Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend

Strangely, these are the words that come to mind this morning as I make my second debut into the blogging world.  It could be because the kids and I watched Paranormal Activity 2 last night and it totally freaked me out.  (We finally joined Netflix BTW).  Every time I woke up last night, I would think about that dang movie.  It could also be because  of the "every time I woke up" section. My sleeping is off.  I can't seem to get a full night's sleep.  I wake up a lot and then by the crack of dawn, I am wide awake.  This morning, I managed to stay in bed until almost 7, which is the latest I have been able to sleep in two weeks.  Hopefully, summer will cure what ails me (which is most likely WORK stress).

And perhaps we can look at  darkness symbolically as well.  Some of you may remember that I had a blog once before,(I had a farm in Africa) and that none of those posts exist any longer.  They were good, too.  Suffice it to say that I got caught up in some politics at my place of employment this year and was more or less censored.  So the darkness could be the blank Muse of Reading that has existed for about 9 months now.  It was my goal this summer to resurrect the blog, and this is the extinguishing of the darkness of voicelessness.  How's that for symbolism?  I'm not even getting paid for it either!

I have another goal too - write that book!  I have all my tools in place and now, I just have to get over this block (for lack of a different term) that keeps me from opening the damn thing up and typing...It's going to be good...

Let's talk about the big bag o' books I brought home from my library yesterday for the summer.  That's a goal too - read my brains out.  Right now, I am reading Dreams in a Time of War by Nguigi Wa Thhiong'o.  This is a SOYAMRG book and has the subtitle of  A Childhood Memoir.  This always makes publishers want to offer this book up to teens in the hope that they will snatch this book up and read it.  While the book is a good one so far, it is not going to catch the eye of the typical teen.  This is a book for adults, one of adult reminiscence on how childhood experiences shaped adulthood. 


I do hope, however, that Stockett's The Help appeals to teens.  It is in my bag o' books for summer reading and it is in the hands of Junior students for summer reading too.  I will be teaching again next year (and being the librarian too...don't ask) and this is one of two books the kids could have read over the summer.  The second is Larsen's Devil in the White City, and absolutely fantastic book.  His newest book, In the Garden of Beasts:  Love, Terror, and An American Family in Hitler's Berlin is not in my bag o' books, but it is in my summer reading pile.  Can't wait for that one!

Included in my bag o' books:

Steamunk, Baby!:  Airborn, Skybreaker and Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel; Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (sequel to Leviathan) and the Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede.  I am also including the Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith but it may actually go in the Chills -n- Thrills category below.  Love steampunk - it should wind the award for Best New Genre, though it is certainly not new.  It is just that YA books have jumped aboard this airship and are holding on for dear life.  Check out Steampunk Scholar - one of my favorite blogs about this genre.  And look in October in Library Media Connection for my article on YA steampunk!

Award Winners:  Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (Newbery), Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (Printz Award) and Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (Printz Honor Book).  I could also include The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell in this category as it is an Alex Award winner, but it is certainly a Chills -n- Thrills too, since it has zombies! and all that!

Chills -n- Thrills:  The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me:  Forty New Fairy Tales by really yummy authors like Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates and Francine Prose, Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey which is vampires, but has been reviewed as a fresh take on vampire romance.

One Classic:  You Can't Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe because I try to read at least one every summer. 

Miscellaneous:  (how lame is this category?)  Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver because my new friend Kristina McBride really liked it.

You know what?  I have more books stacked up in that bedroom to read too...but they didn't come home with me in my bag o' books.  My other goal this summer was to start yoga, and really this morning, that should commence.  But it is going to be a hot one today, and there's some dirt I need to play in before the heat is stifling. 

I hope you like my comeback.  It feels good to write again after being squelched.  I gotta say, that overall, my goal this summer is to do what I want as much as I can.  Thanks for letting me start.