Monday, June 30, 2008

Dairy Queen Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. I've great things about this book for a while now. I just never got around to reading it. If you asked me why I couldn't give you a good answer. This book definitely lived up to the praise. As much as I love sports I am not an athlete. I pretty much suck at sports. When trying to play handball the only thing I hit hard was air. I was the black girl who couldn't jump double dutch or even turn. It didn't get any better as I got older. Kickball, I was the one who hit the hard high pop up right back to the pitcher. That week of softball was awful, I'm left handed and the gym teacher always made a big deal of moving me around. The only way I would make it to the Olympics is if trash talk became an Olympic sport.
Murdock's character D.J. Schwenk is an athlete. Though she is more than that she is also a daughter, a sister, a farmer and many other things but she is not a cow. She thinks for herself and controls her future.
I really enjoyed Dairy Queen. D.J. lives in Red Bend a small Wisconsin Town. The Schwenk's are athletes. D.J.'s older brothers Win and Bill both got football scholarships. She begins training Brian the QB of the rival school, Hawley. Towards the end of the summer D.J. decides she wants to play football. I will never again question why or if a girl could play football. I loved D.J.'s voice, it was pure and authentic. Dairy Queen is one of those novels that stays with you. So now I am totally on the Dairy Queen is a great book band wagon. I wave my ticket proudly next stop, the sequel, Off Season

A Meeting Place

Another skit

Hi, Books are Beautiful this is Tamika How can I help you today?

Book club member (BCM) Hi, My book club would like to have our next meeting in your book store. We meet the second Friday of every month.

Tamika- I am sorry, unfortunately, we don't host book clubs

BCM- Why not?

Tamika- Its not something we do.

BCM- Why not? We're a book club and you're a book store. It makes perfect sense

Tamika- Did you purchase your current book club selection from Books are Beautiful


Tamika- Well do you usually shop at Books are Beautiful?

BCM- No, I buy my books in bulk at Cosco. Though I do plan on getting a dessert with a glass of water on the side. I've heard great things about your cheesecake.

Tamika- A dessert?

BCM- With a glass of water on the side

Tamika- Well why didn't you say that before, that changes everything

BCM- Really

Tamika- No

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hi, I'm a local author

Hi, I'm a local author skit

A local author approaches the unsuspecting bookseller
Hi, my name is Jane Smith and I'm a local author. (Bookseller reluctantly gives name shakes hands)

It's a pleasure to meet you Susan. I came in today to schedule a booksigning for my new book "Living without Lies" because I am a local author. It's a wonderful book actually its about getting to the truth and receiving the answers without fear. "Living without Lies" will change lives

Susan - Let me see if we carry it, unfortunately we don't carry "Living without Lies"
Local author- that's okay I have some copies in my trunk. I can set up right near the front, and flag customers as they pass. It worked great in the mall, all I need is a table
Susan- Sorry, we don't do that
Local author- But I'm a local author and they let me do it at the mall
Susan- Unfortunately that is not something we do. To do a signing here we must first carry your book. Jake is in charge of our ordering, give him a call at this number. Explain what your book is about, if he thinks we can sell it we'll carry it and then we can see about setting up a booksigning
Local author - I shouldn't have to do all that. I am a local author after all. I even purchased a book here once. I don't see why I can't just bring my books in and set up
Susan - Unfortunately that is not something we do
Local author- WHY NOT
Susan - We have strict booksigning procedures we must follow
Local author - THAT'S NOT AN ANSWER
Susan- I was trying to be nice but I see that's not working. You, local authors walk in here about twice a week. Do we laugh in your faces like we should for not going through the proper channels,no. We listen as you tell us about your masterpiece. Do we roll our eyes when you call it a future NYT bestseller,no. Do we turn you down out right like we should,no. We cushion it with six syllable words like unfortunately. Do you take the hint and leave, thinking at least I tried, no. You say you want an answer but what you really want is your way. Unfortunately for you I'm going to give you what you asked for. We want our customers to feel comfortable and not feel the need to make a booksigning pity purchase. Therefore we don't do store front booksignings

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Trading Dreams at Midnight Diane Mckinney Whetstone

Trading Dreams at Midnight by Diane Mckinney-Whetstone. Mckinney-Whetstone's novel are always set in Phildelaphia and they have a lyrical beauty to them. Her charcters are always strong, and sometimes in need of forgiveness. My favorite for years was Tumbling though Trading Dreams at Midnight is fighting for a top spot in my booklover's heart.

