Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lust List

Since I am sick I am giving myself permission to be useless.
Uselessness is boring though.
So, I decided to share with you my current Lust List.
You know, the Hollywood Five a la that Friends episode. Here goes...
1. Justin Kirk
2. Gael Garcia Bernal
3. Paul Rudd
4. Adrian Grenier
5. Jon Stewart

Wow, I hadn't realized I have such a clear type
until I lined up all these pictures!
Apparently blondes need not apply! Swarthy comes to mind.
Swarthy, stubbly, and smirky!

So, who is on your Lust List?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Teen Author Reading

Went to a wonderful reading at the Jefferson Market Library tonight featuring:

David Levithan - Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus - Dedication
Adrienne Maria Vrettos - The Exile of Gigi Lane
Marie Rutkoski - The Celestial Globe
Elizabeth Scott - The Unwritten Rule
Sarah Mlynowski - Gimme a Call
Rachel Vail - Brilliant

All of the panelists were witty and gave thoughtful answers to the (surprisingly) awesome audience questions. The two best questions (Do your characters ever help you through real life situations? Do you ever feel bad for your characters when you have to write them into a bad situation) by Rachel Vail's son, a 5th grader. After the reading I complimented him on asking such smart questions and Rachel Vail gave me an ARC of her newest book Brilliant and she even autographed it: To Elizabeth- clearly a BRILLIANT girl. Yay! I'm excited to read it. The short section that she read was very engaging and the character was concerned with grammar and word play!

Big Scale Book Swap

Last Saturday I went to an event at The Center for Fiction for the organization ReadThis which donates books to under-filled libraries in New York CIty high schools. I got to hear Jamaica Kincaid talk about her childhood and how it led to her being a writer and read from Jane Eyre. She was the most delightful woman and I could have listened to her all day, but there were other events to attend. Like a writing workshop on voice in YA literature led by Natalie Standiford and Bennett Madison! And a reading given by Sam Lipsyte from his new novel The Ask that had me cracking up. It was a good day and they collected over 5,000 books for New York City schools. Yay!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One of these things is not like the other...

a poetry collection by Sarah O'Brien
(3 scoops)
This collection plays with white space as it relates to the idea of light and capturing an image on film. The last series was the most compelling- O'Brien used textbook chapter titles as inspiration.
[Sarah O'Brien the poet does not have a website, but there is another Sarah O'Brien all over the web; she is a musician and she just got back from a tour with Yanni. That's funny.]

A Necklace of Bees
a poetry collection by Dannye Romine Powell
(2.5 scoops)
Some nice moments, but overall the poems felt overly sentimental and I did not connect with the subject matter. One of the best poems in this collection is Everyone is Afraid of Something.

a poetry novel by Eireann Corrigan
(3 Scoops)
Told in a series of poems, this book explores the impact of a violent crime. The two speakers, 15 year old Paulie and her older brother Jeremy, describe the struggles they endure dealing with the aftermath of the attack. I never believed these speakers were real people, instead they read like containers for the author to present emotions and observations about the world. One moment when this was obvious was when Jeremy commented on Evan's dorm room- it read like a 30-something reflecting on her college experience instead of a teenage boy who has never been to college reacting to his environment. There are many powerful poems in this book and it is full of fresh metaphors and similes, but the sequencing feels off. Details are introduced and then forgotten, like when Paulie decides to cultivate dreadlocks and then a few poems later her sister is running her fingers through Paulie's hair with ease. Overall I believe there are too many poems- too many words in each poem-(there are even a couple of typos!) and the plot, especially at the end, seems forced; what could have been a beautiful and evocative collection of thematically linked poems devolves into a silly action sequence, thus rendering the lyrical ending completely unsatisfying. This books feels like one book was layered on top of another book and the finished product is confused as to what it is, but, despite the failure to be a cohesive work, there are poems or lines of poems in these pages that I want to frame and read everyday.

Realm of Possibility
a collection of interrelated monologues written in free verse by David Levithan
(5 scoops)
What can I say, I Iove this book.

I Don't Want to Be Crazy
a poetry memoir by Samantha Schutz
(2.5 scoops)
Most of the time I felt like this was an honest portrayal of having anxiety and confronting the reality of mental illness, but other moments felt like they just skimmed the surface, particularly in regards to the actual work of recovery. Perhaps if the author had waited a few more years to write the book there might have been a more satisfying conclusion for the reader

an instant message novel by Lauren Myracle
(4 scoops)
I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. The characters seemed a bit cliche at first, but as it moved on I felt the characterization was quite rich. The story definitely went in directions I didn't expect and I appreciated that. The instant message format was fun and it read quickly, like a reading a theatre script.

Paranoid Park
a novel in journal entries by Blake Nelson
(3.5 scoops)
Borrowing from Fyodor Dostoevsky, this novel takes a look at guilt and the effect it has on the human psyche. Alex, the protagonist, is a skateboarder and on the edge of a reckless street scene. I believed the voice and empathized with the character.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Don't read Twilight... this instead!
He's hilarious.