Happy Book Lovers Day! Kick back and relax with a good book. What are you reading? #ReadNYPL http://t.co/dgQEE2NX9P
— NY Public Library (@nypl) August 9, 2013
I am wearing my Unshelved "Guess What I'm Reading" tee shirt -- which makes it the second time that I've worn it appropriately but without forethought -- I got a pin from co-creator of Unshelved Bill Barnes at the American Library Association conference for this shirt. "We're giving them to everyone wearing Unshelved merchandise," he said. I had to look down to see what I was wearing. I have found the shirt to be a good conversation starter, even away from the ALA Convention floor. What am I reading? Right this second, a lot of online news stories, following links from Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn -- magpie reading, attracted by headlines instead of shiny objects.
I've read a lot of mysteries this summer -- my favorite form of "take me away" reading -- including the White House Chef series by Julie Hyzy. I also participated in my public library's summer reading program for adults, which required that you read a book a week. Five of the eight books had to be different genres or types of books. I appreciate being forced to consider life beyond the new mystery shelf, and read:
- a surrelistic fiction YA book by David Levithan called Every Day, about a boy who wakes up each day in a different body, which presents serious ethical and practical issues when he falls in love with the girlfriend of a body he's is occupying one day
- my book club's pick for July, Good Poems by Garrison Keillor, which provided an interesting discussion as everyone read aloud their favorite(s) from the book
- A Hidden Truth by Judith Miller, about a woman moving to the Amana Colonies that her mother had left. It was an interesting subject, though the characters were a little underdeveloped, even for romance.[Christian historical romance -- 3 genres in one!] That took me to a whole collection of Christian fiction about Amish people-- there seem to be a large number of them, just on the new book shelf. The ones I read varied in quality, but I liked Barbara Cameron's Quilts of Lancaster County series. The first one was the best of the three, but of course I had to find out what happened next.
- I finally read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (realistic fiction, YA) which I had put off reading because I thought it would be too sad. When the characters meet in a cancer support group, it doesn't seem fated to end happily -- and there's the title, if you needed more clues. It is, however, a brilliant book, and probably Green's best. Passages and scenes from the book stuck with me for weeks and yes, I both laughed and cried. There are a lot of YA books about early death, and love, and friendship, but this one is exceptionally both realistic and filled with interesting, quirky characters. Even the parents are not as throwaway as is usual in the genre. I recommend that you read it -- on a bright, sunny day, when you have neither had nor anticipate bad news.
- Of course, I read a whole bunch of mysteries, including the new one by Donna Andrews, Hen of the Baskervilles. This was not the strongest of the series, but I recommend the series, beginning with Murder With Peacocks. The characters and the laugh aloud scenes are the strength of the books.
- What am I reading today? Hearse and Buggy by Laura Bradford, which fell off the new book shelf into my hands, the One Year Bible, and my next book club book, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank.
And I have a stack of new library books on my desk. . . .
What are you reading on Book Lover's Day?