Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gossip Girl

I'm giving away the banned book of your choice--see the bottom of this post for details.

I figured that this week all my reviews will be related to Banned Books Week.

I was never interested in reading Gossip Girl, but when it appeared on ALA's Top Ten Most Banned Books list, I had to see what all the fuss was about. I immediately fell in love with the series. (It's banned because there is sex, drinking, and lots of swearing. These books are populated with not-nice people.)

WARNING: I'm reviewing series books so there will be spoilers for the previous books in the series--it's the nature of the beast.

I really really enjoyed the first 6 books in this series. I did not like the last 6. Well, I guess I didn't like the last 5 and kinda liked the prequel. Sadly, I was too attached to the characters, so I had to keep reading to find out how everything would eventually go down.

There is a marked decline in quality of the books in later half of the series, which spend a lot of time setting up the spin-off series, and then things really get bad in the last two titles, when the ghost writer takes over.

Nobody Does It Better

Blair and Nate spend all their time having sex. Randomly, Blair moves in with Vanessa (WTF?!) Jenny's about to get kicked out of Constance Billiard for hanging out with rockstars and is talking Rufus into boarding school (Hello, we have a new series, The It Girl please buy it!).

Jenny's turned into this major bad girl, which I don't like, because she doesn't even do it well. Dan's gone completely off the deep end in a way I don't understand and... I mean, really? Such a decline! I really thought this was the book where the ghost writer takes over.

Nothing Can Keep Us Together

Graduation Day! Blair's moved into the Yale Club and on with her love life. Nate's just always weeping and Dan just gets weirder. And, OF COURSE they're doing a remake of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Uh-huh. But it is the graduation party to end all graduation parties.

Also, you know things are bad when even I know that your brand-name dropping is messed up. There's a scene where Jenny and Elise are in the lower school bathroom and everything is Hello Kitty, because one of the parents happens to own Hello Kitty. Except, where you could own Sanrio, I don't think you can actually own Hello Kitty.

Also, all anyone ever talks about is how big Jenny's boobs are. As such, there is no way she would be able to wear tops from Anthropologie. Trust me--those clothes are not made for the well-endowed.

Only In Your Dreams

Blair's off to London, where she shops like a fiend. Serena's filming her movie and living Audrey Hepburn's life, all the while hoping to seduce her costar. Meanwhile, Dan has discovered yoga and Vanessa is homeless... and a nanny? And Nate's picked up some skanky town girl in the Hamptons. Hello Summer Vacation!

Would I Lie To You

Everyone's in the Hamptons for the summer, including some sketchy Eastern European Blair and Serena look-alikes. Ok, Dan's not in the Hamptons, but he got drunk and made out with a guy, so he's obviously gay. Yes, obviously. Um...

This is the book where the ghost writer picks up and all the characters get even more weird. Dan, especially, gets really out of character. Also, general quality has gone down as well--typos all over the place!

Don't You Forget About Me

This is the final goodbye. But Serena loves Nate! And Nate loves Blair! And Serena! And given that he ran away, he's not going to Yale because coach is withholding his diploma. And Blair's parents are wackier than ever which leads to the perfect set-up for a brand-new series they want you to read, The Carlyles. But... there's a going away party to end all going away parties... and the curtain falls as our characters scatter across the Ivy League.

It Had to Be You

Cecily von Ziegesar came back to write this prequel and the writing quality is definitely back up there with the earlier volumes of the series but... I still had some problems with it. This takes place the winter, spring, and summer before Serena goes off to boarding school.

Parts are really puke-inducing--oh look! Here's Nate getting stoned for the first time, here's Blair watching Breakfast at Tiffany's for the first time, here's Serena doing her first shot, Dan smoking his first cigarette, Jenny wishing she had boobs, Vanessa shaving her head...

You knew all that was coming BUT here's the big thing...

Serena loves Nate. And almost gets with Nate, but Blair also likes Nate and her life is falling apart (did you know her dad was gay? Because Blair didn't!) and so Serena lets Blair have him and selflessly sits in silent anguish...

First off, if Serena knows she loves Nate NOW, then why is it such a huge revelation when she realizes it two years later? Also, this changes everything in the regular series. Knowing Serena has been consciously lusting after Nate all this time? Really? I feel like I almost have to go back and reread the series with that lens. UGH.

Also, while the book takes place two years before the first Gossip Girl, they forgot to actually set it in that time. The first book came out in 2002, so this book should be taking place in 2000. But... they're watching Marie Antoinette, which came out in 2006.

