Friday, September 11, 2009

I am, therefore I read

I seem to have book fever, an affliction that requires copious amounts of reading. But even my stacks can't compare to Neil Gaiman's collection, a part of which is seen in this Shelfari photo. It is what I imagine heaven might look like.

I was unaware just how much I read, however, until I saw Yat-Yee's post listing the books she read this summer. Whoa, I said, that's a lot of books. But, curious, I began to inventory what I read between late May and now. I was shocked to find my list was even longer. I must have inhaled them or read them in my sleep.

HATTIE BIG SKY, a 2007 Newbery Honor Book, about a sixteen-year-old who homesteads a claim in Montana, made my must-read list when I won a signed copy from author Kirby Larson. The book is awesome and so is the week-long blog panel discussion she hosted on gender in children's books.

Another memorable book was Sherman Alexie's THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, which won a 2007 National Book Award. I had read Alexie's adult novels and adore his gritty, humorous, heart-wrenching writing. This YA novel about a boy who beats a trail to a better life is a gem.

I gobbled up Melissa Marr's FRAGILE ETERNITY, Alyson Noel's BLUE MOON and a haunting book recommended by another writer, Celia Rees' WITCH CHILD.

The rest of my summer of many-books, heavily features YA, some middle grade and adult:

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

WHAT WOULD EMMA DO? by Eileen Cook

THE DEMON'S LEXICON by Sarah Rees Brennan

I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME by Lisa Schroeder

DEAD AND GONE by Charlaine Harris

WAKE by Lisa McMann

THE ICE DRAGON by George R. Martin

EYES LIKE STARS by Lisa Mantchev

CHANGELING by Delia Sherman

CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins

DRAGON'S KEEP by Janet Lee Carey

ENNA BURNING by Shannon Hale

BONE CROSSED by Patricia Briggs

Oh, and then there were a few audiobooks: THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL by Philippa Gregory, THE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd, CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT by Laurie Viera Rigler and, finally, the exquisitely read HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by J.K. Rowling.

It was a fine summer. Did you tuck into a few books, too?


Natalie said...

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire were my favorite books of the summer, but I've also really enjoyed Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and Suzanne Collins Gregor the Overlander series.

Robyn Campbell said...

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire have been on EVERY reading list. Great writing usually is, my friend. I have also had a lot of books stacked up to read.

I was thrust into reading every book that Gail Carson Levine has ever written by that little munchkin girl that lives in this house. ha They are well written and transported me into worlds I never saw before.(in my head) Have you read any of them Tricia? Also, Dealing With Dragons, Searching For Dragons, Calling On Dragons, and Talking To Dragons by Patricia Wrede. Hmm I'm sensing a theme here. :) Have a great weekend, pal! :)

Lisa Aldin said...

I really hit up the YA books this summer too. The Hunger Games, Paper Towns, The Graveyard Book, Looking for Alaska, Speak. I'm currently reading Catching Fire.

But I also read some adult books. Firefly Lane and 5 Sookie Stackhouse novels. It really is amazing how much we read!

Linda Kage said...

I agree. Heaven has GOT to look like your Shelfari photo.

I've been going through mostly adult romance lately, though after watching the movie "Inkheart," I want to read that book. I'd like to try out Suzanne Collins too. Do you recommend her? Plus, I've wanted to read "The other Boleyn Sister." Did you like that story?

Unknown said...

I wish. I haven't time to do all the reading I would like.

Maybe if I ever get a book deal I could read more! How ironic is that?

Stephanie, PQW said...

I can't even remember all the books I've read this summer. I just donated two huge stacks, which, by the way, is an excellent place to 'store' books you've finished.

MG Higgins said...

Just finished Catching Fire. Almost done with When You Reach Me. Next on my TBR pile is Wings. This has been a wonderful summer for reading. There are so many fabulous novels out there now.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Natalie: I so love Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I am eager to check out the Overlander series, which I know is for younger readers.

