I finally have managed to pull together my favorite books I read in 2012. Now, these books weren’t necessarily published in 2012, that’s just when I read them. Also please keep in mind that I’m sure this list would be much larger if I wasn’t such a slacker with reading this year. Remember this post? Yeah, that’s still happening. I’ m working on it though, I’m already 2 books in this year, and hope to keep up the trend! Without further ado, here she is:
Oh, horses. I am so undecided on you. Sometimes I think I like you, so I try and ride you, and then have mild panic attacks the whole time. Every time I see a horse, I sing this annoying Wild Horses song, and no, it’s not the cool one, it’s lame. You may remember the last time I talked about horses I liked them, read about that here. Then I rode one again and was scared. Yet, I’m planning another horse riding trip, possibly near cliffs. What is wrong with me? I clearly need to make up my mind. I had a couple very bad experiences as a child with horses, at least that’s how I remember them. The picture below is when I started to come around, I mean who wouldn’t like riding a horse in Puerto Rico?
Anyways, there are lots of horses in Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races. The two main characters are Puck (Kate) and Sean Kendrick. They live on an island called Thisby where there is a large horse race every year. Not just any race, however. This race is between water horses. As if I wasn’t on the edge already, these horses are frightening! They are very large and very dangerous. They come from the sea, and so they are always kind of trying to get back to the sea after being caught. Puck’s parents were both killed by these horses in an accident. On the verge of losing everything, Puck decides to join the race to try and save her family. Puck is the first girl to ever race, so obviously things don’t go great for her in training. I actually listened to this, and while I found Sean Kendrick’s voice a bit too old for the story, I absolutely loved the story. I did not love it enough to hop on a water horse, but maybe a regular one.
I love gadgets, they don’t love me back, but that’s another story. I’ve been obsessed with my iPad ever since it changed my life 2 years ago when I bought it. It’s gotten pretty bad; I don’t take it with me when I go places like work, since I know what would happen. But, at home, I have to have it by my side at all times. I can’t even watch TV without playing on it at the same time. I love TV, and now I don’t ever know what happens on my favorite shows because my iDD (see what I did there (changed the “A” to an “i”, I crack myself up) has gotten so bad. I’ve tried to just watch TV, but I get all twitchy and bored. This is just TV, now let’s move onto reading.
I try and read books on my iPad, but obviously I only get about 2 pages in before I start playing Draw Something or checking in on facebook and seeing which of my friends have posted some kind of vague annoying status update in apparent cry for attention. By now you’re probably thinking, so pick up a real book, aren’t you a librarian? Yes, of course, I LOVE real books. The problem is, again, that I get about 2 pages in, and reach for the iPad. I tried putting the iPad in a different room, but it calls to me and I go pick it up after about 10 minutes. What I need is for someone to come and sit and read me the books while I play games on my iPad; that would be the best case scenario. Takers?
I am trying to finish a book on my iPad as we speak, and I’ll be sure to let you know when I finish. It’s great so far, but maybe now that I’ve told you about it, I’ll feel accountable and finish it! It is The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, I think part of the reason I haven’t finished yet is because it’s creepy! We have it in several formats: audio, ebook and good old fashioned paper! It’s set at a boarding school, so obviously I’m on board!
In honor of the upcoming Dr. Dorsch’s Lonely Hearts party, I thought I’d share a story with you all. This is a story from my junior prom. It’s not really a break up story, since we weren’t really dating and certainly weren’t dating after the event! So, I didn’t have a date to the junior prom, and a friend of a friend was interested in coming along. So, I went along with it, and met my date a couple of times before the prom. He went to a private school with no dancing so I think this was his first dance ever. Since I didn’t know him well and don’t like awkwardness as a rule, I spent much of my prom dancing with my friends. I was soon approached by another friend who said my prom date was in the mens room with blood all over his face. This was a bit concerning. What happened? Was he in a fight? Nope, apparently he was dancing with a couple friends to the song “Jump Around” ironically and they threw him in the air. Well his “jump” didn’t go so well, and he landed on his face. I sat with him and the principle waiting for the ambulance to arrive. I had a fleeting thought I should go along to the hospital, but I really wanted to go to the after party I had begged my mom to let me attend! Plus, I was afraid of the wrath of his mom, not that it was my fault, but moms are scary. I did have to go to his house a few days later to pick up a few belongings I had left in his car. When I arrived, he handed me a letter to read since he couldn’t really talk because his jaw was wired shut. Apparently, he had broken his face, woopsies.
