The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. I was immediately hooked. Impressed. Because that is what I want to do too. I really liked the ideas in it. Frankie becomes interested in the "unequal gaze" of the establishment, as described by Focault. She calls this the Panopticon(as, I think, Focault did before her). Not only is that a fantastic idea, it also has a fantastic steampunk feel to it(I just learned what steampunk meant yesterday, thanks to The Rad Librarian) (vacations are good for learning things). Frankie repeats this word through the story at the same time that she begins creating fake words out of taking apart real ones and creating their opposites. She becomes more and more interested in being subversive, and even her language becomes subversive. E. Lockhart managed to write about big ideas clearly, concisely and quickly. Feminism and art weaves the way through there. I was not completely satisfied with the end. Perhaps the transformation of Frankie was not enough--that is what the Narrator told us the story was about. I wanted a little more of her by the end. I saw what she did and how she did it and even why she did it, but I don't believe the other characters changed enough for me. Perhaps they saw her as a different character but they didn't have any epiphanies of their own and I wanted that. But is there something wrong in that. Perhaps that was too big for this one book. Perhaps E. Lockhart saved that for the next one? I will read it if she did.
Slate has an article on how to blog. Thanks to Elizabet Bird at The Library Journal for the link. It seems to be generally good advice to writers. I always get good links from Elizabeth Bird. A big thank you to her and her regular blogging.
I know, I know it is not on my list either. I had been waiting for What I saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. I got it yesterday and now I am finished. It won the National Book Award for young fiction and her clean prose is to be admired. If you read about her online, you quickly realize she must have put in her 10,000 hours to become an expert writer(as per Gladwell's theory in Outliers)(not that I have read his theory--I just like the idea of it)(I may not even have the theory right). She has written over 100 books under other names. I loved how What I saw and How I Lied was narrated. Evie told her story from a period just after the events in the story(1947 post-war Florida) and that perspective and foreknowledge of what is to come provide the tension for the tale. Nicely done!
Do you know Polly Horvath? I just started reading The Canning Season. See here. It has a kind of Roald Dahl feel. Same dark sort of magical content but for a little older people, more swearing, more adult content. I first heard of her from Sarah Miller, of course. She was not terribly keen on her, but still made me want to read it. I love that. You know I have a whole list of things to read(see below), but I got it home from the library today and I opened it out of curiosity. I haven't put it down(except for Tea Time with my kids. and doing the dishes. and just now putting them to bed. and to blog. You get the picture.) So that is the way of my library books. Some lie languishing and some get devoured.
I am a spelling degenerate. I am coming clean. But sometimes I notice and change things. If you noticed before I did, I say, good for you. And I sorta wish I were you. If I haven't noticed at all... I should apologize for my mistakes. Sorry.
Here Sarah Miller put images of her "to be read file." I don't want to copy her entirely, but I love that she does that. So I shall post my reading wish list(or how about my library queue). Because there is something so tactile (it's not at all tactile) to putting actual book covers up there for you to see.
This is my Library queue:
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan Little Brother by Cory Doctorow The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Cycler by Laurel Mclaughlin
Now just because I posted those titles and pictures, it does not mean that I will actually read them, nor does it mean that I have listed my wishes in their entirity. It's just to wet your whistle, and it may give you feel for what is to come. (In that way perhaps it is tactile.)
It all started with your book. I resisted it at first. Perhaps in the way a vampire with morals resists feeding on humans. Not to say that there is anything amoral about your books. I had just suspected that your book was no good for me. And once I did begin to read it, it was a bit like free-basing. Like wanting something just beyond the prose, turning each page, knowing it is totally unhealthy. How do you make me want more so much? Thank you for Bella and Edward, for what is forbidden between them, for your skill at gripping the reader. I hope someday that someone wants to read my book as much as so many people want to read yours. As always (riveted), Tina
Here's a related but side thank you: Dear Courtney Summers, Thank you for this blog entry. It made me laugh. And I read the whole long thing--maybe you've got something that Stephanie Meyer's got. Thank you also for putting your chapters out there to read, for free. I read them all too. I liked your narrator. She's a lot more mysterious than Bella. As Always(maybe just this once), Tina
I do so love your blog. I love that you give us a taste of what books are to come. I love that you post what you are currently reading. I have got the fever for so many books from your blog. I'm hoping to emulate you in some way.
Thanks for your time and effort and sending the words out there,
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is prominently displayed because I love it and it was most recently finished. Nice bright reflection off Impossible by Nancy Werlin. You can't read almost any of the titles. I have to work on my photography skills. Can you see Paper Towns is in there by John Green. Madapple by Christina Meldrum. Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson. I haven't read that yet. And on the end a brilliant little book by Lisa Bullard--You Can Write a Story (my son sat down with paper and pen immediately upon returning with it from the library). The others are adult books that I haven't read yet. See that pink one that is a biography of Jane Austen. The tall blue Michael Chabon.
I am deeply indebted to the Minneapolis Public Library (now Hennepin County Library--I have not yet noticed much of a difference). They let me order the books on line and walk down to my local branch and borrow them for free. It is heaven.
I have an MFA in creative writing, an unpublished YA novel under my belt and in a drawer, my second, a novella, is nearly done. Click through the door below to write with me in The Practice Room (follow this link to read more about it). I post the schedule each Sunday - like clockwork. On the blog, I post whenever I like.