Resolved:
  • To write at least three hours a week. More is awesome. An hour a day is superlative. But three hours a week averages out to a half hour a day, six days a week, and even I can manage that. I think. Maybe.
  • To read at least one hundred books this year, not counting rereads but counting individually published short stories and possibly picture books I read with my kids.
  • To read (amongst the one hundred) at least twelve debut authors this year. Most of these will probably be YA, because that's mostly what I read.
  • To clean and purge my house in preparation for eventual moving. I know I say this all the time, but it really needs to be done. My life is a huge, cluttered mess and my house being the same makes everything seem worse.

Reading Challenges:
I found a nifty YA debut author reading challenge here and will be taking part in it - a fair number of these books, just the ones slated for January, sound all kinds of awesome. The twelve debuts will fit in nicely with my 2012 one hundred book challenge on GoodReads, as will any ARCs Penguin Teen happens to send my way. If anyone knows of a challenge similar to the YA debuts (there's also one for YA sophomore releases, I think on the same site) for adult fiction, that'd be awesome.

Sewing/Quilting:
I intend to do more of both this year, starting with finishing the stockings and tree skirt I started for a friend of mine back in the beginning of December. Teachers' end of the year gifts will likely fall into this category, as may quite a few birthday presents. Ideally as I gain confidence in the basics I'll get better at costuming for both cons and SCA things, yay! I need more garb. And I want to wear costumes at the cons, really I do! I just never make things, or think to go shopping enough ahead of time.  Maybe that'll change this year, though probably not in time for ConFusion, alas!  Being a superhero or villain for the masquerade would have been cool.

And . . . that's about it, really.  I just haven't posted in a long time and felt like maybe I should.

Title: Life As We Knew It (hard copy)/The Dead and the Gone (hard copy)/ This World We Live In (Nook)
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Post-Apocalypse, SciFi
Release Date: 2008, 2010

So, I just found out there actually is a fourth book to this coming out - goes to show how much I pay attention.  So really, that subject line up there should read 'soon-to-be quartet' or something where it says trilogy.  But since I've only read the first three books, I think we're good.  First, I should say the first two of these were largely an impulse buy because my Borders was going out of business and because one of them had a John Green quote on the cover, and I adore everything that man's written, that I've read, so clearly he must have good taste in things to read, right?  And he really may, but . . .

The science in this is just solid enough to make it a little better than that movie where the earth's core stops spinning or The Day After Yesterday.  Which . . . is probably fine to the intended young adult audience, but when it's presented in a very nearly hard sci-fi format, it seems it should be a little better researched.  I'm not spoiling anything when I say that the moon is knocked closer to the earth by an asteroid/meteor and this causes all sorts of havoc - that's all spelled out in the cover copy.  Even the one liner on the front says 'The weather's finally broken . . . for good' or similar.  Anyway, I could probably get past this if the story itself were good (it's rather repetitive in the first two, and quite horrifying on a human scale) or if there was some redeeming quality in the main characters . . . but there really isn't much.  And given the decline in writing quality between the first and third books, I really only stuck through it for completeness' sake, which is the same reason I'll probably grab the fourth for my Nook when it comes out.

Life As We Knew It is written from the point of view of its teenaged 'protagonist', in journal format, and is a bit more interesting than the others simply for that, I should probably say.  This World We Live In follows that, but it doesn't save it.
Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)

I bought this book because I received an ARC of its sequel from Penguin Teen - and I felt about it roughly like I thought I would.  It's a teeny-bopper love story of the variety that I didn't even like when I *was* a teeny-bopper.  This isn't to say it has no redeeming qualities, because despite proclaiming 'LOVED BY PEOPLE WHO LOVED TWILIGHT' or something along those lines, it wasn't nearly that bad.  I loved. Loved. LOVED all the music references (which is probably why I gave it three stars instead of two, especially when paired with the author's thoughts on being so heavily compared to Twilight).

People who loved Twilight probably will love it (sorry, Ms. Forman), as will a lot of the 13-18 set.  And I'll still read the ARC, because . . . well, because I read.  But this one, at least, isn't something that will stick with me for long.
( Jul. 9th, 2010 11:26 am)
30 Days )

Day 4: Favorite Book
This is a lot like the favorite song question, I'm afraid - I read voraciously, and my favorites vary with any number of factors.  There are ones that always top the list, certainly - "The Refugee Summer" by Edward Fenton, "Rosebud With Fangs" by Beverly Keller, "Rose Blanche" by Roberto Innocenti, "Hiroshima No Pika" by Toshi Maruki, "Bag of Bones" by Stephen King, and many others (most of which are children's or young adult books, because I will always be a Toys R Us kid) - but what I like today and what I like tomorrow are not necessarily going to be the same thing.  So!  Of the recent and -ish books I've read, these are my favorites - just a small list, in no particular order.

"Boneshaker" - Cherie Priest
"Palimpsest" - [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna (Catherynne M. Valente)
"The Honey Month" - [livejournal.com profile] tithenai (Amal El-Mohtar)
"The Hunger Games" and "Catching Fire" - Suzanne Collins
"Harry Potter and the *" - JK Rowling

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