Well, if it's Monday, then #IMWAYR time again. Check in with fabulous hosts, Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Rickie from Unleashing Readers to discover what others are reading and blogging about.
My mind has been numbed by the frenetic fury of managing a book fair this week. I admit to finding comfort at the end of the day watching Inspector Lynley and imbibing a glass of wine instead of reading or listening to a book.
I've been doing some online reading and two articles have stuck with me. Mark Follman et al's article in Mother Jones, The True Cost of Gun Violence in America is both dark and enlightening. They estimate that gun violence costs Americans $229 billion a year. The other article by Laura Miller from Salon, is Heroin is a white-people problem. It discusses how and why heroin addiction has crept into small towns across the United States. (I wonder if this is applicable here in Canada)
I read too many picture books to keep track of at the book fair, but I did purchase I Want to Be a Ballerina written by Anna Membrino and illustrated by Smiljana Coh, for my great niece as a belated birthday gift. There is so much love in the relationship between the two sisters. I loved the counterbalance between the pink of the cover and the muted tones inside the book. You need to look closely at the pictures of Mia in her first dance class to fully understand her comment "Boy, that was hard!" on the following page.
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, is just absolutely stunning. Reading it was like falling into a dream. A pervasive quality of magical uncertainty left me wondering where it would take me next. It's a mixed up tale of abduction, love, beauty, and how we see who others really are. This is one of the finest books I've read this year.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I suspect this is one of the few books that could hold its own after Bone Gap. It's an odd duck of a book in some ways as it could enthral my younger readers, as well as more sophisticated adults (an honour I make no real claim to.) The narrator is a middle aged man who returns to his childhood home and revisits events that took place when he was seven. And what events these were! The family at the end of the lane, Old Mrs Hempstock, young Mrs Hempstock, and eleven year old Lettie Hempstock are some kind of ancient beings who act as guardians to this part of the earth. When someone commits suicide in the boy's family car, it unleashes an evil creature whose misguided goal is to ensure that people get what they want. Lettie takes the child with her when she goes to send it back from where it came. Unfortunately there is a mishap and unknownst to both of them, the boy brings it back with him. Shortly after that his world became a nightmare. It's up to the Hempstocks to save him.
I've just finished The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. I haven't quite decided if I like it or not. While I felt compelled to keep reading, I'm filled with ambivalence. Come to think of it, this is how I felt about I'll Give You the Sun.
Currently I'm listening to Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron by Jasper Fforde. All I'm prepared to say now is that it certainly has been different from anything else I've read in a while.
Up next for sure is Greenglass House. I'm in trouble if I don't get it read soon.
My partner and I took a trip to Bellingham today to peruse used book stores. The border guard, after learning of our intentions, proceeded to tell us that there were two bookshops in Fairhaven we might like to checkout. Readers are always happy to help other readers out.