Friday, October 29, 2010

Spooky Halloween Blog Tour for "The Night Wanderer" by Drew Hayden Taylor

The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel
Title: The Night Wanderer
Author: Drew Hayden Taylor
Publisher: Annick Press, 2007
How I got it: This book was sent to me by the publisher for review.

Tiffany Hunter is dealing with a lot. She lives in Otter Lake, an Anishinabe (Ojibwa) reservation in central Ontario with her dad and grandmother. She's doing poorly in school, she fights with her dad constantly, and to make matters even more difficult she is trying to navigate a new relationship with a white boyfriend. Demons and ghost stories are the last thing on her mind—but they're the center of everything for Pierre L’Errant, the new boarder Tiffany's father has just taken into their home. Though from Europe, he is clearly Native, and mentions he is of Anishinabe ancestry. But who is he really, and where did he come from? Why has he come to Otter Lake, of all places? In The Night Wanderer, Drew Hayden Taylor gives us a new and refreshing twist on the centuries-old legend of the vampire.

The more I thought about this book, the more I liked it. At its heart, it is about home and family. Tiffany struggles with this, as she is constantly battling with her father over pretty much anything, though especially about her boyfriend Tony. There are a lot of underlying issues with this, as Tiffany's mother left her father, Keith, for a white man about a year earlier. Keith is still trying to recover, and unfortunately he isn't getting very far. He doesn't know how to handle his daughter, so he lets out his anger and pain on her—and she returns it full force. Stuck in the middle of this is Granny Ruth, Keith's mother. She's feisty, but is trying to deal with all of this pain and anger and not-talking-about-the-real-issue on her own, until Pierre enters the picture.

Pierre is a character we can sympathize with, though we're not sure we can trust him. His motives aren't clear until the very end. But what is clear is his attachment to his homeland, the place where he was born centuries before, when he made the decision to leave it and everything he knew for adventure and the unknown. He is not the tortured vampire struggling with what he is at his very essence, though there are hints that he has thought about it. He knows what he is and accepts it, which is truly a nice change from the brooding bad-boy vampire so popular in today's teen fiction.

Taylor works Anishinabe (more commonly known as Ojibwa) culture and language into Pierre's and Tiffany's intersecting stories—both in the modern and more ancient culture and teen experiences. Tiffany is trying to sort out what it means to be a part of her native community, often trying to escape it, though sometimes feeling guilty for not knowing more than she does (for example, she can't speak the language, like her grandmother). Usually I am hesitant to read fiction about certain cultures, especially Native American ones, for fear of misrepresentation of the people and the history. But because Taylor is Ojibwa himself, I trusted his descriptions and allowed myself to enjoy the story, knowing it is authentic. He also manages to include an interracial relationship and its resulting difficulties, such as racism and Tiffany's discomfort at being the only Native teen in a group of white ones.

Another thing I loved are the sometimes surprising little dashes of humor Taylor throws into his prose every so often. I found myself sporting a quick grin at many little details he includes, like this sentence in the middle of a suspenseful scene: "From deep in the bush, a hunter older than James, his house, and the mayonnaise at the back of his refrigerator all put together watched him closely" (79). But despite this comic relief, there are a few chapter that got my heart pounding—many strange and unnatural things are seen on the Otter Lake Reservation after Pierre arrives.

My only complaints lie with the characterization of Tiffany. For a while I felt like she was too flat of a character—I wasn't really getting where she was coming from, and she just seemed a bit off through the beginning. It took me a while to get into the book because it was mostly about Tiffany at first. However, once Taylor started writing about Pierre and other characters, I could see his talent better. I found out afterward that this was originally written as a play, and I thought that might have had something to do with it.

These days, everyone is sick of vampires and their sparkles and forbidden love interests in virginal white girls. But with his fresh interpretation and the addition of family drama and the importance of home, Taylor has given us a reason to enjoy vampire novels again.

