Books read in April 2014

Good stuff this month.  Except for one YA that I felt very ambivalent about, the rest of these books were ones I would shove at you with varying levels of excitement.  If I had to pick just one, I would tell you to read This Song Will Save Your Life which hit every single teenage-girls-are-awesome buttons.  I’m mildly obsessed with Leila Sales, the author.

Picture books
The Scraps Book
Lois Ehlert
Read for Librarian Book Group.
Book about the author’s process in making her books.  Full of fun detail.

Middle Readers
The Crossover
Kwame Alexander
Poetry! And Basketball!  A tale of a middle school basketball star with a twin brother (who also plays) a dad who is a former pro-ball (in Europe) player and a mom who is the principal of the middle school.  The story unfolds in many short poems.  Very excellent.

Young Adult Books
Grasshopper Jungle
Andrew Smith
Read for Librarian Book Group.
For the first half of this book I was completely in love with the horny stylings of the narrarator.  The Iowa town was great, the friend/girlfriend were great, the love triangle was fabulous and I loved the descriptions of the school and teachers.  It was also funny on every single page.  But somewhere in the middle I suddenly didn’t love it as much and by the end I was just at a simple “like” which was too bad because it was headed toward five-star status.  But you should read it if you like gonzo plots, adolescent boys being very frank about sexual desire, adolescent boys who are trying to figure out their feelings–possibly romantic–for their best friend*, sci-fi stylings, or books about small town Iowa.  Also if you like funny.

Overall, I recommend. Maybe because I read it so fast I lost interest?  I can’t put my finger on what happened.

*This angle right here was enough for me to read the book.  Boys thinking they might be attracted to other boys, but still love girls isn’t something I see a lot of.

The Theory of Everything
Kari Luna
This won the Oregon Book Award for YA and I can’t say I loved it.  Was she hallucinating or was she experiencing breaks in the fabric of the universe?  It wasn’t super clear to me and I felt uncomfortable.

This Song Will Save Your Life
Leila Sales
My favorite kind of tale:  girl finds her “thing,” boy is superfluous. It reminded me a lot of the movie Whip-It in all the best ways.  This is a fun read and will resonate with anyone who has felt out of place in school, but at home when music is playing.

Grownup Books
Lessons from the Borderlands
Bette Lynch Hustead
Read for Kenton Library Book Group.
Essays written by a woman living in Eastern Oregon, who grew up poor in Idaho.  There were things I could relate to, which makes for good essay reading.

Story of a Marriage
Andrew Sean Greer
Beautifully written tale from the perspective of a woman living in San Francisco in the 1950s.  There were a couple of surprising turns I didn’t see coming.

This is Between Us
Kevin Sampsill
Reading this I couldn’t help but think repeatedly, “Is this how guys think?”  Because if it is, I have vastly underestimated the amount of time they are thinking about sex.  And that’s with studies being published telling me they think of sex every six minutes or so.  This book is a tale of a five years of a couple’s life.  A lot of sex.  A lot of thinking about sex.  I found it rather hot, though weird that the guy who wrote it is the guy who introduces the authors for readings at Powell’s.

One thought on “Books read in April 2014”

  1. It is clear that you are choosing to give some of your reading time to other pursuits right now. It is a very succinct and focused list. Nicely done.

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