Just as I assume that most, if not all, of you reading this blog already subscribe to PW’s "Children’s Bookshelf," I assume that most of you reading this blog already subscribe to "Notes from the Horn Book," the Horn Book‘s monthly electronic newsletter. If not, I recommend subscribing (for free!) right now. I’m a big fan of material presented in a clean, well-organized, easy-to-parse way, and like the oatmeal in Baby Bear’s bowl, this one’s "just right."
For the August issue, Roger Sutton asked several writer friends (and one editor — the amazing Virginia Duncan) what they’re currently reading "for their off-the-clock summer reading." I really enjoyed their responses, and that got me wondering what books OTHER folks currently have on their bedside tables (or in their totebags, on their beach chairs, etc.), now that it’s summer when (theoretically) people are finding more time to read. (Would that that were so for me!)
Today I’m inviting booksellers, librarians, and teachers to chime in with their answers to this question. Tomorrow, it’ll be the authors’ and illustrators’ turn. Wednesday, all you folks in the publishing world get to give your answers.
I’ll go first, to get the ball rolling: As I’ve already confessed to being a serial monogamist when it comes to reading, I’ve got just one book to share. I’m about halfway through A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg (Random House, June 2008), which I am very much enjoying! I had the great pleasure of meeting Shana at a Random House dinner in Boston last week, and she’s just as personable (and likeable) as the characters in this, her first novel. I’ll say more about the book once I’ve finished it. (Perhaps when I finally write reviews on ALL the books I’ve been reading lately and failing to write about here! Oy!)
Now, fellow booksellers, librarians, and teachers? It’s your turn.
(A quick reminder to everyone that the commenting feature on this site is completely aggravating, but it DOES work — usually on the second try! Type your comment in the box then highlight it and copy it to your clipboard [CTRL-C] before you take the little "type the letters you see" test. That way if the page comes up again and your comment has NOT been posted, you can just paste your text back into the box again [CTRL-V] without having to recreate the wording you came up with the first time. Take the letters test again, and…? Hopefully the second time’s the charm!)
I’m reading The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson, an adult book by the beloved author of the Moomintroll children’s books. This is absolutely a book to savor, each vignette sharper and more moving than the last. It follows a grandmother at the end of her life and her six year old granddaughter, who has recently lost her mother. The two spend the summer comporting together out and around a small island in the Gulf of Finland. Not to give this book a taste would be to miss a truly poignant treat.
I’m reading “Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man” by Dale Peterson. It’s a fascinating look at a woman who practically founded the modern science of primatology. Still, it is rather slow going – the author includes far too many insignificant details (what books Jane read as a young girl when she was home sick in bed, all her pets, even what she has on her desk) that just bog the book down. But Jane Goodall is more than what she seems in some very interesting ways – her love life, her insecurities, her passions – and the book is an excellent portrayal of what makes her tick.
I’m re-reading “Childhood’s End” for the classics book club AND Reading the fourth in the Percy and the Olympians series; “The Battle of the Labyrinth”
I’ve been trying to go back and read those shoulda, coulda, woulda books that I missed from years past and just (sadly) finished NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST by Cohn and Levithan. Loved it!
I am reading Something To Tell You by Kureishi, finished Graceling awaile ago but loved it so much I want everyone to read it. Also just finished A Day A night and A Day by Glen Duncan..one of the best books this year.
I’m reading the reprint of Margaret Campbell Barnes’ My Lady of Cleves, which is a wonderful book about Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII’s fourth wife. I’m also reading Forced Out by Stephen Frey, recommended by my husband, The Richest Season by Maryann McFadden, and Holly Jacobs’ latest romance, Same Time Next Summer. I do read multiple books at a time, until about the last 100 pages of a book when I zoom through it to find out what happens. Lesa Holstine, http://www.lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com
All Shook Up by Shelley Pearsall. My 12 year old giggled all the way through it, so I just had to read it. What a hoot!
I’m reading The Actress by Elizabeth Sims. It’s hardcover, but I took it to Belize on my summer getaway anyway! My aunt and my sister (also teachers) read it first and are eagerly waiting for me to finish so we can discuss it. I (we) recommend The Actress to teachers who like mysteries and want to find a really good new series. The protagonist is a single parent. The plot is gripping and thought provoking. The tone is warm and witty.
I’m reading The Grift by Debra Ginsberg. Enjoying it- and trying not to ignore my husband &
After a marathon reading session in my yard today, I just finished Graceling by Kristin Cashore (which comes out in Oct.). I adored it. I was halfway done with Inkspell (the sequel to Inkheart), so now it’s back to that I go…
I am reading They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky, the story of the lost boys from Sudan. It should be on everyones reading list.
