enough closure to make me feel finished with the book but enough loose ends that I will definitely pick up the second book.


I just started listening to Eddie Izzard's autobiography "Believe Me" which has to be one of the most ridiculous audiobooks I've ever heard because Eddie cannot stay on task. He has gone off book several times, in true Izzard fashion. It's like a whole other book because he is thinking of things he didn't say (or sometimes forgetting he is going to say) and begins to go off on a little tangent.

I also started the audio of 'The Awkward thoughts of W. Kamau Bell' but as I'm not a huge fan of his, when I hit the part that turned into more biography and less musings, I kinda zoned out. And then my Eddie Izzard book came in and he got bumped so I might come back to this, I might not.
orangerful: (belle and a book)
This was a light month, finished off a few books but never really got "hooked" on anything else. I have a few that I am going to mark as "finished" even though I technically didn't read to the last page - they were more collections of things so it wasn't like I missed out on a twist ending (unless David McCullough's last speech at a college graduation was just "fuck it, you guys are SCREWED!" but I doubt that)

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African ChildhoodBorn a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Yes, five stars because this audiobook is such a great listen. This is a sit-in-the-driveway-happy-I-have-to-drive-to-that-meeting audiobook.

Noah is a fantastic storyteller and I could listen to him recount his childhood memories for another 7 CDs. His narration felt almost conversational and I'm glad I listened to the book so I could hear the African words and all of the accents of the region that he puts on.

The book made me think about race and identity in new ways and I hope lots of people listen to his story and try to put themselves in the shoes of someone who has lived a very different life from them.

Loved it.



Gwendy's Button BoxGwendy's Button Box by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


3.5 stars

This is more of a short story/novella and it is a pretty solid one, though if you were expecting something with more depth, you'll be disappointed. It feels more like an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' than anything else, especially with the omniscient narrator. Creepy through-out with some real scares near the end.



Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea  (Narwhal and Jelly)Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


OMG THE CUTEST! Great for beginner readers, but the adorableness will appeal to everyone. And the waffles. Because who doesn't love waffles?



The Upside of UnrequitedThe Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


3.5 stars. It was cute but I didn't find it as interesting as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. That's the problem with second books, they have a lot to live up to! But I did enjoy the story. I'm sure many teens will identify with Molly and her list of crushes, never really being brave enough to confess that you like someone to that actual person.

If you like family stories, a little bit of romance, and super mega happy endings, you'll enjoy this.



Jabari JumpsJabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Jabari is MUCH braver than me! That high dive is really high.

A sweet little story about a boy jumping off the high dive at his public pool. Great illustrations and simple text will make this a hit with storytime crowds or just reading together. Especially if you are fans of the swimming pool.



Goldfish GhostGoldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


About as odd as you would expect a picture book by Lemony Snicket to be! I might save this one for a Halloween storytime as it has a ghost, but isn't exactly scary. Perfect for little ones that want a ghost story.



The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand ForThe American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For by David McCullough

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I didn't technically "finish" this but as it was a collection of McCullough's speeches from over the past several years, I got the gist of it when my due date came up at the library. It was nice to sit and read some positive thoughts on America - our past, our future and then some. Each word was still relevant even for the speeches that happened over twenty years ago. I might pick it up again once the request list goes down at the library. It was a nice change of pace and a good reminder that we are always changing and growing as a country, but at the same time we still face many of the same struggles we have always faced - and that is okay because we keep going.



And Then You're Dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling over NiagaraAnd Then You're Dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling over Niagara by Cody Cassidy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Fun collection of pieces about different ways to die or be in pain. I was reading this on vacation and it got a little bit repetitive the last two thirds, because, it turns out, humans are pretty squishy in certain situation - like when there is no oxygen or you crush us. Who knew! Still, I had a lot of fun shouting out random anecdotes ("The most painful place to be stung by a bee is inside your nose, FYI!") at my family while we were sitting around.




Currently Reading/Listening:


P.S. I'm back home again yay!!!! It was a long week in Wisconsin but we are back. Obviously, I have fallen behind on the ol' friends list. I've skimmed a bit but if I try to comment on all the posts, I will never sleep again LOL. You guys are all so chatty. <3

TTFN Back to reality (and work) tomorrow!
orangerful: (belle and a book)
Not my most prolific month but one of the best books of the year is on this list, no doubt.

The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild WestThe Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West by Steve Sheinkin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Cute collection of comics that place a Rabbi in the middle of the old west where he dispenses helpful advice to the townsfolk. Lots of little jokes.

Sheinkin mentions in the notes that he was inspired to write this because he had two favorite books as a kid - a book of Jewish wit and wisdom and a book about the Wild West so he put them together to create this. It really is a book for all ages when it comes to the lessons that are taught through each little story.



Anything But Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of MagicAnything But Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Just fantastic - a true story of an amazing women who performed magic for 60 years! Gorgeous illustrations and short, to the point text makes this a great book for a read-aloud or for early elementary school students.

Just have your "How to do magic tricks" book ready to go after they read this because it is sure to inspire them!



The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Read this book.
Get it into the hands of every teen out there.
Put yourself into the shoes of this teen girl.

This book sucked me in and did not let go. This is a world I know so little about yet struggle to understand. I know that Starr doesn't represent every African-American teenage girl in the world, but she represents some of them, and being put into her shoes, living her life, reading her story...

Yes, it is fiction, but Thomas draws from the stories that have been around us for years now, from Ferguson and Baltimore and, sadly, so many other places.

Just read it. And talk about it.



NewsPrintsNewsPrints by Ru Xu

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I think this book suffered from over-hype for me. The blurbs on the back from some of my favorite graphic novel writers, the positive reviews, the Scholastic imprint - such high hopes!

And it just flopped for me. It didn't feel like anything new, it took a long time for anything to really happen and by then, I was already over the book.

This might be a hit with younger kids who are scrounging for something while they wait for the next 'Amulet' book or after they have finished off 'Bone' but it's not good enough for me to want to recommend it. :\



Scrappy Little NobodyScrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was so much fun to listen to because Anna read it and, yeah.

