I will be reading from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. I will also be working, attending a graduation ceremony, and attending a birthday dinner and celebration, in addition to sleeping, preparing and enjoying meals, and running errands. While I read at home, I will listen to music rather than watching television or films in an effort to keep the distraction level low.
What I Read
Flawless by Sara Shepard - drama and mystery; picking up right where Pretty Little Liars left off, and continuing to raise the stakes as all four of Alison's old friends face their memories and keep trying to hide their secrets
How to Save Your Tail if you are a rat nabbed by cats who really like stories about magic spoons, wolves with snout-warts, big, hairy chimney trolls . . . and cookies, too by Mary Hanson, illustrated by John Hendrix - comedy; for younger readers; a combination of Mouse Soup and fairy tales
Me and the Pumpkin Queen by Marlane Kennedy - family drama; for younger readers; one girl tries to raise a prize-winning pumpkin in memory of her mother
Dating4Demons by Serena Robar - vampiric romantic comedy, last of a trilogy; for teens; splits the narrative between Colby and her best friend Piper
Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Art by Scott Hunt - 18 different authors contributed to this anthology; each author was given one of nine pieces of art by Hunt, then wrote a story; favorites noted with positive adjectives:
- Sha-la-la by Sarah Dessen (Donuts) - captivating
- Floater by Ellen Wittlinger (Donuts)
- Alejandro by Gene Brewer (Pool)
- Saying No to Nick by Bruce Coville (Pool)
- Just a Couple of Girls Talking Haiku by Ron Koertge (Backyard)
- Ruby by Adele Geras (Backyard)
- What I Did Last Summer by Jan Marino (Suitcases)
- Word of the Day by Marilyn Singer (Backyard)
- Hope Springs Eternal by Audrey Couloumbis (Waffles)
- The Approximate Cost of Loving Caroline by John Green (Waffles)
- Angel's Food by M.T. Anderson (Cake)
- Chocolate Almond Torte by William Sleator (Cake) - powerful
- Rebecca by Nancy Werlin (Bunny) - truly inspired
- Bunny Boy by Alex Flinn (Bunny)
- Essie and Clem by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Couple)
- The God of St. James and Vine by Jaime Adoff (Bunny)
- Smells Like Kafka by Neal Shusterman (Bear) - made me smile
- Habitat for Humanity by David Lubar (Bear)
The Problem of the Missing Miss by Roberta Rogow - mystery; Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dodgson team up to track down an abducted little girl
The Baby-Sitters Club Portrait Collection: Mary Anne - drama; Mary Anne Spier tells her life story; huge oversight: she doesn't mention Tigger once
The Baby-Sitters Club Portrait Collection: Kristy - drama; her father's reappearance in the book differs from that in the film; typo in one of the photo captions
The Baby-Sitters Club Portrait Collection: Claudia - drama; Claudia is a wonderful artist, but a horrible speller
The Baby-Sitters Club Portrait Collection: Dawn - drama; huge error: Dawn is a vegetarian, yet she eats a chicken taco at one point and chicken divan at another
The Baby-Sitters Club Portrait Collection: Abby - drama; Abby's life as an identical twin and grief after her father died in a car accident
Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by Stephanie Hale - a blend of genres - romysteramedy? - wherein girls (and one adult woman) go missing, the geeky boy gets a makeover, a tiara gets passed around, and the main girl gets a clue
Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler - drama; issues with her mother and with boyfriends lead to a road trip
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - extremely powerful drama; the fallout of a suicide, with unexpected twists; highly recommended; on my Best Books of 2007 (So Far) list
Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern - drama about depression; a main character with a lot of heart; time in a mental hospital changes a girl emotionally and physically
The Fetch of Mardy Watt by Charles Butler - fantasy about doppelgangers and magical realms; quick read; I wanted a lot more out of this, but it would make a decent family film
The Off Season by Catherine Murdock - drama about family, romance, and sports; sequel to Dairy Queen; I read the first half of this while cooking and eating lunch as I approached my deadline
Best Book Read During the Challenge: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This is not only the best book I read during this event, but also one of the Best Books of 2007 (So Far).
Coming out in October, this story is nothing short of stunning. A teen girl commits suicide and leaves behind an incredibly powerful story, told exclusively to those who hurt her as well as the few who tried to help her but failed.
Sarah, thank you so much for sending me this book!
I listened to Joydrop's second album Viberate (yes, they spelled it that way) while reading Get Well Soon. This is an album I have really enjoyed for years. As I listened to it this time, I kept thinking how perfectly suited most of the songs and lyrics were for Hannah Baker, the suicide victim from Thirteen Reasons Why. Sadly beautiful, you could say. It would have really freaked me out if I had been listening to this album while reading 13RY.
However, for the majority of that book, I was purposely not listening to music; I was listening to Hannah tell her story. I went for a walk outside shortly after beginning the book, then rode on a bus, and was sufficiently creeped out when Clay proceeded to do the same.
For the last hundred pages, I stayed home.
Books Read After the Challenge
A bunch of stories for young readers came in at the library for me yesterday, but I didn't read them until Saturday afternoon, since picture books couldn't be a part of the event.
King Puck by Michael Garland
Chicken and Cat by Sara Varon
Just Like Heaven by Patrick McDonnell
Art by Patrick McDonnell
Someday by Alison McGhee
The Care and Feeding of Sprites by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
In the Background
I listened to various albums while reading the books. I did not select albums in advance, and I did not select albums to purposely match the books I was reading. I did, however, pick full albums - that is to say no soundtracks, no mix tapes, only full-length recordings by a single artist or band. I did not listen to any Duncan Sheik because I do not want to jinx him nor anyone else for The Tonys tonight.
Crunching the Numbers
One piece of adult fiction; eight teen fiction, at least one of which I would cross-shelve in adult fiction too; eight juvenile fiction, including one anthology housing eighteen short stories labelled as juvenile fiction which I would definitely put in teen fiction instead
Eleven stories written by men; twenty-three stories written by women
Eight gifts; five purchases; four library books
Three new books; six ARCs; eight backlist
Three books spoke of Mara; two of Aspen
Nothing I had previously read
Sixteen books completed + first half of another book = 3380 pages read in approximately twenty hours