Showing posts from December, 2011

what to read in 2012

The best books of 2011 of course!  It's a great time of year to place hold requests, add things to to-read lists, and generally revel in the book awards spectacular.  Of course, BCCB Blue Ribbons and Newbery/Caldcott/Printz/CorettaScottKing/Notables/etc. aren't out yet, but some of the big lists are already available: Horn Book Fanfare SLJ's Best Books of 2011 So far, from the above two lists, I've added these novels to my to-read list: Chime by Billingsley (who is an accomplished author), Dead End in Norvelt (I love Jack Gantos' work!), and new sci-fi Glow by Ryan.  I'm also very excited to see picture books Heart and Soul, Spirals in Nature, and Press Here. SLJ's list includes a section I'll be perusing heavily for my own reading, the  Best Adult Books 4 Teens , and of these I'm especially interested in: Ready Player One (sounds surreal), The Language of Flowers (fiction about foster children), The Magician King (fantasy), The Night Ci

all the Tiffany Aching books

I promised myself some real fantasy escape time this holiday season, and I got it with the help of Terry Pratchett and his 4-book series that starts with The Wee Free Men.  Tiffany Aching is our heroine who becomes the witch of the chalk after a series of adventures that have her defeat enemies ranging from the fairy queen to winter himself.  Her last battle is with with a long dead sorcerer whose hatred for witches seethes out in vile stench across the ages.  Pratchett is at his best when he's most inventive, and pairing of the peculiarly verbally intelligent Tiffany Aching with her hilarious little blue defenders, the Nac Mac Feegle--whose curses are as blue as their tattoos--is highly inventive and leavened with humor throughout.  Don't tell the Feegles they're hilarious, though, or they're liable to drink and fight you to death.  Although they're easily defeated by the Pursing of the Lips and the Tapping of the Feet, at least if you're their kelda. Persona

race and fandoms This is an editorial, and so of course hard to read out of context, but you get a good intro to article in this issue as well as a broad swath of a lot of cultural studies theory that is just now being productively mobilized to get at issues of race in fantasy media contexts.  There are some gaps; you get a sense that "Racefail '09" involved a lot of people, but it's hard to tell exactly what motivated them or what they did; then again, cultural events that are an "imbroglio" is by definition tough to do.  Still the cases of whitewashing are interesting specifics to visit, and the range from Avatar the Last Airbender to World of Warcraft makes this a fine touchstone piece. JM, thanks for the heads up!