Though now I'm going to go pick up the book to find the photos she references and maybe jot down a few quotes because she said some funny stuff.



The Midnight War of Mateo MartinezThe Midnight War of Mateo Martinez by Robin Yardi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


3.5 stars (joins the ranks of people saying "When do we get half stars, GoodReads?)

Cute story, perfect for upper elementary school readers who want something quirky.

Mateo is already annoyed that his parents want him to give his little sister his old tricycle. He's tired of having to watch after her and share with her. To top it off, his ex-friend Johnny has joined a group of bullies who pick on his new friend Ashwin. But he doesn't have time for that right now, because as he sits looking out the window late one night he sees something that makes him question his own sanity - two skunks sneak into his yard and steal the tricycle!

There's a lot going on in this book and I am curious how much of it the target audience picks up on. The story of the animals don't run parallel to Mateo's real world problems, but they do let him reflect on what is happening in his backyard and the schoolyard.



Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFFMoon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFF by Amy Reeder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Very cute beginning to a series. Not perfect, but fun. Crazy cliffhanger so now I pretty much have to read book 2!



Saga, Vol. 7Saga, Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


'Saga' is an amazing series that always pulls me in, no matter how long it has been since I read the last volume. Amazing artwork, a story that twists and turns like a roller coaster. This volume works even better because it is one big story arc.

But, damn. Those last few pages wrecked me. I seriously had to take a moment after closing the book.

Still the best on-going series.



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orangerful: (book belle // orangerful)
Honestly, at this point, the Russians have had access to my info for a few years now and nothing has happened so...I'm just going to keep posting here until the day LJ disappears or you all start ignoring me completely. :)

Really it is so hard to go to a new site where you get no comments on anything. I am so spoiled now with all my wonderful, chatty LJ friends!

Here's what I read in March. Not as impressive as February but still some good stuff in the mix!

The Daily Show: An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and GuestsThe Daily Show: An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests by Chris Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I read half of this and then listened to the rest. I was a little disappointed the audiobook wasn't narrated by anyone from the show but that would be pretty amazing to get that cast back together. That being said, the readers did a wonderful job mimicking the voices and tone where they could without it being too distracting.

I was watching the Daily Show with Craig Kilborn in high school and I remember when it changed hands to Jon Stewart. I have always been relatively progressive/liberal in my world view, so I wouldn't say that Jon changed that, but The Daily Show did let me know that I was not alone in thinking that way, it made me want to stay up to date on the news, it made me understand how politics really work.

The show, Stewart's version of the show, played a HUGE role in my young adult life and this book does an amazing job covering its evolution over the course of 12 years. If you are a fan of the show, if you remember watching it every night, if you attended the 'Rally for Sanity' -- pick up this book or give it a listen. You will be impressed by how much hard work this entire cast and crew put into keeping us both informed and entertained all these years, and how that ended up changing the media as a whole.



MooseMoose by Max de Radiguès

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I read this because we were discussing how it made it onto lots of top comic lists for teen readers but we cataloged it in adult. I understand the cataloging since our YA section is both a mix of middle and high school materials and this definitely is very mature content.

The story deals with bullying, and not just being picked on, but physical violence and a level of abuse that was disturbing.

I think it is a powerful story that will find its way into the hands of readers that need to find it, but I can understand why we opted to put it in the adult collection.



Me and Marvin GardensMe and Marvin Gardens by A.S. King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A.S. King is one of my favorite young adult authors so I was surprised to see this title cataloged as Children's Fiction. It still has that trademark King bit of magical realism, but the characters and themes run a little bit younger, or maybe just things that work for a wider age range of readers.

While not my favorite King book, this has a great story to give to kids who have a passion about the environment and interest in humans finding that balance between nature and progress. Definitely for the more thinky middle school reader who has already realized that their parents are not perfect and that the world has shades of gray.



Paper Girls, Vol. 2Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Even better than the first volume (I did not think that would be possible). This series is amazing.

Don't read anything about it, don't find spoilers, just find the books and read them.



Samanthasaurus RexSamanthasaurus Rex by B.B. Mandell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


How could I not read this? Adorable dinosaur with my name. The trick with the diamond seemed like a stretch. If there is a Samantha in your life, this is a solid purchase.



I Am Jim HensonI Am Jim Henson by Brad Meltzer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Sweet and simple book, this would be great for a read-aloud to older elementary kids. The author does not mention that Jim has passed away, though kids can see it if they look at the timeline included on the last couple pages.

One of my personal heroes and I'm always glad to see his story being told and shared.



They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice MovementThey Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I think Lowery does a good job of staying objective in his recounting of the tumult of the last few years. I knew about most of these events, but not all of them, and lumping them all together in this book, realizing that this is just a snapshot of two years in America, you can't help but wonder what, if anything, has changed.

The saddest part is how optimistic the afterward sounds when it comes to continuing to deal with these issues as a country...I feel like this has all be pushed out of the spotlight since November and the national rhetoric is not one that encourages discussion of racial issues.



The Private EyeThe Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


It is becoming VERY DISTURBING that every book I pick up this year has some kind of "THE CLOUD WILL END US ALL!" message to it...and Private Eye wasn't even a NEW book!

BKV does it again with a twisted story about a not-to-distant future where the world has gone to shit and, as usual, most people just deal with it. Loved the characters and their hints of backstory. I'm kind of glad this is a one-off, that the little teases are all we get and we have to make it up from there. The main story is enough to satisfy.

Sci-Fi Noir Action Thriller Graphic Novel.



Decelerate BlueDecelerate Blue by Adam Rapp

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Another commentary on our short-attention span world. I liked the ideas here but I wish it had a little more to it all. I never felt like I got to know Angela and Gladys as well as I could have.

Still, some cool themes and ideas to talk about.



