by velocibadgergirl

Monday, July 30, 2007

Wishes do come true?

Haven Kimmel has a new novel coming out in September! Eeeek!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Books Read in 2006

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman (review)

Sunshine by Robin McKinley (review)

Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

books 1 - 6 of the Mediator series by Meg Cabot

Eric by Terry Pratchett

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Mommy wars:  stay-at-home and career moms face off on their choices, their lives, their families by Leslie Morgan Steiner

Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

Mort by Terry Pratchett (review)

Widdershins by Charles de Lint

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (review)

Julie and Julia : 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen by Julie Powell

Frindle by Andrew Clements

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

Sightings:  the gray whale's mysterious journey by Brenda Peterson and Linda Hogan

The Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz

The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint

Abhorsen by Garth Nix

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Lirael by Garth Nix

The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks

Marley and Me by John Grogan

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Medicine Road by Charles de Lint

Jack of Kinrowan by Charles de Lint

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams

The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett (review)

Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera (review)

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Total Book Count:  44

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Books Read in 2007

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper

The Grey King by Susan Cooper

Greenwitch by Susan Cooper

M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman

Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles de Lint

Promises to Keep by Charles de Lint

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Making Money by Terry Pratchett

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

Tam Lin by Pamela Dean

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty

Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

Winkie by Clifford Chase

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell by Laurie Notaro

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

Something Rising (Light and Swift) by Haven Kimmel (review)

The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel (review)

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (review)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (review)

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich

Human Wildlife:  the life that lives on us by Robert Buckman

An Idiot Girl's Christmas:  True Tales From the Top of the Naughty List by Laurie Notaro

Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot

Interior Desecrations:  Hideous Homes From the Horrible 70s by James Lileks

Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore

Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon (review)

Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce

Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

Gorgon : paleontology, obsession, and the greatest catastrophe in earth's history by Peter D. Ward (review)

Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares

Garbage Land:  on the secret trail of trash by Elizabeth Royte

In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

Sister Bernadette's barking dog : the quirky history and lost art of diagramming sentences by Kitty Burns Florey

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (review)

Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks

Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Round Ireland With a Fridge by Tony Hawks

Multiple Choice by Janet Tashjian

The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson (review)

Total Book Count:  51

Friday, July 13, 2007

Something Rising (Light and Swift) by Haven Kimmel

I LOVED this book. Absolutely loved it. It started out strong, breaking my heart with little bone-deep truths and minute, mundane tragic moments. The middle was a little slower, but still solid, and it picked back up for a really nice finish.

Cassie stood, stretched herself out, then went inside for her backpack, which had been Jimmy's long ago when he had mistakenly thought himself a Boy Scout. This was a mystery to Cassie, how the true nature of a person can be so thoroughly concealed in youth that he does humiliating things. It meant Cassie herself could do them, and later someone would hold out the object--a dress, a party favor, an unsent letter--and convict her. She was trying to redeem the backpack.

The main character, Cassie Claiborne, is the daughter of a mostly-absent pool hustler father and a withdrawn, mourning mother. Her older sister, Belle, grows from an odd child into an extremely eccentric adult. Even as a child, Cassie is strong for her sister, for her mother, for her friends. When her father finally leaves for good, she hustles pool and works odd jobs to pay the bills and support Belle and their mother. In The Solace of Leaving Early, Kimmel reveals early on that Langston's brother Taos is gone, and that the circumstances of his absence are tragic, but it's not until nearly the end that the reader finds out what happened. The move works well, creating interest and slight tension without feeling like an obtrusively dangling carrot. In Something Rising, the lure is the knowledge that Cassie's father Jimmy will leave. It's not so much finding out why he leaves, but examining how his leaving resonates through Cassie's life, that makes this carrot worth chasing.

Cassie grows up angry, but in the end she finds a way to escape the trap her life has always been, and the journey is endearing and beautiful, though sad at times. The final task of Cassie's struggle to accept the truths of her life / upbringing was masterfully written and emotionally gripping. The most surprising aspect of the book, to me, was a one-line revelation of a small truth about a minor character that ratcheted up my respect for Kimmel's story-weaving skills to a whole new level. I can't say anything more than that, but I hope if you read both novels (and you should) you'll enjoy the moment as much as I did.

The groundhog was lying belly up. He'd been a fat little guy. Cassie studied his face:  dead. Also, his small, expressive hands, curled now:  dead. She put the shovel under him and felt that he'd--

"What is it, Cassie, do you know?"

--been turned to liquid. There weren't bones or organs to offer any resistance. The Pig Dogs had had a time with this one. She got the shovel under his back and tried to lift it; he was very heavy, in addition to being liquid, and he rolled off the end of the shovel and landed facedown.

"I'm going in, I'm not watching this. Take it across the road and over the fence. Drop it over the fence, Cassie, so those dogs can't get to it and bring it right back. Do you hear me?"

Cassie got the shovel under his belly and tried to lift him. He rolled off and landed on his back, and that was about all it took for Cassie to see what she was up against. Her shoulders strained and her back began to sweat. It wasn't his weight so much as the fact of him down at the end of the long shovel, and her up at the other end. She gripped the shovel in the middle of the handle, stuck it under the groundhog's back, he was maybe easier to lift this way, but he rolled off and landed on his belly. Simply by turning him over repeatedly, she'd managed to get him a few feet across the yard, so she did that some more:  turned him again and again, rolling him like a sausage in a pan. Belly up, belly down. They made it across the road and to the ditch, and putting him in the ditch was no good, Belle would know or the dogs would know. The sun was a violence against Cassie's back, sweat ran toward her eyes. She took off her T-shirt, wiped her face with it, then covered her hands and grabbed him by the paws, his front two in her left hand, his back two in her right. She turned herself sideways, spun around twice, then let him fly, across the ditch and over the fence. At the peak of his flight his back was arched like a high jumper's, his chin tilted regally, his arms and legs were loose in surrender. Cassie was, at ten, a child who would have to learn to look away.