This is the last stop on the Spooky Halloween Blog Tour, but be sure to check out the previous stops:

October 25: Teresa's Reading Corner
October 26: A Girl Reads a Book and YA Book Shelf
October 27: Chick Loves Lit
October 28: Word of Mouse Books
October 29: Me!

Until Halloween, The Night Wanderer ebook will be available for only $3.29 (regular price: $9.99) at! It's also available as a physical book at

Or if you'd like to win a physical copy of The Night Wanderer for yourself, fill out the form below. This giveaway will end on November 1 at noon EST. Only one entry per person, please! I will delete people who enter more than once. If you're not sure you entered already, just shoot me an e-mail or tweet at me and I'll let you know.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review: "The White Darkness" by Geraldine McCaughrean

The White DarknessTitle: The White Darkness
Author: Geraldine McCaughrean
Publisher: HarperTempest, 2005
Where I got it: The library.

Fourteen-year-old Sym knows all there is to know about Antarctica—the landscape, the history, the explorers and how they survived (or didn't). Especially dear to her is Captain Oates of the failed Scott expedition of 1, in whom she confides all of her hopes, dreams, and fears within her head, a character all his own within the book. When her Uncle Victor surprises her with a trip down south—way south—she is thrilled. But Victor is not telling her everything, and she eventually finds herself on the terrifying mission of a madman. Does Sym know enough to keep herself alive in the white darkness?

The White Darkness has gotten much acclaim, and managed to snag a Printz award. The writing is often quite lyrical, with original and evocative similes ("...everything was so still, we could have been at the bottom of a glass of milk" (187)). The premise is also great—trapped in the Antarctic with no one to rely on but yourself. Yet despite all this, the execution was not good enough.

Though the writing was very good, it was hard to like Sym as a character. She has a lot of self-esteem issues, it's true, but I didn't really feel any sympathy for her. Perhaps it is her detachment from her family and her father's death, and her complete lack of passion for anything besides Antarctica and Titus. Her father recently died, but she is convinced that he didn't like her. However, she gives no reasons as to why except her uncle told her so. She doesn't seem to have any affection for her mother either, even though she should be the most important person in Sym's life. Somehow Victor has brainwashed Sym, and we as readers can't figure out why—the relationship is too poorly developed.

Despite the supposed action of the book, I found myself bored with it most of the time. Sym is not a very interesting person, despite all McCaughrean does to try to develop the character. She is bland, while struggling with her insecurities. McCaughrean tries to make this into a book where her main character comes to terms with her sexuality and interest in boys, which seems wildly out of place, especially with how it is resolved at the very end. Her ruminations on sex and romance are what distracts her from her predicament, but it seems very wrong that she should remove herself to the point where she's distracted from surviving.

Though The White Darkness did very well with critics, I can't see many teens getting through this book. There are too many words and too much irrelevant thought to the adventure to make this a good adventure story.

Top Ten Books for Halloween!

Hi everyone! This week I wanted to do a Top Ten Tuesday in honor of Halloween, so I've picked out my top ten 10 spooky/creepy/scary books for the season. And, okay, some of them might not have actually scared me, but they are appropriate for Halloween. (This is also the main TTT on The Broke and the Bookish, so head on over there to put your own top ten list on the Mister Linky!)

1. Dracula by Bram Stoker: Gotta pay homage to the guy who made vampires scary and brought them into pop culture. Plus this book is pretty creepy, what with the dead coming back for the blood of the innocent and all.

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: This is not so much scary as, again, a work that has influenced countless others. I would argue that this is the first real science fiction novel, though if you can think of an earlier one let me know!

3. In the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan: I usually hate zombie anything, but this was so character-driven and the writing was so wonderful that I completely overlooked that. It was only afterward that I started to get the heebie jeebies, but it was totally worth it. Definitely a good Halloween-time book if you can handle the scary factor.

4. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer: This is a different kind of scary: the end-of-the-world scary. No post-apocalyptic book has made me so grateful for the life I lead and that our moon is staying put. After putting this one down I had to remind myself that I didn't need to squirrel away incredible amounts of canned goods.