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orangerful: (book belle // orangerful)
In which I discover I like novels written in verse and then become a raving Neal Shusterman fangirl again:

Skip School, Fly to Space: A Pearls Before Swine CollectionSkip School, Fly to Space: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan Pastis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


One too many Crocodile comics in this one for me as they tend to be my least favorite of the strips. Not sure why but this one didn't have as many stand-out strips as the other two.



The 13 ClocksThe 13 Clocks by James Thurber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


My uncle that worked in a bookstore gave me a copy of this quirky title back in 1990. I remembered loving it though I couldn't tell you a thing about it. So when I found it in my parent's garage, I decided to read it again to see if the magic was still there.

James Thurber's humor is not for the uninitiated. He loves wordplay, rhyming and non-sequitur silliness. My Mom had copies of his short stories so I was familiar with his quirky sense of humor before starting this book, which reads like a blend of Dr. Seuss and Peter Beagle if they were both slightly tipsy.

It's a children's book but also not...you have to be old enough to get the nods and winks to how fairy tales work.

It's an odd book, but I love it.



Princess Leia: Royal Rebel (Backstories)Princess Leia: Royal Rebel by Calliope Glass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Written as though it was a real biography, this book doesn't really have any new information about Leia, which was kind of disappointing. The book is a short 125 pages which I guess all that is canon now according to Disney. Though this could be used as a good teaching tool for what a biography should look like since it includes a chronology, timeline and even an index!



Catching a StoryfishCatching a Storyfish by Janice N. Harrington

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I don't know why I always shy away from books written in verse. I don't consider myself a fan of poetry so I suppose the idea of reading a story in that format doesn't appeal to me. Yet the few times I have taken a chance, I have been very impressed. This is one of those times.

The short lines of verse are more powerful than any prose paragraph, capturing Katharen's emotions in a way that a normal sentence might not.

This is a beautiful story about a girl who moves from Alabama to a town further north, where she hides her talent for telling stories after the other kids mock her accent. She finds solace with her grandfather, hanging out with him and talking about fishing - well, she thinks he is talking about fishing, but he is giving her little life lessons.

Great story for middle grade readers (4th grade and up) and this actually might be a good pick for someone reading out loud to a classroom of students.



Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)Scythe by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I loved this book, it's my favorite kind of science fiction - taking something to an extreme and playing out the consequences. In this case, we have The Cloud becoming the all knowing Thunderhead and science conquering death.

What I really liked about this book was that there were so many plot lines that could have been dragged out but instead were wrapped up by the end, leaving us with new options for book 2. There were plenty of loose ends but nothing so frustrating as to make you feel like you are being strung along as a reader. So if you are sick of series, fear not, you can read 'Scythe' and enjoy it.

I'm surprised this is a series because I think this first book wraps things up relatively well - but I said the same thing about 'Unwind' and that turned into an amazing series. So I will definitely pick up the second book when it comes out.



This Is Our StoryThis Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Great mystery thriller, definitely would be great for fans of shows like Riverdale or Veronica Mars.

I was a little annoyed by how often the author had characters roll their eyes or put their hands on someone else to "frame their face" - these were overused and I'm not sure why the editor didn't flag them.

You'll also need to suspend your disbelief for how much a high school student would be allowed to do in a criminal case, no matter how small the town.

But whatever, if you can overlook those things, the story was tight enough that I could not stop reading and I had to know what would happen next.



Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights CaseLoving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I didn't realize this was a novel in verse when I ordered it, but as I had just finished another fantastic book in verse, I decided to read it. I am so glad I did. The book and the illustrations weave a beautiful story about two people in love, just trying to live their lives while a racist world spins around them. The story is told alternating voices between Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter Loving. The focus is on their relationship and personal suffering more than the actual Civil Rights case.

Powell conducted interviews and did lots of research to make the story as real as possible. I was really impressed and highly recommend this title. Sadly, it is still relevant in 2017. As we struggle for equality for all, it is good to read a story like that, about the people behind the headlines and what they might think or feel. The Lovings did not set out to be the poster couple for interracial marriage, they just wanted to be able to live their lives, unafraid.



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orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)
If you're looking to add to your TBR pile, this year's Nebula Award nominees are up. There are even a few novellas/short stories you can access online. I just pulled all the young adult book nominees to flip through.

Also, Netflix is going to air the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 starting April 14!!!!!!! I don't know why this fell off my radar, but what a pleasant surprise to find this while clicking around the web today. I could use some good laughs!

We had 35 babies at the program this morning and I am just spent...debating taking some sick leave and just going home and crashing...maybe I'll try to get to lunch break at least...blah
orangerful: (book belle // orangerful)
So long January 2017. You were a strange month...though I think probably a reasonable portent of things to come.

ANYWAY, let's talk about BOOKS! Because I feel like I will be reading a lot of fantasy this year to escape reality. It will be the best way to relax.

The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy DogThe Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book is so well done on so many levels. It may be "children's fiction" but there is something here for readers of all ages. Gidwitz uses his passion for Medieval history and storytelling to weave a tale infused with real historical figures, locations, and legends that may inspire you to read beyond the book to find out more (and don't worry, Gidwitz includes an annotated bibliography to help get you started).

If you're read his previous series, A Tale Dark & Grimm, the same snarky humor pops up in this book as well. But there are also great discussion topics, like theology and prejudice, that make this story a little bit heavier than the fairy tale retellings.

It's funny, it's serious, it's light-hearted and also full of sorrow. A great read! And also, I've been told, a great listen! Bump this up on your TBR pile right now!



Burn Baby BurnBurn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Marisol Ramirez is the perfect narrator to give voice to a story taking place in New York City. Her voice is clear but she has just enough of the downtown accent to give the story the right feel. This is a great read for teens who like realistic fiction, coming of age stories. There are a few intense moments, but this is mostly a story about growing up.



Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I am seriously hovering over that 5th star right now, I just can't decide if it was amazing or not. It was pretty damn good. A great bit of science fiction, with enough of a thriller aspect to keep me up at night, turning the pages into the late hours. Fantastic!