Don’t forget to leave a comment about your own break-up story. Prizes will be given out for the best story at the DDLHC Party on February 17th!
I suppose I should tie this to a real book with a break up until I write my own. I blogged about this a few years ago, yes apparently we’ve been doing this for 3 years, when did that happen? Anyways, imagine being a dumped and then having a song written about you? Well, it happened here, you can read my full review here.
For my favorites list this year, I decided to focus more on what I read and loved this year, as opposed to what year it came out. I’m sure there are tons more that I need to read, I fell a bit short on my list this year with reading as many books as I want to. Working in a library, you hear all day about books you HAVE to read, and it gets stressful! I don’t give full out reviews here, mainly because I’m listing my favorite books of the year, so do I need to tell you why they’re awesome? No! They are because I (and lots of other people) said so. That doesn’t mean they’ll be awesome to you obviously, so I won’t judge you if you don’t like my list. Please feel free to add your favorites in the comments below.
Without further ado, my favorite books read in 2011…
|Everybody Sees the Ants
By: A.S. King
This is only the 2nd A.S. King book I’ve read, but I already feel like I wouldn’t hesitate to call her one of my favorite authors. I’m working on a full review for this, but in the meantime, pick it up!
By: Veronica Roth
Another book to read if you are a Hunger Games fan, and they already sold movie rights. This is a fast paced read with lots of action.
|I’ll Be There
By: Holly Goldberg Sloan
I’m not even sure what style this book is written it, but it was breathtaking. I loved each character so much. It had a definite storytelling vibe to it. There were lots of pages I read over and over just because they were so nicely written. LOVED IT!
|Between Shades of Gray
By: Ruta Sepetys
I had the privilege of hearing Ruta speak last year, and she is an amazing speaker. This is a story that needed to be told, you can read my full review here.
|The Knife of Never Letting Go
By: Patrick Ness
This is the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, and the series is absolutely amazing. If you are a Hunger Games fan, you must pick this up! I think as a whole, I actually enjoyed this series more, just by a hair.
|A Monster Calls
By: Patrick Ness inspired by Siobhan Dowd
Apparently Patrick Ness is the man. The idea for this book was started by the late Siobhan Dowd, and Patrick Ness picked up where she left off and finished the book. I actually picked it up because I love Siobhan Dowd’s books so much. If you haven’t read any, you must!
|The Sky is Everywhere
By: Jandy Nelson
This was a gorgeous story about grief and love, and, oh, those Fontaine boys.
By: Tim Tharp
Speaking of favorite authors, add Tim Tharp to that list! I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by him, and this is no exception. This one is about a girl coping with her brother’s return from war.
|Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
By: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
This is a great winter read. It was such a sweet book, and I loved the whole concept. It was on my “to read” list last year, and now that I’ve actually read it, I can definitely recommend it.
Hey friends, I realize it’s been awhile. I am in a major reading slump. I pretty much just play on my iPad every night when I used to read. The only reading I am getting in is on audio, and the only thing I seem to want to listen to are celebrity memoirs. Help! Although, let me say, Rob Lowe’s audio book is amazing, and I am super obsessed with him right now. You can request it by clicking the picture below. Isn’t he cute? The book is called Stories I Only Tell My Friends. That’s right, we’re friends now. And by friends I mean I’d like to have his babies.
As far as which iPad games I play into the wee hours of the night, that is embarrassing. The one that took up most of my time is called Tiny Tower. You basically build a tiny tower with tiny people. They write comments on BitBook, those are funny. It’s a pretty stupid game, and my friends all make fun of me for playing. I hit rock bottom with it the other day. I am in the middle of a house renovation, and I have a lot of work I should be doing. Since I am allergic to work though, I just paint fake tiny walls, in my fake tiny little tower. I realized I need to be painting real walls, so I deleted it. That’s right, I did it. It was tough, but it had to be done. I thought that would be the end of my woes, and I’d start picking up new books. But, no, apparently they make lots of other free, stupid games that I can’t stop playing.
I think I may just go on strike until I’m in my new house in my chair and a half. Have you seen those? They are awesome. I love chairs, so if you take one, and add a half, what’s not to love?