Usually the series was much better about these details. sigh

Ok, Book Give Away Details:

To celebrate our right to read, I'm giving away banned books. All you have to do is check out the banned book lists on my sidebar and email me (kidsilkhaze at yahoo dot com) with your choice of book (if it's a series, you can choose any volume in the series). If you blog about the contest and email me the link, I'll give you an extra entry. Multiple winners will be selected. The contest ends on midnight on Sunday and is open world wide. GO READ!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Banned Book Give-Away

It's Banned Books Week!

To mourn the loss or attempted theft of intellectual freedom and to celebrate the right to read, I'm holding a contest.

Take a look at my side bar at the Banned Books lists. Pick any book listed and email me your choice: kidsilkhaze at yahoo dot com. Blog about the contest and email me the link, get another entry. Multiple winners will be selected!

Now! Go celebrate your right to read!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Poetry Friday

DCist has a fascinating post about the relationship between martinis and vermouth. If you ever enjoy the most classic of cocktails, I highly recommend the read.

And, so, for Poetry Friday, I have a poem about martinis... I'll even invent the kidlit connection in that they drink a lot of martinis in the book I'm currently reading.

A Drink With Something In It

There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth--
I think that perhaps it's the gin.

Ogden Nash

I hope everyone has a fabulous time at the kidlit conference happening this weekend. In my own backyard, the National Literary Festival is going on, which should be awesome. I had a great time last year and am bummed to miss this one, but I'm off to Raleigh in the morning to see some friends of mine get married. Very exciting. Now, I just have to figure out which books to bring for car reading. Hmmmmmm.

But, before then! Tonight's the Presidential Debate! I'm watching with some think tank people whom I suspect have different politics than mine, which will certainly be fun. We'll have to try the classic martini recipe posted in the article above!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Adventures of You

Fabulous Terrible The Adventures of You Sophie Talbot

Told in present-tense second-person narrative, this is the story of you. If you are an orphan from South Carolina. A psychic orphan. Well, it doesn't matter--you just got a full scholarship into one of the best boarding schools in the country! Too bad someone is out to destroy you--from hacking your blackboard account so assignments are never turned in, to forging notes from your soccer coach telling you a match has been canceled, someone is out to get you.

Plus, your visions of the future are getting seriously weird.

Here's the problem: the back of the book says promises "A society sworn to uphold the founder's deepest secrets has become divided. A war for power seethes just under the campus's placid calm. And a mysterious missing book of predictions is about to change your world forever." And yes, the book will change your world, I assume in the NEXT installment because all that? Happened in the last 8 pages of the book.

This book is obviously meant to set-up the series, but that means it was slow-moving with too much explanation and all the real excitement was at the very end. While the premise sounds interesting, the pacing issues don't make me want to pick up the next in the series where things might start to get interesting. In fact, if I hadn't been reading this for review, I doubt I would have finished the book--the first hundred pages just dragged too much. Middle school readers might be more forgiving though.

Full disclosure: Book sent by publisher through The Picnic Basket.

Destroying the Past, Running towards the Future

Ok, so it looks like when I talked about the Cybils yesterday, I forgot to mention that I am part of the final round judging panel in Middle Grade/Young Adult Nonfiction. I served on this panel last year and am really excited to be doing it again! So please, look at your bookshelves carefully and nominate some good titles, starting next week! Last year's winner in this category, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood was amazing, but I'm hoping we can find something even better this year!

Here's another phenomenal nonfiction book, but it's for adults.

The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed Michael Meyer

This book is many things all at once. It is a snapshot of modern China's lower classes on the verge of the Olympics It is the history of urban planning theory, and the history of Beijing's changing skyline, cityscape, and footprint. It is a love letter to a neighborhood and its school. It is an examination of a city at the heart of an exploding economy. And it does all of these things well, in one cohesive package.

While living in Beijing, Meyer was struck by the destruction of the hutong neighborhoods, but he also found that most of the hutong's most ardent supporters were tourists and scholars, not the people who actually lived there. So, Meyer moved to the hutong to check it out for himself and to volunteer as an English teacher at the local school. He is one of the few Westerners to get a true glimpse at this slice of Beijing life.

In the opening pages, Meyer declares "I am not a sentimentalist; no one should have to live in poverty, no matter how picturesque." At the same time, he is witnessing the destruction of a community, his community, and the changes don't appear to necessarily be for the better. Meyer's account of life in the hutong, and the changes taking place balances both sides of the debate well.

