It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over atTeach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.
Last Week’s (Spring Break!) Books:
I finished my re-read of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline for the Nerdist Book Club and realized two things: (1) Talking about it and reading other peoples thoughts about it were not as interesting to me as the very act of re-reading was and (2) I can’t believe that I hadn’t yet encouraged my 12-year-old gamer son to read it (he has it in his possession now). There was some great news concerning the book this past week, too–Steven Spielberg is directing the movie adaptation. This news has completely thrilled fans of the book, and, most certainly, Cline himself. For those of you now wondering what the book is about: a teenager in the not-too-distant future scours the pervasive online world of OASIS for clues to win the fortune of a deceased computer/gaming icon. The book contains a plethora of 1980s video game, music, and movie references for readers to geek-out over. Highly entertaining read! Note: This counts for my 2015 Read Harder Challenge (Sci-Fi book) and for my 2015 Award-Winning Books Challenge (Alex Award, 2012).
This Spring Break, I also savored Prairie Fire by E.K. Johnston, the sequel to The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim, which I loved and reviewed last year. The novel picks up just a few months after the events of the first book and chronicles the experiences of Owen and his bard, Siobhan, as they join the Oil Watch, the dragon-slaying division of the military. One of the things I love best about the character Siobhan is how she sees and describes people as instruments, for as a musician, she is always composing her life experiences. There is a lot of character work by Johnston in this books, as she reveals the parts that are played by those Owen and Siobhan meet during basic training and their first official assignment. There are more and different dragons as well as more and different ways to fight them. Although I felt the first book was a stronger title, I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel and was satisfied with the end of the story, as (almost surprisingly in the current YA climate) this will not be a trilogy. Note: I now am waiting impatiently for Johnston’s new book, A Thousand Nights, inspired by The Arabian Nights tales and set to publish in October. She is quickly becoming a favorite author. Note: This counts for my 2015 Read Harder Challenge (YA book).
I picked up In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang as an impulse-check-out when I visited my local public library over Spring Break. I had seen a bit of buzz about it a few months ago but hadn’t actually physically seen it yet. Anda, a girl gamer, is encouraged by a speaker at her school to join Coarsegold Online, an MMORPG, and to play as a girl character. She enjoys playing and is very successful, drawing the attention of those who want to pay her real money for in-game objects and upgrades. She briefly dabbles in this “illegal” practice, and then finds out that there are poor kids in China that toil long hours for little money to do the same. Doctorow’s work frequently aims to enlighten or teach, but this one seems a bit overly teach-y at the expense of the story. Still, it was an entertaining and enlightening read.
Currently Reading/Listening To: