Thursday, April 27, 2006

Milk Out Your Nose Funny

So... Tuesday night I ended up going out and didn't read Startled by His Furry Shorts until yesterday...

Georgia's back in full force in a longer-than-usual installment of hillariousity. MacUseless rehersals are in full swing as opening night approaches, first-formers are being tortured by Wet Lindsay and Astonishinly Dim Monica AND Mark the Gob, Libby continues her "sex bum" dance, Masimo has one week to tell Georgia whether or not he'll exclusively see her, Dave the Laugh is having a laugh? snogging Georgia and then leaving the party with Emma!, then there's Robbie, the original Sex God, plus Radio Jas, Rosie and Sven's wedding, the return of the bison horns, Elvis's obsession with fire safety, Slim, Miss Stamp, Herr Kramer, and Wet Lindsay's scary hair extensions...

I love these series this one was even funnier than usual-- one of the best so far... as usual per late, Rennison leaves us hanging off a cliff, so I must already start counting down the days until next year!

Also, a note on the new cover design...

When I opened up the Amazon box Tuesday night, I showed Dan the new covers and he said exactly what I was thinking:

"There is no way you could knock yourself out with those Nunga-Nungas!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You love me! You really love me!

Or not. Whatever. Dana gets a shout-out for being the first person to comment on this blog. And for hooking me up with super old-school Nancy Drew.

Speaking of our dear friend Nancy, I finished The Secret of the Old Clock and it ended up being just as bad as I thought it would! Oh well. I can't wait to read the originals though... because if they were bad enough that they had to be PC-ized in the 60s? Woo-boy!

In other book news... the new Georgia Nicolson came out on Tuesday and should be waiting for me at home... it's been a long day, so a new cheesy book and a hot bath sound really good...

Also, have you been following the How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got A Life : A Novel/Sloppy Firsts : A Novel plagerism controversy? You know that I've reserved all the books in question, just so I can see for myself what's going on. And yet, I still have no desire to read A Million Little Pieces...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Full Stop

On Saturday (a day that was pouring down rain) I read Julius Lester's Day of Tears

It says it is a "novel told in dialogue" in that it's written as a series of monologues and dialogues. Emma is the daughter of Mattie and Will, two slaves on Pierce Butler's Georgian plantation. To pay off his gambling debts, Pierce holds the biggest slave auction ever held, selling over 400 people, including Emma, but not Will or Mattie. When the two-day auction starts, the worst rain in history starts up and stays going until it's done. Moving and well-done, I highyl recommend and see this becoming a staple in junior high classrooms.

Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life

I finished reading Anne LaMott's book on life and writing this weekend and absolutely loved it. I don't have anything really in depth to say, but I laughed out loud, I cried, and I got my journal out again and am back to work on a really really shitty first draft.

I'm also working on Carolyn Keene's The Secret of the Old Clock

I get such a guilty pleasure out of the Nancy Drew Graphic Novels that I thought I'd read the originals... man... these are really poorly written. What I really love is that in the first chapter, the Turner sisters say that their phone is out of order, but the next day, Nancy calls them. EXCELLENT. The main thing I've noticed though is that they've put 2 spaces after every sentence. When was the last time you saw that? (and this is the 2002 printing!!!)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Series, banned, and work-related...

Last week, I read the very cute Kate Klise books Regarding the FountainRegarding the Sink : Where, Oh Where, Did Waters GoRegarding the Trees : A Splintered Saga Rooted in Secrets

These are children's books, at about a 9-12 year old reading level. They're silly and filled with puns and told entirely in correspondance. In the first one, the principal needs a new drinking fountain and hires someone who designs huge decorative fountains. Misunderstandings ensue and the kids get involved with the planning and it's all silly fun with such characters as Sam N., Wally Russ, Minnie O., Lily, Gil and Tad Pole. (And when the kids in Sam N's class form a band and call themselves the Tune-a-Combo... becoming Sam N.'s Tune-a-Combo...) Hee Hee Hee.

The second two are all along the same lines and are fun and interesting. My only complaint is that in the second one, they make great use of the Chinese province of Sinkiang, assuming it's pronounced Sink-king, even though occasionally they bring up that it is also spelt Xinjiang. And really, it's pronounced Shin-Jee-Ang... ai ya.

Then, the YA librarian knows my love of British Teen Chick-Lit, especially of Angelica Cookson Potts, and when we finally got Cherry Whytock's latest, My Saucy Stuffed Ravioli : The Life of Angelica Cookson Pottsshe handed it straight off to me!!!

This time Angel and friends and family are off to holiday in Italy. Hot guys! Romantic complications! and Oh! The food! More of the same, but ever so much fun! Plus, two nights ago I made the recipie for Spicy Meatballs, and it was super-tasty!
And wow, I used a lot of exclamation points in that review!

I also decided I just couldn't wait and got Narinder Dhami's Bhangra Babes

Also for 9-12 year olds, this is the third installment in the Bindi Babes series, in which Amber, Jazz, and Geena Dhillon get into all sorts of mad Indo-British adventures. Basically, Auntie finally got engaged and is moving out, a new girl and guy start school and are causing havoc and Amber has a hair-brained scheme to solve all their problems. Not only are these fun girly books without being over the top moral OR super girly, but I'm a sucker for fiction that explores the meaning of what it means to be British and/or addresses the post-colonial immigrant experience. And I love that these books do that without intentionally setting out to "Address the post-colonial immigrant experience"...

And finally, I read What My Mother Doesn't Knowby Sonya Sones.

This was one of the ALA's most frequently banned books in 2005, and I'm not entirely sure why...

For some reason, I missed the memo that Sones's books are written in poetry. This collection of poems traces Sophie's relationship with Dylan... and Chazz... and Robin... and explores the teenage emotions that come with being a freshman in looooove. Well written, a good way to get kids to read poetry, I still don't understand why this book was banned (unless it was the poem about her breasts seemingly growing over night, which is about as explicit as that got). I highly recommend and am looking forward to reading her other books!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

One, two princes here before you...

Apparently, we're not over this yet! A parent in Lexington, Mass is challenging King & King

Seriously? In Massachusetts??? It makes me want to cry.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

More Books from 2005

Ha ha ha! You thought I was done with this already! I'm at a library training right now and this afternoon we're learning how to blog, but, obviously, I already know this. So I'm just messing around.

100 Best Books for Children Anita Silvey: Loved. Not only does it outline the whats and whys of the 100 best books for kids, but it tells the story of how each book got published and explores the relationships between author, publisher and illustrator. Really interesting, even though I only read it because my boss told me to.

Judaism: A Very Short Introduction Norman Solomon: Short, dense, and focusing more on history and philosophy/theology than practice. Intersesting.

The Year Of Secret Assignments Jacyln Moriarty: I talked about this already. But this is a fun story that's well written and told in letters. Not only is there correspondance between the characters, but the main character also gets notes from such groups as the best friends club and the society for teenagers. Plus, it's Australian. I really liked it and recomend it if you ever go for teen-lit stuff. A shining example of the genre.

Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography, The Penultimate Peril, The Grim Grotto, The Slippery Slope, The Carnivorous Carnival, The Hostile Hospital, The Vile Village, The Ersatz Elevator, The Austere Academy, The Miserable Mill, The Wide Window, The Reptile Room, A Bad Beginning: I talked about these already. They were great. I highly recommend the "Unauthorized Autobiography" if you've read the series.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Well! The notable books discussions for YA and Children are all over, so I'm onto reading ADULT LITERATURE! And how! Not only is the language archaic, but my, my, my Moll Flandersis a racy read! I'm reading it for Knit the Classics, and am enjoying it so far, but I must admit that it reads a bit like some lady just prattling at you, and sometimes, I tune her out and then later realize that I have no idea what happened in the previous 5 pages and need to go back. Oh well.

But, here is the last of the kiddie books I read:

Saffy's Angel

Indigo's Star

Permanent Rose

All by Hilary McKay, these are the stories of the Casson family, an eccentric bunch of kids with an artist mum (who paints and sleeps and "escapes from life" in the garden shed) and a REAL ARTIST father, who escapes from family life and obligations into his posh London studio and apartment. There are 4 kids: Caddy, Saffron (Saffy), Indigo, and Rose, all named for the colors on a paint chart... except for Saffy (Who, as we find out early in the first book, it turns out, is not really a sibling, but rather an orphaned cousin). They have crazy mad adventures and a good sense of family and togetherness, but the amount they're allowed to get away with (Rose paints large murals on all the walls, for instance) and the frank discussion on adultry, divorce, and hedges around sex (like when they try and find out who Saffy's father is) might make some parents a bit squemy, unfortunately. They do have a very British sensibility. I love love love love these books and am anxiously awaiting the release of Caddy Ever After which Amazon is slating for a June 6 release. CAN NOT WAIT!!!!

The Scarecrow and His Servant Philp Pullman

Yeah... I really didn't like this one. I mean, it was well-written, but I just didn't get into the story. If I were a kid, I would have LOVED this book, but it didn't hold the same appeal as a grown-up (not that I'm one of those either, but you know...) I will fully disclose that all the other librarians at the table loved it and thought it was a fantastic original fairy tale. I was just "meh". Basically, a scarecrow gets hit by lightening and comes to life and wants to go home again and enlists a young boy as his servant and they meet brigands, actors, soldiers, and lots of birds. A mad adventure that I just didn't get into.

Son of the Mob : Hollywood Hustle Gordan Korman

Well, you know how much I loved Son of the Mob and this is the sequel. Vince has gone all the way to California for college to escape the um, vending machine business and of course, it follows him out to the coast. Nothing more spectacular than the first, but if you liked the first one, this one's fun!!!!

Amazing Grace Megan Shull

This is just a fun, sweet, teen chick lit novel. Grace Kinkaid is a young tennis superstar who decides that she's had enough and drops out of the game and her multi-million dollar endorsements to go live with her "aunt" on a small island in Alaska, where she learns how to be a normal kid. Well done and not too deep, I really liked this one.

Also, I just went ahead and ordered Bhangra Babes (I know you were on the edge of your seat, waiting for that one!). I also got ordered Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers in the new paperback version, mainly because I realized that if my books don't match, then I can make them really not match and just get the hardcover of Startled by His Furry Shorts which comes out next week and I'm all excited. I also see that they're rereleasing all the paperbacks with the new covers. Part of my really really wants to replace the copies I have with the new ones, and then they'll all match, but even I'm not going to actually do it, because that's money that could be spent on NEW books, but hey. If I had that type of money to throw around... but I don't, so whatever.

Also, I'm really enjoying the new Nancy Drewgraphic novels. They're not good at all, but I really like them. I also checked out old school Nancy Drewbecause I've never read any and just want to see how it compares.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Oh! The Decisions!

I really need to do some more reviews. I've read some absolutely lovely and wonderful things in the past week.

BUT! I'm lazy at the moment and want to talk about something else.

So, I absolutely loved Narinder Dhami's Bindi Babesand Bollywood Babes. I checked them both out from the library. Now, on TUESDAY there is a new one coming out--Bhangra Babes. Now, it will take a few months before the library gets this on the shelf, I'm sure. (I mean, the Lauren Child books are much more popular and circ a heck of a lot more, and But Excuse Me That is My Book [which came out on JANURARY 19th] is just now in processing). So... I don't want to wait 3 months for Bhangra Babes. Do I just buy it then? If I buy it, do I have to buy the other two? Do I want to own all three? What's the point of owning the third if I don't have the other two?

Do I need to just NOT worry about this? Probably. Will I stop? Probably not.