Neena and Tish's mom Freeda suffered from extreme highs and lows. She would disappear for months at a time leaving her daughters with their grandmother, Nan. Freeda can't help but listen to the voice, for fear if she doesn't he'll let the devil in. Then one day the voice tells Freeda to kill her daugthers. This time Freeda refuses, but she isn't strong enough to stay. The story unfolds from there. I must admit mental illness stories especially when it comes to mother daughter relationships make me feel less different. I can relate on a whole another level. Some passages are libel to break me open. Like this one

Tell me about your mother?
My mother? Like what about her?
"No one had ever asked Neena such things before and she felt her heartbelt climbing. Where to even begin with her mother's habit of hunching over the kitchen table cramming her mouth with Argo starch her shoulder blades like knife points pushing through her paisley robe; or the stark look of Freeda's eyes when she was too happy, unsustainable such happiness was, and it was as if her dark eyes understood that and refused to play along"

The yearning confusing. Yearning for what? To finally be filled with a feeling that was larger than that of being a motherless daughter. Was there a feeling larger, or just another kind of shattering.

Two fiction and one non fiction title where mental illness is the focus

I Know this much is true- Wally Lamb Twin brothers, one is mentally ill

72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell - A mother must cope with a mentally ill daughter. It's fiction though the authors daughter did suffer from mental illness. I loved this book

Rescuing Patty Hearst by Virginia Holman - A memoir about a daughter's growing up with a mentally ill mother. I loved this book, someone put a voice to my fears and longing.

The Casanova Bus Driver

Reading Trading Dreams at Midnight by Diane Mckinney Whetstone I didn't think I could love this author any more then I already did but she proved me wrong with this novel

Anyhow I am on the bus, with the Casanova bus driver who flirts with the passengers. I just roll my eyes when I get on the bus and think oh him again. I have nothing to fear, the bus driver is white and he only tries to pick up white women.
The first time I saw the Casanova bus driver he was talking to a woman, sitting in the back of the bus. It was quite sad actually. I was thinking MF she sat in the back for a reason and she had a book. The lady was trying to be nice but you could tell she wanted to be left alone. But you can't diss the bus driver because they can accidentally on purpose not stop the next time they see you.
Today Casanova bus driver asked a women why she wasn't smiling. Its 2008 why the hell are men still saying that shit. Men should be fined for telling women to smile, or saying see you're prettier when you smile, or smile its a great day, or any sleazy opening line that involves smiling. Casanova bus driver is over 50, so his fine should be doubled. Men should not be allowed to use the same cliched lines they used 20 years ago, which obviously didn't work.
Then Casanova bus driver ask the poor lady how long she's been in Atlanta. Poor lady turned into lucky lady because another white women got on at the next stop and Casanova bus driver started talking to her.

I told one of my co workers about Casanova bus driver, asking poor lady about why she wasn't smiling.
My coworkers deadpan instant response "because I am riding the bus"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

CatWalk Deborah Gregory

Catwalk by Gregory, DeborahCatwalk Greogory is the author of the Cheetah Girl books, who got screwed by Disney. Pashmina Purrstein is a junior at Fashion International high school in NYC. Each year the school holds a Catwalk competition. Five houses will compete and the winning team will get money to start their own label, an overseas trip and other prizes. Pashmina is a future model and entrepreneur. She garners enough votes and the House of Pashmina is born.

There's a lot to like about this book. Pashmina is smart (3.5 gpa is a competition requirement)and goes after what she wants, not allowing her situation to stop her. She can't afford designer labels, so what she'll get together with her girls and make it work Tim Gunn style. There is no back stabbing in Catwalk, everyone is merely trying to do their best.
Though it was a little much with the cat lingo. Pashmina's and her crew are cat lover's. The names played into this as well Purrstein, Ms Lynx the principal, and Felinez one of Pashmina crew. Thanks to all the cat talk my brain played word association with Felinez turning it into Feline. The catvocab distracted from a great story, others may find it cute I did not. I must admit to loving the Catwalk Credo. A list of do's and don't for the House of Pashmina

"Rulers are for those who rule with purrcision"
"The true measure of my success will be not how I slope the terrain to fame but my ability to align my tasks and tantrums with those of my crew. I must always remember that grandiosity could land me in the half price sale bin like Goliath who was toppled by a tiny but well targeted rock."

