May 1st, 2008

readergirlz, postergirlz

Roundtable: Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

What would you do if you were locked up with your friend in a tower for seven years? Five people - one bookseller, one librarian, one huge Shannon Hale fan, and two published authors - gathered to chat about Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, the readergirlz book selection for May 2008. Luckily, we all brought our keys and our escape plans.

Miss Erin: Before we start, everyone should know that I am one of THE biggest Shannon Hale fans you can possibly find. I would say biggest, but I think the girls at the Little Red Reading Hood forum would protest. Over there, we all pretty much tie for that position. I just thought that everyone should know that Shannon is my hero, and the most wonderful person I've ever met. Now that we've got that clear, let the conversation commence!

Lorie Ann Grover: I'm so glad Shannon was free to participate, Miss Erin. I did hear you hit the floor when you received the news.

Little Willow: Whenever I shelve Shannon Hale's books, I think of Erin because I know how much she enjoys them. Were any of you familiar with the folktale upon which Book of a Thousand Days was based?

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Discuss Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale at the readergirlz forum.

Learn more about the book and its author in the May 2008 issue of readergirlz.

Check out previous roundtable discussions at Bildungsroman.

Feel free to read my interview with Shannon Hale.
readergirlz, postergirlz

Readergirlz: May: Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

I am a readergirl! Are you?

Read the new issue of readergirlz. This month, readergirlz are discussing Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale and honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Talk About It

Discuss this month's book and other great reads at the readergirlz forum.

Check out our roundtable discussion of Book of a Thousand Days.

Join our hour-long chat with author Shannon Hale on Thursday, May 22nd at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST at the readergirlz forum.

Recommended Reads

Considering this month's selection and this month's theme, the readergirlz divas and the postergirlz advisory council also recommend the following books:

Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins
Good Enough by Paula Yoo
Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez

Recent Reads
Last month's featured book and author: Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham
Next month's featured book and author: Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson
Visit the readergirlz archive.

Related Posts
Meet the readergirlz divas and the postergirlz advisory council
Read the original readergirlz press release
View all of the readergirlz-tagged posts at Bildungsroman
My interview with Shannon Hale

Best Books of April 2008

April 2008: 81 books read

Picture Books
Callie Cat, Ice Skater by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Anne Kennedy
Bella Gets Her Skates On by Ian Whybrow, illustrated by Rosie Reeve
Little Otter's Big Journey by David Bedford and Susan Winter
Sadie the Air Mail Pilot by Kellie Strom
Mermaid Sister by Mary Ann Fraser
Silly Billy by Anthony Browne
Mouse's First books by Lauren Thompson
The Incredible Book-Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

Juvenile Non-Fiction
Ballerina Dreams by Lauren Thompson
Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

Juvenile Fiction
Zibby Payne & the Party Problem by Alison Bell
Zibby Payne & the Trio Trouble by Alison Bell
The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante
Itch by Michelle D. Kwasney
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
Lights, Camera, Amalee by Dar Williams
Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls #1: Moving Day by Meg Cabot
Callie for President by Robin Wasserman (coming out in May)
Savvy by Ingrid Law (coming out in May)

Teen Fiction
Cherry Blossoms: Book One: Ketsuki by Thomas Randall (coming out in 2009)
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Feathered by Laura Kasischke
Wish You Were Here by Catherine Clark
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs (coming out in May)
Nothing by Robin Friedman (coming out in August)
The Shape of Water by Anne Spollen
Skin Deep by E.R. Crane
PrettyTOUGH: Playing with the Boys by Liz Tigelaar

Adult Fiction
The Lost Ones: Book Three of The Veil by Christopher Golden
The Life Before Her Eyes by Laura Kasischke

  • Current Music
    Eleanor Rigby as sung by David Cook
  • Tags
dreaming, When Rose Wakes, Christopher Golden

Booklist: Time Travel

Time travel is one of my favorite topics. I'm fascinated by the concept, and I enjoy stories, movies, documentaries, and TV specials about it. Some rely heavily upon fantasy and imagination, while others discuss science and possibility.

The Boys are Back in Town by Christopher Golden is my favorite book which employs time travel. It is also one of my favorite books written by Golden, which is saying a lot, considering 1) how much I love his books and 2) how many books he's written.

What adult hasn't wondered what life would be like if things had been different in high school, and what teen hasn't wondered what they'd do when they grew up? Take those questions, those ideas, and darken them, then insert the twists of tragedy and forgotten (or altered) memories, and you've got The Boys are Back in Town.

When Will attends his ten-year reunion, he expects to catch up with old friends, not discover that one is dead. The victim is someone with whom he recently communicated, yet everyone else claims died in high school. In the blink of an eye, Will remembers the event, yet retains his 'regular' memories as well.

As the story continues, more memories are revealed. These aren't suppressed memories, but rather new-old memories. Altered memories. Someone or something is changing the minds of Will and his old friends. Finding the source - and the strength to stop it - will lead him on an imaginative journey readers will always remember.

If you know me - if you really know me - you might be able to figure out how this book connects to me. (Notice that I said "to," not "with.") Think you know? Leave a comment below!

Read the first three chapters of the book.

Additional Time Travel Picks

The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn
This fantastic story has stayed with me for nearly twenty years. (Time travel! A cat! Consumption! Mary Downing Hahn! Of course I love it!) This book was written for children ages 8 and up. When a young girl follows a white cat under a hedge, she befriends another girl - one who is not from her time.

The Withern Rise Trilogy aka the Aldous Lexicon Trilogy by Michael Lawrence
This trilogy is shelved in teen fiction. It's great for adults as well. I really enjoyed what the author did with alternate realities and family lines. It is vital that you read the trilogy in order:
- A Crack in the Line
- Small Eternities
- The Underwood See

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Not necessarily one of my favorite books about this subject nor in general, but something that's worth reading. One of my close friends absolutely loves this story and took her online name from it. Since a bunch of my customers are currently reading this in class, I won't say anything more about it, as I want them to read the book with an open mind and draw their own conclusions.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
For his entire life, an "average" guy is afflicted with time travel. He doesn't get to choose when or where he goes, but instead of traveling back to a place and time like Ancient Egypt (where I'd like to go!), he ends up traveling to places and events which are always related to him or to his loved ones. Like The Boys are Back in Town, I can't tell you about a certain character without giving something important away, so go read the book, then leave a comment below. Like The Boys are Back in Town, this novel was written for adults, so it may be all right for older teens to read but has some language and scenes that may not be appropriate for younger readers.

Bonus books: Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters trilogy has a different take on time.

Moving Pictures

My favorite time travel films include Somewhere in Time, Donnie Darko, and Frequency.

Somewhere in Time is based on the book Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson. I like the film much, much more than the book. I love the music John Barry created for the picture. He also provided the score for the 1972 live-action British musical film adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, another of my favorite films based on one of my favorite books.

Also, while Sliding Doors may not be precisely time travel, if you liked it and like that kind of alternate reality story, you should definitely read The Boys are Back in Town and the Withern Rise trilogy. Now.

I enjoy Doctor Who. I haven't seen the original series, but I've seen many episodes of the new series with the Ninth and Tenth Doctors. Go, David Tennant! I haven't seen the Eleventh Doctor yet.

I also liked the TV show Time Trax. Go, Dale Midkiff!

If you like stories about time travel, you may also like stories dealing with dystopia or time loops.