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Results 1 - 25 of 554
1. Tommy Taylor and the War of Words

The Unwritten Vol. 6: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Tommy’s coming for the Cabal, but they’re not sure how to prepare for him. Pullman has some ideas, but no one wants to listen to him. We get A LOT of Pullman backstory here. He’s been the Cabal’s thug for millennia. Lots of exploits to cover. There’s even an entire issue of Pullman in Gilgamesh. Plus, we find out who/what Pullman is, exactly (although it’s already been heavily hinted at.) Also, some important backstory with Wilson and Mme. Rauch.

This is a much larger omnibus, and we also have the final showdown between Pullman and Tommy, and the results are… not good. (Setting up the next chapter in the overall story.)

We end with the story of one of the Cabal’s readers--how he got involved and his role in everything, even as a completely insignificant player.

This is where the series really drives home the point about story and how we use story in our lives, and the power story holds in our world.

I loved seeing Pullman through the ages--especially with Gilgamesh and how the art style changed depending on the time period. I think that’s another thing this series does really well--changing the art as things shift. Different time periods, different book, all have art that fits with that story, which is different art than the main story we’re telling. Very cool.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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2. All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel Anthony Doerr

This book guys, oh this book.

It starts in Saint Malo, with the Allied bombing. Hiding in her house is Marie-Laure, 16 and blind. Hiding in a basement with the rest of his unit is Werner, 18 and a German soldier. It then jumps back to Marie-Laure growing up with her father in Paris, losing her eyesight, spending her days in the Museum of Natural History where her father works. It jumps back to Werner, growing up with his sister Jutta in a children’s home, destined at 15 to go work in the same mines that killed his father, until his skills with radios and mechanics mark him for something greater.

It occasionally flashes forward to the “now” of the bombing and for the most part alternates between their two stories. Occasionally other stories interrupt. There is a storied diamond, spirited away from the museum before the invasion that the Nazis are looking for and Marie-Laure may or may not have. There is Jutta in the children’s home. There is the after. There is Marie-Laure reading 10000 Leagues Under the Sea in Braille, her uncle who hasn’t left the house since returning from WWI. There is Werner trying to survive the Nazi Youth academy. Huddled with his sister and his short-wave radio, listening to a French professor broadcasting science lessons to children. There is the resistance--Marie-Laure helping it, Werner tracking it and ending it.

The chapters are short--usually only a few pages, but the writing is so magical. I love Doerr’s rhythm. Each sentence is perfect. Most of them are short, like the chapters, but contain so much. I like that, despite the dual stories and occasional jump in time, it’s a fairly straight forward story, but perfectly executed. This is one of the best, if not THE best book I’ve read this year, maybe longer. It’s not the story is mind-blowing (although the story is very good) but just the language and rhythm and overall, such perfect writing. I wanted to show you some, but individual sentences don't stand out, it's how it all adds up.

Such, such perfect writing.

This book guys, oh this book.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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3. Orange is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison Piper Kerman

Piper used to run drug money for her then-girlfriend. 4 years after she got out of the game (when the girlfriend asked her to start running drugs, too) she was arrested. They also charged her with conspiracy and was subject to harsh mandatory minimum laws, so she plead guilty to hope for leniency at sentencing. She then waited. The US wanted to try the head of the operation, but needed to extradite him and wanted Kerman to testify against him as a civilian, not a prisoner. 6 years after pleading guilty, Kerman was sentenced to 15 months in minimum security.

This memoir focuses a bit on her life before Danbury, but mostly looks at her year in prison and what she learned about herself, the institution, and the societal and political structures we have in place to keep landing people there. Kerman does not have a lot of sympathy for our drug sentencing laws--especially the prosecutorial catch-all of the conspiracy charge. She knows how lucky she was in having the resources to have good legal counsel and saw many, many, many women who did a lot less than she did go down for a lot more time.

It is pretty eye-opening to the realities of the prison system--how it sets people up to fail, how it doesn’t actually fix our issues, but also the camaraderie underneath as people turn to each other to build family and support mechanisms in order to survive (mostly emotionally, though a bit physically).

One thing I appreciate about Kerman is she never denies that she did wrong. She never says she didn’t deserve to go to prison. In fact, it was in prison that she finally came face-to-face with the realities of the drug trade--not the people who go down for being in it, but the addicts and the what addiction does to people, families, and communities. And she doesn’t turn away from facing it and dealing with her shame and guilt (both moral and legal) head-on.

