My World Book Night (morning) experience was a lot of fun! A friend of mine from work and I had decided to do it together (which makes it a lot less intimidating), and went to our local train station this morning to give away books to commuters. She had copies of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I had copies of Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. Most people were happy to receive a book, although a few seemed a little weirded out by us. I think it's because people just aren't used to someone handing them a free book. With a smile.
I was happy that I was able to persuade a few people who said "no" --- especially the guy who then took a copy of my book, telling me that he hadn't read a "paper book" in about 3 years. Of course, I told him that he was in for a good read (which is true --- I've read this book and enjoyed it). So, I hope he enjoyed his commute into Chicago with his free book this morning.
So, overall, we had a great experience -- and I hope we're able to participate again in 2015! Hopefully, the commuters who got our books will enjoy them (and be the envy of all their co-workers, who may have passed up a chance for a free book). :)
I'm getting back into blogging this week, so I figured a good way to begin would be to quickly post about World Book Night. One of my friends from work and I will be participating this coming Wednesday, giving away books at the local train station. This is the first time I've participated, although I've known about World Book Night for ages.
So, we'll be going to the train station in the morning and seeing how many people will take our books! Yes, I know it's World Book Night but I have to work that night until 9:00 pm and I'm in a pretty small town, with really no places that are open that late. So, we're catching early morning commuters. After all, why not start the day with a free book, right?
I've got copies of Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, so I'm hoping I get some takers. My friend has The Perks of Being a Wallflower, so we've got two completely different kinds of books. Should be fun! I'll post on Wednesday evening on my work break with a follow-up on how it goes. :)
Summary (courtesy of Goodreads): The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London the peculiar capital of the world. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reacting experience.
And here's what I thought: I thought this was a great second book, and was really engaging, even though it had many dark moments. The fact that these children are caught in a time loop in London during WWII is very frightening. And the author doesn't shy away from these dark and scary things at all --- I was pretty worried at times during the book. But, I like that -- I'd rather be worried about characters than not care about them at all.
I like how in the very first part, we are given the photos and names of the Peculiar children (which is helpful to reacquaint oneself). The author also gives a bit of information about what happened at the end of the first book -- which was great, since it had been a while since I had read that first book. I was able to pick up and just go, without needing to re-read the first book.
The author has a wonderful writing style, with a really visual element to the prose, so it's easy to imagine the settings and the children. The fact that the settings are very real (most of them, anyway) make the tension in the book very palpable - it's easy to imagine these children in the dangerous situations they find themselves in.
And of course --- there is a cliffhanger ending. Next book, please!
First lines: We rowed out through the harbor, past bobbing boats weeping rust from their seams, past juries of silent seabirds roosting atop the barnacled remains of sunken docks, past fishermen who lowered their nets to stare frozenly as we slipped by, uncertain whether we were real or imagined; a procession of waterborne ghosts, or ghosts soon to be. We were ten children and one bird in three small and unsteady boats, rowing with quiet intensity straight out to sea, the only safe harbor for miles receding quickly behind us, craggy and magical in the blue-gold light of dawn. Our goal, the rutted coast of mainland Wales, was somewhere before us but only dimply visible, an inky smudge squatting along the far horizon.
Well, somehow the entire month of March has disappeared and I haven't blogged. At least, I don't think I have .... that's how bad it is. I can't even remember what I did this month.
February went by in a flash, but I figured that once I finished the online class I was taking, I'd be able to get back to my normal schedule. But ....
Apparently, during March, what I did was: go to work, bring work home, think about work, not be able to get to sleep right away because I was thinking about work, wake up and think about work ..... and fit all of that into the rest of my life, where one of our bunnies had a bit of an emergency happen. So, I guess you can fit "vet visits" into all the work stuff somewhere. This is what I feel like:
6/20/09 https://www.binkybunny.com This bunny is not dead. It is actually happily flopped and most likely sleeping. I, however, feel like this bunny looks.
But, my bunny is much better now. And, the work stuff should lighten up shortly (at least, the kind-of-work-related-but-not-actually-part-of-my-real-job project that I work on at home). I am looking forward to getting back to blogging (because I actually have been reading some books). So, it may be mid-April when it actually happens, but it will happen.
Summary (courtesy of Goodreads): One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away?
And here's what I thought: This book first came onto my radar when I was looking through reviews in journals (the ones I read for my job) and I thought it sounded good. And then, I starting reading about some of the controversy that was coming up. I decided to buy this for my library's collection (because hey, great reviews and some controversy? That's my kind of book). And I finally got around to picking it up for a read .... and finished it in a day.
This book is really realistic, which makes it difficult to read sometimes, but that's also what makes it a really important book. And by that, I mean it's important to kids who read it, and also important for the grownups to read it, too. Piddy Sanchez is a sympathetic character, with a completely authentic voice. While I am not a Latina, I still felt that I could identify with her. Even though the bullying I endured when I was growing up wasn't as violent as what happens to her, I still felt I could identify with her. And I think that's what makes this a powerful book.
Not everything that happens in this book is fair, and while that's frustrating, it's realistic. It takes a lot for Piddy to get to the resolution of the situation, which reflects real life. The thing is, for a lot of kids who are bullied, there is no magical fairy (or magical grownup) who sweeps in and makes everything better in one amazing move.
The author's writing style is descriptive, so it was easy for me to visualize Piddy, the people around her, and the settings. I liked that she had a good balance of characters, as well, and that there were a few other story lines running through the main story line. The pace is good, as well, with tension moving up and down throughout the story, which kept me turning the pages, because I was wondering what was going to happen next.
While I know that not every reader will love this book, I think it's an important book for a lot of people to read, if nothing else than to give them some insight into bullying. For every person who doesn't feel like they've been bullied, there is someone who has. And who just might need a book like this.
First lines: "Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass."
A kid named Vanesa tells me this in the morning before school. She springs out with no warning and blocks my way, her textbook held at her chest like a shield. She's tall like me and caramel. I've seen her in the lunchroom, I think. Or maybe just in the halls. It's hard to remember.
Summary (courtesy of Goodreads): For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.
And here's what I thought: I had really been looking forward to reading this book, since I've enjoyed all of this author's other books --- and this one was no exception. Laurie Halse Anderson tackles a subject that I think is really important, and did it in a way that really made an impression on me. I think a of the time, the focus on PTSD is on the people who are suffering from it -- but what about the people who love them? I thought this book had a great main character with Hayley, who is realistic, and has a good sense of humor (and herself, which was nice). There are a lot of sympathetic characters here, and even though I sometimes got a little frustrated with them, I found I felt invested in their individual stories. This book isn't just about Hayley, but it's about her dad, as well (and also about Finn, and the family issues he has).
One of the things I always enjoy about Anderson's books is that her characters aren't perfect -- they are realistic. Which means they might make mistakes, or mis-steps along the way. And I guess for me, that's what makes her characters interesting, and makes me care about what happens to them.
First lines: It started in detention. No surprise there, right?
Detention was invented by the same idiots who dreamed up the time-out corner. Does being forced to sit in time-out corner. Does being forced to sit in time-out ever make little kids stop putting cats in the dishwasher or drawing on white walls with purple marker? Of course not. It teaches them to be sneaky and guarantees that when they get to high school they'll love detention because it's a great place to sleep.
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