Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics

Here’s where I talk about missing our beloved Glenview Public Library

We wanted to listen to the new Mr. Lemoncello book on audio because the first one was so much fun. So, I looked at the Alachua County Library to reserve it on CD. They had no CD versions. So, I reserved it for Overdrive. It arrived, fairly promptly but the check out time was HORRENDOUS… a week? 10 days? I don’t know but NOT long enough. No big deal, I thought because I can just renew it, like I could with Overdrive books checked out from the Glenview library.

Hahaha. Not so much.

I had to actually RE-RESERVE it and wait for it to be re-delivered to me. THAT WAS ANNOYING and FRUSTRATING and I MISS THE GLENVIEW LIBRARY SYSTEM. (Though I do also appreciate Alachua County’s library… the auto-renew thing is awesome. I love that.)

Anyway, about Mr Lemoncello’s Library Olympics… totally fun. Obviously. I highly recommend it.

The Patron Saint of Ugly

I really enjoyed The Patron Saint of Ugly, though I have to say that the ethnic slurs drove me insane. I mean, I get it — the story was based in the 70s but it did make me cringe every time (and it happened constantly.) Oy, we were pretty sucky people in the 70s. Unfortunately, a whole lot of us are still sucky people. (Today is, after all, inauguration day… Jesus.)

Anyway, magical realism. Was Garnet (or her Nonna) really healing all of the people? Was it the water? Was it a combination of all three? Yep, I enjoyed it.

The Witches of New York

Sassymonkey is the BEST and I’m so glad Ami McKay is her internet girlfriend because it means I was gifted with a signed copy of the Canadian version of The Witches of New York, for Christmas. (The link goes to the American version that is available for pre-order.) MONTHS earlier than I’d have been able to get the American version. Also, SIGNED. WOOT.

I stayed up way too late finishing it the other night because I had to find out how Beatrice got out of the… place she was in… and once I read that part, there wasn’t much left so I figured I should keep reading. And I did and it was awesome.

I loved all of our witches and the supporting cast. Loved Perdu. Loved the spirits (and demons) and dearlies.

I know it’s a silly, tiny little thing that meant very little to the story but I loved the addition of Georgie, towards the end. Nice touch.

I also wouldn’t mind a sequel to this one (even though Ami hasn’t really done sequels.) I mean seriously, NYC — suffragists, mediums, witches, demons — and three very strong, independent female characters. It would be awesome.

Thanks, Sassymonkey (and Ami!)

Telegraph Avenue

It took us months to get all the way through Telegraph Avenue on audio. It was good but oh so very long. SO VERY LONG.

Small Great Things

Damn Jodi Picoult (in a good way.)

If you’re not generally a fan or you used to be a fan but got tired of the formulaic stories, characters and writing … you need to read Small Great Things — particularly if you are WHITE. Particularly right now with P45 choosing White Supremacists for his team. (Have a clueless WHITE mom or sister or friend who loves to read? Buy her this book for Christmas… just sayin’.)

This is not a perfect book. It’s still formulaic. It’s still got everything a Jodi Picoult novel has, that you may not love or may be tired of, but it is a must read RIGHT NOW. (And, do yourself a favor and follow her on Twitter, as well. She’s done a very good job of speaking up and speaking out. I respect that and appreciate it.)

The Fog Diver

My expectations for The Fog Diver were low. Another post-apocalyptic/middlegrade/ya/adventure book. Ho hum? OK not ho hum, because I LIKE this genre but still… turns out, this was one of the better ones.

Really clever cultural references gone wrong, gone very very wrong. Likable characters. A plot that moved fairly quickly. Mostly it was the cultural references that got me.

***

Off-topic but not really: I’m considering not doing the Cybils Challenge next year. Or ever again. It’s not that I don’t love these books, I do. But, so many of them are series’ books and I just can’t keep up with the series’ while also reading a bunch of newly introduced series. When I try, I find myself reading nothing but YA and Middle Grade fiction/scifi/fantasy. I need to find some sort of balance. So… stay tuned, this may be the last full shortlist challenge I attempt. Figures, since odds are high that I’m not going to successfully complete it, for the first time – ever.

The Book That Matters Most

I should have been reading books from my Cybils Shortlist Challenge but instead I was reading stuff that’s been on my TBR list for awhile and finally arrived at the library for pick up. I’m glad I ditched my challenge in favor of The Book That Matters Most. (Even if I can’t figure out which book I’d choose. Which would you choose?)

This one was TOUGH in places because KIDS. Parenting (barely) adult kids who are struggling is TOUGH. Been there, done that, probably still doing it because KIDS, man. KIDS.

And then there was the ending. I saw it coming. Couldn’t believe it. Still can’t quite believe it. Pretty much hated it. (It’s been awhile since I said I hated the ending of a book, hasn’t it? Huh.)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I suspect I’m in the minority here but I liked Harry Pottery and the Cursed Child. I did. I really did.

It’s not a perfect book. There are a lot of things that left me shaking my head. But, all things considered, I wasn’t really disappointed. I do suspect it’s better as a play than it is a book but either way. I’m not sorry I read it. I’d read another.

Four Graphic Novels

Lion of Rora was the graphic novel that I expected to like the least. Turns out, it was pretty darn good. Well drawn and well written.

I also really enjoyed Secret Coders #1 but was so annoyed when it ended. I understand cliffhangers but geez, really? You couldn’t give us just a tiny bit more??? Oy. (Also, those birds are kind of creepy.)

Ms Marvel was excellent, as expected.

And, the big winner for me was The Marvels. This was really well done. All graphic novel in the beginning and then text at the end. Beautiful. Also, sad.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

Again, we were in need of an audiobook and I had to just pick one from the shelf. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B was an excellent choice.

POOR Adam! Also, what a great kid. All of the characters were well written but Adam especially so. I’m not sure whether the author has written anything else but you can bet I’ll be checking. I really enjoyed this story.