It’s an easy read, written in short sections and vignettes, part personal story, part character sketches of the people and scenes around her. The pacing works really well to move it ahead quickly. That said, it would benefit from tighter editing. I think many were originally written as a series of essays, and so some characters are introduced with the exact same language multiple times while others show up out of left field with no context given.

But, let’s be honest--I picked this up because I’m a fan of the show and wanted to check out the source material. So, how does the book compare? Well, book-Piper has a much better head on her shoulders than TV-Piper. She’s much more aware of her privilege and also knows how to keep her head down to avoid trouble and extra time. I often want to smack TV-Piper up against the head with a clue-stick when it comes to socioeconomic issues, but not so much with book-Piper (but, book-Piper also has the benefit of hindsight). Book-Larry is also much more together than TV-Larry.

Also, not surprisingly, there is a lot less drama in the book than the show. While Piper does eventually come face-to-face with her ex-girlfriend, it’s not until the end, and there are no lingering attraction issues. We also don’t get a good look at many of the other women in Danbury with Piper. Some of the nicknames are the same (Pennsatucky, Big Boo, and Delicious instead of Tastee) but they don’t have backstories and often the personalities we see on screen are nothing like the glimpses we see in the book. Other characters don’t have names, but you see some character traits to make them recognizable (such as the Russian kitchen boss, or the strict, older bunkmate, the aging hippie who teaches yoga and the activist nun) but the stories aren’t quite the same. On the reasons is in prison, you don’t ask, so Kerman just didn’t know the backstory of a lot of her fellow inmates.

I do recommend it to most people, but especially fans of the show. It’s fascinating and a fun read that doesn’t bog down, despite the repetition issues I mention above. Also, if you do watch the show, it’s really interesting to see which parts are TV and which parts are actually true.


Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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4. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Review Haiku

Heartbreaking, laugh-so-
you-won't-cry memoir about
aging parents. Sniff.

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast. Bloomsbury, 2014, 240 pages.

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5. Unwritten: On To Genesis

The Unwritten Vol. 5: On to Genesis Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Back story time! Through some fairly fun hijinks (involving explosions, the Cabal, and Madame Rauch), we see more of what Wilson Taylor was up to, both in the time before Tommy Taylor, but also in how he raised Tom and Lizzie. And the Cabal kicks its game up a notch.

So it doesn’t do much to develop overall plot, but it continues to answer some questions, and the back story is awesomely f-ed up. I like it involves comics-as-literature, and I like the introduction of The Tinker--an old-timey over-the-top superhero. It answers A LOT of questions and raises even more as the world and plot really start to make sense.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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6. Steal Like an Artist

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative Austin Kleon

Who ever had this one checked out before me left a some sticky arrows in the front cover, which was good, because I ended up using them.

This book is a short read--lots of graphics, fun typography, and white space, with some good advice about how to be creative and make your art.

Kleon’s basic point is that nothing is new anymore, so steal inspiration from things you enjoy. As he reminds us, even the Beatles started as a cover band. Also, if you steal from 1 person, that’s plagiarism. Stealing from many is research.

He tells the reader to think about the flaws you see in your favorite artists work--what could have been done differently? If they were still alive, what would they make today? If your 5 favorite artists got together and made something, what would it be? And then he tells us to go make those things.

I also like that he tells us to give our secrets away. Part of it is building a name for yourself, but he also reminds us that Martha Stewart built an empire on telling the world how she does stuff.

It was a great read and well-designed, with a lot of advice and inspiration on how to go out and make art. I really loved it and now I need my own copy to mark up and reread on a regular basis.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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7. Lover's Dictionary

The Lover's Dictionary: A Novel David Levithan

Levithan makes the jump from YA to adult with something breathtaking in its simplicity and originality.

The story is basic enough, a couple, you and me, how we met, how we fell in love, how we moved in together, how we met each other’s friends and families, how we spend our time. You drink too much. You cheated on me. I don’t know if I can get past it, how we get past it.