There is a new book coming out very soon that I am really excited for, and will tell you more about as soon as I get my hands on it. But, is there anything else I should know about? Anything I can’t live without that will break me out of this funk…
My parents were out of town one time a few years back, so it was just us kids. Well, don’t go calling social services yet, there were a couple over 18. Anyways, at one point, there was an issue with the toilet. And by issue, I don’t just mean it was overflowing. It was shooting water out like a geyser. I didn’t really know what to do, since my oldest sister had run to the store. I decided I would shut the door. Yep, that was my fixer. I guess I assumed that if the door was shut, the toilet was not shooting up like Old Faithful. Luckily my sister came home, and oh I don’t know, called a plumber, before any real damage was done.
I do this kind of thing all the time. I will ignore a bill if I don’t want to see it, ignore the news if it’s bad, etc… If I can’t see it, it’s not there. It’s sort of like when a little kid is playing hide and seek, and to hide, they close their eyes. That’s my move. I don’t see you, you must not see me.
I guess I sometimes do this when I’m picking up books too. I especially do it if I know the story is based on real events and is absolutely horrendous. But, I think sometimes I need to come out from under the rock where I live, and hear these stories. I owe it to these people, it’s the least I can do. I will say I need them in small doses though, if I watch too much or read too much, I get depressed and am no fun to be around.
We all learned about World War II, and it is absolutely horrific. But, I really don’t remember learning about what happened to people in some of these other countries, specifically the Baltic states including Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In this story, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, Lina is just sitting at home with her family when the Soviet Police barge in and deport them. They are put on a train with no idea of where they are going. There is no food, and several people do not make the journey. They are sent to a work camp in Siberia where they live in a small shed, and work in unthinkable conditions. They are given one tiny slice of bread per day, and are constantly beaten and tortured. I will warn you, this book does not sugar coat anything. Things like this really happened.
It is so important to learn about these things, and for many reasons. Of course, we’ve all heard we need to learn about history, so that we don’t repeat it, and I agree with that. Another reason of course, is to remind ourselves just how good we have it in this country. At one point in the book, Lina lives in a jurta (mud hut) in the Arctic Circle. I just bought a house, and it seems to have so many things wrong with it, but it is not a jurta in the Arctic Circle. So, for instance when I saw water seeping in places it’s not supposed to, I say “I do not live in a jurta. I do not live in a jurta.” Say it with me, “I do not live in a jurta.” Good, right?
Now, this book is not just about all of the bad things that happened to these people. I know it sounds cheesy, but it really is a book about the human spirit. The people you read about in these pages become your friends, and you feel every small victory. At one point Lina is arguing with her mother about how she wishes one of the guards would get sick and die, and her mother reminds her that is not how they are. She says, “Lina, think of what your father would say. A wrongdoing doesn’t give us the right to do wrong. You know that.”
This is also a story about love, wait until you meet Andrius. Swoon. And I haven’t even gotten to the art. Lina realizes that no one knows what is happening to them, so she documents everything through her art. I’m not usually able to see things in my head when I read them, but let me tell you I could see every single one of Lina’s drawings. They sprang to life from the page. And, don’t skip the epilogue or author’s note. Read every page, you won’t regret it!
Well boys and girls, this week is one of my favorites of the year. It’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel! I’m not sure why, but I just cannot get enough! In fact, as I type this, I’m having to strain to keep my eyes open because I stayed up way too late watching. They have a pretty cool website, you can play games, puzzles, etc…I have a healthy respect (fear) of sharks. I think they are magnificent creatures who may eat me while I’m swimming. That’s why I’m more of a swim in a pool next to the beach kind of girl. What’s sad is not the real footage that scared me most, it’s the brilliant film making of the classic thriller Spring Break Shark Attack that did it. I’m not sure why IMDB only gave it 3 1/2 of 10 stars, that’s just a shame. I even had a shark visit us at the library, here my nephew is fending it off:
Luckily for all of you, I’m lame and watch a lot of shark related footage, so I can tell you that sharks are a bit controversial. There have been times of the year where there is an increase in shark attacks, and number of sharks spotted near public beaches. They are mostly juvenile sharks, but you still don’t want to mess with them. Anyways, Australia had a problem a few years back where there were quite a few attacks in a small period of time, and an especially nerve wracking one in the Sydney Harbor. Anyways, some areas use shark nets to try and keep sharks out of beaches, but some shark specialists believe there are better ways since a lot of sharks die in these nets. Now, some people think that’s a good thing, while others obviously not so much.
