Sunday, April 13, 2008

All my books this April 13th, 2008

Picked up a bunch of books at B&N this past weekend & of course, dived right in & started reading. I'm still reading Trouble by Gary Schmidt, and haven't finished yet. But I will, soon.

The other books have all been just great: Among the Impostors and Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix. The people over in Books & Writers forum mentioned this writer & they were exactly right, her work is fabulous. Basically, they're set in a time when people are living under a totalitarian government, and having more than two children is absolutely forbidden. Farmers' work & lives are controlled to the hilt, and everyone is poor, desperate, and working very hard to survive. This story about the third children is amazing, as she builds this fascinating world of survival. I've always liked survival stories & I think that's part of the reason why I like these so well. Highly recommended. I plan to read the rest in this series very soon.

Then, Eggs by Jerry Spinelli, in which two wounded children find each other. It starts out with an Easter Egg hunt. The boy has lost hist mother (said on the first page) and the story itself is very much the story of the two children who find each other, make unlikely friends and somehow, someway, manage to find healing. They're both cranky children and unbelievably funny at times. I love Jerry Spinelli's ability to mix pathos with humor and fun. I also love that it starts with an Easter Egg hunt. Too cool!

Charlaine Harris writes several series & this one is from her Sookie Stackhouse series. Some of my favorite authors are those that can blend several genres & this one is a blend between mystery, romance, fantasy, and is really terrific. I tend not to like vampire stories, but this one works for me, mostly because Sookie is able to take care of herself around them. This one takes Sookie to Lake Michigan, on the shores of the City of Chicago. Really fun to hear the Southerner's viewpoint on the Northerners!

Trouble by Gary Schmidt : which I haven't finished yet. It starts out with a main character, who is the youngest of three children. His oldest brother is badly hurt in an accident, and everything changes in the family. His father is having trouble dealing with the situation, and the main character is not used to seeing his father like this. Life is going on... but not all is well.

I think what I like best about Schmidt is his ability to mix a little bit of history into his story. He's able to give you the sense of the time & place, what happened, why people thought the way they did, without making you feel like you're sitting through an history lecture. There's always a bit of a mystery... why are people behaving the way they are? What makes them chose the course of action they chose to take, which can be destructive or a humbling brand of goodness? If you haven't tried Gary Schmidt's work yet, do, because they have all been well done & are all set in different time periods.

I have to go grocery shopping now, which will bring in the cooking part of this blog nicely. But it isn't anything too exciting or innovative, just salad stuffs. I may try to recreate the Thai salad I had at a local restaurant the other day. Speaking of which, the waitress there asked me about my Sookie Stackhouse book & seemed really interested in it. I like it when the waitpeople ask me about my books, although sometimes I'm embarrassed by what I'm reading. I'm working on it, though! Not much to be embarrassed about really, except that sometimes people aren't accustomed to adults reading juveniles. I refuse to be pigeonholed & told I can't read something just because of my age, however. Reading Power! Reading Rights! Fight on!

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