But it’s not told in a basic manner, rather it’s a dictionary, in alphabetical order, with parts of the story coming out for each definition. Some definitions are a sentence or two. Some last for a page. What I really love is when the same part of the story is used for different words, with the story continuing, or emphasizing details that changes the meaning, and our understanding of it.

deciduous, adj. I couldn’t believe one person could own so many pairs of shoes and still buy new ones every year.

fluke, n. The date before the one with you had gone so badly --egoist, smoker, bad breath--that I’d vowed to delete my profile the next morning. Except when I went to do it, I realized I only had eight days left in the billing cycle. So I gave it eight days. You emailed me on the sixth.

It’s a short book-- only 211 pages, with most pages only have a paragraph on them, but it takes awhile to read. There are lines you have to read between and fill in, the story is out of order, and part of you just wants to savor the way it unfolds before you.

Ever since Boy Meets Boy, I’ve loved Levithan’s love stories, and this one is no different, even if it is between adults and is a bit more cynical (but just a bit--there’s still the wide-eyed exuberance, even if it’s a little quieter--it’s just hiding under the surface a bit.)

I love the craft of this one, but it’s Levithan’s writing and story that make it go beyond gimmick into something worth taking the time to savor. (Seriously--there’s a reason it’s an Outstanding Book for the College Bound)

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Twilight

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Volume 7: Twilight Brad Meltzer, Georges Jeanty, Joss Whedon

So… Dawn + Xander sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G. hee hee.

Ok, back to the main plot-- Buffy and Willow have to clean up the mess they unleashed in Tibet, but Buffy’s suddenly developed some startling powers--like being able to fly. Meanwhile, Willow’s figured out that the Scoobies are missing some key characters and is trying to find them--only to discover that slayer cells around the world have been attacked and decimated. Meanwhile, it’s time for the big Buffy/Twilight showdown only… the results aren’t what anyone was expecting (Well, maybe Twilight was.)

And hoo-boy, the reveal of Twilight is something else. (Not only in identity, but the dialogue in that moment is pretty awesome and classic.)

There are some old slayer legends that need to be brought to light, because when Buffy made all the potentials slayers, there was some MAJOR blowback, and that’s why Buffy has powers, that’s why Twilight’s been doing what he’s doing, and that’s why, when they finally meet, something REALLY big happens.

(Also, I’m still laughing at Dawn’s well-placed “Ben is Glory?” line. Perfect.)

Consequences, consequences, consequences. I think that’s what this season does better than most of the TV seasons did. (With the exception of Season 6.) Buffy changed the world-- there’s a reaction to that. And what Buffy and Twilight do, well, there’s major blowback to that as well.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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9. Fool

Fool: A Novel Christopher Moore

What Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal did for the gospels, Fool does for King Lear.

I originally picked this up because when I saw Moore had a new one out, The Serpent of Venice*, I put a hold on it, only to discover it was a sequel. So, of course I went back and read Fool.

Now, I’ve never read Lear, but that’s ok. Moore’s book might have been smarter and funnier if I were more familiar with the source material, but it’s plenty smart and plenty hilarious without it.

Basically, Fool is a hilarious retelling of King Lear form the Fool’s perspective. The Fool sees everything around him, and in Moore’s version, ends up driving most of the plot (with some help from the Weird Sisters, on loan from MacBeth.)

Much like Lamb, while the commentary and the book are very smart and well done, it’s also super-raunchy and full of swearing, sex, and anachronism. This is Moore at his best. Slightly offensive, very “earthy” and extremely smart. This reminds me that Moore is one of my favorite authors for a reason.

*If Fool = Lear, I assume Serpent of Venice = Merchant of Venice

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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10. Unwritten: Leviathan

The Unwritten Vol. 4: Leviathan Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Tommy’s been told to go to the source, which is Moby Dick. Yes--they’re off hunting the elusive white whale. Meanwhile, Pullman (and his creepy wooden hand) meet a super-creepy puppet maker. But the real meat of the story is when Tom gets sucked into Moby Dick, which has his dad playing Ahab and Frankenstein’s Monster lurking in the shadows. By the end, Tom has figured out some really big clues to WTF is going on here. And it’s totally awesome (in every sense of the world.)

It ends with some random animals climbing an endless staircase, featuring our favorite surly rabbit from the issue at the end of Inside Man.

