Pre-summer reading checkpoint

It’s that time of year again: The Brooklyn Public Library summer reading program rolled out a few weeks ago. Every year I try to read along with the teen list, so here’s my pre-summer status check in:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie [Read it and LOVED it!]
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga [Cool, and definitely on my list]
Breaking Up by Aimee Friedman [Another great pick I’ve already read]
Catwalk by Deborah Gregory [Totally not my thing, which probably means I should give it a try for the sake of my fashion-obsessed students.]
The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo [Amiguruni? Sweet.]
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah [Have this, love the cover, will probably read it.]
Dramarama by E. Lockhart [By the author of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, so maybe I should read them together.]
Freak Show by James St. James [Totally looking forward to this… got a great rec from Jennifer, one of my D15 librarian peeps.]
King Dork by Frank Portman [The Salinger angle does not entice me as it might others, but still sounds pretty good.]
Real Food, Real Fast by Sam Stern [A cookbook! This is a great pick, and I’ll definitely check it out and try cooking from it.]
Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls edited by Marisa Anderson [Cool selection, probably won’t read it.]
The Rose That Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur [Um? Fine, but this book is mad old. Do kids even care about Tupac anymore?]
Skateboarding Skills: The Rider’s Guide by Ben Powell [Not on my busted knee.]
Street Scene: How to Draw Graffiti-Style by John Lee […. kids these days.]
Tyrell by Coe Booth [Should probably bite the bullet and read this one… heard mixed reviews, and I generally resist the gritty realistic fiction.]

Selected titles I might read from the kiddie list: A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban, A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz, Flush by Carl Hiaasen, Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech (a re-read with Hate That Cat), The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, Rules by Cynthia Lord

And from the adult list: The Geography of Bliss; Outliers; Dear American Airlines; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society;  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

That’s a lot of reading, especially if you count the bin of books I normally schlep home from school for the summer, the backlog of library books, some Pulitzers, and the acquisitions from trips home when my mom and I go used-bookstore crawling across upstate NY. But isn’t that what summer vacation is for?

Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 6:39 pm  Comments (2)  

48 Hour Reading Challenge: Limbering Up

I still have to get through the rest of the work day (stupid school keeping me from reading!) before I can officially get to the starting line of 48HBC, so here’s what I’ve got in front of me to read (from memory, pile pic to follow):

  • Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth
  • Chalice
  • Because of Anya
  • Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie
  • Edward’s Eyes
  • The Hunger Games (I know, I know. I know!)
  • Beastly
  • Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat
  • Bog Child
  • Sun & Spoon
  • The Fruit Bowl Project
  • The Willoughbys
  • Wintergirls
  • The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World
  • Dragon’s Keep
  • The Misfits
  • Totally Joe

I’m sure there’s more that I’m not remembering (and that’s eighteen books already, which I think is probably more than I have in me). My personal goal is to crack twenty hours and read at least ten books. I’ve got a couple short books in there for motivational purposes, so I’m not shooting for spectacular page counts necessarily. I’m pretty much only breaking for breakfast at the diner, a quick trip to the public library to pick up some holds, and an afternoon at the MoCCA Festival to go to the Adrian Tomine/Seth panel, see Cozy Lummox’s first-ever exhibitor table, pick up mini-comics, and get some new Squidfire shirts. You just can’ t miss MoCCA. Oh, and call my mom. (Hi, Mom!)

Published in: on June 5, 2009 at 1:05 pm  Comments (2)  

Getting ready for the 48-Hour Book Challenge

Motherreader’s 48-Hour Book Challenge is more than half the reason I started this blog. Or, maybe, it just gave me the kick in the pants to actually go through with it. Anyway, it’s nearly upon us, and, if the fun of getting ready for it is any indication, this weekend is gonna be an absolute blast. (If, by “absolute blast,” I mean I’m gonna sequester myself in my apartment with a huge stack of YA books and some snacks. It’s a blast on my terms, people.. it’s all relative.)

Mr. Penny will be away all day Saturday, so I’ve just about cleared my calendar for a two day window from Friday to Sunday evening. Honestly, I think my biggest downfall will be afternoon napping, which has sabotaged many a plan to finish a book over the weekend. Abby the Librarian had some good tips for planning and pacing yourself over the weekend that I’m going to try to take to heart. I’m assembling a stack of books from school to match the leftovers from last summer (my summer reading eyes are bigger than my… summer reading eyes?) and I’m hoping to bat cleanup on the YA books I’ve got out from the public library too. Of course it will be way more than is humanly possible to read in 48 hours, says the girl who just hit the limit on her Netflix queue and has a “to-be-read” spreadsheet that tops 6000 books.

Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 11:02 pm  Comments (2)  

On Re-Reading

“The real secret of re-reading is simply this: It is impossible. The characters remain the same, and the words never change, but the reader always does. Pip is always there to be revisited, but you, the reader, are a little like the convict who surprises him in the graveyard — always a stranger.” –Verlyn Klinkenborg, “Some Thoughts on the Pleasures of Being a Re-Reader

As a kid, I was a champion re-reader. I’ve read the Lioness Quartet, The Lord of the Rings, The Stand, The Last Unicorn, Beauty by Robin McKinley, The Phantom Tollbooth… approximately a million times? I don’t know, certainly more than I count, but never enough. I was a re-reader for comfort (I particularly enjoy The Stand while home sick), to get to the “good parts,” as an annual ritual (Diablevert used to re-read A Christmas Carol on the bus home for the holidays every Christmas time, a tradition I absolutely adore), as a prelude to introducing a friend to a favorite book so that I could have it secure in my mind. But I’m not really much of a re-reader anymore. I’ve got great impatience for it, actually, since it seems like there’s such an avalanche of print to just get through these days.

Maybe Mr. Penny reading The Hobbit for the first time will spur me to give it another readthrough, especially since I think I may be conflating some of my memories of it with the Rankin Bass cartoon version, which I’ve also seen about 5,638,409 times.

Published in: on May 31, 2009 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment