I may have mentioned here before my great love for the Casson family from Hilary McKay’s novels starting with Saffy’s Angel. They have the whole oddball large family thing going for them — I don’t know that I’d want to have actually had siblings, but it’s fun to live vicariously. My absolute favorite character is Rose. She has this very sturdy way of looking at the world. When she mass produces her Valentines for everyone and her sister tries to tell her that she should make each one special by making them different she says something along the lines of, “This is how I do special.” Ha! So I was utterly thrilled to discover on Saints and Spinners that she has her own blog now! Yes, you can follow all of Rose’s fun times without having to wait for another book to come out.
Another blog I read called What Adrienne Thinks About That has great quotes from some of the Newbery winners that you might want to check out. The quotes are very well selected — if you haven’t read the books yet, you’ll get a feel for them.
I’m currently waiting for the rest of the ALA Award winners and honors I didn’t get a chance to read this year to come in at the library. In the meantime I’ve been catching up on the Season Eight graphic novels of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I’ve finally finished the series. They’re pretty good — the voice is true to the show. If you’re a Buffy fan but haven’t read a whole lot of graphic novels but would like to this would be a good place to start. The characters are familiar and you get so sucked in you forget that you’re reading and looking at drawn images — it feels like you’re watching tv. I kept just about talking to Barrett about something in the stories and then remember that we hadn’t actually watched them together and he was at a different place in the novels than I was. In other words I kept JUST ABOUT spoiling them for him. Eek!
I also just read Life Sucks — it’s a graphic novel that’s sort of like the movie Clerks with vampires and a touch of John Green-esque nerdy boy meets hot girl. It sounds strange but it’s worth checking out.
Have you ever been at an art museum down a dark spooky hall right off of the super scary Native American head and face mask exhibit waiting for your boyfriend who’s in the bathroom and leaning just slightly against the wall because you wore two inch heels that are starting to make your back hurt when you hear footsteps tap tap tapping toward you and you suddenly think that you must have somehow slipped into an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and there’s some sort of Pacific Northwest version of the Inca Mummy Girl coming to get you? Only to discover that the tap tap tapping is just some random guy instead of a supernatural force of evil and that you are surprisingly a bit disappointed? Not that you wanted to get eaten or anything, but you’d been starting to think that an encounter with a force of evil might be a nice distraction from the aching back?
If so, I had the exact same experience on Saturday! Yes. At the Portland Museum of Art. Besides the disappointing lack of evil forces etc. it was quite a nice museum — a good variety of art, lots of stairs to get a good work out on. I was least fond of the scary television art that made me feel like television was a force of evil sucking daylight right out of the sky and most fond of Paulette and the Cat, the painting of a lady on a nice big fainting couch under this fabulous fluffy eiderdown quilt with a cat at her feet (I think the stairs + two inch heels had really gotten to me by then).
In other news, the Newbery was announced today! I’m so in love with the winner. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s so well written — I wrote on Tarts’ Wardrobe that reading it is like rolling on crushed velvet. It’s a lovely lovely book.
I’ve read a couple of the Newbery Honor books and they are both on my top list. I just read After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson yesterday and it’s beautiful and emotional and one of those trying-to-find-yourself stories that really works. I’ve mentioned The Underneath here before — it’s lush and sprawling and draws you right into the world of the bayou. You really care about those kitties and the evil that is around them. And hound. I love that dog. I’m on the list at the library for the other two Honor books.
I hadn’t read many of the Printz books (I don’t know how this happened, I try to read them all!), though I was happy to see E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks on the list.
And now I need to be tagged. If this was really a game of tag I would be like the worst taggee in the world as I think it’s been over a week and the game would have come to a grinding halt and I would be shunned from all sports forever (as I probably should be).
I was tagged by Lisa Nowak of The Tao of Webfoot.
The rules are: link to the person who tagged you; write down six things that make you happy; post the rules; tag six others and let them know you have done it; tell the person who tagged you when your entry is up.
Six Things That Make Me Happy (in no particular order):
1) Brand new books by my favorite authors. Meg Cabot is great for this since she has several every year whereas with most authors I have to wait for that one special book they put out that year. Right now I’m really excited about City of Glass by Cassandra Clare coming out this spring. Over the weekend I read Chalice by Robin McKinley — she has such a distinct style, much slower paced than I’m used to, but I always end up enjoying them so it’s exciting to pick up one of her new books. This one has a lot of bees and honey in it and it has that kind of lazy summer day bumble bee feel even when it isn’t summer in the book.
2) Baking — Made some totally crazy Pirate Bread Pudding yesterday. It had coconut, pineapple, and rum (ergo the pirate name). Smelled so delicious while cooking. It’s a little odd texture-wise as I’ve never had anything quite like it, but it’s growing on me. I love trying new recipes and they always smell good even if they turn out a little odd.
3) Fireplace — I think this is just as good as the wood stove at our house in Madison. It’s definitely bigger if not as fuel efficient. I had the best nap/doze in front of the fire last night while Barrett made dinner (I made breakfast AND lunch today so I am not 100% the bum, just like 70% or so).
4) My cats — They don’t even need to be awake and they make me happy. In fact, I like to live vicariously through them and their frequent naps.
