Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What are You Reading Wednesday and Other Stuff

Been squeezing in some reading the past few weeks. Started on the second book in Holly Black's wonderful CurseWorkers series. Doing some fairy tale research for a project that I may possibly want to attempt down the road. Finally got to Inside Out and Back Again by Thannha Lai, which is a beautifully written novel in verse about a girl and her family who immigrate to America after the fall of Saigon. It's a quick read, but one I'll probably come back to more than once.

And two arcs that I was lucky to get at BEA, both by authors that I had the pleasure to meet and chat with.
The first one that I read last week is
Oh how I love this book. Rebecca Stead in the same distinct style as her Newbery winner When You Reach Me, has written a story whose mystery unfolds in steady, tiny increments. It is a short, spare book but one that is a true delight, and I fell in love with Georges.

Here's what Amazon says:
When seventh grader Georges (the S is silent) moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?

Liar & Spy is an inspired, often-funny story about destiny, goofy brilliance, and courage. Like Stead's Newbery Medal-winning When You Reach Me, it will keep readers guessing until the end.

LIAR AND SPY will be out on August 7th, the same day as ANASTASIA FOREVER, which somehow makes me happy.

And now I'm reading this:
Libba Bray has done it again. She has set a story of magic and mystery against the workings of a very distinct time and place-- in this case the 1920's. I'm going to want to talk about this book more when I've finished it, but for now let me say that I'm in awe. I'm in love. THE DIVINERS is dense with period details and that takes a bit of getting used to, but I love it and as you read you begin to feel the cumulative and genius effect of what Libba is doing. Not only is she working her mystery story: a series of grisly occult murders in NYC, but she is also developing her characters: main character Evie O'Neill, kicked out of Zenith OH to stay with her Uncle Will who runs an occult museum (nicknamed the Museum of Creepy Crawlies) in an old mansion in NYC; and others, a lot of others, all of whom will most likely turn out to be Diviners -- to have special powers that can read objects or see beyond the pale in some way and hopefully foil the great evil brewing in NYC. But the story has a growing subtext as well, made personal by the loss of Evie's brother James in WWI, the brother she dreams about and longs for. Bray has created a book that tangibly works the dark side of the 20's -- the loss and longing and emptiness after the disillusionment of the Great War. The rebellion and the rule-tossing and all-in desire of the young to burn the old and embrace the new. But she also touches on the emptiness of that as well. All new with no old is a scary place. And Libba Bray brings every bit of it to play: art and music and dance and language and booze and clothing.

THE DIVINERS -- and I'm about 300 pages in of a 600 page book which is only the 1st in a series!-- is like being wonderfully swallowed into the 1920's. It is Gatsby on steroids in the best of ways. With more hopeful romance, a truly frightening killer, and an actual hero or two. Love. Love. Love. Will report more soon.

In other news: 
1. It is just over a month until ANASTASIA FOREVER on 8/7/2012!
Mark your calendars for the launch party at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston on 8/11 at 2 PM.
 I am so excited that they are hosting the event. I heart Blue Willow. A million times over.

2. The fabulous SOHO PRESS was promoting THE SWEET DEAD LIFE at ALA in Annaheim. More arcs were given away! I am so excited that sometimes I think my head is going to fly off my shoulders and launch into orbit. TSDL is coming out May 14, 2013, btw. An exact date!
Here are some pictures that my intrepid cowgirl agent, Jen Rofe took for me:

Above is agent Jen with my Soho Press editor, the brilliant Daniel Ehrenhaft.
And here is TDSL, sitting in amazingly good company at the Soho booth at ALA!

3. Also, if you look at that last picture, at the book on the left, the one titled WHO DONE IT? See it? Well guess what? It's a mystery anthology and it's the February book for Soho Teen in 2013 and I have a short little story in there, too! Yes, in a book created by Jon Scieszka!! With contributors including John Green, Lauren Oliver, Libba Bray, Rebecca Stead, Lauren Myracle, Mo Willems, Dave Eggers and more. Plus tiny nobody me. And all proceeds will be going to 826nyc, the fabulous literacy non-profit founded by Dave Eggers.  Yeah, I think I peed myself about this one.

I think that's enough for one day!
til next time...


Kristin Rae said...

OH how cool to have your short story in an anthology!! And yay for TSDL arcs!!! Must get my hands on one somehow!

ChihuahuaCharms said...

I'm definitely gonna buy that anthology!! It's perfect because we were just doing anthologies in English class - we even wrote our own in groups! But my so-called "short story" was 16 pages long when it was mean to be 3 or 4 maximum. Oh well.

And I love Lauren Myracle! Even though the only thing I've ever read by her was a short story in "Prom Nights from Hell." Can't wait for that to come out! xxx Hannah