Monday, June 1, 2009

Fun with Reading

I went to the library with my husband and the kids last week. Which means that, while he supervised them, I got to browse! So I had a good couple weeks of reading.

1. Cartwheels in a Sari, by Jayanti Tamm - Not technically a YA. It's a memoir of growing up in a Guru cult, and the author's eventual attempts to leave. I loved some of the details about her childhood: At one point she watches "Little House on the Prairie" and wonders where the Ingalls' guru is. Her father tells her that he only appears in special episodes that can't be picked up by their TV antennae.

Fascinating stuff, especially as she later tries to break free of the cult's mindset. There's one graphic sex scene, but I think this book would appeal to teens as well as adults---and it seems like pretty good book club fodder, too.

2. The Invention of Hugh Cabret by Brian Selznick - I had a hold on this one for A YEAR straight! Then my hold got canceled, and I forgot about it. But I finally picked it up and, yes, everyone is right. It is awesome. And totally appropriate for all ages-- I may read it to the kids, actually... they're already fascinated by the pictures.

3. Chalice by Robin McKinley - I meant to read this the second it came out, but somehow I missed it. So I read it last weekend. It's typical McKinley-- magic, mystery, a hint of romance that comes out right in the end. The world she creates, full of people deeply tied to the land, is enchanting and awesome. But, of course, if you read fantasy, there's no WAY you'd pass the new McKinley novel up, right?

4. Alchemy by Margaret Mahy - This is an older novel, but I love Mahy! This one came out when I was in my "not reading YA" stage. (I was trying to force myself to read 'grown-up' nooks.) A boy with a fairly normal life gets drawn into a world of secrets, magic, and mortal peril after a teacher catches him shoplifting. Great book, classic Mahy. I'm so glad I happened across it!

Anyway, that's what I've been reading these days. Meanwhile, my first-chapter rewrite on Yeller is nearly done (And has made me realize that I really need to rewrite, not just edit, the entire book. As in, chapter by chapter, keep the plot points, but rewrite the description and dialogue. Because my writing HAS improved in the past year, and Yeller needs to reflect that!)

Also, my WIP is humming along nicely - I think this book may be the ONE that lands me an agent. So there's the tension between time for Yeller and time for the WIP. And I have two short stories that are finally clicking and I've been writing more goofy parenting articles for Associated Content (quick cash!).

So, writing, and reading life, is good. Now I'm off to bake bread, so my husband doesn't starve at work today!

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