Gregory redeems herself with The Catwalk Competition Blog. I loved this aspect of the story. Students in the Catwalk competition are free to write whatever on the blog for the school to read. Greogory uses this to teach us a little bit about the history of fashion as well as contestants fears and aspirations.

"And thanks to my black supermodels from Pat Cleveland Billie Blair, Beverly Johnson and Iman to Veronica Webb, Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell, I have grown up with the opportunity to do more than sit on the sidelines watching fashion shows. And little brown skinned girls growing up now don't have to steal blond barbie dolls anymore. We can steal brown ones.

Catwalk is a fun read with the right about of drama. A teen who loves fashion will enjoy Catwalk.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Out of His League Pat Flynn

Out of His League by Pat Flynn. If you've visited my site before you know I love sports and good sports book. Now I must confess my love of Australian YA authors. It all began with Melin Marchetta then there was Jaclyn Moriarty, then Scott Westerfeld. In the beginning I didn't seek out Australian authors. I'd finish a book,read the bio, and I'd think oh another Aussie author how nice. It kept on happening, after reading a Markus Zusak novel, I thought its not a coincidence that all these books are so good. Aussie authors can write, so now I actively seek them out.
At work the other day has I was shelving YA, I came across Out of His League. It's the best of both worlds for me a sports book by an Aussie authors. It got a high octave squeal and came home with me that night.

Ozzie is an 18yr old Australian country boy who plays Rugby league (which is not the same as Rugby). He gets an opportunity to do his senior year of high school in Texas. Though once we arrives in Texas, no one understands his accent, so now Ozzie is Austin. An Australian and Southern accent are probably two of the strongest, so it makes for some interesting missed communication.

Ozzie joins the Shooters the high school football team. He learns the rules by playing football on a portable game system. This book was a whole lot of fun. I laughed out loud, a few times while reading in public.
The Graham's are Ozzie's Hope,Texas family. Dave and Nancy, the kids David Jr and Alison. Ozzie quickly learns how popular football is in the United States especially in the south

Ozzie's about the pep rally

"The whole town showing up to watch us walk into a hall? People here must be footy crazy."

The Shooters have a problem scoring and blocking making winning hard. So the coach decides to allow Ozzie to introduce some Rugby League plays to the offense, lateral ball movement. Flynn does a great job of describing the games. I don't think I will be the only one to Google the rules of Ruby League after reading this book. In the first chapter Ozzie plays a Rugby League game, though the only Rugby game I've ever watched was that episode of Friends when Ross was trying to impress his girlfriend, I was still able to follow the action. At first I wondered why the author didn't include a Rugby League glossary. When Ozzie started learning football, I realized it wasn't needed. Ozzie didn't get a football glossary when he got to Texas.

A funny part, though I've edited some. Ozzie has just been put into the game as quarterback

"What play we running? Ask Curtis Riley in the huddle. Well, said Ozzie, you blokes stop those bastards from tackling us." He then turned to the Shooters receivers "And you two run any way you want." What's the blocking formation? Just do whatever you want." Curtis let out a stifled laugh. "Good luck, dude."

Overall I really enjoyed Out of His League. The ending was a little weak, it felt like the author gave up and decided to wrap it up. The beginning and middle had me laughing so hard that I still highly recommend Out of His League. Thanks to Pat Flynn, if I ever get to Australia, I can go to a pub an say "Where can a girl see some real footy, and not that wanker Rugby Football Union stuff but a hard hitting Ruby League game." If I say it right maybe I'll get a free beer.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fowl Language D.L. Garfinkle

Fowl Language (SuperNatural Rubber Chicken) by D.L. Garfinkle illus. by Ethan Long
This book came in about two weeks ago. It looked like the sort of fun and silly early chapter book I would enjoy. I just never got around to picking it up, but when I showed it to a regular and his face lit up, I knew it was time to read it.