At the same time, it is a story of life in Beijing today, in the areas that aren't populated by overnight millionaires. He tells of his students, the adventures of the Mokey the Monkey who teaches the kids English in their textbook. This is the story of a city preparing to be good Olympic hosts, whether its essay contests for his students or English lessons for the police "from a textbook titled Olympic Security English. In dialogues named "Dissuading Foreigners from Excessive Drinking" and "How to Stop Illegal News Coverage" the lessons presented such pattern drills as 'I'm afriad we'll have to detain you temporarily.' " It is the life story of his neighbors and of the neighborhood.

This week, I'm blathering more about hutongs over at Geek Buffet.

Highly readable and highly enjoyable, I highly recommend--this is one of my favorite titles on Modern China.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Announcements pt 2: Putumayo just got even more Awesome

Ok, so, you may or may not know that I am in LOVE with Putumayo. Seriously, those people are incapable of putting out a bad CD. I look forward to each new release.

Now, I usually don't buy their kid CDs, even though I use them all the time at work--my storytime opening music is "Fatou Yo" from World Playground. But I CANNOT WAIT for their newest release to come out. CAN NOT WAIT.

And it's a kid CD.

Putumayo has teamed up with Sesame Street to bring us Putumayo Kids Presents: Sesame Street Playground.

And you're all, dude, another Sesame Street CD. Whoop-de-doo.

BUT! This CD/DVD set features songs and videos from not just American Sesame Street, but from Sesame Streets around the world. Everything from "Galli Galli Sim Sim" which is the theme in India, the "Rubber Duckie" in Chinese! 13 songs, only 2 from the American version (Sadly, yes, "Elmo's Song" is one of them, and the other is "Sing" but by the kids, NOT by Crystal Gale. I remember when Crystal Gale was on Sesame Street--I was enchanted with her long, long hair. But then, I remember when Maria and Luis started dating. Now their kid is like, in college.)

I think most of us know that Sesame Street exists in many forms around the world, because they all make their own, it's not like they just overdub our version, but now we can actually enjoy it! Click here for clips and some of the videos.

It's out on September 30, but I'm pre-ordering now. You know you want to, too!

Also, I came across some stuff when I was working on an archives project for school--did you know Sesame Street was super controversial when it came out? People were not fond of a show that was based on commercials to teach kids--they thought that it would actually make children less prepared for school and would be detrimental to their brains!

Announcements pt 1: Cybils

So, first up, it's Cybils time! For those who have been living under a kid lit rock, the Cybils is an award given to books in a whopping 9 categories. Anyone can nominate a title (yes, that means YOU) starting on October1st, and judges are made up of kidlit bloggers, because we can't all be librarians, publishers, and booksellers. Even though some of us are both.

So, go to the blog and start thinking about your nominations! It's going to be an awesome fall!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jealousy and Envy

First things first:

My fortune cookie of the day:

Ideas not coupled with action never become bigger than the brain cells they occupied.

I made that big and red. That fortune hangs on my bulletin board and comes from a cookie my coworker brought me last week after going out for Chinese (she, for some odd reason, doesn't like fortune cookies. My gain.)

It's pretty cheesy, but is also really speaking to me right now.

Also, Rachel won my Vibes contest and so the book will be in the mail to her shortly. And for those who didn't win, it'll be in stores (and hopefully your library) next month.

And, to taunt you further, today I review

Paper Towns John Green

First things first--this is John Green's best book.

If you've read a John Green book before, you know that you can never really describe the book by describing the plot--it's hard to get too into the plot without giving much away, but also, the books are about so much more than just what's going on.

If you haven't read a John Green book before, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Quentin has always loved Margo Roth Spigelman, the girl next door. One glorious night before graduation, she takes him out all night to exact revenge on her cheating boyfriend and a few others. The next day, she's gone. Margo often disappears, but this time she doesn't come back. Quentin thinks she's left clues and is off on a hunt to find her.

As in his other works, Green's real strength is in his characters, especially the secondary ones. But this time, Green takes it a step further as his characters realize that you can never fully know another person. How Quentin sees Margo is not how Lacey sees Margo and it's not how Margo sees Margo. We all present different facets of our selves to the world--we very rarely let one person see all of us, but, at the same time, when viewing people, we view them through our own lenses and project our own ideals or hatreds on to them. And, when you idolize someone from afar, as Quentin does Margo, the difference between what you think and what he or she actually is, is much greater.

