The Friday Five: Is Friday Over Yet?

It probably won't be Friday by the time I finish this. It's been a long day. Seriously, I got dumped on at work, and the time I spent giving a ride to a co-worker to pick up her car was spent venting about the serious dysfunction in the air. Every job has its ups and downs, to be sure, but this ongoing problem is ridiculous.

Anyway. . . on to better things. Had a nice dinner with my parents and my sister for my dad's birthday, which is (was) today. He's gotten some nice presents so far, like having a root canal canceled--dentist realized it wasn't necessary--and $25 in winnings from some scratch-off tickets. (I know, gambling, so scandalous.)

So what's hot for this week's Friday Five? How about some Red Hot Reads? I figured you might have blown through all those previous recommendations, so here are five more books I have recently read or will be planning to read (Warning: this may trend YA, but if the WSJ's Book Lover can recommend YA fiction to a woman in her 80s as she did a couple Fridays ago, then you whippersnappers might enjoy some, too):

1. Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen. I finished this one on Playaway (audio) last weekend, and as it's a YA book, I wrote a review of it for the teens in my online summer reading program. (O.K., my cat wrote the review. She's got an account as my test member. Well, she is twelve.) I don't know if Dessen ever was fat growing up, but she did a pretty good job nailing the feeling that everyone in your class is making fun of you, and how that feeling can stay with you even when you've started pulling your life together. Even if I think "Colie" is a stupid nickname for Nicole.

2. Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen. I'm #2 in the library queue for this one. I don't even know what it's about, but it's brand new and I'd better keep up with what's new to read.

3. Shelf Discovery by Lizzie Skurnick. A great co-worker at the library sent me an e-mail (from home!) about Thursday night's Talk of the Nation on NPR, involving this book and other stuff about the YA market. (Maybe by the time I wrap up the recovery/rewrite on my Novel #1 it'll be the perfect time to get it on the market.) This book looks interesting because it's about the books that spoke to the author as she came of age, and probably many of us can relate to some of them. I'm in the queue for that one as well, and in the meantime I'll be listening to the podcast of that show.

4. The Debutante Divorcee by Plum Sykes. I fell in love with Plum Sykes' writing in some personal article she did about a long battle with back pain for a women's magazine (can't remember which one but it was recent). I borrowed Bergdorf Blondes and blew through that in about a day. Not very deep, and definitely for adults, but a fun, light read.

5. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. I think I'm #6 in the queue for this one. Saw it recommended in two different articles--one local, one in the WSJ--and I had to see what all the talk is about. The protagonists are twelve, but from what has been written about it, its appeal even to older teens and adults is the puzzle theme wrapped around the story. It's set in the '70s and the author has a thing for The $20,000 Pyramid game show. Cool.

Happy weekend, and happy reading!


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