5. Sunshine by Robin McKinley: Not necessarily scary, but one of the best vampire books I've ever read, ever. And I've read a lot. But this is certainly for the more mature reader, and not little kids (language and sexual content and whatnot). But seriously, READ IT.

6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy: Again, the post-apocalyptic scariness. Add to this the cannibals roaming the land in search of any flesh, but mostly human. Terrifying to think about a world where there is no order except the strong turning against the weak... and eating them.

7. Coraline by Neil Gaiman: The button eyes! THE BUTTON EYES. It's creepy, but also, what an awesome character. Coraline rocks.

8. The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z by Max Brooks: I admit, I didn't read these because of my fear of anything zombie. I did own them, but I got too scared to read them and just ended up donating them to my local library's book sale.

9. The Bailey School Kids series by Debbie Dadey and Marcia T. Jones: So yes, not scary. But so clever and fun! I love this series, and always will. Especially Werewolves Don't Go to Summer Camp, probably because I believe it was the first one I read.

10. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and sequels by Alvin Schwartz: We listened to some of these one tape in the third grade, and the one about the head falling down the chimney scared me for YEARS. No lie. But it was more the pictures in these that really make them scary. The old ones that I grew up with are TERRIFYING. Just look at this:

Yeah. Good luck getting to sleep tonight.

What are your top ten scary books? Or just favorite ones to read near Halloween?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review: "The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book OneTitle: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2008
Where I got it: The library, yo.

*Starred Review*

In an unspecified year in the future on an unspecified planet that is not Earth, there is a virus that broadcasts a man's thoughts to all nearby; this is called Noise. It is in this strange new place where no thoughts are secret that we meet Todd Hewitt— he is almost 13 years old, the time a boy becomes a man according to the laws of Prentisstown, his settlement on New World. But one day he finds a bubble where there is no Noise, but a silence so palpable he can feel it. His discovery leads him to flee Prentisstown and the only life he has known, to he knows not where. And he begins to see that not all he has been told his whole life is the truth—Prentisstown has some deep, dark secrets that could spell the end.

Ness has created a wholly original world with a premise full of promise and potential, both of which he fully meets. The action and suspense starts from nearly the beginning, and it is hard to put down from that moment on. There are always new discoveries and revelations that are waiting to be found—what is the secret history of Prentisstown? Why do Todd's caretakers refuse to tell him what is going on? What are all of these creatures and events that Todd refers to? I was compelled to keep reading so I could find these answers.

The style of the writing is superb. It is written completely in vernacular, though it is Todd's language and not our own. Ness perfectly captures the accents with the spelling of the words, making it easy to hear what Todd and the various other characters sound like. He also often writes in run-on sentences that perfectly capture what Todd's Noise sounds like to those nearby who can hear him, making it seem as if we are listening to his thoughts and Noise instead of reading his memoir. It is completely in the moment, and we are there with him.

Manchee, Todd's dog, is also a wonderful character. On New World, the animals can talk and Manchee is exactly as you would expect a dog to sound. It reminded me of Doug from the movie Up; short sentences, mostly just single words to express what he wants Todd to know. Though Todd is reluctant to accept responsibility for him at the beginning, Manchee is incredibly loyal and becomes much more than just a dog to Todd.

Not only is this a fantastic adventure story, it is a terrifying dystopia with many messages slipped in about war, post-Colonialism, gender roles and ethical decisions. The knife referred to in the title becomes something of a symbol throughout the course of the book, as well as an integral piece of the story. It is the one thing Todd is constantly aware of, the one thing for which he knows the location at all times. This will generate a lot of discussion about all of the above, especially in this, a time when war is constantly on the news. What is right? What can Todd do to counter all the evil that surrounds him?