Fowl Language is the first book in the SuperNatural Rubber Chicken series. The rubber chicken, a boy chicken named ED. The rubber chicken can grant wishes but not for its owners. The owners are the only ones who can hear the rubber chicken. Ten year old twins Nate and Lisa have just inherited Ed from their older brother Dave who is off to surf. Lisa gets to use Ed first. She decides to give her friend Ashley super charm so she won't be so shy. Fowl language wouldn't be as funny if everything want as planned. That's the great thing about Ed he delivers in his own special way. The mother is great background, she ignores her children and is obsessed with winning a Newbery. A dog has died in her last four novels. The mother's Newbery obsession is more for adults but I think kids will enjoy it as well, especially struggling readers who may be tired of adults telling them how good Newbery books are.

Fowl Language is very funny. Here is a sample of the funny

Their mother stopped typing on the computer. Did you have a good day?
"No," Lisa said Our teacher Mrs. Crabpit smelled horrible. Even for her. I had to keep tissues stuffed up my nostrils. "How sweet," their mother said as she stared at the computer screen.

Nate rode in the back of the school bus. His friend Michael sat across the aisle from him and tutored him the art of the fake farts.

"Who are you calling gross girlie? What's gross is this sweaty underwear your brother Dave dumped me on." The voice seemed to be coming from the chicken, which was in fact lying on a pair of smelly underwear.

Fowl language is a fun silly read. Great for fans of the Captain Underpants and My Weird School series.

Since I am talking about a fun silly chapter book I want to say one thing. I hate when parents refuse to get a child one of these books because they look too silly. The kids face falls so quickly, I can almost see them close down. I feel so bad, it breaks my booklover's heart. No matter a readers age, I always believe in a reading balance. Reading the light stuff helps you appreciate the heavier books, vice versa. Sometimes light books are gateway books. How can a parent expect a child to be open to their reading suggestions when they flat out refuse and maybe even badmouth a book the child showed an interest in, reading is reading.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baby Girl Lenora Adams

Baby Girl by Lenora Adams I love this book for its purpose and potential to change lives. It would go great with The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. 17yr old Sheree ran away to a halfway house, to break the cycle and save her future. Baby Girl is broken up into three parts. Sheree's letter to her mom, her mom's response and Sheree's letter to her unborn child.

Here at Milagro House I have lots of time to think, so I've been thinking about my life and what I realize is that this was my destiny. All these years I had fooled myself into thinking you could rescue me, but you hadn't saved yourself yet. Perhaps as I write this letter we'll both figure out the deeper reason why why my path is so similar to yours, why I didn't learn lessons from the past. So to help me and you learn, I have to start at the beginning of the summer, because that set off my chain of events.

Sheree's mom was only 16 when she had Sheree, treating her more like a girlfriend then a daughter. Sheree mom allowed her to smoke cigarettes and weed in the house. Sheree tries to fill the dad void with boyfriends. The latest is 22yr old Damon, who calls Sheree Baby Girl. Sheree's story isn't new, girls have always given away a precious part of themselves in hopes of receiving love in return. The beauty of Baby Girl, lies in Sheree's ability share this story. Adam's writing is uncensored but she doesn't exploit her characters. Sheree and Damon's sex is never describe. Though the labor and birth is, in full detail. As well as Sheree's postpartum depression. There is a great scene at the end when Sheree ask her dad why he wasn't around more before, and what can she do to make Damon stay.

Sheree letter to her mom gained strength as the book went on.

"Walking back to your house I thought about how I couldn't call it home no more. Do you know what makes a home? From the Cosby show reruns I learned about home. Home is where I should feel safe and loved, a place where I know someone has my back, not where I have to lock my doors all the time. No, moms that wasn't home. I don't know if it ever was. I can't help but wonder if there ever was a time when I was your first and only concern. Did my needs ever come before yours? Did you know my cry? Can you hear it now?

I highly recommend Baby Girl. I hope it finds its way to those who need it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Missing Girl Norma Fox Mazer

The Missing Girl by Norma Fox Mazer. This is the story of five sisters Beauty, Mim, Stevie, Fancy and Autumn and the man who watches them. The Herbert girls are unaware of the man's attention. The telling of the story alternates between the sisters and the man. With short chapters Mazer gives life to each character. The Herbert sisters personalities are clearly evident. We know from the title that the man, eventually takes one of the girls. The answer to who, is in the story of girls and the man. As the story unfolds its easy to see which one the man has his eye one. There are times when they are so close, I wondered if the girls would finally notice the man. That's the beauty of a psychological thriller, knowing the victim is only a few steps away from a life changing encounter, it gets my readers heart pumping. The story The Missing Girl is a great page turner. I am never sure if my words are good enough to tempt anyone to read a book I've enjoyed. That's why I like use the authors words to help. I am finding this a little bit difficult to do with The Missing Girl. I love to share but I hate to spoil. All the passages I love reveal too much.
Except maybe this one,