5) Cheese — My current favorites are that Irish cheddar that comes in a black wrapper with Blue Diamond almond crackers, Trader Joe’s double cream brie (I usually like the Belletoile triple cream but this one is pretty good and much cheaper) with Trader Joe’s multi-grain table water crackers, and the little herb log goat cheese but I’m having a difficult time finding a good cracker that doesn’t split on me with this kind.
6) Sunshine — Yes, I do follow patches of sunshine around the house just like the cats do. It’s so NICE in the sun.
I chose things that have made me happy in the past few days and I’ve realized that I might be turning into a hobbit.
So now I need to choose six people (yikes! that’s a lot of people) who have not been tagged before. Okay, I’m going through my blog reader and I’m going to try and make sure that at least some are newer bloggers because I’m sure they most likely probably maybe haven’t been tagged before and hopefully the others haven’t been either!
Judy Bryan —
Georgia Beaverson —
Susan Boase —
Jacqueline Houtman —
Johanna Wright —
Kashmira Sheth —
Have a great week!
I’ve been reading oodles of good books lately and I’m not complaining or anything, of course, I love to read good books, but could the vivid descriptions of meat not be so damn vivid, well-written, and tempting???
It’s killing me. I don’t want to eat meat. Really, I don’t. I know that in reality the actual food wouldn’t taste that great, because nothing really is quite as good as we make it out to be as writers since making things sound good is our job and all. It’s just so disturbing to be right in there with that starving sneak thief in The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas snarfing down copious amounts of bacon and biscuits. I know I don’t like bacon. I gave it up when I realized in third or fourth grade that pigs were lovely creatures and I couldn’t eat it any more. But I tried it again in 1994. It just tasted salty. Hugely disappointing, as was my last attempt to try red meat in 2001. But when that sneak thief eats it!!! It’s like it’s the best thing in the world ever. Like how I feel about cheese. And cake.
Don’t even get me started on THE TACO STAND FROM HEAVEN in Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee. The food in this book isn’t even something I’ve ever had. My experience with tacos in my pre-veggie days was limited to Pancho Villa hard shell tortillas and ground beef with the packet of taco spices. Or ground venison. I never had carnitas or pollo or el pastor or any of these things that she writes about in such loving greasy detail. I’m all over the chopped cilantro and green onions and home made guac., but the way she gets me craving something I’ve never had and wouldn’t even like, it’s like some form of ingenius torture.
If you like meat, I would highly recommend the above titles. They have other things going for them too like plot and characters etc. If you don’t eat meat, then be warned — materials include explicit meat eating scenes.
V. exciting news — we bought a new car and we’re moving!!! Yes, we don’t like to do things slowly around here. I also started my new job as an on call librarian and interviewed for another librarian job. All action, all the time.
Thanks to everyone for their regrets about the red van. It was a good van and helped us with the move to Portland. But we are moving on to a new vehicle, a little car I like to call… the Green Bomber! It is green and it is cool and it is going to make us v. v. happy. There has been some question about the name — Green Bomber? Why, Bridget, why would you choose such a violent name when you are such a peaceful non-combative type person?
The answer is very simple: because I want to be Mr. Toad from Wind in the Willows. My #1 idol regarding automobiles. He is so so cool. And what does Mr. Toad do? (Besides getting arrested and cross-dressing) He bombs around the countryside in his auto! He doesn’t go tooling about or even ripping around — he bombs. That is my plan for the near future.
The other exciting news is that we’re moving and not to just any old neighborhood in Portland — we’re moving to the BEST neighborhood in Portland. Two blocks away from Klickitat St and not too far from where Beverly Cleary grew up. We’ll be able to walk through her old stomping grounds EVERY SINGLE DAY and see all sorts of landmarks that are in her books!! How could we be so lucky? Maybe some of her writerly wonderfulness will start to rub off. Not that I’m going to start writing chapters books or anything, but she did write some very early YA. All romances, all very concerned with dresses i.e. the best kind of YA.
To get into the holiday spirit I’m also currently reading Let It Snow by the super awesome YA trio of Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle (Lauren is first author to critique me at a conference and who is so sweet I even went back to the conference again the following year). It’s a fun book full of romance though currently the only fashion I’ve heard of is tin foil suits which is a far cry from Cleary’s poplin dresses and pink raincoats, but I hold out hope.
For even MORE holiday cheer, you should look up at the top header of my site. If you normally read this in a reader, you’ll need to click through. My web genius has made falling snow and a super awesome train (which he made himself) that glides by with presents. It is very soothing.*
*Soothing until you find out that I am the one driving it. Those web geniuses and their tricky photoshop magic!
If you’re looking for something fun and light to read over the weekend, I highly recommend How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier. The basic idea is that everyone has their own special invisible fairy that helps them out in one way or another like a loose change finding fairy or a getting out of trouble fairy.
I’m pretty sure that I have a finding things fairy that only works to find things for other people. Like that time I found someone’s tooth in the snow after it got knocked out on the sledding hill in grade school and how every single day I find something that Barrett has been looking all over the house for in under thirty seconds. It is somewhat handy, but a clothes shopping fairy or just a general luck fairy might be nice too.
What kind of fairy do you have?
Have a great holiday!