I really like the direction this series is going in, and what it says about the importance of story. I'm also impressed how long it took for Carey and Gross to explain this world, and what they were doing. It says a lot about their level of craft that readers have held on for so long without understanding the basic premise of the story. The payoff is definitely worth the wait.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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11. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Retreat

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 6: Retreat Jane Espenson, Andy Owens, Joss Whedon

Harmony’s PR campaign and Twilight’s army have forced the slayers into hiding. They’re losing members left and right and go to Tibet, to find Oz, to have him teach them how to suppress their magic. It doesn’t go well. Twilight’s still onto them. But hey! There is redemption for one character! Plus, OZ!

Oz is married and has a kid and Willow has some issues. She’s jealous he gets a “normal” life. She wants that, but also feels it’s fake, because who is she without magic? What is she without magic? Can she suppress hers like the others? Does she even want to?

There are also some major consequences for their actions that are worth considering.

I feel like this volume is a turning point for the series, because it’s where Buffy really has to start facing the consequences of what she’s done--creating an entire army of slayers upsets the balance and there’s a price to be paid for that. The full ramifications still have to be explored, but this is where you see that turning all potentials into Slayers might not have been the happy ending it appeared at the end of the TV-run.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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12. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel Robin Sloan

When Clay is downsized out of his web design job, he gets a job as the night clerk at a 24-hour bookstore that has a weird backlist--books written entirely in code. The only main customers are ones who come in with a secret code, return one of the backlist titles and ask for another. Only those with the code can access the backlist and Clay has to write an extensive journal entry about it. In order to impress a cute girl from Google (and to stay entertained) Clay decides to do a 3D data map of the journals and he discovers that there’s a pattern to what books are being asked for, and the pattern makes a face. He and his tech friends then try to get computers to decode the books, which sets off an adventure and a discovery of a secret ancient society that they’re about to seriously disrupt.

On one level it’s a good exploration of old v new, print v tech, in the book world, with no real answers. On the other, it’s a fun read with romance, adventure, and a side-kick. I like how Clay actively recruits a side-kick and a wizard from his friends as they go on their quest (he reserves the role of rogue for himself.) And a good dose of poking fun of the early Millenials/late Gen-Xers of San Fransisco. There’s a lot of food for thought, but in a way that’s not heavy.

I loved it.

Oh, also, an Outstanding Book for the College Bound. And the cover glows in the dark.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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13. Dead Man's Knock

The Unwritten Vol. 3: Dead Man's Knock Mike Carey, Peter Gross, Ryan Kelly

So, there’s a new Tommy Taylor book coming, and it’s terrible. But will Wilson Taylor show, or is this just a cabal ploy to get to Tom? Either way, this is one book release party with a body count.

Also, who is Lizzie? Is she really escaped from Dickens?

And here’s where I started to get a better sense of what, exactly is happening in this world, and it wasn’t really what I thought it would be, which is awesome. I like how it explores Lizzie’s backstory with a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure type issue (although it was really hard to read by booklight!)

Oh, and Richie becomes a vampire.

It's hard to talk about this one without giving it all away. But mostly, this is the one where it starts to make sense and where I really started getting into the series.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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14. PROTOTYPE by M.D. Waters {Audiobook Review}

Prototype: Archetype, Book 2 Written by: M. D. Waters Narrated by: Khristine Hvam Length: 13 hrs Series: Archetype, Book 2 Format: Unabridged Release Date:07-24-14 Publisher: Penguin Audio Program Type: AudiobookGoodreads | Amazon | Audible The stunning debut that began with Archetype concludes in Prototype, when a woman's dual pasts lock onto a collision course, threatening her

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15. Hole In My Life: Review Haiku

I know, I'm the last
one to read it -- and yes,
it's really that awesome.

Hole In My Life by Jack Gantos. FSG, 2004, 208 pages.

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16. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: Review Haiku

Proof that books make
anyone a better person . . .
eventually.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. Workman, 2014, 272 pages.

0 Comments on The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: Review Haiku as of 6/9/2014 10:19:00 AM
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17. Attachments: Review Haiku

Once you get over
Y2K as historical
fiction, it's swell.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. Plume, 2012, 336 pages.

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18. Predators and Prey

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Vol. 5: Predators and Prey Joss Whedon et al.