He is looking for a pattern. Surely there's a pattern. He dislikes uncertainty, ambiguity. As the weeks go on he frets over their lack of system. Over the missing pattern. It perplexes him. Why not make up their minds, do one thing or the other, be consistent. He plays with the idea of speaking to them about it, but what would he say? Girls I've been watching you Young ladies, why do you keep shifting numbers on me Listen girls you're upsetting me with your constantly changing numbers.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Comeback Season Jennifer E. Smith

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith. If I knew I was going to enjoy this as much as I did, would've read it two months ago as planned. Towards the end, I thought, The Comeback Season is as good as it is because Smith doesn't try to make it anymore then what its suppose to be.
Ryan Walsh is going to opening day at Wrigley Field. Ryan's dad taught her to love the Cubs. In his honor Ryan decides to go to opening day.
Ryan is trying to find her place again. Ryan misses her dad too much, to give her stepfather a chance. When high school started somehow Ryan ends up on the short end of the friend stick.
Ryan runs into Nick, a sophomore from her freshman math class. Ticketless, the two sit outside Wrigley Field. Smith made me a believer in Ryan and Nick's relationship. In the beginning its slow and unfamiliar, the two sticking to common ground the Cubs. Both are going through personal situations so there is no pushing for more.

"I could never really play baseball as a kid. he says, winding up with the exaggerated motion of a pitcher on the mound. I was always getting hurt or breaking something. It took forever to figure out why, and when we did I was always in the middle of some treatment or another. This is the most she heard him talk about his past since he first told her about it, and Ryan wishes she could see his face. They fall into a rhythm with the ball, the back and forth motion like something choreographed."

Ryan makes a reckless bargain for Nick

Its okay if the Cubs never win again, if only he would just be okay.

If Ryan was thinking she never would've made it, its too heavy. In the second half of the season the Cubs go on a run. They have a shot at the wild card and Nick is in the hospital. Ryan thinks her bargain is responsible for Nick's relapse. Being the superstitious baseball fan that I am, I understand her guilt completely. This year when my team is the Sunday night game, I won't watch because they lose. I believe that with all of my baseball loving heart. They have a 3-1 record. One Sunday I checked the score online they were up four runs, I still refused to turn to the game. Baseball fans take there bargains and promises very seriously.
Ryan is angry and too scared to cheer for the Cubs. When she's with Nick he needs Ryan to cheer. Eventually Ryan tells Nicks about the bargain. Nick eases Ryan's guilt, she's free to cheer again.
Smith has given us a regular girl in transition. That's one of the reasons I loved The Comeback Season. Ryan is an average student who misses her dad, and wants a seat in the chaotic place aka a high school cafeteria. I think a lot of people could relate. At times Smith's word choice was beautiful, I had no choice but to reread a sentence or two.

"This silence between them is not anything like the others. It's not pleasant or awkward, not trying or simple. Even now five years later it seems somehow determined to last, as if it might be this way always the two of them out on the stoop each doing their best not to drift too far. It occurs to Ryan that if there really are all sorts of silences then maybe death is nothing more then the longest of these and this nothing more then the empty space left behind by her father"

Guys will enjoy The Comeback Season just as much. Its not only the baseball aspect though that helps. There is also great emotional balance. Ryan is not the type of girl who likes to talk too much but she's not afraid to share her feelings.
Sometimes I get customers looking for a book club selection for a guy/girl book group. Now I have something I can highly recommend.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Amy Hodgepodge All Mixed Up