Smart, funny, heartbreaking, thought-provoking... John Green has done it again.

The man has 3 books out, one with a Printz, one with a Printz honor, and this one will be hot in contention for this year's top prizes. He's my age. I'm horribly jealous, especially because his work deserves all of it.

Look for it on October 16.

In the mean time, listen to A LOT of Mermaid Avenue and brush up on your Leaves of Grass

And, I leave you with this:

Last night or the night before that,
I won´t say which night
A seaman friend of mine,
I´ll not say which seaman,
Walked up to a big old building,
I won´t say which building,
And would not have walked up the stairs,
not to say which stairs,
If there had not been two girls,
leaving out the names of those two girls.


Ok guys, I'm trying out some new things with my RSS feed, and somehow my feed got mixed in with another blogger blog with almost the same address. I hope I fixed it and I really apologize to Chinese Novel if I messed things up on their end.

Factoid of the day: Tushuguan is Chinese for library!

Anyway, let me know about wacky feed issues on my end.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Non-Fiction Monday

So, this week's Weekly Geek challenge is a quotation on every post. I'm going to see if I can do all fortune cookies:

The greatest truths are the simplest and so are the greatest men.

That's what I got in today's fortune cookie. (Dan is back after spending the weekend in Houston with his family. They're fine, he's fine, and now he's home, so I'm fine. Anyway, we ordered Peking Duck for dinner. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Peking duck. Also, just another plug for The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8. Lee, which is AWESOME)

So, it's Nonfiction Monday!

This is not nonfiction for kids or teens, but rather a book for those of us who work with kids or teens or just like reading their books.

Book Crush: For Kids and Teens - Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Interest by Nancy Pearl

Ok, if you haven't yet read them, you must read Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason and More Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason, you need to go do so. Like, now.

Anyway, Book Crush is along the same lines, but focusing on children's and teen books. As usual with Nancy Pearl's works, my To-Read list grew by PAGES. Everything from fiction to older teen works are covered.

If you're not familiar with the Book Lust books, Pearl offers a subject, and then several books that deal with the topic. In this offering, such topics include "Rebels with a Cause" which includes Where the Wild Things Are or "Friends Make the World Go Round" which includes both The Egypt Game and Meet Danitra Brown (the most splendifirous girl in town.)

I mean, who can resist book lists titled "May I Have This Dance? Old-Fashioned Love Hip Enough for the Jaded-at-Twelve Crowd" or "Kung Fu, the Samurai Crowd, and Ninja Stealth" or even "Dragooned by Dragons"?!

Of course, as a children/teen book aficionado, I had a few sad moments-- first off there's no mention of the the Alice series by Phylis Reynolds Naylor. I really think this is an important work of middle grade and YA lit. I like Alice in small doses, but still, an important aspect of the field and completely ignored. And, I really don't think The City of Ember is a fantasy (sci-fi? yes, dystopian? yes, fantasy? no.) And was sad to see that the description of Private Peaceful was just plain wrong. (But then again, so is the flap copy, but in a different way. Let's just say that Tommo is NOT spending the night up on watch (which is was the flap says) and people are NOT being executed for falling asleep on sentry duty (which is what Pearl says) I won't say what is really going on though, because it's a spoiler.)

But there were happy ones too. Pearl laments that not enough people know about the out-of-print Madeline L'Engle title And Both Were Young. I was horrified to learn this was OPP (but you can buy it from Amazon used for one cent, plus shipping and handling) but was happy to be one of the chosen few who love this book. (Seriously, buy a copy now and read it. It's wonderful.)

Anyway, many weekly geeks ago, we asked for questions on unreviewed titles. Here are mine on this book:

Chris asks: How is Book Crush? Would you recommend it to your fellow book fiends or should we pass?

Recommend! Especially if you like children's or teen lit-- I highly recommend all of Nancy Pearl's works to book friends.

Molly asks
: Hi Fellow Weekly Geeker! I'm a HUGE Nancy Pearl fan, but have not read Book Crush. As someone who has not read a lot of teen and tween books, would I still enjoy Book Crush?

Yes. I'm a big proponent of getting adults to read younger lit, because it's SO FREAKIN' GOOD and I think adults would enjoy it if they read it. So, I think if you like Nancy Pearl, you should check this out and read some more teen/tween and even younger than that books.

This books is super up-to-date and includes books that must have been ARCS when she was writing this!

Anyway, it's non-fiction Monday and, as per usual, Anastasia has the round-up. Woot!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Hello all and welcome to Poetry Friday. Mr. Linky is down below to add your link.