Robyn: That is so funny. I have Dealing with Dragons in my to-be-read stack. Wrede has a solid reputation, and somehow I've missed reading her before. I haven't read Gail Carson Levine, so must check it out.

Lisa: gawd, I love the Sookie books. They are such a hoot.

Linda: I rec Suzanne Collins most definitely. I did two former posts on Hunger Games and Catching Fire I love them so much. And Inkheart is great middle grade reading.

Suzanne: If you get a book deal they will just demand more and more of your books, girl!

Stephanie: I didn't think I could remember, either, but since I haven't donated them yet, I just had to look around. More book shelves, please.

Mel: Isn't it grand how many good books there are? It truly is heaven.

Stephanie Faris said...

Just a few. Not nearly as many as you guys! I get most of my books from the library so I have no idea what I've read.

Davin Malasarn said...

That's very impressive, Tricia! I think reading is so important in helping us become better writers. I'm not sure how many books I've read, but fewer than you have listed. I do read a lot, but I'm not always looking at full-length books. Sometimes I'll study a couple of pages for weeks, and I'm always reading through a bunch of shorts for the literary magazine I work for.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Stephanie: The library is a wondrous thing.

Davin: I agree. I believe a lifetime of reading has made me a much better writer. Hey, shorts count! Eventually they add up to a book.

PJ Hoover said...

Way to go on the reading. And I'm speechless my the bookshelves. Wow. Now that is something to strive for having.
I read about 22 books this summer! Not all bad.

Tess said...

A great list you have there. I loved Hattie Big Sky, Enna Burning (all of Shannon's books are fantastic), The Hunger Games...oh, so many...

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

PJ: 22--good going! And, yeah, speechless fits, and that's just one part of the house.

Tess: Yeah, those are three good reads. Actually, most of what I pick is satisfying and that's nice to think about.

Andrea Cremer said...

What a great list - I'm itching to read Hattie Big Sky and Witch Child.

Yat-Yee said...

That is one impressive list! Glad my inventory of my book reading nudged you to make your own list! I am going to check out some of the books on your list which are not familiar to me.

I am, therefore I read: Amen!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Andrea: I really loved both of them. In fact, I'm reading the sequel to Witch Child right now and loving it. The witch trials were such a frightening and fascinating era, and this combines Native American lore.

Yat-Yee: Isn't it cool we all inspire one another?

Lisa Schroeder said...

Wow. I love Neil Gaiman even more now!!

Oh how I loved Hattie Big Sky. Have you read A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly? Historical fiction at its best - if you liked Hattie, I bet you would love A Northern Light.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

LisaS: NeilG is my hero, I confess. I am so honored you're visiting my blog. Thank you! Anyone who isn't aware, Lisa writes amazing verse-novels with equally-amazing covers. Her newest, CHASING BROOKLYN, comes out 2010.
I haven't read A Northern Light--it shall go upon the must-read list. I'm really going to need NeilG's bookshelves.

storyqueen said...

I won a copy of Hattie Big Sky from Kirby's blog, too! Definitely worth a Newberry, for sure. Right now, I am rereading some books I love: Catherine Called Birdy (which is beautiful) and Dear Dumb Diary (which makes me laugh out loud because it's ridiculous). Yeah, I 'm thinking of playing with a diary type of structure in the next WIP.

Also just reread the Graveyard book. I love everything about that book.


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Shelley: I love The Graveyard Book, too. Gaiman said he had that idea years ago but didn't feel he was ready to write it until much later. He sure got it right when he did. Thanks for the other recs, I shall check them out, and I am oh-so-curious about your diary WIP. How cool!

Dave said...

You've got a lot going on here.

Cool list of books. See Sherman A. if you get a chance.

Also, the link to the gender discussion is appreciated. I read that panel and dropped a comment. Thanks.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi again Dave. It's so cool to have you visiting. I take it from your comment that you have seen Sherman Alexie speak. He is amazing and even was years ago when he was new on the scene. I was a reporter covering his speech at an Indian school, and I was blown away.
I'm so glad you checked out Kirby's panel discussion. It really was good.