Amy Hodgepodge by Kim Wayans & Kevin Knotts. The Hodges have moved to a new city. Amy will be starting the forth grade. This will be Amy's first time going to school, she was homeschooled prior to the move. Amy has all the regular new school feelings, such as will the kids like me and I can't wait to make friends. A lot of kids could probably relate to the homeschooled to school transition. Amy is restless the first day at her desk. She's not used to being inside while learning. Amy explains what a day of homeschool learning entailed. When kids were being mean to Amy, she has no idea why. I normally question when kids don't know why they're being teased, some kids are just nasty, mean, insecure bullies. Though if you've been homeschooled you may not know this. The two teasers were Liza and Jennifer. Liza was assigned to show Amy around. This I found a little hard to believe. Teachers usually know who the mean students are, so why pick Liza to show Amy around. In class Liza and Jennifer make fun of Amy's dress. By lunch time Amy is still friendless and feeling a little over dressed. The chaotic scene of the lunchroom is described very well. Amy is saved from having to eat in the classroom by Lola. A very nice girl who compliments Amy's singing and invites her to sit at her table. Lola's table consists of five people including her twin brother Cole. Of course Liza and Jennifer are not faraway. They whisper speak, the new girl looks kind of weird. What is she anyway. They tease Amy because she is from a multiracial family. Amy is Caucasian, African American and Asian. Amy is upset by their comments, it hurts to be teased about who you are. The kids at the table tell Amy to ignore Liza and Jennifer. They are all from multiracial families and have been teased by Liza and Jennifer. I found it a little hard to believe Amy sat at a table with all multiracial kids. Amy is quickly accepted into the group. The school will be having a talent show next week. Amy and her friends decide to sing Celebrate You and Me. A student from India sang a traditional song in Hindi. Another student did a poem about helping families who had lost their homes to a hurricane.
Amy Hodgepodge was like Shrek 3 to me. Too many life lessons and morals. They stopped the story from reaching its full potential. Then again I am a jaded adult, maybe kids will be inspired. Though, I think its enough to expose a child to different people and experiences, the message of acceptance will come naturally. We need more multiracial characters for all ages, Amy Hodge and her friends are a welcome edition. I only hope as the series continues the authors will allow the stories that are screaming to get out, out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In the Name of Like Book Suggestions Needed

I spoke to one of my nephews today. H.D. is in the fourth grade. We talked about all the important stuff. Like how good Iron Man was, what's on his IPOD, what books he wants and will I get him the third Wimpy Kid book. It was a nice conversation, towards the end H.D. sneaks in that he has a crush on someone in his class. I resisted the urge to say awww. I believed doing so garnered me more answers. The girl is a dancer like my nephew. They both won a dance competition but not together. My nephew is too shy to approach her. Plus he's already in the hole because of fourth grade rumors. I have no idea what they are. He didn't want to tell me and I didn't want to push. It doesn't really matter because the rumors are lies. My nephew is the quiet artistic type. For God's sake someone stole his scooter. A kid who gets their scooter stolen in fourth grade is not the type to do a girl wrong. H.D. said the girl doesn't like him because of the rumors. Also she has a protective mom and five sisters.
So I am trying to get my nephew out of the hole. If nothing else it will help his confidence . Since they both dance, I was thinking he could give the girl a book, where the main character is a dancer. A thoughtful, personalized gift with a card can always score a man, no matter how old, some points.
So I need some suggestions. I am having trouble finding books about or starring a dancer for middle school girls. I am open to non fiction as well. So if you have any suggestions please share. Leave a comment or send me an email. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where's the Milk?

I saw a sign when leaving my complex, Dessert Night 6-8pm. I paid rent a few days ago, I wasn't missing this dessert night. I missed the last one to go to a book signing. Today I had a good lazy day off. Even did a little clothes shopping. When I was coming home my stomach hurt a little but that wasn't going to stop me, I was getting my free dessert. You may be thinking happynappy why you trippin over dessert. Its not the dessert, its the principality of the thing. (Hopefully everyone got that Friday's reference. If you haven't seen Friday, you should. Its a black cinema classic. Chris Tucker pre Rush Hour, very funny.) I just paid rent, so if someone is giving out ice cream cones and fresh baked cookies in the leasing office I am getting some. Apparently I am not the only one to feel this way, I've never seen so many tenants in leasing office before. I heard the there were a lot of people at the last dessert night as well. The people hosting seemed so nice. I was the the third one to take dessert and run. I did feel a little bit bad about that but not bad enough to stay. Though I only took two cookies to ease my guilt.
Where's the Milk or how I made my escape
I am eating my ice cream in the corner and praying the co host doesn't come over to talk. He seems like the type to engage strangers in conversations so they won't be all alone. Thankfully he doesn't. I am wondering how I can get cookies and get out before they start talking. Once they start talking I'd have to stay. The person who left before me was kind of rude to Mr Nice co host guy. I feel bad for him, but again not bad enough to stay or leave my email address. It was looking bad there for a moment, I thought I was going to have to leave with no cookies. Then I saw my chance. Mr. nice co host guy asked Miss nice co host lady, Where's the milk? It was in the fridge. As soon as he made his way to the fridge I grabbed the cookies and dipped. The cookies were good, they had a hint of coconut.

