Thursday, August 30, 2012

Laura's Book Club #3

Book club happened again!

It was held in its usually-lately format where we each recommend a book or two and discuss the books we read last month.

Last month I chose to read Bill Bryson's A Walk In The Woods, which, aside from sometimes being a little too non-fictiony, was actually kind of light and funny and had a good set of interesting (albiet real and non-fiction) characters. I'd recommend it, for sure!

Also, the photo to the left is our snack spread this month, which has the usual selection of fruits, nuts, and cheeses.

Anyway, here are my two recommendations for the month:

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

This is a prose-y book that follows the life of 16-year-old Bobby when he is thrown into single-parent, teenage fatherhood. After the baby’s mother, Nia, suffers from irreversible brain damage, Bobby is left to try to find a balance between school and friends (who don’t comprehend his new parenting role) and his beautiful, breathtaking love for his baby daughter, Feather.

The book alternates between “then” (before Feather) chapters and “now” (after Feather) chapters, making Bobby’s whole progress and simultaneous regress a mix of beautiful, touching, happy, and sad.

This book won the 2004 Coretta Scott King Award and the 2004 Printz Award. If I had my own book award, I’d give it to this book too.

How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers

This short story collection by Dave Eggers does what many other Dave Eggers books do:

1. Gives us a deep look into complex, compelling, and troubled characters brains.
2. Analyses funny, thought-provoking, and sometimes awkward social situations.
And 3. Takes us on a descriptive and beautiful journey around the world and, specifically, to countries we’d probably never even consider visiting (so much Africa!)

These are some of my favorite things to read about and each story, as many Dave Eggers books are, is absolutely beautifully written.

Other books recommended at book club:

Forever by Pete Hamill
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Walking Dead by Tony Moore
A Box of Matches by Nicholson Baker
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
January First by Michael Shofield

Anyone read any of these?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Birthday John Green!

Today marks the 35th birthday of one of my favorite YA authors, John Green.

In honor the day (as he's one of my favorites), I've decided to compile of list of fun John Green facts that you may or may not already know!

1. He grew up in Orlando, Florida.

2. He currently lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. However he used to live in New York City, and before that, in Chicago.

3. He graduated from Indian Springs School in Alabama, then got a B.A. from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

4. He has never considered writing a book for adults. YA only!

5. He has a YouTube account, which he and his brother, Hank, collaboratively update pretty frequently. According to his website, since January 2007, the two brothers have made more than 950 videos, which have been viewed more than 235 million times!

6. For several years, he wrote commentaries for Chicago Public Radio and, sometimes, for "All Things Considered" on NPR.
7. He has an interesting Tumblr.

8. He also has an interesting Twitter!

9. He is always working on a novel (although not always a novel that pans out into anything). His typical writing work day starts at 8am and ends at 6pm.

10. He and his friends and fans (partularly his YouTube buddies) have a sort of "group" (Ok, I admit, I can't find the right word for this so "group" will have to suffice) called the Nerdfighters. The Nerdfighters are a sort of active "group" of people who do things like communicate online through YouTube and John's Tumblr. Also, they create videos like the today-appropriate 2009 birthday video below:

Put one of the following John Green books on hold today:

Looking for Alaska

An Abundance of Katherines

Paper Towns

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

The Fault In Our Stars

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Teens' Top Ten Nominees

Teens' Top Ten is an annual list of teen-choice books. The nominated titles are chosen by members of teen book groups across the country and voting (which started yesterday) goes until Saturday, September 15th. The winners will be announced during Teen Read Week (October. 14-20).

Click here for the official list of 2012 Teen's Top Ten Nominations

Some highlights (or, personal highlights anyway) include:

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Shine by Lauren Myracle

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

You've got one month to read and vote, so get going!

Friday, August 10, 2012

NPR's 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels

A few days ago NPR released a list of the best YA books of all time. This is a wonderful list, and I am pleased to report that one of my favorite authors, John Green, has made it FIVE times!

See how many you've read here! I've only read 19 and have some serious catching up to do! What a great place to start!
Copyright 2009 Laura Druda