But first, I have a review of Hip Hop Speaks to Children edited by Nikki Giovanni

So, this is an anthology of poetry, hip hop, and sermons, showing the evolution of the spoken word with rhythm and using rhythm to best spread the word.

It's beautifully illustrated by multiple artists and contains a wide range of poets--Langston Hughes, Queen Latifah, Sugar Hill Gang, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kanye West, Walter Dean Meyers, and Maya Angelou and more.

The best part is the included CD. I have long loved Gwendolyn Brooks's "The Pool plays: Seven and the Golden Shovel" but never knew how to read the rhythm of her punctuation and line breaks

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We...

And I never thought I'd see "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang in a children's book. This is one of those tracks that helped define hip hop. (And you might know it as the song that the old lady rapped in The Wedding Singer

I said a hip hop the hippie to the hippie
the hip hip hop, a you dont stop

the rock it to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the boogie

Some things are texts we think of as for adults--"The Creation," "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "The Song of Smoke," and some are things we tend to associate with children--"Books" and "Principal's Office."

I'm not a fan of all the poems, but many are ones I love.

But the CD... hearing Langston Hughes introduce and then read his work is amazing. There are also some interpretations of songs. I wasn't a fan of the rap of "I Have a Dream"--I liked the concept, but not the execution. But, the hamboning version of "The Pool players" and Josephine Cameron's sung version of Sterling Brown's "Long Track Blues" are tracks I can listen to over and over again.

I highly recommend this one for all collections. If the title didn't include the word "children" it'd be an excellent book all the way to high school. My coworkers and I are already talking about doing a Hip Hop poetry story time for our elementary school kids. The only question is if we wait until April (Poetry Month) or go ahead and do it now. Well, do it in October, when the book comes out, but pre-order today.

full disclosure: book provided by publisher

NOW! I want to read your poems! Leave your link below!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Still Here (FREE BOOKS!)

The library is open today, and despite the torrential downpour, people are using it.

Really, this is just a post to let you know that Cheryl Rainfield is giving away copies of The Hunger Games which everyone is raving about and I can't wait to read!

Meg Cabot is having a most excellent contest where you have to look at a foreign edition of one of her books and take a guess as to which book it is! Winners will get a signed Cabot book of their choice.

Also, my contest to win a copy of Vibes is still open. Email me (kidsilkhaze at yahoo dot com) with the subject line "vibes" to enter! AND I'VE CHANGED THE RULES: if you blog about my contest and email me to let me know, I will enter you twice! Entries must be received by midnight Eastern on Wednesday (that's the midnight between Wednesday and Thursday, not Tuesday and Wednesday). Contest is open world wide!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Poetry Friday

It's Friday evening and the rain from Hanna has started. The DC area is under a tropical storm warning tomorrow, which is an unknown entity to me. I can handle tornado warnings and blizzard warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings, but... tropical storms? I'm thinking severe thunderstorm + tornado x 2? Maybe? Luckily, I live with a hurricane expert and he doesn't seem worried (although there is a gallon of water in my car because I have to go to work tomorrow. Hmmmm...)

Dear internets, I'll be fine. I'm just typing out loud here.

Anyway... here is my Poetry Friday entry.

Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial Jen Bryant

This is a novel in verse about the Scopes Monkey/Evolution trial. It has 9 narrators--mostly townspeople, plus a few observers. Each character has their own poetic voice and style. Even though, like many poetry novels, I'm wondering if deleting the line breaks would have made such a difference.

It's broken into several sections, each one starting with quotations from people involved in the trial. There is a epilogue explaining what happened with the historical personages, as well as the current issues with teaching evolution in our science classes. There is also a short author's note explaining why she did certain things (such as reporting styles and the use of the words colored and Negro). The book has a definite pro-evolution slant to it. The anti-evolution characters are shown as a little crazy and, often hypocritical. Or taking the stance for a reason that has nothing to do with the issues at hand.

Bryant's account of the trial is one where Scopes was really just arrested because the town elders wanted the media circus that would inevitably surround such a trial in an effort to increase tourism to Dayton. The best voices are those of the children--3 high school students and one African-American boy and how the trial changes them. Often, it's not so much about evolution, but just the contact with the so many new faces and ideas gets them thinking in new ways about their futures.

Full disclosure: Book provided by author.

Round up is at Wild Rose Reader. Check it out!

Hanna update: Dan just tied a flashlight to my belt, in case we lose power. He's placing other ones through out the house in strategic locations. We are nothing if not prepared.

Also, Storm Naming People? Hanna should have an H on it. I know this because in 2nd grade, I had to read a story called "Hannah is a Palindrome" in which the teacher wrote that on the board, and then got called down to the office, and so all the other kids started making fun of Hannah. The mean kids were led by a boy named Otto. Then Hannah looked up palindrome in the dictionary and wrote "Otto is a palindrome" on the board which shut him up right quick. And then the teacher came back and was really proud of her because it turns out she was about to write that before getting called away. And, in order for Hannah to be a palindrome? It needs 2 H's.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

ESP isn't all it's cracked up to be...

I made soup for dinner tonight. It was so tasty and completely worth going to 2 different stores to get the ingredients.

Today's book was provided by the publisher, via The Picnic Basket, which is another one of those sites you should know about. I was really excited when it was offered, because I really wanted to read it after reading Leila's review.

Also! Below! A Contest!

Vibes Amy Kathleen Ryan

Kristi is psychic. Life isn't easy when you can hear the popular girls thinking such things as Why is she such a drama queen? and Why does she wear those horrible outfits. Life really isn't easy when the most beautiful boy in school, whom she shouldn't care about, but does, thinks sick every time he sees her. It doesn't help when your best friend's head is full of gross fantasies involving your ginormous boobs somehow being wet. Opera at full volume is really the only thing that can keep the voices at bay.

But that's all background. The real drama of this story has nothing to do with the voices Kristi hears. The drama comes from sources readers will identify with--the mean popular girls, the mean not-as-popular girls, ex-best friends, boy friends who want to be your boyfriend, and serious parental drama.

What's even better is that Kristi is definitely human. She's mean and makes wrong decisions. Sometimes she learns, sometimes she doesn't. She's an excellent biting voice to YA fiction, a la Cyd Charisse in Gingerbread.

The book looks pink and light. And it is pink, but there's a reason Kristi is wearing such dark eyeshadow. This isn't depressing, but it's not fluffy. This is a book that has meat, while still being funny.

Mom might be a little overweight, but she's still an absolute health nut. For my fifth birthday party she got me an all natural carrot cake from an organic bakery that sweetens everything with honey. Hildie took one bite of it and announced to the room, "Ew! This takes like bird poop!"... You think my mother would take all this under advisement when selecting the cake for my next birthday, but she not. She got me a carob-raisin mocha chip, which was as yummy as it sounds.

I highly recommend.

Look for it October 6.

But, if you can't wait... I have a copy of give away. Email me at kidsilkhaze at yahoo dot com with the subject line "Vibes" by midnight (Eastern) next Wednesday. Winner will be chosen by random drawing. Open to everyone!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Monday? NO! Tuesday!

I love 3 day weekends, except then I'm always off for the rest of the week. Let's see if tomorrow I remember it is Wednesday (so must go to work in the morning) instead of Tuesday (when I go to work in the afternoon.)

Also, this weekend, I managed to seriously (well, not hospital-serious, but serious enough it's totally gross to look at and I can justifiably whinge about pain) mangle a toe on BOTH feet, in 2 separate incidents. Really. Saturday night was my right foot, last night, my left. Oiy.

But... let's talk books, shall we? Today's review is about a book written for adults, except I first read it at 11 or 12 or around there and loved it. I have been looking for this book for years and finally figured out (well, Sean figured out) what book it was. So, I reread it. I'm happy to say that, for the most part, it stands up to reread AND! I found out that it was actually the first in a trilogy. WooHoo!

Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming Robert Zelazney and Roger Sheckly

Every 1000 years, the forces of Good and Evil hold a contest. The winner controls man's destiny for the next millennium. Anxious to get out of duty in the Pit, Azzie is the demon in charge of Evil's entry. He has a budget, an assistant, and a drive to win. Azzie's plan involves building a princess and Prince Charming and have them act out the tale of Sleeping Beauty, but with disastrous consequences. Of course, nothing goes according to the plan.

Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming is funny, and almost a fantasy spoof. It very consciously plays with some of the fantasy genre mainstays. It's very silly, but in a smart way. I loved it as a kid and very much enjoyed it as an adult. There are a few things that I understand now that I'm pretty sure I didn't get then--nothing content wise, but some mythology and Citizen Kane references/allusions. I think I appreciated the silliness more when I was younger, but this was an extremely pleasant reread--I'm very glad I found this story again.