and now: the books I made good on

I didn’t read all of the books I checked out from the library this summer.   But I did read these.**  (For the full title and author, see yesterday’s post or just click through.)

Good EnoughHarvardYalePrinceton!  This is particularly funny right now that Kristina is looking at colleges, including some highly selective ones (although not those three).

Girl, Hero: I started it, but just couldn’t get into it.  And I am finally giving myself permission to not finish a book if it just doesn’t work for me.  I loved Tips on Having a Gay (ex)Boyfriend by the same author, and I look forward to reading  the sequel to that, and Need.  Should I give this one another try?

Letters from Rapunzel: wonderful, tender story about realising your parents are human

whateverittakesWhatever It Takes: one of the best books I’ll read this year – an excellent analysis of poverty and education in America, with a focus on Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone and how he is working to change things

Get Known: after looking through this and reading the first chapter, I decided to buy it; apparently, that means I won’t read it through for a bit, but that’s okay, because I’m still, you know, writing the book

Beyond Portraiture: beautiful photographs, an interesting discussion of engaging strangers when you want to take their picture, and the need for model releases

Love Letters: I borrowed this after watching the Sex and the City movie again; the writing is lovely – convoluted, but lovely

curiousincidentCurious Incident of the Dog: I loved everything about this book – the voice, tone, pacing, character development, questions it raised – everything

Tracking Trash: actually a non-fiction picture book, but fascinating

Here If You Need Me: another of the best books from this summer – the memoir of a widow (with four children) who becomes the first female chaplain for the Maine State Warden Service: tender, spare, and beautiful

hereifyouneedmeNothing But Ghosts: interwoven stories of loss, memory, grief, and healing – as they say, a quiet book, and here, that is a good thing – I loved each of the beautifully-drawn characters

Empress of the World: summer camp for gifted high school students becomes a time for discovery and friendship – and friendship tested – outside the classroom; the sensory detail is perfect

No One Cares: Maggie Mason, Mighty Girl, is laugh-out-loud funny, offering ideas that take from ten minutes to much longer to create (I can’t remember, but I don’t think this was one of her ideas)

Touching Snow: one of the most brutal, painful, heart-breaking books I’ve ever read, yet filled with love and strength and – ultimately – hope (this book is about abuse and family loyalty – it is not for the faint of heart)

Absolutely Maybe: still on my nightstand, page 29

Making a Literary Life: oh, how I love Carolyn See – this book is magnificent – as I near the end, I find myself dragging it out: still on the coffee table, page 178 (I might have to buy this one.)

everyoneEveryone Is Beautiful: this is a lovely, lovely novel – funny, poignant, TRUE, with every word perfectly chosen – about a mother (of three young wild-boys) who is trying to claim time/energy/space for herself (also, an adult book, a nice change from all the YA)

Knucklehead: Jon Scieszka came to the SCBWI conference in May and talked about this book; I finally requested it, and while it is very funny, hearing these stories from the Ambassador’s own mouth was another kind of treat altogether – if you have the chance to hear him speak, DO IT.  (For some reason, this book is not listed anywhere I could see on the Ambassador’s website.)

** I have mostly tried to point you to the author websites, rather than the Amazon page.  I couldn’t find some of them, and some really didn’t say much about the book, e.g. Mark Haddon.  But you still may want to go there.  Particularly if you like to argue the Monty Hall theory.

listening to: Kenny Chesney, Summertime

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