The Girl Who Drank the MoonThe Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Glad to find another Newberry Award winner that I can approve of! Beautiful language, reminiscent of Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn with that mix of innocence and melancholy that both kids and adults will understand. Great fantasy story with magical characters that you will miss when you finish the book.



Unicorn vs. Goblins (Heavenly Nostrils, #3)Unicorn vs. Goblins by Dana Simpson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Another cute entry in this series. Phoebe's time at music camp was my favorite part.



Razzle Dazzle Unicorn (Heavenly Nostrils, #4)Razzle Dazzle Unicorn by Dana Simpson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Not the best in the series. Still adorable though.



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orangerful: (muppets kermit fozzie reading // lostaca)
Short list because HOLIDAYS! Just too much going on, distracted me from making time to read.

At least there were some good ones!

Descender, Volume Two: Machine MoonDescender, Volume Two: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


3.5 stars - This volume wasn't quite as engaging as the first, maybe because the story is starting to tread some familiar water to anyone who who is a fan of the sci-fi genre. Still, beautiful artwork and the characters are engaging enough that I want to know more about what happens next. This ends on a crazy cliffhanger !!!



As I DescendedAs I Descended by Robin Talley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Robin Talley does a really great job of reworking 'MacBeth' in our modern world. She didn't just copy+paste the story, she reinterpreted it to work with modern young adults and the hierarchy that exists in high school. That doesn't mean she had to hold back on the horrific aspects of the Scottish play.

MacBeth is my favorite of Shakespeare's tragedies, maybe my favorite play of his overall. I would be curious how someone unfamiliar with the play, who wasn't reading it because it was a retelling, would feel about this book. I know I enjoyed it a lot because I was looking for the parallel stories and really enjoying the new twists that Talley added.

If you're a fan of MacBeth, definitely pick this one up!



MooncopMooncop by Tom Gauld

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I'm not sure what to say about this short but not simple graphic novel. Gauld's sparse use of text means you can finish a first read through in a matter of minutes, but the story and the ideas behind it will stick with you.



Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Goodreads says this is a series, but it does NOT end on a giant cliffhanger, thank goodness! I started to slow down in my reading when I saw the "Brooklyn Brujas #1" in the record. I'm so tired of series.

Alejandra comes from a family of brujas, powerful witches that live in our world. But she isn't sure she wants to embrace that side of her. But her Deathday celebration is approaching, a ritual that will bind her powers to her for ever. Alex must decide if she wants to stay a bruja, like her mother and aunt and sisters - or just be a normal girl.

This book is a great blend of magic and Mexican folklore. I think it would be a great read for teens who read Harry Potter when they were younger and want more magical people living in our world stories. Lots of adventure, a bit of romance, and real characters from Mexican folklore. The author even included notes in the back of the book to let the reader know which magical creatures are part of established myth.

If there are more adventures of the Brooklyn Brujas, I will definitely pick them up! But I am glad that Alex's story was wrapped up at the end of this book.



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orangerful: (book abby reading)
I've been very distracted by holiday shopping this past week, mostly obsessing over what to get my parents because parents are HARD TO SHOP FOR! But I think I figured it out, and it is now December so that reminded me to post my book list for the month. Didn't read much (HOLIDAY DISTRACTIONS!) but I did read some good stuff! I'll probably make an end-of-the-year roundup post at some point too.

Books Read in November 2016

A Head Full of GhostsA Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I read this before bedtime and it did give me some creepy dreams! Good thriller/spooky and perfect for the Halloween season! I really loved the three different views of the same story, making you wonder which version was true and what you should believe.




Still Life with TornadoStill Life with Tornado by A.S. King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A.S. King is one of my all time favorite authors. I drop EVERYTHING when her new books come out. I've read almost all of her YA books (except for The Dust of 100 Dogs which I started but couldn't get into). I love her voice.

Still Life with Tornado would definitely be near the top of my list if I had to rank her books. I loved Sarah and I could understand her struggle, her angst, and also that feeling of "my problems aren't that big compared to some, I shouldn't complain" that so many of us have. But our feelings are valid, we should vent, we should talk to people about what bothers us, we shouldn't get ourselves become our own victims.

This is a great book for teens, young adults, and adults since the story focuses on not just 16-year old Sarah, but also her older brother and mother.

Beautiful, poetic, and real. Another winner from King.



Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His HomelandBest. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland by Dave Barry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Barry highlights some of the weird and wild bits of Florida while having a lot of fun. It starts out as a goofy "in defense of Florida" book but then morphs into a strange travelogue. Good for a giggle, especially if you've ever lived in Florida.




Demon Book 1Demon Book 1 by Jason Shiga

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I can't say Andy didn't warn me that this was messed up but....WOW! This book is so wrong and so right. I just hope that Shiga has a plan for where this will all end because this is a hell of a start!




Speaking American: Sneakers, Hoagies, and Soda Pop—An Illustrated Guide to How America TalksSpeaking American: Sneakers, Hoagies, and Soda Pop—An Illustrated Guide to How America Talks by Josh Katz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book is great to have on hand at a gathering with friends and family. We "read" it together in between the Thanksgiving meal and dessert.

You might remember taking the dialect quiz that Josh Katz posted online back in 2013. These are the more interesting results, presented with percentages and fun maps.

If you're worried about a family gathering this year and what to talk about, buy this book and take it with you! It will give you a good solid hour of "safe" discussion.


orangerful: (muppets kermit fozzie reading // lostaca)
I feel like I've been absent a lot, not sure what I have been doing with myself, mostly playing video games! Anyway, I will mark my return with a book post!

You can clearly see that I had a book hangover after Kindred and struggled to find anything that would hold my attention and be as good of a story. Which is why it is mostly comic books.

KindredKindred by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Amazing book and, sadly, still very relevant. I am thrilled they are teaching this in high schools. Talk about trying to teach empathy - Kindred puts you in the shoes of a modern Black woman and then sends that woman back in time to the antebellum South. I really enjoyed the whole book and found myself staying up late to finish it last night to see how it all ended. A modern classic.