Harmony gets a reality show and when a loner slayer tries to stake her on camera, the world turns against the slayers and is suddenly very pro-vamp. Meanwhile, Giles and Faith walk into a trap, Andrew’s plans have backfired with major consequences, and we wrap up Dawn’s mystical enchantment storyline. Oh, and there are some very cute, and very evil, stuffed animals that may just destroy the world.

As annoying as Harmony is, she's a great character (in small doses). I love the fact that she's the one that turns the world pro-vamp, I mean, OF COURSE SHE DOES. The cute, evil, stuff animal story line is pretty funny.

BUT BUT BUT

Best part about Harmony’s return? She’s hanging out with Clem, so Clem’s back. I love Clem. CLEM.


Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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19. Inside Man

The Unwritten Vol. 2: Inside Man Mike Carey and Peter Gross

We open with a scene from “Song of Roland” and then switch to Tom’s legal issues as he’s being tried for the murders at his father’s villa. There he meets a fellow inmate/embedded journalist. Meanwhile, Lizzie is asking books questions and they’re answering back. Frankenstein’s monster shows up, and when the Cabal attacks the prison that’s holding Tom, the results are disastrous for everyone. At the end, we get a comic about someone (from the cabal?) trapped as a bunny in a fairly insipid children’s story, desperate to escape.

I love how they incorporate Song of Roland into this. I still have no idea what, exactly, is going on, but I’m really enjoying trying to figure it out and I assume it’ll make sense at some point.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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20. Sex Criminals: One Weird Trick

Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

Suzie works at a library that’s about to be foreclosed on. While at a fundraising party to try to save it, she meets a guy she likes and they sleep together. It’s only in the afterglow that Suzie discovers that Jon shares her secret--after orgasms, time stops until she’s ready to go again. When she sleeps with Jon, they’re in trapped time together (she calls it The Quiet. He calls it Cumworld.) Jon works at the bank that’s foreclosing on Suzie’s library and hates it. So… why not make the best of their talents in order to rob the bank so they can give the money back in the form of the library’s mortgage payment?

My brother-in-law has a comic book store and last time I was visiting them, my sister was SO EXCITED about this series, so I was excited when the omnibus showed up.

I love the premise and it’s executed so well. Suzie narrates and it goes between the present and the past, and how she figured out about The Quiet. It’s really funny and a great introduction to a world that I want to know more about (Jon and Suzie aren’t the only ones with this talent, and they will get caught breaking the rules, even if time is standing still.) I also love the artwork when time’s standing still, so you know what’s going on. But most of all, I love Suzie. I love that she robs banks to save her library. I love her voice. I love the idea of her as a librarian. She isn't mousey and quiet, isn't too in-your-face cool. She is very cool, and very committed to books and research and helping people who came in to find their information--reminds me of a lot of the librarians I know and love. It was nice to see in pop culture.

I also like the back matter for this one. In addition to the regular offerings of page/cover sketches and rejects that we usually get in omnibus back matter, this had some great stuff on process, and the complete brain-storm list of made up positions.

Obviously, with this premise, it’s an adult title. But while the gimmick is lewd, the execution is beautiful and the actual story is worth digging into--there’s definitely some there there.

Cannot wait to read more.


Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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21. In Case You Were Wondering . . .

This week I've done a lot of reading (for me), but with exception of ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER, they've all been books that either (1) I didn't finish, (2) ended a series, or (3) weren't Young Adult.  So I thought I'd catch you up on some things I liked, and one that I didn't. * * * IN THE END is the second book in the IN THE AFTER duology.  I really, really liked IN THE AFTER, so I

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22. Above the Dreamless Dead - a review


Duffy, Chris, ed. 2014. Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics. New York: First Second.
(Advance Reader Copy)

Above the Dreamless Dead is an illustrated anthology of poetry by English soldier-poets, who served in WWI.  They are known collectively as the "Trench Poets."

Poems by famous writers such as Wilfred Owen and Rudyard Kipling are illustrated by equally talented comic artists, including Hannah Berry and George Pratt. The comic-style renderings (most spanning many pages), offer complementary interpretations of these century-old poems. The benefit of hindsight and perspective give the artists a broader angle in which to work.  The result is a very personal, haunting, and moving look at The Great War.

This is the "case" for Above the Dreamless Dead.
This, and many other interior photos at 00:01 First Second.

Look for Above the Dreamless Dead in September, 2014. Thanks to First Second, who provided this review copy at my request.

