Culling Winners and What I’m Reading ATM

Posted: February 6, 2013 in Inkspots, Scribe Scribbles
Tags: , , ,

So you have helped me choose, you lovely opinionated people,  and I’ve begun to read “Tuesdays at the Castle”.  I should have it finished and a review done by the end of the week. I don’t know if it’ll get posted at TCM right away or not, but I’m enjoying it so far. Not that I’m that far, mind you (page 3). I just finished The Hobbit and I hope to finish Nine Coaches Waiting this week as well. It’s definitely the last free period I’ll have for a bit, since I’m starting school on the 18th. I just don’t understand WHY the school wants to fling we little n00bs into a six-credit course with APA papers as the first one we are going to be attempting having not been in school for some time.


Though I do get to be assigned to a cohort. That sounds more fantastic than it is, but it hasn’t stopped me from going around and saying “Yeah, I’m being assigned to a cohort.” I feel like the lion in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe who is brought out of the stone by Aslan himself and won’t stop turning to the other animals and saying “Did you here what he said? He said us lions” when they’re getting ready to flee the castle for good and all and run to Peter’s aide.

Anyway, first book up, is Tuesdays at the Castle, followed by The Clockwork Three. I’m also reading (because my psyche is terrified of the crimp coming to the reading time) Throne of Bones which is a well-developed world by Vox Day but nothing spectacular. Not yet anyway, I’m 100 pages in and it’s 787, so I’m not even 1/7th of the way through the story.

What about you? What pile of stories are you working through? And what other suggestions do you have for my reading pile?

To help you narrow your suggestions, I’m looking for books for ages 9-17 (so tween/YA/teen) any genre except for romance  (as the primary part of the book, dribs and drabs are fine)  or horror. I’m looking for unusual books, quirky and well written, with themes that resonate along the lines of universal truth and not Christian doctrines.  Feel free to nominate Christian books too, but they need to be exquisitely written.  Dark books are all right, as long as there’s a good reason to plow through a dystopian world or fae realm but there’s got to be a really huge pay-off.  Also, I don’t want evolution crammed down my craw as most steam-punk books (Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld) seem to do.

In a nut shell I’m looking for brilliant secular stories that are clean and tightly written to offer as choices to the tween/YA/teen market of Christians (or their parents) that use The Christian Manifesto as a review choice. Not a real easy job, but that’s what I’ve signed on to do!

  1. Megan-Marie says:

    The reason I never recommend books is not the same as my reason I never review them. Actually, especially when it comes to the YA scene, everything I have to review is 15 years out of date and probably out of print, if not already read and shelved by anyone I would be recommending it to. But I will go ahead and say there are a couple of YA books that I will suggest even though I read them before the turn of the last century and they probably don’t exist anymore anywhere since I never even see them in secondhand shops. These are the sorts of books I have on hand to suggest 😉

    I keep coming back to “Mr. Was” by Pete Hauteman. I forgot all about this book for a long time until I was trying to describe it to Kristine. It includes time travel and eerie mystery, and I remember finding the whole thing enthralling and all these years I’ve thought of lines or scenes from it even when I had forgotten I ever read the book.

    Fairytale retellings were all the rage when I was doing the YA book thing and my favorites were “Spinners” by Jo Donna Napoli (Rumpelstiltskin) and “Beauty” by Robin McKinley. In the same medieval vein was “The Forestwife” by Theresa Tomlinson, though I thought the sequel “Child of the May” was totally lackluster. David Clement-Davies “Fire Bringer” is a fantasy in the realm of Redwall and “A Wolf Story,” what with sentient animals inhabiting a forest universe and fighting good against evil. “Firegold” (Dia Calhoun) is something to do with this quest and a horse; I remember only liking it, not anything else about it . . . “The Folk Keeper” (Franny Billingsley) and “Skellig” (David Almond) are two I remember reading and enjoying, both sort of semi-realistic fantasy, the former having to do with selkie, I think, and the latter having to do with some kind of winged creature who appears in the kid’s backyear — both of them, though, I remember disliking for some reason although I can’t remember what. I do remember Skellig being one of a number of books caricaturing homeschoolers as glorious weirdos. Seemed to be very popular that year.

    Finally, however: Paul Fleishman. This is one of the only authors I straight up recommend. His memorable style, way of forming plots, his POV-based chapters, and imaginative stories were appealing to me as a teenager and also captured Mom’s attention. In fact, Mom and Dad and I read “Seedfolks” out loud over the course of a week after dinner, passing the book back and forth and taking turns with chapters. “Mind’s Eye” is about a girl who becomes paralyzed after a horseback riding accident and is taught by her elderly roommate in the nursing home how to imagine; “Seek” is about a boy trying to connect with his deceased father, a discjockey (written as an audio play); “Bull Run” was our first Fleishman, telling the story of the Battle of Bull Run from the points of view of various participants including a soldier, a soldier’s mother, a runaway slave, etc. “Whirligig” is the story of a guy who accidentally kills this girl and his sentence is to go around the country placing whirligigs — kind of a weird, dark one, but I liked it.

    Anyway 😉 None of those are useful because as I mentioned before, they’re probably unbelievably out of date, but there they are anyway!

  2. Gee says:

    I just finished re-reading “An Invalid’s Story” and “Mrs. McWilliams and the Lightning,” both farcical short stories by Mark Twain, and Twain’s wonderful, rare excursion into lit crit, “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses” (because my students are reading the same) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” and “Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories” by S. S. Van Dine (pen name of Willard Huntington Wright), because my students will be reading these as well, later. I am finishing “Prophet’s Prey,” a gripping expose of the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints’self-appointed prophet, Warren Jeffs, by Sam Brower and three lit crit books:”Andriods. Humans, and Other Science Fiction Monsters” by Per Schelde, “Coming Attractions” by Lisa Kernan, and “Coming Sonn” by Keith M. Johnston, the latter two of which are analyses of film trailers.

Be brilliant, be peculiar, be peculiarly brilliant.

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