Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm back, baby!

I think it's safe to say that the Great Reading Funk of 2007 is officially over. I'm back, baby! It's about time, too, because this great big stack of books in front of me isn't going to read itself. If truth be told, my average has slipped from 0.47 to 0.43 books/day (due entirely to The Funk). What is the world coming to?

Am I particularly excited by any of the eight books I've read since The Abolishment of the Funk? (Am I starting to sound like Donald Rumsfeld with all these self-directed questions?) Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series continues to amuse, and Ann Brashare's latest book for grown-ups (B won't let me call them "adult" books anymore, can't imagine why) was sap-alicious. But the book pictured at left was fabulous, and if you're the sort who enjoys fantasy (and this is book does fall into the "young adult" genre), please, go to your library and borrow the Pellinor Series by Alison Croggon. It continues to be one of my current book obsessions.

In any case, tonight I'm baking Friendiversary cookies for B (maybe if she brings her camera over tomorrow night I can post pictures of them for you all. HINT HINT, B), and hiding in my apartment with all the lights off because I'm that scrooge on your block who can't bring herself to buy candy for the kids.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Fresh from the "Hallelujah" department

Shannon Hale has been posting a three-part interview she did with Megan Whalen Turner over at her blog. Part three was posted today, including two extremely exciting pieces of news:
  1. MWT is working on a fourth book in her Thief/Queen/King series! Yipee!!
  2. SH is also writing a fourth Bayern book! Yipee again!
Granted, as neither of these books is apparently even close to being done, it'll be a while before they arrive on my front porch. But if this type of news doesn't get me out of my Reading Funk, I don't know what will!

Dancing bird

No, really, this bird dances! I'm not saying he has the best taste in music, but he's certainly a better dancer than I am.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Not-so-terrible twos

I went on the most fabulous dinner date tonight with The Tot (and his Mom, T, and about a gazillion of his wee classmates and their parents. It was total chaos!). I'm in love. For the first time in our two-and-a-half years together he kept reaching up for me to hold him (happy to oblige!). But don't worry, he's too rambunctious to stay in those arms for long! We also had a great time running and playing tag, and he told me who all the kids' parents' were like a good little host. And when I had him up in my arms he put his little hands on my neck and my heart grew three sizes. And then when I told him how sweet he was he turned to me, smiled, grabbed my face, and gave me a kiss. My heart is desperately trying to fit back into my body. I think it's unbelievable how wonderful spending time with a little Tot can make me feel. Ah, the beauty of Surrogate Auntyhood: all the fun, non of the tantrums.

On another note, a conversation with J this afternoon helped me realize exactly what I think is wrong with Three Bags Full: it's too long. That's right, folks, I think this would have made a fabulous 100-200 page book, but that's about it. There would have been plenty of room to enjoy everything that's fun and clever without feeling like you're reading the same thing over and over. Way to pin the problem down, J!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Oh, my Pushing Daisies. It's so wonderful, so fantastical, so sweet. It's even better than I had been led to believe! I love the bright color palette, I love the dialog and I love the rhythm (and people, the main character owns and bakes for "The Pie Hole." Pie! PIE!). Lee Pace and Anna Friel are breath-taking, and I can't wait until next week!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

For those of you who care about these sorts of thing (I know only one of you who would from my regular readership, but please, let me know if I'm wrong!), go here to nominate your favorite 2007 Children's and YA books for a Cybils Award.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I'm still in my reading funk. I'm averaging one book a week. Maybe. I think it's that, while I've liked most of what I've read recently, none of it has really sparked a Reading Frenzy. Even Shannon Hale's Book of a Thousand Days, which I loved (and just knew I would love), didn't do this because I had cheated and picked it up before I had finished Three Bags Full, and I knew what I would be going back to. And I'm not particularly looking forward to anything else on my To Read pile (except for our book, B, of course!) either.

Three Bags Full is a murder mystery told from the perspective of the sheep whose shepherd has been killed. A "Sheep Detective Story," if you will. Interesting, right? How could you go wrong? While the book *is* good and entertaining, it just hasn't managed to capture my attention -- or my imagination -- in the way I had hoped. Yes, the sheep's perspective of the world is just what you would hope it to be: new and different and a little off-kilter, but not necessarily in the ways you would hope. This is especially sad given then adorable flip-book pictures next to every page number!

Book of a Thousand Days, on the other hand...I've said it before and I'll say it again: Shannon Hale is a great re-teller of fairy tales. My only complaint is that I have to wait until early 2008 to read her next book, Rapunzel's Revenge, a graphic novel she's written with her husband.

Now, if my other favorite authors could just go ahead and publish their new books as well....