French soldiers of the 87th Regiment, 6th Division,
at Côte 304, (Hill 304), northwest of Verdun, 1916.
Public Domain image.
Note: Although this is not an anthology for children, it should be of interest to teens and teachers.  It could be particularly useful in meeting Common Core State Standards by combining art, poetry, history, and nonfiction.
Today is Nonfiction Monday.
See all of today's nonfiction posts at the Nonfiction Monday blog.

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23. It's Summer Throwdown Time!

It's year 3 of the #summerthrowdown, y'all!  What is the summer throwdown, you ask? Well, it started as a friendly competition between teachers and librarians to see who could get the most reading done in a month. Over the years it has morphed into a read-o-rama, where we all try to read as much as we can to inform our readers advisory skills.

When I do the #summerthrowdown I tend to read across age groups so that I can recommend books to all constituents in our school - from the 4 year olds to the 15 year olds to parents and care givers.  So while you will be hearing about the tween titles more fully here, I am going to give a couple brief synopses of some of the books I have read and enjoyed that fall out of the tween age group.

First off we have Noggin, by John Corey Whaley.  Travis Coates opted for a radical treatment to his cancer - having his head removed and placed in a cyrogenics lab to await a possible body donation sometime in the future.  But the future comes sooner than anyone can imagine.  After only 5 years, Travis is still 16 and his best friend and girlfriend seem to have moved on, his parents are off and he feels like a freak.  How will he make it through this transformation?






Next, we have Alex London's follow up to Proxy called Guardian.  The Rebooters have taken over and the Reconciliation has placed Syd (Yovel) at its head, given him a bodyguard and are trying to reform the world.  Power, however, is an interesting thing and perhaps the leanings of those in charge of the Reconciliation aren't where they should be.  Larger than life characters and constant action will keep fans of the first installment wanting more.






A Time to Dance, by Padma Venkatraman is a stunning account of dancer Veda's journey as a dancer.  She has always wanted to dance, has breathed rhythm and feels strongly enough to go against her mother's wishes for her education.  Where a terrible crash leaves her an amputee, Veda has to find a way to dance again. Beautifully written, this story is a must read.







And finally Toms River, by Dan Fagin.  I am still working on this one, but this account of small towns and industrial pollution has this former resident of Niagara captivated.  I keep having to read bits aloud, because I simply cannot believe what was going on unbeknownst to most residents of Toms River in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.  Fascinating and horrifying all at once.







So head on over to the Summer Throwdown and get reading!










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24. (Not My Favorite) THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen

I wrote this review awhile ago and posted it on Goodreads, then forgot to add it here. But now I'm at the beach with no computer, so I'm posting this from my phone. Sorry for the formatting!!  There are some spoilers, if you don't want to read them, skip from spoiler tag to spoiler tag. Review by AndyeI wanted to like this book, SO MUCH.  Like...you have no IDEA how much I wanted this book to be

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25. Time of Your Life

Time of Your Life (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 4) Joss Whedon, Karl Moline, Jeff Loeb

Ok, so somehow I skipped reviewing this one.

Buffy and Willow are trying to figure out the scythe and Buffy somehow* ends up propelled into the future, where once again, there is only 1 slayer a generation. Buffy’s trying to figure out where everything went wrong to get back to that point (plus, how to get home) but she’s walking into a trap of a Big Bad that we’ve seen before. This time though, the ending is devastating. (This is also apparently a crossover with Fray, which is a Whedon comic I’ve never read, so I can’t speak to how to works on that side, but if you didn’t know it was a crossover, you’d never be able to tell.)

Meanwhile, back in the present, Twilight attacks the Scottish fortress that Buffy and Co. have the hanging out in.

It was a weird diversion of a comic because even though Twilight attacks, it still seems a little more “Monster of the Week” rather than over-reaching story arc. But, as I write this, I have read the rest of this season (heck, I even have the reviews written for the rest) and I can see its place a little more. Something I’ll start pointing out more is that overall, this season deals really well with the consequences of Buffy’s actions. And this gives Buffy a glimpse of the long-term consequences and she has to try to figure out how her future actions may mitigate going back to a “chosen one” Slayer lifestyle. That said, this is probably the weakest volume in Season 8.

*mystical magical convergence oddities

Book Provided by... my local library

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