Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sunrise was at 5:47, sunset will be at 8:26. It is so cold in my house. It is MAY! Spring! Where is the warmth, babies? My birthday is tomorrow and I WANT HEAT!

I had to turn the heat on in here this morning. I am hoping it will be toasty before I get out of the shower or I may have to move my computer into the downstairs bathroom, the only room that actually gets totally warm.

It is cold, wet, gray, and the lilacs are nothing but fragrant brown knobs on the bushes. We had a windstorm and some downpours-a few of my little new plants are happy with the weather but I think more of them would be less spongy if they could dry out just a bit. (the photo is from last week! Gone so quickly...)

I just heard there might be thunderstorms and hail. I hope our plants survive this weather. Okay, I am done bitching about this. We don't have waves of oil floating at our door, we don't have oceans of saltwater washing down our hill. Our hummingbirds and sparrows are clean and we can drink the water.

We and our neighbor have starlings in our attics. The babies have very high pitched cheeps and I know D. can't hear them (too many years on an aircraft carrier). We have someone coming to rig up new ventilation hole protections as soon as they are gone.

It's kind of cool, having "wild" birds that close. They are just the right size for squeezing into these ventilation ports under the eaves, they look like cartoon birds, becoming the shape they need to be to get in and out of the attic, and they have such good navigational skills, flying up and onto the edge of the hole without a whole lot of misses. We heard the nests being made, the babies hatching. Their cheeps are becoming chirps and I'm looking forward to watching the hatchlings become fledglings.

A few books from the last week or so:

Siren, by Tricia Rayburn. Really good story about a girl named Vanessa who decides this will be the year she gets over her fear of water and will be more like her sister, outgoing and bold, maybe even turn her friendship with Simon into something else. When her sister dies after a diving accident, and there are a number of eerie water related deaths, Vanessa begins to realize that there is something much bigger than simple tourism and fishing surrounding her town and she and Simon are involved in a way no one ever suspected.

Very good story, lots of lore, atmospheric, I thoroughly enjoyed this new addition to the kind of paranormal books women (and some men) are picking up to augment their vampire choices. It is good for ages 14 and up, published by Egmont, and will be available for sale in June, 2010, in hardcover for $16.99. May I say that it will be a great selection for summer reading? Interesting, engaging, fun and light enough to offset the heavy summer reading lists that most teens have to get through at this time of year.

Another fantasy book, Pegasus, is written by one of my favorite authors, Robin McKinley, will be available in November 2010. Wait a minute- November? Never mind. I'll write about this one later unless you want to know more now.

I have to say that James Patterson's Maximum Ride are GREAT reading! Not high literature by any means, they may never make it to those hallowed reading lists, but there is a reason they end up on the best seller lists: They are GOOD FUN and sometimes that's more important than anything else. I've read them all, they start off in a science lab with genetically engineered children, kids with WINGS and a few other special talents. Any book you can enjoy where science is a main character gets my vote.

Anyway, the newest in the series is called Fang and in it we find out that Angel has prophesied that Fang will be the first of the flock to die, and her prophesies are never wrong. Fang is Max's best friend (there is a lot of history here and you really have to start at the beginning with The Angel Experiment) and she (Max) tries to protect him from whatever it is that is out to get him, hampered by the introduction of Dylan, another engineered boy created to be Max's perfect match. OOH! Great drama!

There are a lot of schools out there that are picking these up for their libraries because they are so gripping. There is a lot of adventure, drama, humor, they are fast-paced, lots of twists and turns, some character development, but if you want to get some tween and teen-aged boys reading through the summer (or now, I don't care, as long as they are reading), hand them the first one in the series. Girls will like them, too, it's just harder to find books for boys this age. They are good for ages 10 and up, and all but Fang are out in paperback. Pick up the first three and settle in. Great summer reading, too. (Little Brown. Ages 10 and up. All are available now.)

I am in the middle of a Swedish mystery that the Third Place mystery books guru has convinced me to read before her Scandinavian Mystery Books table goes up. It is called The Glass Devil, by Helene Tursten, and I am really enjoying it! Thank you, Joyce! She has been telling me for weeks that I would like it and she's right! That's why she's the guru of mystery...I'm not sure when the Scandinavian table will go up but I will try and remember to tell you when it does. It's kind of cool to go on those kinds of reading jags.

I have also just started the third book in the Chaos Walking teen science fiction series, by Patrick Ness. The author is coming to the store in the next while and I'll let you know more as it gets closer. The first book in the series, newly out in paper, is called The Knife of Never Letting Go. Amazing.

Now, go forth, read, and share.

1 comment:

  1. It's so important to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it, especially boys. In fact, I've recently completed a feature magazine article on this subject that came out in October, "Help for Struggling, Reluctant Readers."

    I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

    My blog, Books for Boys http://booksandboys.blogspot.com is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of reading. And my new book, Lost Island Smugglers - first in the Sam Cooper Adventure Series - is coming out in July-August. Contracts are also signed for Captain Jack's Treasure and River Rampage.

    Max Elliot Anderson
    PS. My first 7 books are going to be republished by Comfort Publishing later in 2010