Monday, December 31, 2007

2006 Bloggin' Blast

First off, if you want to waste some time by seeing what happens when LOLcats take on Presidential Politics, check out Ron Paul Can Has Cheezburger? After all, the American Dream is for every person to have a bukkit of their own...

Anyway, it's the last day of 2007, so let's talk about all the books that I read in 2006 and haven't talked about yet. La la la la la la la la.

First off, a book I really, really loved.

CHERUB: The Recruit Robert Muchamore

James can't catch a break. His mother is awful (and a major dealer in stolen goods) his sister's father isn't any better. Then he gets suspended for fighting in school and his mom dies.

Enter CHERUB. Founded over 50 years ago, CHERUB is a division of MI5--British Intelligence. No one ever suspects a kid, so that's who they send--kids.

James will be a spy and receive a top-notch education, but only if he can survive the training period.

And then, if he does, the real work begins.

A fun and gripping adventure story, I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series...

College Girls: Bluestockings, Sex Kittens, and Co-Eds, Then and Now Lynn Peril

This is a well-done, not overly academic look at the history of women's high education. It's a pretty balanced account with a lot of pull-out boxes about various aspects of female college life and lots of "Femorbilia" looking at different items marketed to the college girl. I especially enjoyed the "College Girls Book Shelf"-- a running thread of literary treatments of college girls throughout history.

I Am the Messenger Markus Zusak

I liked this book.

Ed is a slacker cab driver with no future. After foiling a bank robbery, he starts to recieve playing cards with messages on them.

With nothing to lose, he starts following them, discovering problems to be solved, some are easy and heartwarming, such as a church with no congregation and some are dangerous and chilling, like a woman being raped every night by her drunk husband.

Through solving these problems, he starts to find direction in life.

Zusak is an awesome writer. It's about as different from The Book Thief as can be, but that just shows his range.

White Is for Magic Laurie Faria Stolarz

A fun guilty-pleasure type read.

Stacey has nightmares about people being murdered--nightmares that have an awful habit of coming true. It's been a year since she saved her best friend last year (in the first of the series, Blue Is For Nightmares. Now the target of her nightmares is... herself. Luckily, she's a witch with an arsenal of spells to help her find the strength and courage she needs.

I couldn't put it down, but I also have no desire to read the rest of the series. The spells felt really, really hokey.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Alison Bechdel

This is a graphic novel memoir of small town America, literature, coming out, and family secrets.

It was really, really good, but the amount of literary allusion and quotations got old after awhile--that aspect was a bit overdone.

Mermaid Park Beth Mayall

Amy hates her family--her jerkwad of a step father, her perfect sister... so she is very much not looking forward to a long weekend on the Jersey shore at her mother's godmother's motel.

But, she finds a boy, and a waterpark of mermaids. (A forbidden waterpark of mermaids.) She talks her mother into letting her stay for the summer, and talks her way into a job at Mermaid Park, unraveling a few family secrets along the way.

A perfectly lovely book, although it didn't stay with me for long.

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