I highly recommend this to everyone who likes action, science fiction, dystopian fiction, and coming-of-age novels. This is an especially great series for readers who liked The Hunger Games and the other books in that series—many of the same themes and issues are addressed, but in a better story with a better execution, in my opinion.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review: "Feed" by M.T. Anderson

FeedTitle: Feed
Author: M.T. Anderson
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2002
Where I got it: I listened to the audio version and got it from the library.

Titus lives in a future where everything is connected with and through the feed. The feed is how people chat, buy, browse, research, and select—it is a computer built into the brain, an implant that not only allows you to have what we would cal the Internet in your head, but also TV shows and commercials, suggestions as to what you might like based on past purchases or inquiries, and anything else along those lines. Titus is just another teenager who has grown up with the feed as something normal, and he lives to bask in the corporate-controlled world. But this all changes when he meets Violet, an unconventional girl who has some weird ideas and perspectives on the feed and the world they live in.

You know you've found a great dystopian/science fiction book when it makes you grateful for the life you have. You also know it's even better if it makes you look at our world and get a little panicky. Titus sounds like many teens in today's world, dependent on the feed for everything he is capable of doing. He also recognizes the dangers of leaving the world's fate on the whims of the corporations that control practically everything, yet sees it more as an inevitability than as something to fight against. That hits really close to home; so many people in our world, sometimes myself included, see what goes on as impossible to change or have an effect on.

Anderson creates such a believable world, and such a terrifying one. The people are completely at the mercy of the corporations—even School™ is a corporation, and not government-run (Titus is appalled at the idea of a government-run school, saying it's "completely, like, Nazi"(109)). They all embrace the instant gratification the feed provides; the instant chatting, the instant purchasing, the instant information—and all this is reminiscent of how we're all plugged in to the Internet at all times. Yet Anderson doesn't come off as being anti-progress or anti-Internet; it's just the way it is, and that's what makes it so scary.

There are also an infinite number of environmental problems that lead the reader to the conclusion that the world will soon end. People start to get lesions, which are of course turned into a fashion statement to deflect the attention from what is causing them, and there are no more trees or natural anythings. Forests are completely gone, as is wildlife. Violet says that the earth is dead; there is nothing that mankind hasn't created or planted, nothing straight from the earth. Everything has been destroyed.

The characters were all really well-formed and rounded, even the stock characters. Titus is not a hero by any means—he thinks more than the average teen in his world, but he wants to belong and be normal and so doesn't talk about his thoughts to his friends as he does to us, the readers. He is often a major jerk to Violet, but shows brief glimpses of a deeper character. I was surprised to see his friends showing sides that I wouldn't have expected from them, especially the completely superficial and unoriginal Quendy when she is talking to Titus about Violet—she shows real compassion and insight, kind of giving Titus a swift kick in the butt. All the teens show some bits of intelligence and occasionally a rare bit of individuality, though it gets harder and harder for them to do so as the feed steers them toward the latest trends and hot topics.

Though this comes before the dystopian trend that has been so prevalent in young adult literature as of late, it is an important contribution to the genre. Science fiction at its core, this is also a statement about our world and where we might be headed. It's protagonist is not extraordinary, though he meets an extraordinary girl. His thoughts are mostly wired into the feed and what it wants him to think, with just a little room for independent thought.

Also, just a warning: the language was pretty strong in this, so it might be better-suited to older readers.

Note on the audio version: This was narrated by David Aaron Baker, and he did a great job. His voice for Titus was perfect, and he was able to make most of the characters' voices unique. Unfortunately I didn't really like his voice for Violet, which was softer—I thought of her as having a more sassy kind of voice. But other than that, his acting was superb. I would also recommend this for its ensemble cast in the feed commercials—with added music, they sounded like ads we see and hear every day. This actually made me panic a little, especially when I saw three commercials in a row that sounded straight from Titus's world. I give the audio 4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Boston Book Fest fun times

So yesterday was pretty much the best day ever. I went the the Boston Book Festival, which is only in its second year (with many more to come, I hope!). I met a bunch of great people and got to spend a day with a friend from college who I don't get to see too often even though she lives right nearby! I suppose I should just start from the beginning, but first let me show you all of the day's players:

Ah yes, I can see you all being jealous already. But first: how the day began.

