professornana (professornana) wrote,

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finally, some new stuff...

You know me--if I get some time on airplanes, I get to read a few new books. This past week saw me fly from Houston to Myrtle Beach back to Houston and then drive 400 miles down to the Rio Grande Valley and drive back again all in the space of 5 days. Talk about time to read.

I read a few of the ALA award winners. KIRA-KIRA was a wonderful read even though I think readers know early on that Katie's sister's death will figure prominently in the novel. I did enjoy the book immensely. It is obviously a great Newbery pick. I also read CHANDA'S SECRETS by Stratton and thought it was a good read. I do not know how much kid appeal it will have, though.

For Quick Picks, I read BAD CAT and loved it almost as much as THE BOOK OF BUNNY SUICIDES from 2004. THE DATING GAME will be nominated as a QP as soon as I can fill out the form. It is chick lit--light and fluffy and easy to read.

Joyce Carol Oates' SEXY was a stunner from beginning to end. Darren Flynn's life takes a turn for the worse on a fateful evening in November when he accepts a ride home from swim practice with one of his teachers. The story veers all over the place, rather like the car on the icy road that November night. I was puzzled by the ending, however, and felt as if somehow so much was left unresolved (but that is a GOOD thing, right?). It is a book I could not put down at all.

I listened to several audiobooks as well. I listened to HERE TODAY and BECOMING NAOMI LEON and even though I had already read these books I enjoyed the "re-reading" as I drove to and from the Valley. I also thought WALKING THE CHOCTAW ROAD by Native American storyteller Tom Tingle was one of the finest listening experiences I have had in a long time.

Now, I have saved the best for last. BEST FOOT FORWARD is the sequel to RULES OF THE ROAD by Joan Bauer. I honestly did not see the first book as needing a sequel, but I was totally wrong. Jenna is back, still selling shoes, still dealing with her alcoholic father, still growing and learning and making mistakes and becoming a more interesting "person." This sequel works because Jenna is a flesh and blood girl who lives off the pages of the book. There is more trouble at Gladstone's Shoe Store; Jenna finds a new interest in a doughnut making guy whom she meets when he scratches her new car in a parking lot accident. There are more twists and turns and Jenna manages to stay on her feet throughout it all. WOW.
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