I couldn’t help but think of this issue while reading Kristen Chandler’s Wolves, Boys & Other Things That Might Kill Me. This book takes place in a small town outside of Yellowstone Park. There are several ranchers that live in that area, and they were having problems with the wolves killing their cattle, so the wolves were eventually killed off. The Wildlife Administration reintroduced the wolves to Yellowstone, and this was causing problems. The main character in the book, KJ, has always been fascinated with the wolves. She lives with her dad and helps him with a store they own and also on elk hunting and fishing expeditions to tourists. When a new boy moves in town, Virgil, KJ’s life begins to change. She is assigned to start writing about the wolves for the school newspaper, and a lot of the people in the town have a lot to say about it. Dangerous things start happening to those around her. I was really concerned when I saw the title of this book, that it was going to turn into KJ becoming a wolf or something, no worries, doesn’t happen. Although, if you like that sort of thing, I have a few good titles for you!
I have a feeling summer means very different things for most of us. If you are in school, summer is the best thing ever. If you work in a library, you may have a different opinion. I work with kids, and my library is full of them, so summer is by far my busiest time. I’m generally too exhausted to enjoy all that summer has to offer.
It also means lawn mowing time to me, which is to me, the worst thing ever. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. I bought a new lawn mower when I moved in to my current pad. I had never mowed the lawn before, but figured it couldn’t possibly be that hard. The first time I used it, I ran into a tree stump, which apparently lawn mowers don’t like. My dad was able to salvage it, but it’s never been the same. It’s got a few problems: 1. It’s the loudest thing I’ve ever heard. I know for a fact that my neighbors hate me because of it, well that and the fact that I only mow my lawn when I’m about to be cited for blight. Even with my music turned up as loud as it can go, I can barely hear it over the deafening sound. 2. It vibrates because of some kind of bent thingamajig. It vibrates so badly that my arms itch and tingle for at least 3 hours after I’m done mowing. My fingers are pretty much useless right after, they just don’t work. 3. Lastly, it doesn’t cut evenly. It looks like a kindergartner ran through my lawn with a machete, not great.
Because my summers are not usually outstanding, I like to read about life changing summers. Below are some of my favorite summery books. They are mostly girly, but all of them are great!
|The Truth About Forever
By: Sarah Dessen
My favorite Sarah Dessen book ever! It’s amazing on audio, and I guarantee you that you’ll fall in love with Wes.
|Twenty Boy Summer
By: Sarah Ockler
This book shows up on a lot of banned lists, and I can’t really figure out why. It is mostly about grief, but is beautifully written
By: E. Lockhart
Performing arts summer camp? Could I be any happier? I wrote a previous post about my dreams of the stage, read about it here.
|A Little Wanting Song
By: Cath Crowley
This is a gorgeous book, told in two voices with the added bonus of music.
|How to Build a House
By: Dana Reinhardt
Harper (love the name) decides to get away for the summer due to some family drama, so she joins a volunteer group building a house for a family who lost their house in a tornado. I was inspired by Harper and fell in love with this story.
Are you still depressed that The Hunger Games is over? I am, and the only thing keeping me sane is all movie related news and reading pretty much anything that reminds me of it. If you are also a psycho like myself, I am here to help. I decided to compile a list of dystopian/post apocalyptic books that I find similar in some way. Enjoy!
|The Knife of Never Letting Go
By: Patrick Ness
Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony’s true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World. This is the first book in the Chaos Walking Series.
By: S.A. Bodeen
After his parents, two sisters, and he have spent six years in a vast underground compound built by his wealthy father to protect them from a nuclear holocaust, fifteen-year-old Eli, whose twin brother and grandmother were left behind, discovers that his father has perpetrated a monstrous hoax on them all.
By: Neal Shusterman
In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives “unwound” and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs–and, perhaps, save their own lives.
By: Paolo Bacigalupi
In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.
|Life as We Knew It
By: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Through journal entries, sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
|How I Live Now
By: Meg Rosoff
To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land.
By: M.T. Anderson
In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.
By: Pete Hautman
In a future society that has decided it would “rather be safe than free,” sixteen-year-old Bo’s anger control problems land him in a tundra jail where he survives with the help of his running skills and an artificial intelligence program named Bork.
|Across the Universe
By: Beth Revis
Teenaged Amy, a cryogenically frozen passenger on the spaceship Godspeed, wakes up to discover that someone may have tried to murder her.
By: Catherine Fisher
To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape.
By: Scott Westerfeld
In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty. When her friend Shay decides to stay ugly and risk life on the outside, the authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.
By: Cory Doctorow
After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, seventeen-year-old Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.