The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A ManThe Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man by Tom King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This was so good, I did not want to stop reading it and when that final page happened, I wanted to call out "NOOOOOOO!" -- I didn't realize this was an ongoing series, I thought it would all be wrapped up in this trade. Now I have to wait to find out what happens next? Wow.



Prez, Vol. 1: Corndog-in-ChiefPrez, Vol. 1: Corndog-in-Chief by Mark Russell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Starts out ridiculous but manages to become eerily relevant.



Orange: The Complete Collection 2Orange: The Complete Collection 2 by Ichigo Takano

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I wasn't as fond of this volume as much book 1. I found Naho to be a tad annoying, more so than she was in the first book, making mistakes that were frustrating. I did enjoy the ending though, it just took me awhile to get into this book.



Giant Days, Vol. 2Giant Days, Vol. 2 by John Allison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I liked this one more than the first one but I'm still not enthralled by this series. Cute art style and quick read but not something I think I would recommend.



Mighty JackMighty Jack by Ben Hatke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Ben Hatke is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. This was a great start to a series that I am looking forward to reading more about. Fantastic reworking of the "Jack and the Beanstalk" story, updated and tweaked to be a modern adventure. My only regret is reading it so soon after it came out because now I have to wait for book 2!



A Child of BooksA Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book is beautiful. It is definitely the kind of picture book you could read to a young child and as they get older, they will want to read it and investigate the images. Jeffries' poetic words and Winston's artwork create a new and magical world of words.



I Am a StoryI Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Deceptively simple, this book could lead to a lot of conversations with your child about the power of stories and the history of how humans have shared their stories.

And, of course, it mentions public libraries so it gets bonus points for that!

I think this would be a great book to take when visiting a classroom of 1st and 2nd graders.



Hamilton: The RevolutionHamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


While I was initially disappointed that Lin didn't read the entire book, this was still a fascinating look into the creation of a musical and how long it takes to go from page to stage. Lin reading the notes at the end was a treat though. If you like musical theater, this is a great listen and if you love Hamilton, you wont' want to miss out on all of Lin's notes and the evolution of this modern classic.



SpontaneousSpontaneous by Aaron Starmer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I really enjoyed the first 150 pages of this book. I couldn't put it down, I wanted to know what it all meant, where it was going, how would it all end. Then I it all suddenly came to a screeching halt. The plot stalled, the main characters voice went from quirky to obnoxious and it felt like the story was grasping for an ending.

This could have been so good with a bit of editing but instead it felt like it started as one kind of story and then lost its way for about 100 pages. I won't lie, I sped read the last bit of this book, hoping to find out what the ending would be.

I think I'm just spoiled by authors like A.S. King who know how to right real teen voices dealing with real teens issues but still get in a bit of magical realism - like tripping on dead bat water, communicating with plane passengers as they fly overhead or imagining your boyfriend building a helicopter in the back yard. When this book started, I was hoping Starmer had a vision of what it all meant, how it would start silly but end up giving us glimpse into a side of teenage life we hadn't thought about. Instead it just randomly exploded all over and left me feeling NOT invigorated.



Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'rygothRat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'rygoth by Kurtis J. Wiebe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Just as much fun - actually, maybe more? - that the first one. A bit more story, a bit more depth, really a great read and a lot of fun!




I'm *almost* done with Head Full of Ghosts which I wanted to finish on Halloween but I was SO TIRED last night I kept dozing off while reading!

I'm really hoping the new A.S. King shows up on my desk today or tomorrow. I can see it is in transit to me...she is one of my favorite authors and I drop everything when her new books come out.
orangerful: (pigeon w books // orangerful)
#librarianproblems all the new books look so good! I'm taking them all! #books #reading


THIS. This is what happens when I decide to read book reviews, start following Jon Scalzi's blog and then a new cart of books arrives in delivery and I get first dibs.

And also when you are allowed 5 renewals of books so you just keep them on your desk because you know there is no space on the shelf anyway and you do want to read them eventually (yes, I think if you click back to the last time I posted a picture of the pile of books on my desk, two of these were probably there. I want to read Exit, Pursued by a Bear but I know the subject matter is going to be intense and upsetting and I gotta be in the right mood.)

I can build a small fort with all these books!

And to top it off, I'm reading a non-library book right now! Sylvia has to read Kindred by Octavia Butler for school and it has been on my to-read list FOREVER so I took this as a sign. I really love it, I'm about halfway through and even though it was published in the mid-70s it, sadly, is still very relevant when it comes to history, race and gender and the United States.

At lunch today I started Prez which is hilarious and horrifying because, yeah, our politics are so screwed up, I could see a star of a viral video accidentally being elected President.

Oh, and I apparently hit my 80 book mark yesterday! Now, a few of those were picture books so I don't feel like I've really hit my goal, but by December I will definitely have read 80 chapter books of some kind. Go me!
orangerful: (book belle // orangerful)
This was a pretty great month with lots of really good books, some that I had been meaning to read for awhile and others that I stumbled upon (the dangers of helping with the new materials delivery is that I see all the shiny new graphic novels that I've never heard of before but sound awesome. Also the same danger of working with people who read a wide variety of books themselves and then you want to read what they say is good).

Citizen: An American LyricCitizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I've never really read a book of freeform poetry before. Luckily, Rankine eased me into it by starting with more of a prose style and then slowly moving into more of a poetry rhythm. A short little book with lots of powerful moments. These feelings and images will stick with me for awhile.





Batman: Earth One, Vol. 1Batman: Earth One, Vol. 1 by Geoff Johns

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I wasn't expecting much from yet another Batman comic but WOW! I loved the reimagining of Gotham and the Wayne family, and, of course, Alfred. This was not at all what I was expecting and really hard to put down - which I didn't! Read it all in one sitting.





Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


3.5 stars.

