What I’ve Been Reading

January 31, 2009 at 3:21 pm 2 comments

Hey! I just got back from Midwinter in Denver. And by “just got back,” I mean “got back on Monday and still haven’t really recovered.” I picked up a ton of galleys, so expect plenty of reviews. (I’m embarrassed to say that I still haven’t finished all my galleys from Anaheim, which was, in fact, last July. But the fact that one of them went on to get a Batchelder Honor is incentive for me to work my way through those.)

I did some live blogging from Denver, so you might want to check out the YALSA blog if you’re curious about my coverage of the Best Books for Young Adults Teen Session or the Youth Media Awards Press Conference.

And now, on to the books:


Lies My Teacher Told Me: While I found it interesting that my copy apparently came from a YA collection, I think everyone should read this book. I was prompted to check it out after reading Deadline a while back. It covered some things I already knew (or at least knew of), like the myth of Thanksgiving and Columbus, as well as some things I really hadn’t ever heard of, like the FBI’s relationship with Martin Luther King, Jr. A fantastic read, and certainly accessible even if you’re not a history person–I’m definitely not.

The Secret Life of Prince Charming: This was the first galley I picked up, and I fully expected to hate it. I’m not huge on teen romance, although I try to be fair and give everything a chance. Ultimately I found myself really engaged in the story, but I will say that I thought the little testimonies from all the women in the narrator’s life were overdone and didn’t add much to the plot.

The Tipping Point: I had this recommended to me recently, and I’d vaguely been meaning to read it for a while anyway. Then I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting on the plane to Denver, which was actually a little disappointing. (Don’t despair–I was flying JetBlue, so I killed time watching vapid MTV programming.) The book itself was sort of disappointing, too–the introduction led me to believe that I’d learn how to influence trends, not just understand the way they evolve. Good anecdotes, good premise, disappointing conclusion.

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Hero Journey What I’ve Been Reading

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alden  |  February 1, 2009 at 1:38 am

    lies my teacher told me is one of the absolute best books about anything by anyone ever. you might check “guns, germs, steel” by jared diamond too- it gets referenced more than once in “lies” and is longer and a bit denser, but extremely satisfying and brilliant. both books suffer from a slight over-longness. they seemed to move from ‘talking about things’ in the beginning to an end series of ‘talking about what we talked about’ that struck me as needless. but, yes. ‘lies’ is an excellent book. up there with zinn’s ‘people’s history’ as top books ever written about US history. arguably more satisfying than zinn’s book, because people’s history is more about stuff you’ve never heard of rather than stuff you were learned ass-backwards and need to ‘unlearn.’

    Reply
  • 2. pandanose  |  February 1, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Yeah, a teacher at the high school saw me reading Lies and recommended Zinn as my next step, which I should probably do–I think we even have a copy there. (She also assumed I was reading the book for a grad school class, which I thought was interesting.)

    Reply

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