01 September 2012

Last Month in Review: August 2012

I'm not entirely sure why, but I read a lot of YA this month--far more than I usually do. Perhaps unconsciously-not unconsciously I wanted my numbers to look better this month than they looked last month.  I'm competitive like that. On the upside, I wrote more book reviews this month, though. Total: 14 and 1/2. For adults: 6. For YA: 10. Audio: 3.

1. Every Day by David Levithan. First in a long stream of YA books for the month. What would *you* do if you woke up in somebody else's body every morning and had to live that life for one day? Review here.

2. Requiem by Lauren Oliver.  Conclusion of her Delirium trilogy. Another YA. Review here.

3. Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt.  Another YA. This was an audio I listened to and it was terrific.  Really top-notch reader AND a top-notch story. I should probably review it, but it's pretty far removed from my memory at this point and may be hopeless.  It's a hard-luck kid dealing with an abusive father, an abusive and possibly larcenous older brother, another older brother who returns maimed and haunted from Vietnam, a coach who has it in for him, and almost an entire small town who decides to judge him based on his brother's actions. But he slowly learns that having just one adult believe in him just might be enough to turn his life around.  That, plus art, a cantankerous old playwright, and a smart girl named Lil.

4. Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead. Another YA. Huh, guess I didn't review this one, either. It was a solid read, optimal for middle grade boys, that deals with bullying, a parent losing a job, the metaphorical loss of another parent, and the agony of starting a new school.  On the upside, there's a spy club, a seriously peculiar boy named Safer, and all of the lowdown on where to find the best seasonal candy in the greater Manhattan area.

5. Me, Who Dove Into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman. This one was actually for grown-ups. Review here.

6. Love Anthony by Lisa Genova. Also for grown-ups.  forthcoming.

7. Talullah Rising by Glen Duncan. Definitely for grow-ups. Review here.

8. Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook. Another YA. Review here.

9. Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone. Another YA. Review here.

10. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. Another YA, but this was a re-read from childhood. Review here.

11. Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore.  For adults. This one was another audio book, and while the reader was pretty good, the story left much to be desired.  I will possibly review it.

12. The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis. Another audio, this time a YA one.  Review probably forthcoming. I'd read the book at least a dozen times as a child, but I was in need of an audio book for a quick trip out Boston way and this was on sale in the children's department, so there you go.

13. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. Another adult book. Oddly enough, I'm not sure I will review this one. I liked it quite a bit but my reading of it was so disjointed that reviewing it won't be doing it any favors.

13 1/2. When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest. I don't usually count picture books in my list, but my coworker, Caitlin, showed this book to me over lunch one day and I really, really liked it.  So sweet, so moving, so ambiguously central or eastern European and the life of an immigrant girl.

14. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.  Another book for adults. Just wrote the review on 8/31 and it's scheduled to appear here on September 4.


  1. There are some times when YA completely soothes and suits. I get it. Before I started blogging and finding so many good reads via your blog and a million others, I would often re-read Anne and Narnia and James Herriot. I can't wait for your Bernadette review. I really, really want to read that one. Looks like you had a great month. Toni Morrison is coming my way in a big sort of way for school. Do you know anything about her? Have you met her? I have a big research project to do and I would take any little nuggets of wisdom you care to impart.

  2. Belle, I've never met the great Toni M. You're so lucky that you'll have the chance to! I've only read four of her books, including her last one that felt completely unfinished, but I think The Bluest Eye is one of the most haunting novels I've ever read.

  3. I just finished listening to your NPR Roundtable discussion. Loved it! You need to be a regularly featured guest. Your knowledge of the books you discussed would make anyone want to read them. They are, in fact, moving right to the top of my list.

    1. If I didn't get so nervous before hand, that might be fun to go on more often. Thanks for listening! I do lots of notes and prep work for going on because i do get so nervous.

    2. I did not hear the nervousness in the least. Heads up if you do it again, 'kay?

  4. i remember when jessie came across the sea from my synagogue librarian days. i enjoyed reading that to the kids and they liked it a lot, too. it's a sweet book.

    1. Marie,I'm not sure how I've missed it for so long, but it's such a good picture book.


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