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.
I am participating in Donalyn Miller’s #bookaday this summer, the idea being to, well, read a book every day (on average). I am doing well so far, although I didn’t quite read a whole book every day this past week. My front porch is my new favorite place to hang out with a great book, though, as the weather has been beautiful 🙂
On thing I love about summer is that my reading is all over the map, as you will see below….
Last Week’s Books:
Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart is a beautiful and important story, told in two voices. Lily is a transgender girl who is struggling with the courage to be herself and especially to seek acceptance from her father. Dunkin has a bipolar disorder and has recently discovered that skipping his meds helps him be a better basketball player, something that he hopes will gain him acceptance at his new school. I love how their friendship develops not only tentatively but also uneasily, and with lots of ups and downs. This is definitely a book to add to my middle school collection. This book counts for my Read Harder Challenge 2016 (category 12–a book by or about someone who identifies as transgender).
Fables: The Mean Season (Vol. 5) is another great entry in the series, which includes Snow White giving birth to some definitely unique offspring.
Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani is an exciting adventure/mystery about a Japanese-American teenager who follows clues to figure out that her long deceased father was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mob. In doing so, she puts her own life and the lives of her family and friends in danger. I love the relationships Claire has with her own brothers and the long-time friends that are as close as brothers. And Maetani masterfully writes such a sweet story of a best friendship blossoming into something more. In addition to being an up-and-coming young author, Maetani is a Team Member over at We Need Diverse Books.
Horrostor by Grady Hendrix is a fun twist on a haunted house story. Amy is a twenty-something slacker working at ORSK, an American rip-off of IKEA, and strange things have been happening there lately. When manager Basil calls her in, Amy is sure she will be fired, but instead he asks her to work overtime to help him and dedicated cashier Ruth figure out if there is someone hiding in the store and vandalizing the place after hours. Two other employees who want to be paranormal investigators show up as well. It turns out that ORSK was built on top of an old prison where terrifying experiments and punishments were inflicted on its residents. And you can guess that those restless spirits are very unhappy and will take it out on our five ORSK team members. The idea is a clever one, and the book is designed to resemble an IKEA catalog, including product ads and store information. It just could have been a bit more terrifying for my taste…or a bit more campy like Sean of the Dead. That it was somewhere in between made it a good read, but not a great one. This book counts for my Horror Challenge 2016.
Sorry Please Thank You: Stories by Charles Yu is my random read for June, and I got it done so early! This collection of short stories with a science fiction bent really kept me thinking. Some were a little far out there for me and might benefit from a second reading. My favorites were “Yeoman,” “Standard Loneliness Package,” and “Hero Absorbs Major Damage,” as they were written in a more straightforward traditional story style. Yu has been likened to both Douglass Adams and Kurt Vonnegut, as his stories are both humorous and thought-provoking. I would like to try his novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.
Currently Reading/Listening To:
I am reading 2-3 essays from Neil Gaiman’s The View from the Cheap Seats to make it last 🙂