Hope you’re all having a great summer. I’ve definitely been having a good time. I’ve got a flourishing garden (something I’ve never managed before), a semi-organized house (just doing one room per week), and a lot of books added to my “finished” list.
So, I started the summer finishing up some books for my work with the Teens’ Top Ten Committee. Teens’ Top Ten is a top ten booklist put out by YALSA. About 20-30 books are selected by teen book groups around the country. That list is then made public and teens vote for their favorites between August and October. As an adult committee member, I don’t have a say in picking the books at any point, but I did get to make book trailers for 5 of them. Rather than sum up the books, I’ll just give you the trailers.
5th Wave by Rick Yancey (Dewey Class 000’s: 001 deals with UFOs and this book deals with an alien invasion)
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett (Dewey Class 100s: 135 deals with dreams and the main character in this book is a Nightmare – literally)
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (Dewey Class 300s: 302 and 305 deal with social groups and social interactions and this book looks at how labels affect our ability – both positively and negatively – to get to know someone)
(The other two books I read before summer, so I’m not including them here. If you go to the YALSA youtube channel and can pick out my other two trailers, you can claim a prize in September.)
Other books I’ve read:
Chasing the 400 by Sheilah Vance Mrs. Fitzpatrick recommended this book to me. It’s an adult book about the African-American community in Ardmore in the 1950s. Really interesting. (Dewey Class 900s: 974 would include PA history.)
Random by Tom Leveen I got this as an advanced copy and will definitely add it to the collection in the fall. A girl is about to go on trial for a cyberbullying incident when she gets a mysterious call, supposedly at random. The story takes place over just a few hours. Really interesting. This author also wrote the zombie book Sick. (Dewey Class 300s again: 302 for social interaction, cyberbullying.)
Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw This is another advanced copy. It’s a memoir by a young man from Bethlehem who has spinalmuscular atrophy, a severely debilitating physical condition. He gained notoriety for his tumblr Laughing at My Nightmare. It was okay, but I wasn’t wowed by it. (Dewey Class 600s: 616 deals with diseases and since most of Shane’s story revolves around his condition, seems a good place to drop it.)
Welfy Q. Deederhoth: Meat Purveyor, World Savior by Eric Laster This was kind of like Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by with aliens and deli meats. Welfy, a homeless teen, gets a job in a NY deli. One night, he literally stumbles through a portal to another planet, where he is the Chosen One that the citizens believe will save him. There are cool weapons and lots of deli meats. Loved this book! (Dewey Class 900: 999 is the history of extraterrestrial worlds.)
And last night I was up waaaay past my bedtime finishing an advance copy of Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King By now you should all know that I’m a huge fangirl when it comes to A.S. King. In this book, a young woman acquires the ability to see a person’s past and future when she looks at them. Through these “transmissions” she can see and starts to write the (future) history of the Second Civil War. Needless to say, I loved this. I always love A.S. King’s books. (Dewey Class 200: I’m stretching here, but the 210s have to do with Natural Theology, the existence of God and Humankind, and there’s a throughline in the story about a bat and God and having omnipotent knowledge like God. Plus, I need a 200 book.)
I’ve listened to two books. Nostradamus Ate My Hamster by Robert Rankin which was a crazy story involving time travel, Hitler, holographic movie stars, and a prop house. I’ll throw this in the 700s, since film falls in 777. And Forgive Me Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick which I got through the Sync program. I really, really did not like this book. Like Random, it takes place over a short period of time and is told by a young man who is planning to kill one of his classmates and then himself. The problem was, I really didn’t like Leonard, he was kind of a jerk. This can go in the 100s, since there’s a definite psychology bent to this book and psychology falls in the 150s.
I’m in the middle of an advance copy of Conversion, which weaves the story of Salem, MA with a current case of possible mass hysteria. So far it’s really, really good. And I’m listening to the Mysterious Howling, which was a Sync download last year.