Sunday, September 30, 2007

The week in books

First, I'm borrowing from the lovely Sarah Miller, and keeping track of my handselling victories. Unlike her, I'm in the store one day every other week, so my list is a lot less impressive. But I had two yesterday:

Weslandia, by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Vegan Virgin Valentine
, by Carolyn Mackler (there's a semi-sequel coming out soon!)

I also managed to get through two new books this weekend - and even more impressive, I read the ARCs
before the release date. I'm not usually that on top of things.

The Monsters of Templeton is a debut novel by Lauren Groff, coming out in early 2008. It's a good book. It's not something I would have picked up without prompting, but I love how she converted Cooperstown, NY, into Templeton. (According to the author's note, she began research for a history of Cooperstown, but Templeton emerged, and she went with it.) This is the story of Willie Upton, trying to figure out the complicated genealogy of Templeton - complicated because many of them are her ancestors, on both sides - and in the process figure out who her father is, because her mother decided not to tell her. And she gets occasional help from the house ghost. Yeah, not my usual fare, but I stayed up much later than I should have to finish it. And I sent Rick off to Akron with a copy, so we'll see what he thinks.

Slam is Nick Hornby's first YA novel, about a teenage skater who also becomes a teenage father. The story didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but that's because it's not fantasy. Sixteen-year-olds don't often make good choices about who they date, particularly because you're not supposed to be looking for your long-term partner at that age. And the ending is still happy, if not quite as romantic as I was looking for. (Yeah, along with stars and unicorns and all that. I'm not usually a romantic, but sometimes I surprise myself.)

This should be an interesting one to sell - the main character is a boy, and I'm always looking for more of those, but I can just picture myself recommending this to the mother of a reluctant reader in the right age group: "It's about a teen father. But it's funny, and it has a happy ending. Yeah, it's got sex in it. Not much, since the narrator swears off sex after he finds out his ex-girlfriend is pregnant. But how do you think she got that way? Yes, it's a good book. Yes, I'm recommending it for your son. Somehow I don't think I'm going to win him over with Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, as much as I like that one."


max said...

It's true, I grew up hating to read. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries especially for boys 8 - 13, who also may not like to read.

NEWSPAPER CAPER, TERROR AT WOLF LAKE, NORTH WOODS POACHERS, MOUNTAIN CABIN MYSTERY, BIG RIG RUSTLERS, SECRET OF ABBOTT'S CAVE & LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF, are compared by readers and reviewers to Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Scooby-Doo, Lemony Snicket, and adventure author Jack London.

My blog, Books for Boys, ranks in the top 5 on Yahoo and the top 20 on Google and you can find it at There you will also find links to my author's web site and another blog with 50 pages of reviews.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you,

Max Elliot Anderson
Now, from an author who hated to read...comes books kids hate to put down.

Christina said...

Monsters in Templeton sounds fun - I'll have to try and remember to pick it up. Also! I finally picked up Dark Matter from the library, and so tonight's agenda is alternating a short story with some knitting. And tea. It's thundering here, so tea is essential. :)

Stephen said...

Like the blog!

From what I could tell Shakespeare & Co.'s cots are there for anyone who wants to sit (or lie down I suppose) with a book. It wasn't a proper apartment, though may have been once upon a time, but now acts as a character-giving reading room.

I may have to adopt this library application for my page if I can figure out how.