Save Me a Seat

From the 2016 Cybils shortlist, we listened to Save Me a Seat on audio. It’s a short book, told from the perspectives of two very different boys — one who grew up in New Jersey, and another who grew up in Bangalore and both find themselves outcasts at Albert Einstein Elementary. One who is very smart (an IQ of 135! lol) and one who has an auditory processing disability so people often assume he is not smart.

On audio, having two separate voices tell each boy’s story was a nice touch. An even nicer touch was the glossary in the back of the book. You’d think, being white Americans that you are (or I am), that there would simply be a glossary of Ravi’s “unfamiliar” Indian words. But nope, Joe’s “unfamiliar” words are there, too.

Kids who are struggling with bullying or self-esteem should read this. Or, anyone who needs a refresher in why there’s more to a person than meets the eye or a reminder that giving up is not an option should this one.

The Rules of Magic

The Rules of Magic is the prequel to Practical Magic and the only problem with this darn book is that I can only barely remember Practical Magic. I’m either going to have to get a copy at the library next weekend or find a way to watch the movie.

Full of Beans

I really loved Full of Beans. It’s a Cybil from last year that explains how Key West went from being a dead, bankrupt town during the depression to a must visit tourist destination — and a 10 (?) year old boy tells the story. It event touches on the leper colony that was in Key West at the time, and handles it beautifully.

(TW was not quite as thrilled with the book as I was. I don’t know what her problem is, except that she doesn’t like children’s fiction. Speaking of which, I think it’s categorized as middle grade fiction but it feels pretty young, to me. So better for younger good readers or older reluctant readers.)

The Wrong Dead Guy

Speaking of coincidences (yesterday’s book post) I had just been thinking that I need to see how far behind I am on the Sandman Slim books when TW came home from the library with a book by Richard Kadrey. It wasn’t a Sandman Slim book – but still, what a coincidence! She also said that it didn’t seem to be part of another series or if it was maybe it was the first book.

TW read it first and chuckled her way through much of The Wrong Dead Guy. I took that as a good sign but when I started reading it, I thought for sure it was not the first book in a series but definitely part of a series. We were given an awful lot of backstory types of info but not enough backstory for a stand alone book full of weird random characters that have some connection that was murky, at best. I stopped reading and asked her if she was SURE it wasn’t part of a series. She said she didn’t think so and since I was enjoying it and feeling too lazy to look for myself, I just kept reading.

Almost half-way through the book, I couldn’t take it any more because this REALLY felt like a book in a series and I was beginning to get annoyed by that. Sure enough, it’s the sequel to The Everything Box, which I have not read. I was annoyed – I hate not reading the first book. But, I was so far into it by then that it didn’t make a lot of sense to stop reading it until I can get the first book, so I just carried on.

It was very amusing, as you’d expect if you have read Kadrey’s other books. I’m looking forward to backtracking and reading The Everything Box – that’s going to clear up a lot of questions for me, I’m sure. (I’m also never going to make the mistake of NOT checking on a book if it feels like part of a series again!)

Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope

Nope, we didn’t march yesterday but I did stumble across the Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope book just sitting on the shelf at the library, so I checked it out and flipped through it last night.

It’s primarily photos from the last year’s Women’s March with the occasional quote from women sprinkled through.

I enjoyed looking back at last year’s signs while thinking about this year’s… same shit, different year. Keep resisting, keep fighting, keep marching.

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day

Tearjerker. And a fun, well-written tearjerker, at that. Ms. Bixby’s Day Off is exactly the kind of Cybil shortlist book that I love.

Have you ever had a teacher that you’d go out of your way to do something really special for — like create her “last day” dream? I’ve had teachers like that. I hope every kid who reads this book has had a teacher like that.

Rook

Rook should not be confused with The Rook (which I did when I first spotted it on the library bookshelf.) It also should not be confused with the first Pink Carnation book (which I didn’t really do but it sure as heck reminds me of that.)

It’s middle-grade/YA and there are a lot of similarities between the Pink Carnation and Rook, in all the good ways. It started a little slowly and I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep reading — and it took for freaking ever to read, and I’m not sure why. Yes, it’s more than 400 pages but middle-grade/YA should not have taken that long. (TW suggested Yoga and work are to be blamed, I suspect it’s Disney Emoji Blitz and work.)

Anyway, it’s totally fun and if there was a sequel, I’d read it.

The Edge of the Abyss

Lesbian pirates and huge sea monsters made their return in The Edge of the Abyss.

I thought this was a series but it looks like it isn’t. Probably? I went through most of the book thinking this is just a typical book two, existing only to set up book three and then WHAM … the last 50ish pages tied everything up quickly and neatly and there’s a sad little “The End” when it’s all done.

Hmph.

I enjoyed this one, almost as much as the first one. I’d like it to be a series but if it’s not, I’ll be (mostly) ok with it. I guess.

A Study In Charlotte

I’m not really a Sherlock Holmes fan but A Study in Charlotte made me kind of want to read some more Sherlock Holmes. Good thing I’m too busy to fall into that trap. Instead, I’ll just wait until the next Charlotte Holmes novel comes out.

Dorothy Parker Drank Here

I loved Farewell Dorothy Parker so it’s no shock that I really enjoyed Dorothy Parker Drank Here. I don’t think it was quite as good as the first one but it was totally fun.