It’s been a slow reading month for me. I’ve been writing hard though, so that’s my excuse. That said, lots of the reading I’ve done this month has a funny story attached to it, so this Book Tweets post will have a little something extra.
So early in the month everyone was talking about 50 SHADES OF GREY and I heard about it over and over. I also read a review on Forever Young Adult about WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion. Then one of my tweeps reminded me of WARM BODIES when he joked about zombie love. That night I dreamt a mash-up of WARM BODIES and 50 SHADES. In other words I dreamt a zombie BSDM movie. Needless to say, I woke up in a bit of a disturbed state. Naturally the first thing I did was tweet about it, of course letting Isaac Marion in on it. We went on to have a highly amusing and inappropriate twitter exchange about zombies and BDSM, after which I felt obligated to read his book.
This was my tweet:
Finished WARM BODIES by @isaacinspace . Really loved it. Funny, whimsical, yet oddly real. #ilovezombies
To which he replied:
Awww. What a sweetie.
Earlier in the month I read GODLESS by Pete Hautman.
Finshed GODLESS by @petehautman I really loved it. Funny, dramatic, irreverent and real. Will blog a proper review tomorrow or Sunday
Since I collect books for atheist teens, I did a full review of this one.
Next, I had a “moment” with John Green.
LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green. Deep, beautiful but infuriating. Maybe that’s the point. Demerits for “thematic” smoking though #yuck
People have been talking about John Green non stop since THE FAULT IN OUR STARS was released. I don’t think I’ll read TFIOS (I can’t really do cancer books), but I liked WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON a lot so I thought I would try some other John Green. Now I did like this book, though I was a bit infuriated by…well, read it and I’m sure you’ll know. One thing that won’t be a spoiler to write about is the smoking. Smoking, smoking, all these kids do is smoke! And it’s not even the smoking that concerns me so much as that it is treated as some kind of special, mind expanding experience, some wonderful shared nirvana, a secret heavenly world that these kids escape to when the pressure of being a teenager becomes to much. That’s right – cigarette smoking. I fully expected to read “This Book was made possible by a generous grant from the Marlboro Tobacco Corporation”. There’s even cigarette smoke on the COVER! All this while Mr. green is rolling in cash and accolades earned by writing about CANCER?! Urgh. To much irony, even for me. This book should come with a disclaimer.
A little Stephanie Perkins cured my Green related malaise.
Finished ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS at 3am! Now a wee bit tired. Curse you @naturallysteph , Could. Not. Stop. Reading.
Stephanie Perkins has tweeted me several times. A lovely tweep who writes lovely books. I hope she’s at ALA in June. I’d love to meet her IRL. And I can’t wait to read the third book in this cycle: ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
I could probably read a book a month by Neal Shusterman. I just love him.
THE SHADOW CLUB is classic @NealShusterman. Suspenseful with a whiff of something dark and unknown and universal. Great read!
Shusterman has never failed to thrill me. This is an earlier book of his, but no less dark and creepy while staying real.
The last two were read as part of my commitment to the 2012 People of Color Reading Challenge. What I quickly learned this month is that one rarely just happens to read a book with a protagonist or even an author of color. One really has to put a little effort into it. Finally I decided to tackle two reading challenges in one and chose an early chapter book (I’m trying to read a bit more material for younger readers as opposed to all the YA I’ve been reading) and some poetry (because I have to write another verse novel next year). Here are my tweets:
Read ALVIN HO #1 by @lenorelook Loved Alvin. A very cute start to a chapter book series @readingincolor
The full title of this is ALVIN HO: ALLERGIC TO GIRLS, SCHOOL AND OTHER SCARY THINGS. I like this little book. The voice was very cute and there was a smattering of Chinese culture in it which was nice. Alvin is the real strength of this series though. he is almost, but not quite what is increasingly called a “neuro-atypical” protagonist in the sense that he is a selective mute at school. Perhaps why will be explained in later books, but there certainly is enough character there to build a strong series on. Book ! felt a little thin on plot though. Hopefully the subsequent books are more plot driven.
Read a collection of Langston Hughes poetry. Now feel very inspired #langstonhughes
I’ve been meaning to catch up on some more Langston Hughes ever since I assigned a couple of his poems to some 20th C history students a few years back. He definitely didn’t disappoint. I love his mix of rhyme and free verse and jazz or spiritual inspired verse, as well as the contrast between regional dialect and formal phrasing. In particular I found this little gem, which inspires me in my current WIP:
(From Love Song for Lucinda)Love Is a high mountain Stark in a windy sky If you Would never lose your breath Do not climb too high
Read on, friends.