Kids Kick is Over

One April 24 I posted about beginning a kids kick. Today it officially ended. I started reading John Connolly's new mystery The Reapers. As much as I enjoy children's literature, I am happy to get a little balance back in my reading. I was tempted to stop earlier but now I know its time. I started a book today and it seemed juvenile. I knew it wasn't the books fault, I just needed a break. Though this was my best kid kick ever. I didn't over do it, so I won't have to give myself a month to recover. I will go back to alternating between adult and children's fiction. See Toni I can read big peoples books.

Leonardo's Shadow Christopher Grey

Leonardo's Shadow by Christopher Grey is now out in paperback. I missed it the first time around. I did pick it up several times with interest, though I never opened the book. Last week I was looking for something new to read. Everything was quickly vetoed. Leonardo's Shadow was once again in my hands. I said to myself enough of this, either read the book or don't, commit already. So I read the first page of Leonardo's Shadow. I must say my subconscious has very good, awarding winning taste.

The story begins with an eight year old boy, running from a mob. He is a suspected thief, his feet carry him quickly through the streets of Milan for fear of death. The boy jumps from the top of a Cathedral. He would of died, if not for Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci and three other men where replacing a stained glass window on the Cathedral. The boy, fell on top of the work canopy, Da Vinci pulled him in. Thanks to the fever and the fall, the boy forgot his name. Da Vinci gave him a new one, Giacomo. He would become Leonardo Da Vinci's servant. Giacomo was cunning, smart and witty.

"We settle down to drink and laugh and forget that tomorrow, sore heads or not, we will be up at dawn to work. That's the servant's life. A few moments of merriment followed by days of drab duty. In Milan you are what you are. And I am a servant."

At the time of Giacomo's arrival into Da Vinci life, he was working on the Last Supper. I've always enjoyed art, so I found what I learned about Da Vinci and the Last Supper very interesting. Like why Da Vinci didn't paint on the wall for two years, who Da Vinci used has his models, or the reason for the Last Supper.
Giacomo has dreams of becoming an artist himself but right now he must keep Da Vinci on track. The Last Supper must be completed before the Pope's arrival.
There is a lot to like about Leonardo's Shadow. The language for one. I enjoyed the give and take between the characters especially Giacomo and Da Vinci

"Past midday, Master. Father Vicenzo is here again."
"Then send him away again."
" I tried that, Master."
"And failed, I see."
How easily he forgets all the times I succeeded.

The novel has great pace as well. Its 390 pages but it read like a novel half its size. Since the story begins quickly with a foot chase down a busy city street, reluctant readers will enjoy Leonardo's Shadow as well.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Separate but Equal, Guys do read

We have a YA table with bestsellers and new releases. A few months ago, I noticed it was all geared towards girls. Of course when I saw this error I kept on seeing guys pass by the table. One side of the YA table now features male protagonists. At first I was wary of doing the whole separate but equal, gender split thing. Thinking maybe I should just add guy titles and mix it. I didn't think guys would want to be seen browsing around Gossip Girls or the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. So I split the table and it works very well. An extra bonus, the parents love it.
I love Jay Asher's novel Thirteen Reasons Why. It's great for guys and girls. Though if its next to more teen girl books, guys aren't going to give it a second chance. When Thirteen Reasons Why first came out I blurbed it towards girls. When I redid the table I did another blurb for guys. It sold as well, actually better, since girls aren't put off by the guy side of the table.
To say guys don't read is crap. I work at a bookstore with guys, ergo they read.
A new blog went active today the guys lit wire. I am very excited about it because its going to up my boys book game. Its for guys reading needs. News and reviews of books guys would want to read. So if you're in search of a book for a son, nephew or anyone with Y chromosome, you should check out guys lit wire.