I didn't feel this one was quite as good as Batman. I don't know why it is so hard to write a good Wonder Woman story. Maybe it is because that she, like Thor, is just born awesome. She doesn't have the whole "death of her family" like Superman and Batman, nothing to really overcome so her origin story isn't quite as engaging. They tried to give her some mother issues but she came off more as a spoiled brat than a struggling hero.

Also, the art was just so typical...all the girls have their mouths hanging half open and they were supposed to be shocked when Diana came home wearing makeup but...um, she didn't look that much different from when she left.

I love that in a world that is devoid of men and no influence from men, everyone likes to imagine women would still wear skimpy clothing and bustiers. Be real - it would be a land of sweatpants and t-shirts, maybe jean shorts when it is cold.





Dark Night: A True Batman StoryDark Night: A True Batman Story by Paul Dini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I really loved this book and the idea of using your superhero figures to help you cope with life. Dini really took a chance, bearing his soul like this, but he did it right and this is a great book, a great story, inspiring and affirming but not in a cliche kind of way? He's not perfect but that is what made it such a great read - I could identify with his insecurities even if I wasn't exactly like him.





Nobody Likes a GoblinNobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I don't usually include picture books on this list, but this one is just so fun and I feel like a lot of you with kiddos in your life might enjoy it because a lot of you grew up with 'Labyrinth' and other movies with weird yet adorable creatures. Cute story, great illustrations, perfect for the older picture book reader who likes a silly fantasy tale. Pair this with The Princess and the Pony for a quirky family read-together.





Lumberjanes, Vol. 4: Out of TimeLumberjanes, Vol. 4: Out of Time by Noelle Stevenson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This series just keeps getting better! What could have just been a goofy, one-note story about a group of goofy girl scouts has turned into an epic, layered tale of hardcore lady-types. Keep it coming Team Lumberjanes!





Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)Jackaby by William Ritter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Really enjoyed this book! I would suggest it for fans that lik "Monstrumologist" or "The X Files" - anything with a supernatural twist. I love that all the monsters are not "bad" and that it pulls from a variety of myths and stories to create the creature world.

I definitely plan on picking up the second book soon!





Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super FamousMs. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This might be my favorite Ms. Marvel arc yet! It is a lesson that all of us need to be reminded of from time to time - teens and adults. Just loved it.



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orangerful: (pigeon w books // orangerful)
Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through FilmFilmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film by Edward Ross

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is a fantastic graphic non-fiction exploration of the power of movies. I would compare it to Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art in how it helps break down things that we sort of know in our gut, but putting those feelings into words. At first I was like "Why is this a book? It should be a documentary!" but making that film would be impossible because getting the rights to all the movies references would cost millions! This graphic novel is an amazing introduction to film studies and remind you that those images on the big screen are more than just eye candy.




French MilkFrench Milk by Lucy Knisley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


About what I expected for an early book. It really is just Knisley's journal from her trip to Paris, nothing amazing, no real self discovery like in 'Relish'. But you can see all the potential in the pages for her books to come.




Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South BronxBecoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx by Sonia Manzano

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I can't think of anyway else to describe this but a first-person limited memoir. Sonia Manzano tells her own story of growing up in the South Bronx and channels her childhood, writing the book from her point of view as a girl growing up in the 1950s New York City. She does not make any reference to her life today, she does not talk about the things that happened to her as a child in the context of how we view things today. She and her mother are both beaten, they live in the ghetto, she talks about being felt up by strangers, but she tells it as if it is just happening, never stepping out of that moment.

This is definitely a young adult/adult biography, if only because of the abuse that takes place and the occasional f-bomb that gets dropped.

To me, this felt like an honest and revealing look at growing up as a child of Puerto Rican immigrants in the United States and also growing up a girl and also growing up ethnic but in a way that is both invisible and visible when it comes to the United States.




Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at WarGrunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Another fun bit of pop science reading, though this is perhaps more terrifying the the rest of her books because it connects to war. But still a very good read.




Orange: The Complete Collection 1Orange: The Complete Collection 1 by Ichigo Takano

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Picked this up because everyone who read it raved about it and I can see why! Not at all what I expected. Just a dash of sci-fi in this otherwise slice of life story, with a melancholy edge. I don't want to say any more because I read this spoiler free and so should you. Just have volume 2 ready to go because what a cliffhanger!




The World According to Star WarsThe World According to Star Wars by Cass R. Sunstein

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was so much fun to read! A great way of thinking about Star Wars and stories and how they reflect and effect our society. Even a casual fan can enjoy Sunstein's thoughts about this movie series.




GhostsGhosts by Raina Telgemeier

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Telgemeier's first foray into supernatural stories. I enjoyed it, but the bar was set really high by her previous three books. I just didn't feel like this one packed the emotional punch that Smile, Sisters, and Drama did. I'd say this is a 3.5 star book where Smile is a 5 star book. (which means it is still a really great book! She has just spoiled me!)




Buffy: The High School Years - Freaks & Geeks (Buffy: The High School Years, #1)Buffy: The High School Years - Freaks & Geeks by Faith Erin Hicks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Within the first few pages of this book, I knew Faith Erin Hicks was a Buffy fan. She had the tone just right - the Scooby Gang had all the same wit and snark of the show. This comic book takes place early in Season 1. It feels like a lost episode. It was really fun to read this, especially since I just finished rewatching the first season of the show recently!




We Stand On GuardWe Stand On Guard by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


WOW! This has all the makings of the next epic BKV series, lots of in common with Y The Last Man and Saga when it comes to using science fiction to examine issues happening today. I loved this so much and the final section left me in shock. I need the next volume now!




Saga, Volume 6Saga, Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Another great entry in the series, I really love little-kid Hazel, glad she is growing up now and part of the adventure rather than a prop. Her voice is a great mix of her father and mother.




