It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach 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 Books:
I have been a fan of Chris Wooding ever since I first picked up The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray many years ago, and to this day it is one of my top-recommended horror novels. And so, of course, I had high hopes for Silver, especially after my 12-year-old son enjoyed it immensely. It turns out that this was, indeed, a great piece of horror for middle grade and early teen readers. Set in an English boarding school, Silver recounts what happens when students encounter some bizarre silver beetles which attack, causing people to change into zombie-like, circuited killing machines. There is great tension in this book, as readers root for Paul, Mr. Sutton, and a small group of uninfected students to get out or get help. There’s a ton of action and a fair amount of gross descriptions. Wooding provides a believable and terrifying scientific cause of this phenomenon and brings it about naturally through the narrative. Ultimately (most of) the heroes prevail…for now…as readers are left wondering what the world will be like outside the boarding schools’ gates. This book counts for my Horror Reading Challenge 2015.
I finished up listening to The Art of Asking; Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer. It was very interesting to hear about many aspects of Palmer’s life weaving throughout this book–she has been/is a living statue, indie singer/songwriter, crowd-funding pioneer, Twitter master, and wife of Neil Gaiman, among other things. I am glad that I listened to the audiobook and got to hear her songs as well as her voice. The theme of asking shines through, but I’m not quite sure she spent enough time on sharing how to ask, exactly. Or at least how the average person who doesn’t have a million Twitter followers might learn how to better ask for what he/she needs/wants. Perhaps I would have been more satisfied had the book been billed straight-up as a memoir, because she did so share much about many years of her adult life, and a bit before that, too.
On a recent trip to the public library, I stumbled up Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy Byrd, Julie Danielson, and Peter Sieruta. I can’t remember the last time I read a professional book that was the history/criticism of literature rather than its use in the library or classroom, so I am thoroughly relishing this read.