Monday, November 4, 2013

This Is What Happens When I Hear About Books

Apparently, you can't take me around a bunch of authors without me wanting to read everything they're written.
To read
I have accumulated most of the books I ordered during or after USBBY. I've got Andrea Cheng's Marika, based on her mother's experience in Nazi-occupied Hungary, and Siobhan Parkinson's turn-of-the century Irish dancer story Amelia -- I've already pushed through Parkinson's Long Story Short, on Katherine Paterson's sterling recommendation. The story is gritty and quick-paced, a little more YA than MG. I'd love to do this as a read-aloud with a class, since I think there's just enough Irish-isms to require some hand-holding. I also devoured If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan. Forbidden love in Iran, an entirely new wrinkle, both interesting and stimulating 

It was at USBBY that I'd heard about the historical novel-in-verse, Odette's Secrets by Maryann Macdonald, and wanted to know more about the real-life story that inspired it, so I found the epic Doors to Madam Marie by Odette Meyer, which I hope to get to before the USBBY program at ALA Midwinter Meeting, where Macdonald will be speaking.

I'm still following up on some Southern Festival of Book authors, too. From Tommy Hays, a deft speaker and all-around my type of person, I have In The Family Way and The Pleasure Was Mine on deck. I've also fallen into Gabriele Zevin's Birthright series. I just wasn't into the jacket description for All These Things I've Done, but hearing Zevin read from it out loud sold me on it. I'm onto the sequel, Because It Is My Blood, now, and the third one just came out.... I also read Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy. I heard McEvoy on the same panel as Zevin. I'm not 100% comfortable on the racial aspects of that novel -- Brooklyn, Burning it's not -- but it's brave and I did enjoy it.

My husband has wondered aloud recently why I was suddenly reading "all this horror." Well, it's really much more suspense, and I was turned onto The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James after hearing Sonia Gensler rave about it at the Southern Festival, I've ordered her second book, An Inquiry Into Love and Death, too, and then I adored Susan Hill's The Small Hand and Dolly, which I'd found in a pre-Halloween spooky round-up. Both novellas were superb, and it reminded me of seeing the play based on Hill's novel The Woman in Black in the West End in March, with people in the audience shrieking all around me, an accomplishment for a two-actor play that's been running for decades. 
What do I still have TO READ? Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, which as the only librarian who didn't receive an ARC, I preordered, and now I have the $1.40 electronic version, so what am I going to do with this huge hardback? And Girlchild by Tupelo Hassmann, because I'd meaning to read it -- how can you not with that cover? and just now got to it. And The Freak Observer by Blanche Woolston, because I loved Black Helicopters and am now backtracking because I can't bear that cover. I really can't. And I've got The Resurrectionist by Matthew Guinn out from the public library -- more horror.

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