“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Monday, August 22, 2011

Beach Reading

My brother reading George Martin

My college-bound niece reading Neuromancer

Yours truly reading...

What does an unemployed K-12 school librarian read during her week at the beach?


I just got back from a wonderful weeklong vacation with my family at Rehoboth Beach.  We’ve been going to Rehoboth since I was a teenager.  I am definitely a surf and sand kind of girl.  One of my favorite pastimes, aside from books, is scuba diving, although I prefer tropical climates for that particular beach activity.  I am fascinated with all sorts of marine life and have 2 entire bookshelves devoted to books on marine life, both fiction and non-fiction (although primarily non-fiction).  I volunteered at the Baltimore Aquarium for 5 years as a diver prior to having children and hanging up my regulator and wetsuit temporarily.  This year’s trip to Rehoboth was especially wonderful as I had a group of 4 dolphins swim within 5 feet of me while I was swimming in the waves!  I could just about touch them, but I have a cardinal rule that I won’t interfere with sea creatures’ space. If them approach me, that’s fine, but I won’t invade their space.

So what did I read at the beach?  I took along a bag of books that I’ve been trying to get to for ages.  It was an ambitious reading load, but I was able to read three out of the ten I took with me despite all of the other vacation distractions.  Let’s face it; ice cream, shopping, screaming kids, surf and sand, and crunchy bears do tend to get in the way of a good book.  My week started with the paranormal, wound its way round to an interesting fictional look at poverty, and ended up with a dystopia centered on a life with undersea dwellings.  I thoroughly enjoyed all three.  Here’s a summary of each:

Me & Lish McBride at ALA in New Orleans.  Note the super cool octopus tiara she is wearing!

Hold Me Closer Necromancer
By Lish McBride

I had been wanting to read this paranormal thriller for sometime and was lucky enough to meet Lish and obtain an autographed copy at ALA this summer.  The cover bears a quote by Sherman Alexie, one of my favorite authors, describing the book as “…a scary funny book OR a FUNNY scary book.”  I love the description because it is spot on!  The book was a William C. Morris Finalist, an award given to first time authors for excellence in debut YA novels.  Lish will definitely be an author to watch. 

She has written a hilarious tale of a teenage necromancer, Sam, who is playing potato hockey out in the parking lot with his buddies at the fast food joint where they work and just happens to smash a potato right into the back of a very expensive car belonging to none other than the local high falutin’ all powerful necromancer.   Upon meeting the rich scary guy when he comes in to complain about the potato that has smashed up his fancy car, Sam finds himself frozen in his tracks.  The necromancer seems to think Sam has some kind of special power and is not too happy about it.  The story continues with hijinks and hilarity as Sam discovers who he really is and what power hides within him. 

There are other books by this title -- be sure you get Andy's.

By Andy Mulligan

I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages and finally got around to reading it this week.  What a treasure!  Trash is the story of three boys living in poverty who pick through trash each and every day in order to survive.  One day, two of them discover a treasure that changes their lives forever and sets them off on a whirlwind mystery adventure.  But in so many ways it’s more than that.  It’s a peek into poverty and how little some people have.  It’s a commentary on the disparity between rich and poor and the irrational distribution of power and wealth.  It’s an expose of greed and corruption and how humans often treat one another.  It’s a celebration of the triumph of children and the human spirit.  It’s a story that will stay with most readers for a long, long time.

This cover is so beautiful....

Dark Life
By Kat Falls

Dark Life is another book that has been on my shelf for ages and I just never seem to get to it.  Beach week just seemed perfect for the subject!  I was originally attracted to it purely because of its underwater theme.  A scuba diver and marine enthusiast simply cannot resist a fantasy about a future where you might be able to live under water!  Kat Falls’ sci-fi thriller has attracted worldwide attention and is set to come out as a Disney film directed by Robert Zemeckis in 2012.  A sequel to the book, called Rip Tide, was released on August 1st.

The story is about a teenage boy named Ty who was born in an undersea pioneer village.  He has a thirst for adventure and skirting the edge of rules.  There is a band of seafaring “outlaws” cruising about the ocean and reeking havoc and Ty has a close encounter with them as the story opens.  Soon thereafter he meets a teenage girl named Gemma from the “Topside” and then the story really takes off.  Tones of the Wild West intermingle with beautiful images of underwater life as Ty and Gemma trounce through this wonderful tale like Sherlock and Watson in diveskins.  It was the perfect story to end my week at the beach!

No comments: