Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What Do I Want for Lunch?

Random musing of the day: Lunch is in 45 minutes, to be eaten on my way to a meeting. I did not pack it, I need to buy it. Starbucks or McDonalds? That is the question.

Blog musing: Well, for May's reading challenge, I've decided I'm going to try and read all of the Fusion Stories to celebrate Asian-American Heritage Month. (If you're not familiar, they're "Ten new contemporary novels by Asian Americans aren’t traditional tales set in Asia nor stories about coming to America for the first time") Sadly, not all the fusion stories are published yet, so unless someone hooks me up with ARCS of Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before by David Yoo and Minn and Jake's Almost Terrible Summer by Janet Wong, I'm going to have to substitute their other books.

But that's not bad.

Also, the Top 9 for April is up at the Amazon Store, which is where I pick my random picks of the month...

Until then, here are two totally random reviews that have nothing in common besides "I read them recently"

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street Jeanne Birdsall

Fresh from their summer adventures at Arundel (which were chronicled in The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy) the girls are back home and ready to face another school year.

Only, this school year has some challenges. Jane and Skye switch homework with disastrous results, and Rosalind has some awkward guy issues.

But, there's a lovely new next door neighbor who has a toddler son. Ben and Batty have a good time playing secret agents until they stumble upon the Bug Man.

On top of that, their beloved Aunt Claire has delivered a letter that their mother left in her keeping. A letter ordering Daddy to start dating again.

Dating means there might be a step-mother and everyone knows step-mothers are evil things. Aunt Claire and Mr. Penderwick have a deal that he has to go on 4 dates over the course of a year. The girls figure if they can set him up with the most awful women, there will never be a second date, just 4 really bad ones, and everything can go on as before.

This is before Mr. Penderwick meets someone in a bookstore and has multiple dates with her. All the girls can find out is that her name is Marianne Dashwood, she likes walking, hates flannel, and "She's sensible and clever, but eager in everything. Her sorrows and joys can have no moderation." (Really, I pegged Mr. Pen as more of an Eleanor Dashwood man myself, but that's just me)

It has the same old-fashioned splendor and joy of the first one. Well done.

Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It Sundee T. Frazier

Brendan is half-white, half-black and is a scientist. He does all sorts of experiments to answer his burning questions, which he writes down in his notebook.

What Brendan can't answer is why some white people are mean to black people, and why his mother won't let him see his grandfather.

After accidentally running into and meeting his grandfather one day at the mall, Brendan discovers that he, too, is a geologist and rock-collector. On that basis a friendship forms, but it has to be done by sneaking around and lying.

An interesting, fun read that looks at race without being depressing or beating the reader too hard over the head. I'm not sure if a I really "buy" the ending, but it was a nice read that will appeal to boys and girls.

No comments: