Booktalking with the Friday Five

It seems that the less time I have to read, the more books I seem to add to my reading pile. Does that happen to anyone else? Here are five books I am reading while I should be tackling my extensive to-do list:

1. The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen: Borrowed via inter-branch loan from the public library at the beginning of September and, after a few renewals, finally flipping through it. I dunno, I'm not finding it as interesting as the Moosewood cookbook. Maybe if I was into making a ton of bread. That said, I will be photocopying recipes for avocado enchiladas, chocolate crepes, and coconut & almond macaroon torte. Mmm.

2. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead: I mentioned this one a while ago, and after many weeks on the library's hold list, a copy finally came to me. I'm about a third of the way through, and it's compelling--in spite of the fact that the intended audience is middle schoolers, which oftentimes renders a mystery story a little too easy for an adult to unravel. The chapters are short, so it doesn't have the chance to get dull. Aside from the occasional anachronism (it's set in the late '70s), I'm getting the feeling it was worth the long wait.

3. Before I Die, by Jenny Downham: I had ordered this as part of the plan to pump up the fiction section at school. It had gotten a lot of mention, and the reviews seemed all right. . . but when it arrived, my co-librarian brought it to me with concerns about the summary on the back cover--scroll down to the Product Description section in the link (it's the back cover verbatim). So one of us had to take it home and give it a thorough reading to decide whether to add it to the collection. Honestly, what's mentioned there isn't so disturbing to me as all the drug use. The setting is Great Britain, so what do I know? That could be normal for British teens. The bluntness of the narrator is kind of appealing, and I think that candor (not to mention the controversial stuff) could be attractive to teen readers.

4. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange: I admit it--this is also a new addition to the school library that I snapped up before the kids could check it out. This is not a parody, but I do hope it will not be dead serious. No pun intended.

5. Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle. . . by Glenn Stout. I've been slogging through this one, which had been mentioned somewhere as a possible recommendation for teens looking for a new(ish) biography. It's chock full of history, just a little too much history if you ask me. I've been trying to read a bit every day at lunchtime, but I'm just now reaching the halfway point. To me, Stout did a ton of research and painstakingly maps out the convergence of the realization it's a good idea to teach women to swim with men's attempts to swim the English Channel, ultimately resulting in the discovery of teenage swimming powerhouse Trudy Ederle--but it took so long to get there that I don't think I'm interested anymore. And I definitely think that unless you know a teen who is a rabid swimmer, this book would not be something you'd recommend for YA reading. I'm not usually the kind of person who can leave a book unread once I've started, but the slogging feeling is reminiscent of my attempt to read The Grapes of Wrath in high school. I didn't finish it. Then again, I was able to beg for an additional renewal beyond the limit (my old job works for me more now than it did while I was there), so I have time.

Wishing you the gift of time (and good reading!) this weekend.


Annie Coe said…
Thank you for the list, some of these look good.
Was that you that bought from my ETSY shop? Thank you dear one. Blessings all around. xoxo
Dave E. said…
#4. Uh, that would be "I do hope it will not be undead serious", wouldn't it?
Kate P said…
Annie--you're welcome! Yes, I can hardly wait for my etsy goodies to arrive.

Dave--YEAH!!!!!!! Good one!

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