After a quick breakfast, my friend Sara and I headed to the Church of the Covenant near Copley Square (where the event was taking place) to see a talk called Border Crossing, a children's lit author (and one character!) panel talking about crossing borders, be they physical, racial or the like. The panel included Mitali Perkins, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Richard Michelson, and Lionel Vital, who was the inspiration of the character TiFre in the picture book Selavi by Youme Landowne. After a great presentation and discussion, I got to meet Christina Diaz Gonzalez and had her sign my copy of her book, The Red Umbrella.

And not only was she really nice and friendly and offered to do an interview for this here blog (keep an eye out folks), she loved my name and asked if she could use it in a book! My answer?

You betcha.

After that, we made our way to The Rattlesnake on Boylston for a delicious lunch (mmm grilled portobello salad), but you don't want to hear about that. Because my next tidbit was the BEST part of the day.

Bill Bryson, who is one of my personal heroes, was at the book fest, and he was slated to talk at 3 p.m. So of course, we made our way to the venue at 2. We snagged spots in line up near the front and managed to get somewhere around the 5th or 6th row on the right hand side of the auditorium—awesome! Bryson was hilarious, of course, and gave a great talk. But of course we also wanted him to sign our books, so as they were answering the last question, Sara and I booked it downstairs where they were going to have the signing. Again, we managed a FANTASTIC spot in line, and only waited for about 10 minutes to meet the man himself! He was super nice and generally a very happy and jolly person. I told him he was pretty much my hero, and how I usually listen to his books on CD and think he's a fantastic narrator (he totally is by the way, go out and get an audiobook by him NOW). He then said "Well, that's fantastic! Let me shake your hand!" And then HE SHOOK MY HAND. LIFE. MADE.


So that was pretty much the best thing ever. But that's not all! 

After that we booked it over to Trinity Church to see authors Kathryn Lasky, Kristin Cashore, Francisco Stork and Noni Carter (who is only 19—crazy). As many of you know from my frequent talk about the book, Kathryn Lasky's A Voice in the Wind is pretty much my favorite book from childhood and I've read it at least 10 times. And FINALLY, I got to meet Kathryn Lasky AND have her sign my copy!


That's pretty much it for my author meetings of the day, but a few more good things happened. I was walking around the booths set up, and found this one where they were selling tea. But not just ANY tea. It was Novel Teas! (Get it?)

Heh, look! The tags have quotes about books on them! Er... well, take my word for it. The bottom one says "My home is where my books are" ~Ellen Thompson, 1909. How cute is that?

And to put the icing on the cake, I got a free book for filling out a survey for Houghton Mifflin. "Pick out a book from the box," she said. Yes ma'am. And so I picked The Best American Travel Writing 2010.

And that's it for my fun-filled and book-filled day! Not sure if you all share my fervor, but trust me, it was awesome. I hope to go back next year, and maybe I'll see some of you there!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review: "The Body of Christopher Creed" by Carol Plum-Ucci

The Body of Christopher CreedTitle: The Body of Christopher Creed
Author: Carol Plum-Ucci
Publisher: Harcourt, 2000
Where I got it: The lovely library.

Torey Adams is member of a well-off, slightly rural small town where everyone seems to get along... except for Torey's classmate Christopher Creed, the local weirdo and annoyance. But when Creed goes missing and leaves a cryptic note that could point to running away, suicide or murder, old secrets and the ugly side of the community come out in the open. And when Torey tries to dig up the truth, he is one of the main targets for their hatred and fear.