The Ballad of Black TomThe Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I have never read any Lovecraft and I haven't read any real adult horror stories in a long time. This made me want to pick up both! It had all the flavor of a classic scary story, LaValle's book could have been published in the early 1900s, his prose felt both new and classic. And CREEPY!!!!!!! Made the mistake of trying to finish the book late one night and gave myself the heebie-jeebies!



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orangerful: (pigeon w books // orangerful)
So, instead of a "what I'm reading" wednesday, let's talk about what I am returning that I didn't get to read yet and will go back on the waitlist for until I have time to read them (ugh so many good books come out in the summer time!!!!!!)

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amelie Sarn

Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

Draw the Line by Laurent Linn

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang (they just reprinted this, I read it back when it first came out but I want to read it again IN COLOR)

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavalle

Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley

Bee and Puppycat created by Natasha Allegri (various authors)

Jackaby by William Ritter

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine (I have both the book and audio...)

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

Archie Volume 1 by Mark Waid

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

Klickitat by Peter Rock

Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

Why Would You Do That? by Andrea Tsurumi

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett

...so now I have to sit here and decide (darling you gotta let me know...) who gets to stay and who shall go (back on hold)
orangerful: (book abby reading)
Why did it feel like I read more? It felt like I read more! Oh well, at least they were all good reads!

GrootGroot by Jeff Loveness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Who would have thought that a comic book with Groot as the main character would have so many feels?? Great story, fantastic art, and some touching moments. <3



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The Art and Making of Hannibal: The Television SeriesThe Art and Making of Hannibal: The Television Series by Jesse McLean

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I love and adore this show SO MUCH. If you are a fan of the 'Hannibal' series and always wanted a closer look at the "death tableau" left behind by the season one and two killers, you will probably enjoy this book a little more than I did. I had to use my hand to cover up the images while I read the text as I am a total wuss and easily grossed out.

That being said, the book is a nice addition to your collection if you are a Fannibal BUT if you are a Fannibal, you have probably watched all the special features on your blu-rays and you know pretty much everything that is written in the book. I didn't find many surprises in here and since it only covers the first two seasons, I found myself wondering what the actors and writers would say about where Season 3 went and thoughts on a (hopefully) fourth season arc.

It's a nice coffee table book, though you wouldn't want to leave it out for anyone uninitiated to flip through, because of the graphic images and spoilers.



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Highly Illogical BehaviorHighly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I almost want to give this book an extra star for all the pop culture references, but at the same time I want to subtract that star for that very reason - I'm wondering how many 17 year olds out there would identify with the ST:TNG obsessed kids in this book. And with the throw away lines about 'Community' and 'Adventure Time', I worry that it is already dated only a few months after being released.

I did enjoy the book though, I liked the story a lot. I actually think it would make a good discussion title for a high school book club - talk about all the different issues each of the kids faces and how they are handling them etc.



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Relish: My Life in the KitchenRelish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Love books like this - snippets of memories, totally fun, it's pretty much like reading a personal blog. It made me hungry and I'm definitely going to try a few of the recipes she included!



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Camp MidnightCamp Midnight by Steven T. Seagle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Great read for the older elementary and early middle school set, all about fitting in and finding your place but not in a heavy handed eye-rolling kind of way.



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What did you read this month?
orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)
So apparently, my pattern is that I read LJ on the weekends, catch up by Monday, then get too busy to read the rest of the week, leaving me drowning in posts on the weekend!

I blame some of these on the library and Summer Reading Club so I can't sneak a peek during the day LOL. Yes, I am bring forced to work at work all day! OH THE HUMANITY! (love my job!)

Anyway, I just went back some 300 entries on LJ and I think I am caught up now. YOWZA you guys were chatty (though there was some kind of LJ glitch that loaded a TON of [livejournal.com profile] fragbert's posts from early June that I had never seen before and they were all on my flist...)

We're having a cookout today. Tomorrow is July 4th but we figured people may have plans with family, so we're doing a friends cookout, just a small group. Originally it was just 2 people, but then Tim extended an invite to Mathew and I mentioned our friend Zac and we have two other "maybes" so who knows, might be a mini-shindig! Though only the original two are committed for the full evening hehe. Shenanigans may ensue.

THAT BOOK MEME #17 What do you think about movie/tv adaptations?

I'm fine with them as long as they are GOOD LOL. Honestly, sometimes I think the movie has an opportunity to improve upon the books, if done right.

One of my secret wishes is for Harry Potter to be redone, maybe 30 years from now, and done as a mini-series, with more detail, maybe fixing some of the more obvious issues...kinda like they did with LotR.

More often than not, the movies butcher the books but what can ya do? I'm a big believer in reading the book first. There are only 3 movies I can think of that are better than the books (Jaws, Whip It, and Me & Earl & the Dying Girl) (The last two are good books, the visuals of a movie just make the stories better...the jaws book is AWFUL!!!!!!!!)

And if it wasn't for Jurassic Park being made into a movie, I never would have become a Michael Crichton fan!

How about you guys? Any movie/tv adaptations that you LOVE just as much/more than the book? Any that you would like to see wiped from cinema history?
orangerful: (pigeon w books // orangerful)
Wow...this is probably the shortest list...no one to blame but myself...and the video games...and the movies...and staying up too late LOL.

Star Wars: LandoStar Wars: Lando by Charles Soule

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was so much fun! It was great to see Lando and Lobot from before we met them in ESB. I felt like Soule really captured Lando's voice and swagger. I actually could have read even more, I hope that Marvel/Disney revisits this character. There are so many more stories to tell!



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Of Better BloodOf Better Blood by Susan Moger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


3.5 stars

This book would be great for a teen discussion group because the eugenics movement of the 1920s is something that most American history books "forget" to mention and it is a part of our story that needs to be talked about.

Moger's first novel was a very ambitious historical fiction story of Rowan, a well-off girl stricken with polio, who finds herself abandoned by her father and sister and shipped off to a "home". Eventually she ends up working for the Betterment Council and finds herself on an island off the coast of Maine where children are dying of the flu at an alarming rate.

