Monday, December 30, 2013

Currently Reading 12/30/13

Finished this week:

Pastoralia by George Saunders: LOVE LOVE LOVE.  Saunders is my big discovery this year.  His stories are equal parts quirky and tragic. *****
Nobody's Secret by Michaela MacColl: a pleasant enough mystery.  I feel I would have LOVED this one as a teen although it seems a bit slight now.  Interesting concept (Emily Dickinson as detective). ***1/2
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your A** by Meg Medina: Such a very powerful plot about bullying.  Great Latina protagonist, and an important story.  One of my favorites of the year. *****

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown: delightful.  Love the illustrations of all the animals in Victorian garb. ****1/2
Papa is a Poet by Natalie S. Bober: wasn't a huge fan, but I think it would be interesting to post a comparison between the ways in which this picture book and Nobody's Secret use poetry. ***

September Girls by Bennett Madison: My gosh, was I impressed with this YA novel.  Can writing be beautiful and crude at the same time?  This somehow manages to be.  But it's the themes that really make it stand out.  About Boys and Girls and Men and Women and how defining a person is one of the greatest mistakes one can make. *****

Currently Reading:

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: much more literary than I was expecting. LOVING it.
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner: possibly my favorite novel of the year.  We shall see when I finish where it stands.
The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal: just started!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: have put this one on hiatus but I still very much want to finish.

To start this week:

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross
Scowler by Daniel Kraus
Aimless Love by Billy Collins

The President Has Been Shot by James L. Swanson
Boxers by Gene Luen Yang
Fullmetal Alchemist vol 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

Sandman V: A Game of You by Neil Gaiman
Bluffton by Matt Phelan 


  1. Always love seeing what you are reading, friend! I read Papa is a Poet and enjoyed it - but I think it's better for younger audiences. Have you read My Uncle Emily? I liked that one a lot (about Emily Dickinson)

  2. I liked Papa is a Poet. Thought it was nicely done. Still need to get to Boxers and Saints.

  3. Lots of great graphic novels coming up! I really enjoyed Bluffton and The Raven Boys.

    What we are reading

  4. What a great list of books! I put Yaqui Delgado on the syllabus for my Adolescent Lit class next semester even though I haven't read it yet, so I'm very glad to read your positive review! I've got to move it up in the queue. I really want to make time to read more adult fiction and nonfiction next year--I bought lots of it this year but read very little. Flamethrowers is in my TBR pile--sounds like I should move it to the top! I got Bluffton for Xmas. Matt Phelan's art is so gorgeous. I put George Saunders on the syllabus for another course I'm teaching in the spring--Contemporary Lit. We're doing 10th of December (also haven't read it yet--I love teaching books I haven't read yet since then it's fresh and new for me too and I'm not recycling my old tired thoughts about it).

  5. I read a few chapters of The Raven Boys, your post reminds me that I should get abck to it soonest. Yaqui Delgado looks great, so many books to love here and to get to know. I got my daughter Boxers and Saints for Christmas along with a few other books, she's saving the reading of that one for last, she has a thing for Gene Luen Yang. :) Have a Happy New Year!


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