This is a mystery and a thriller, but also a look at small-town life and ethics. In Torey's community, everyone wants to showcase their virtues without having to deal with their and their neighbor's imperfections and flaws. Blame is passed from person to person, and because no one wants to accept the responsibility they share in Creed's disappearance (as well as other incidents in the town from years earlier), they point their finger at anyone who might be able to serve as their scapegoat. The boons are a favorite target, the poorer and more wild group of people that live on the fringes of the town, though anyone will serve the purpose so long as the accusers are cleared.

Torey is very philosophical about his ethics and beliefs, especially in reviewing his own treatment of Creed and others in the past. He is forced to reevaluate his life and his choices in light of Creed's disappearance (and possible suicide), leading him to change his attitude and actions toward everything. His inner monologue will also spark readers to think about the way they treat others as well. Plum-Ucci highlights that a person's family life might lead them to act the way they do, and readers should get the message that they can't truly judge a person until they really know them. There is more to a person than the way they act in public.

My problems with the book lie in the language and telling of the story. Torey is a sympathetic character, but the way he and his friends speak sometimes sound off. They use slang that make me double take, which throws me off from the story. It was something that consistently bothered me throughout the book, though it wasn't something that happened on every page.

The action of the book is what keeps the story moving along, despite its philosophical and ethical undertones. Torey and his friend Ali are scrambling to find the answer before the disappearance is pinned on someone innocent, thus driving the story forward. But through all this the ending is left ambiguous, with a few hints as to what really happened.

Because of the action-centered nature of this book and because of the male narrator, this would be a good quick pick for a boy, especially if they like mysteries or thrillers. They might be turned off by the introspective parts a little, but it's a good read.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Review: "Boy Meets Boy" by David Levithan

Boy Meets BoyTitle: Boy Meets Boy
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf, 2003
Where I got it: The library of course! On audio no less.

Paul is a high school sophomore who lives in an idealized town where everyone is accepted for who they are, unconditionally. It is a place where you can love who you want to without having to deal with the grief or social stigmas that go along with them—gay and lesbian couples abound, and there are more than a couple transgendered people, including football star Infinite Darlene. Set in such a fantastical place, Boy Meets Boy is largely Paul's story of meeting a boy and falling for that boy, with normal high school situations and hijinks mixed in and none of the issues that are found in the usual LGBTQ literature for teens.

This was a sweet story of love, though not first love—both Paul and Noah (his love interest) have had relationships in the past, and have been hurt badly by them. They approach this new relationship with caution, and of course there are the usual wacky misunderstandings and bad decisions that lead to drama. It is a pretty straightforward love story, with nothing really out of the ordinary besides the incredible setting.

Most of the characters were wholly believable (again, putting aside the unbelievability of where they live and the lives they lead). It was easy to see why they acted the way they did, and why they come to some of their conclusions even if they are not thinking through everything clearly (but then again, how many teenagers do?). My absolute favorite was Infinite Darlene—what a vivacious and lively woman! Listening to the full-cast audio was wonderful, especially in her case. The actor was spot-on, with just a slight Southern accent and deep and sort of sexy voice. I always enjoyed the scenes with Infinite Darlene and looked forward to them.

My complaints lie with the story itself. Though Levithan creates a lovely world where everything seems to be coming up roses, I felt bored with a lot of what was going on. It wasn't a story I hadn't heard before—boy meets boy, boy falls for boy, boy loses boy, boy has to get boy back. Ho-hum. Nothing too crazy, with the exception of Infinite Darlene and her over-the-top and indulgent drama.

Another huge issue I had was the treatment of religion. I understand that many Christians vilify the LGBTQ community, but not all of us do. The way Levithan puts it in the book, all religion (but especially Christianity) has no place in this supposedly ideal community. I found it very hard to believe that not one of those families living in Paul's town had any religious background or practices at all. Religion was the enemy for this community. I am sad that it can't have a positive role in a place that many see as utopic—Levithan didn't really make any attempt to include it in his world, except when it is used to show how unaccepting it is.

Though the community is one to wish for in some ways, Levithan missed a few key points in creating this world, and gave us an ultimately boring story of puppy love. However, he did manage to keep me interested with some of the characters and in waiting to see what else this place had in store.