I really loved Rowan and Dorchy's relationship, so nice to have two female friends and NO LOVE INTEREST. There is a boy but he is not there to provide dating drama but just to give another perspective when the two girls join the camp.

It was a little frustrating at the end since it couldn't really have a super-mega-happy ending. But it was a good story and one that will spark a lot of conversation (I hope). And very eerie to read right now while so many countries are in turmoil over the us vs them.



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Thunder Boy Jr.Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Beautiful book about a phase of life that we all go through, even if we don't have a name like 'Thunder Boy Smith Jr." I remember not liking my own name when I was a little kind. Alexie and Morales have created a beautiful story about family, names, and finding yourself even when you are very young. Loved it.



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The Thank You Book (Elephant & Piggie, #25)The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


NO! I DON'T WANT IT TO END! I will miss new adventures with Elephant and Piggie. I have never been so excited to read an easy reader title before. They always make me laugh. Willems gives them a great send-off in this adorable story, as Piggie works her way through the cast of characters who have played with the BFFs in each of their books. Gerald worries that Piggie will forget someone.

Is it weird to get choked up over a book that has less than 100 words in it?

I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING!



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orangerful: (pigeon w books // orangerful)
11: What book fandom do you affiliate yourself with the most?
I'm not sure I've ever been involved in a book fandom...though I do fangirl over a lot of books, it is usually just me telling people at the library why they should pick up that book to read LOL.
But if I had to go by random stuff around my house and on my shelves, I would have to say 'Hitchhiker's Guide'. I have several editions of the books, I have the t-shirt, etc. :)

12: Tell one book story or memory (what you were wearing when you were reading something, someone saw you cry in public, you threw a book across the room and broke a window, etc.)
A few years back, I decided to pick up 'The Giver' by Lois Lowry. I had been forced to read this book in 6th grade and I didn't like it at all. But I wanted to go back because so many people referred to it as a modern classic and talked about how it was near and dear to their hearts.

So, I checked it out and I fell in love with it (12 year old me was far too self-involved to understand the message, plus I always failed at reading assigned books).

ANYWAY, I was carrying it around with me to read everywhere I went and I had to stop at Chik-Fil-A for lunch on my way to a meeting. I was reading the book while eating my sandwich and one of the employees walked by. He did a double take at the cover, stopped and said "OMG THAT IS MY FAVORITE BOOK!! IT IS SO GOOD!" and I told him I was enjoyed it and we had this nice little moment of "the power of books" and I will always remember it. <3

13: What character would be your best friend in real life?
I think Schmendrick the Magician and I would get along well LOL. We both try our best to be good friends, even if we don't always do it perfectly.

14: Favorite item of book merch
'Hitchhiker's Guide' t-shirt my Mom bought me a few years ago.
I also have a Mockingjay pin that I bought BEFORE IT WAS COOL #hipsterlibrarian. Seriously, Hot Topic was selling those things before the movie was even a thing.
Also, I have a copy of 'The Last Unicorn' that Peter Beagle autographed, then wrote a few pages of the Schmendrick story in, and this his publisher did a Unicorn doodle in the inside flap. (too bad they had a falling out recently, sorta taints the whole thing but oh well).

In non-meme news, today was our big kick off event at the library for Summer Reading! It was insanely hot outside and inside but we had fun. I'm sure we had at least 200 kids. I was in charge of the bowling station (this year's theme is sports so we had a little carnival games set up in our meeting room). The kids seem to really like it, many of them played over and over. And I had LOTS of smiling faces greet me, recognizing me from the school visits I did last week. Always nice to see them and I'm always impressed that they remember me.

I kinda want to sign up for this round of [livejournal.com profile] character20n20 but I'm not sure who I want to icon. Maybe I could do Rey...I need some TFA icons. OR I could do Han Solo and then I'd have 4 movies to pull from, though there are lots of other movies I love that I could pick from...thoughts?

And now I will end the post with a photo of my E.T. shelf - drunk E.T. has joined the crew!
clicky for cuteness )
orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)
6: Public library or personal library?
This one is probably obvious LOL. I've always gone to the library since I was a teen, mostly because I liked to research my current pop culture obsessions and the only way I could get all the books was through the library. I very rarely buy a book, usually if I buy it I have already read it and just want a copy to lend to friends OR it is a collectible book in some way.

The years where I didn't go to the library regularly I didn't read very much. Now I have stacks of books on my desk all the time! Plus, since they are free, I'm more adventurous in picking up different types of books. I would be so broke if I bought every book I had on hold at the library.

7: What is the most important part of a book, in your opinion?
The binding? I mean, without that, it's just a stack of papers! Just kidding! (though that question is phrased oddly). I'd probably say the characters and their arcs. I like books where the characters change and grow in some way...which is probably why I prefer children's and teen's fiction. As I always say, in most "adult" fiction, the characters start out miserable and end up miserable.

8: Why are you reading the book you're currently reading?
I'm listening to 'Watership Down' because it was never on my radar until a few years ago...I think when it popped up on LOST as one of the books that Sawyer was reading. And then the BBC/Netflix announced a miniseries sometime next year with a fantastic cast.

I think I read a review of 'Of Better Blood' in 'School Library Journal' while looking for new books to booktalk. With everything going on in our country right now, a historical fiction novel for teens about the eugenics moment in the 1920s felt very...relevant.

Oh and all my Star Wars friends will be happy to know that 'Bloodline' finally arrived on my desk!!! I'm only 30 pages in and already SO MANY FEELS!

9: If you were to publish a book what (besides your real name) would you use for your author name?
orangerful? Or maybe I'd just use my first and middle name. Or perhaps just go with "Sam" instead of "Samantha" to keep the sexist readers guessing!

10: Do you listen to music when you read?
NOPE! If there are any other sounds, I will be distracted. Music is the worst because my brain will start singing along. Even if there are no words, my brain will try to connect the music to an image or movie so, again, distracted! This is why I mostly read in bed or when I have lunch alone.

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