Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Books, Ideas, Life

Nancy Pearl and Steve Sher talking about books and big ideas on KUOW. What books changed your life, your way of thinking, and Nancy mentioned the tv show Eyes of Veronica Mars, it sounds like she really likes the show. And she should! As the pre-eminent librarian in the world today, she recognizes good writing when she hears it!

Rob Thomas is the writer of Eyes of Veronica Mars and the author of some extraordinary teen books: Rats Saw God, Slave Day, and Doing Time. His others are alright but, come on, Rob. Even a fan like myself can't champion those!

Anyway, the books that I love and still think should be at the top of most teen reading lists are the above. Books that deal with self-discovery, stepping into someone else's shoes, how your actions change the world...I think we book sellers of teen lit need to bring these books back into the canon. If you haven't read them, do. If you have, order a couple for the shelf and make them the ones you go to first. They, as far as I can remember, aren't dated, they are funny, they will make the reader re-think their everyday actions and thoughts.

Rats Saw God is the story of a boy who is in detention and has to write about how and why he got there. Along the way it becomes much more than just an assignment.

Slave Day is reminiscent of Glee, now that Glee is in the world. Slave Day is just that: A fundraiser for the school, slaves are auctioned and bought, much horror and insightfulness ensues.

Doing Time is a collection of inter-connected stories, all about people doing their 200 hours of community service. The story about the girl and volunteering at the vet's....

Okay, if you read any of these, will you let me know what you think? Rob has stopped writing books for young adults and he is such an amazing writer. I would love to let him know that his words still reverberate with us, that paper books are still making a difference out there.

I am having trouble working with sizes, obviously, sorry for the unevenness of this post.

These books are good for ages 12 and up. Especially good for boys.

(I have a picture of the two of us in a bar in L.A.. It was a party for Ian Falconer in an amazing hotel -one seen in many commercials- and he was standing at the bar. I couldn't help it, I had to introduce myself and tell him how much I loved his books. His agent was standing right there, and heard the story, kind of looked at Rob -yes, I feel I can call him Rob- and told him that he needed to finish the book he was writing. Well? It's been many years since then, he's done Cupid and Veronica Mars and no more books! I am so bummed.)


  1. I love Veronica Mars!! Ian thought I was nuts because it's so "drama-y" but I can't help it. I just love Kristen Bell and her wit/razor sharp tongue. I should watch that show again... I think it's on netflix instant. ^_^

  2. I've only seen little bits and pieces of VM-I think I need to watch them from the very beginning. I love the dialogue- Watch Cupid, too...the old one with the fat cupid. There were only a few episodes made of that one; shades of Firefly. I'll see if I can find my Rob Thomas books and lend them to you. You'd like the way he does dialogue.