Note on the audio: This was a full-cast production, so each character had a different actor. I thought they were all chosen very well, especially Infinite Darlene, though some of the girls sounded really similar. It also included a lively and fitting piano score that enriched the experience, plus interviews with some of the actors after the book was over. I give the audio performance 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Top Ten Books I'll (Probably) Never Read

Another Top Ten Tuesday, with me being a little late to the game. (By the way, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fantabulous The Broke and the Bookish, of which I am a regular contributor. This week's topic: top ten books I'll never read. Maybe. Probably. Never is a long time!

1. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Just because I'm not interested and it is long.

2. The Two Towers and The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien. Sorry fantasy fans! I managed to make my way through The Fellowship of the Ring, barely. I don't think I'm going to be able to tackle these two and get farther than the first chapter.

3. Anything by Ann Coulter. She is scary and mean.

4. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I really didn't like The Fountainhead, and I heard this is that but longer and with different characters. No thank you.

5. Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Neitzche. Not into the whole "God is dead" thing. Or books about philosophy, really.

6. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I technically started this one and almost got 80 pages or so in, and I had to stop and return it to the store. Not because it was bad, but because, again, I just didn't care. Or have the time required to read the 600-something pages.

7. I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell by Tucker Max. The idea of reading something so sexist repulses me.

8. Anything by Chelsea Handler. I think she's super annoying and not funny.

9. Bieber the Biography (I have no idea what it's actually called). Seriously, do I need to tell you why?

10. Along with Bieber bio, I'll say Miles to Go by Miley Cyrus. Again, I don't think I need to give you my reasoning.

And there you have it. What are your top ten?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top Ten Favorite Authors!

Time for another Top Ten Tuesday (and I'm actually participating this week), a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week's topic? Favorite authors! Easy peasy. Let's see... hmm... well maybe not easy peasy, but I will whittle it down to ten for you. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Sherman Alexie: I've only read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and War Dances by him, but I just love ATDPTI so much. I fully plan on reading more of his work.

2. Jodi Picoult: I love a lot of her books, though sometimes I think they're duds and don't really like them. Depends on the subject at hand I suppose.

3. Sharon Creech: A long-time favorite, thanks to Walk Two Moons. I've read most of her work, at least I think I have! All of it is good.

4. Jane Austen: Have to put her on here. Most of the stories I love are inspired one way or another by her, plus her books are lovely. For the most part (I'm looking at you, Mansfield Park).

5. Bill Bryson: Everything this man writes is pure gold. I hope with all my heart that I will be able to meet him at Boston Book Fest this month, provided I can go.

6. Madeleine L'Engle: Her books are just so beautiful. Her writing is wonderful. I still get goosebumps when I read A Wrinkle in Time. I think I'll have to read more of her stuff, since I haven't read it all. Thank goodness she wrote so much!

7. Harper Lee: She may have written only one book, but it is one of the greatest books I've ever read.

8. Paul Fleischman: Everything I've read by him has been absolutely wonderful. If you haven't read anything by him, go do it now. Seedfolks is not even 100 pages long, it will take you like an hour.

9. J.K. Rowling: She changed the world of children's literature, whether you all like it or not. Plus her books were totally awesome.

10. Elizabeth George Speare: I may have only read The Witch of Blackbird Pond, but it was everything I hoped it would be. Not one disappointment in this book.

Those are my top ten (today). What are yours?

Banned Book Week giveaway winners!

Hi all! Congrats to the following winners of my Banned Book Week giveaways!

Winner of Forever... by Judy Blume is... Melissa Miranda from Spain!

Winner of The Perks of Being a Wallflower is... Kristina from California!

Winner of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is... Jenny from Louisiana!

Winner of Speak is... Jerrica from Illinois!

Winner of The Giver is... Mike from Massachusetts!

Congratulations everyone! I'll mail out the books sometime in the next two weeks. Happy reading!
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