Just finished the ARC for Eon by Alison Goodman – totally amazing! Now reading White Sands, Red Menace – Ellen Klages & Me, the Missing, & the Dead – Jenny Valentine. Adult book group finally getting around to Snow Flower & the Secret Fan, so am reading it after everyone else in the world.
I’m in the middle of Digging to America by Ann Tyler. I hadn’t read anything by her in many years, and it’s lovely to hear her voice again. This novel is about 2 families–one American and one Iranian-American–who adopt baby Korean babies, and the characters are very well drawn.
I actually just finished an ADULT book. One of those treasures from the white box. Anyway, I absolutely couldn’t put it down! Two Rivers by T. Greenwood from Kensington Press. It’s a combination of two love stories intertwined with the Civil Rights Movement. Just a great summer read!
I just finished Sharon Creech’s Hate That Cat and was reminded of all the reasons (and came up with a few more) why I just adored Love That Dog. I also finished Paper Towns and went back and read Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska. John’s writing some of the best YA fiction around, in my opinion, and I think he has outdone himself with Paper Towns. I’ve now picked up Leonard Marcus’s Minders of Make-Believe from Virginia Duncan’s recommendation in Notes from the Horn Book and so far, it is wonderful!
Not counting picture books, Sarah the Sunday Fairy, by “Daisy Meadows”. Gully’s Travels, by Tor Seidler, illus Brock Cole Shug, by Jenny Han (it really is as wonderful as everyone always says) The Homework Machine, by Dan Gutman (he can be as good as Andrew Clements!) Savvy, by Ingrid Law Carolina Harmony, by Marilyn Taylor McDowell (Random House, March ’09) Masterpiece, by Elise Broach (Henry Holt, September) Hoping to see Next to Mexico, by Jennifer Nails Listening in the car to The Commoner, by John Burnham Schwartz And there’s another galley in the back seat to read during oil changes and long stoplights. Not that this begins to TOUCH the things I SHOULD get read. Like the whole unopened carton of Penguin galleys for next spring. Or 25 blogs. Or…
I just finished the two Atherton books by Pat Carman. The stories had great environmental themes, sociological concepts, and a very enjoyable protagonist.
As usual, I always have several books going at once. Currently I’m reading The Sisters 8 books 1 & 2 by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Houghton-Dec), Morganville Vampires series bk 2 Dead Girls Dance by Rachel Caine, I Q by Roland Smith (Sleeping Bear-Sept) & Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse (Feiwel & Friends-Sept). I’ve also been reading an adult book on my lunch break, Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent (little brown-Sept) that is a fascinating look at the Salem witch trials. I hope to dig into the Spring 2009 releases by this weekend since so many of them look appealing…
I just finished VIBES by Amy Kathleen Ryan, out this fall from Houghton. I loved the premise of a strong willed and creative teen who is psychic, and can actually hear what other people are thinking about her rather than just imagining it. (or can she?) Anyway, the writing perfectly captures the ambivalent impulses teens have that both make them push others away as well as defy the world. ALSO on my best of the year list: Graceling, Hunger Games, Savvy, Patron Saint of Butterflies, and Looks by Madeline George.
I spent the summer catching up on all of the books I should have been reading this past year. I read Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer. I just purchased (as a librarian, for me to BUY a book is very rare) I also read James Patterson’s Maximum Ride trilogy. And lastly, I finally got around to reading Animal Farm. Everyone else read it in high school a hundred years ago. Oh well, better late than never!
I have finally found the time to read Howl’s Moving Castle (which I am very much enjoying), and am about half way through Identical by Ellen Hopkins, who I’m a big fan of. I am also just starting to read through my boxes of galleys for the Spring, but haven’t yet found one I’m super excited about. — Meghan, BookPeople, Austin, TX
I’m reading Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The enchanted chocolate pot : being the correspondence of two young ladies of quality regarding various magical scandals in London and the country- a story told in alternating letters by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. This was a gift from a colleague who left the library – but was a Kindred Spirit in terms of reading tastes. I’m listening to Gregor and the Marks of Secret by Suzanne Collins, wonderfully performed by Paul Boehmer. This is one of my new favorite series! – Ryann Uden, IL
I am a teacher of gifted junior high students, so we always have a ton of books going. Right now I am reading A Bone from a Dry Sea, Gregor the Overlander, and The Giver. Adult book-wise I am reading Zorro by Isabel Allende and liking it more than I thought I would.