I think I found at least one of these sort of on my own

March 29, 2007 erinstine

Much of what I read (books) is a direct result of what I read (blogs).  This time, though, I think I got a book recommendation the old fashioned way: review material.  In an actual review journal.

The book is Better than Running at Night by Hillary Frank.  It’s great.

It’s the story of Ellie (real name: Ladybug), a child of hippies, a loner, a person who has made a conscious decision to be less melodramatic BEFORE transferring into art school (a concept that in itself is kind of funny).  It’s not a funny book, though – wait, no, some parts about the performance artists are – mostly it’s a complex, realistic portrayal of somebody getting used to her own skin.

I also picked up an interesting title, Katina King’s Ride Wit Me – a new publisher’s foray into young adult urban fiction.  It’s for all the kids that are reading Noire, Kiki Swinson, and Deja King – all that drama but less of the sex and violence and language.  The publisher is Young Diamonds Books  , and this is its first title.  I’m interested to see what they’ll produce next – it seems like the best thing would be to get some of these well-known authors to contribute to this emerging canon.  I can see a definite audience for this – as long as they don’t get too preachy (and this book is definitely not).  A note on the actual book – I was surprised at how sort of old-fashioned the central relationship was.  Sure, the cultural references were as up to date as possible, but the main guy, Dalvin, was extremely controlling and the girl, Mercedes, is extremely accepting of it.  He actually tells her fairly early on in the book that he wishes he was her husband so he could tell her what to do.   And I don’t know that they were actually all that into each other, or were just modeling their relationship on their parents’ (each of their fathers is a rival crime lord – hers definitely is the Man of the House).

And I finally read The Book Thief.  And cried my face off.   On two separate occasions.   It’s brilliant, and at times reminded me of another book featuring Nazis that I hold truly dear to my heart: Summer of My German Soldier, mostly because of the tearing-your-heart-out factor.   It’s almost certainly a better book than Summer of My German Soldier, but I read that book so many times as a kid that it’s a part of my childhood, and I can’t be objective at all about it.  It’s like meeting somebody with a really great dog – you might abstractly know that this dog is sweeter and better behaved than your dog, but your dog is YOUR dog.  So you can’t compare them.

Entry Filed under: Books, Movies, Music, Televison

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Miss E  |  March 29, 2007 at 3:25 am

    Oh man, Summer of my German Soldier? I was a historical fiction junkie when I was 13-15 – lots of Ann Rinaldi and the like. Good times, good times.

  • 2. A  |  March 29, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Just THINKING about The Book Thief almost makes me tear up again! That was a wonderful and phenomenally moving book.

  • 3. that library girl  |  April 2, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    I just read The Book Thief last week, and I cried. On at least 3 occasions. I thought it was very creative and moving. I loved the twist of death as narrator.

    I had a historical fiction phase like E, with lots of Ann Rinaldi! And I probably read Summer of My German Soldier at least six times.

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