Mini-Reviews

Can you believe that I haven’t posted a new review in over a week? I don’t know if it’s this confusing California weather (thick fog in the morning and warm during the day) or what. I’m in the weirdest mood though November is supposed to be the month where I get so much done. The week fter the readathon, I didn’t read much. This week I’m in the middle of five books so the next review I write will probably be next week. I don’t have the energy desire time to write longer reviews so I thought shorter reviews would be a nice change for right now.

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Rapunzel’s Revenge (2008)
Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and Nathan Hale
144 pages

I first heard about this book during last year’s Cybil’s awards. My library just bought a copy last month and I’ve finally been able to read it. The Hales have taken the Rapunzel fairy tale and turned it on its head! After escaping from Mother Gothel, Rapunzel decides to go back and get her revenge on the witch and free her mother from enslaved in a mine camp. On the way she meets Jack of the Beanstalk fame and the two start on a daring adventure.

This was a great read. In this retelling Rapunzel is a daring young girl who won’t take no for an answer. With Jack by her side the duo chases off coyotes, wrestle with giant snakes, and rescue a spoil brat from a group of bandits. This is a book that has a place in my permanent library.

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Amulet Vol 1: The Stonkeeper (2008)
Amulet Vol. 2; The Stonekeeper’s Curse (2009)
by Kazu Kibuishi

Kibuishi is the genius behind the fabulous Flight graphic series. Last year I found out about Amulet and read the first book in the series. The problem with reading books in a series is that you have to wait until the next volume comes out. Just last month volume 2 arrived and I dove in. Both books are about siblings Navin and Emily. With their mother they move to an old family home to start over after losing their father in a car accident. Only days after arriving, strange things start to happen and their mother is kidnapped by a strange creature and taken to another world.

Book two starts where the first book left off with Navin and Emily trying to rescue their mother. Filled with more action and adventure than book one, you can’t put this book down until you turn the last page. The graphics are so great, there were a few I wanted to blow up and put on my wall. Great read for all ages.

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Peter and Max: A Fables Novel (2009)
Bill Willingham
400 pages

I have been a fan of  Bill Willingham’s graphic novel series, Fables, for years. Peter is a Fable who lives with his wife Bo (Little Bo Peep). When Bigby Wolf, Beast, and Frau Totenkinder informs Peter that his older brother Max has returned, Peter knows he has to go and finish the fight that started between the two brother centuries before.

With that said, I have to tell you this was an excellent read. Because I’ve already read the graphic novels I found the beginning slow-going and almost set the book down. After a while, the book picked up and I set aside almost everything to read it. The plot goes back and forth between the past explaining how Max became the Pied Piper and his jealousy with Peter, and the present as Max flies across the world to confront his brother.Willingham did a fantastic job providing the background information. Bigby and Frau Totenkinder both appear in the brothers’ past and readers find out more about Frau Totenkinder and the life she lead before coming to our world.

The fight that happened between the two brothers wasn’t what I expected after the build-up of so much suspense. It was a pretty crafty fight though. If you love fairy tales and/or love the Fables series, this is a great book for you.

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Read-a-thon Pile

dreamstime_readathong

Okay so we all know that I have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to books. Whether it’s my library loot, buying binges, or signing up for reading challenges, it always seems to be all or nothing. My current reading pool for the read-a-thon encompasses almost every genre and ranges from a mere 32 pages for many of my picture books to almost 500 pages for Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels. Maybe instead of thinking of this stack as just my read-a-thon picks, we should also think of it as my October/November even possibly December reads.

Plays I started reading plays during last year’s read-a-thon. I found so many wonderful playwrights that I’ve started slowly reading as many as I can especially Pulitzer prize-winning plays. Plays are usually no more than a hundred pages long and contain memorable characters and great settings. For the upcoming read-a-thon, here are a few plays I plan on reading that won the Pulitzer for Drama.

play row

I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright. 2004 Pulitzer.
Wit by Margaret Edson. 1999 Pulitzer.
Angels in America by Tony Kushner. 1993 Pulitzer

not shown: August: Osage County by Tracy Letts.

Short Stories The great thing about reading short stories during the read-a-thon is that you can dip in and out of collections and still feel as though you’re accomplishing something.

row 2 short stories

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie.
Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros. I read this collection years ago and I think it’s really time for a re-read.
Dedicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff.


Graphic Novels

row 3 graphic novels

Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry.
Amulet 2: The Stonkeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kabuishi.
Maus by Art Spiegelman

Not shown: The Professor’s Daughter by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert

Fantasy

row 4

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Tigerheart by Peter David
The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Other Notables

row 6row 5

Peter and Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle
A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot

Books not shown:

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
B.P.R.D. series by Mike Mignola
Sprout by Dale Peck
Uglies by Scott Westerfield
The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Little Brother by Cory Doctrow

You see how crazy I went? This is why I’m calling this pile my October-November-and-possibly-December pile. I have a ton of books on hold at the library that will be coming in sometime next week. I can’t wait for the read-a-thon to start but I’m not going to wait to start reading some of these great books.

Have you read any of these graet books? Which ones do you think I should save for the read-a-thon? Are there any that you think I should move to the top of the pile? Have you thought about what books you’re going to read for the big event?