Reading Is Good For You

Book Reviews, Literary News, and Thoughts on Life

The Week in Review: June 17-24, 2012

Special Events

Half-Price Books was holding their massive annual book sale down at the fair grounds in Indianapolis over the weekend, so I was able to pick up some pretty sweet deals on some books. I went on Saturday, so the kids/teens section was kind of picked over (teachers come and buy books by the cartload for their classroom libraries — I don’t blame them in the slightest, as that’s totally what I would do), but if you looked closely, you could find some books worth grabbing in the midst of all the Twilight, Gossip Girl and A-List novels. I would have come away with a few more books if I had grabbed a cart or a basket, but I didn’t want to waste my money or limited shelf space on books that I probably wouldn’t read.

I managed to snag:

  • Witch Weekly, one of the books in Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series
  • Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (can you believe I’ve never read any of her books?)
  • A copy of Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta with a cool cover (I think one of the reasons I haven’t read this one over and again like the rest of her books is because the cover of my library’s copy is so dang boring and dated.)
  • The Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff (Of course, when I got home, I realized that I had sold my copy of the first book in the trilogy in a garage sale we had recently. Oh, Jenn.)
  • A vinyl copy of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem singing live at Carnegie Hall, which may or not actually play, but it was only 50 cents. I bought it strictly to hear their rendition of The Parting Glass.

In My Mailbox

It might have been my mom’s birthday this past week, but I was the one getting the packages in the mail.

  • Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, which I devoured in an afternoon. My thoughts? Number one: the cover is a big pile of no. You have a book with a Marine as the main character and you slap a picture of people making out on the front of it? Even I was embarrassed to be caught reading it. Number two:  the awfulness of the cover was overshadowed by the awesomeness of Travis and Harper. He has a heart of gold underneath that rough exterior and she’s caring and sympathetic in helping Travis deal with his issues without smothering him or being overprotective.  Plus, she doesn’t roll over and take any crap.
  • A sweet t-shirt from Daytrotterfor buying an annual membership, which means a bunch of sweet tunes for me.

Library Loot:

  • Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (It didn’t even make it out the door. I started reading it on my lunch break and I couldn’t take it. Not the book for me.)
  • The King Must Die by Mary Renault (pretty good if you’re looking for a cool retelling of the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, but mostly it made me want to re-read Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series. Bonus: bull-dancing! I remember learning about this way back in ninth grade when I took Ancient and Medieval History. Seems like an interesting way to die. )

4 comments on “The Week in Review: June 17-24, 2012

  1. Chachic
    June 27, 2012

    Glad to know you enjoyed reading Something Like Normal! It’s an excellent contemporary YA novel, isn’t it? I agree, the cover could have been better – I guess I didn’t mind it so much since I read the ebook.

    • Jenn
      June 29, 2012

      No kidding! If I didn’t already have a bunch of other books on my TBR pile, I probably would have flipped back to the beginning and started it again. Love Travis and Harper.

      That is one nice thing about reading an e-book with an embarrassing cover — no one has to see it. I suppose the same thing can be said for reading a hard cover book, since you can take the dust jacket off. Still, I’m hoping for a better cover for the paperback.

  2. David
    July 19, 2012

    Half Price Books is great, isn’t it? Fantastic store.

    One of the many wonderful things about Rosemary Sutcliff is that virtually all her books are stand-alone. The Silver Branch‘s connections to The Eagle of the Ninth are extremely tenuous, and you don’t need knowledge of either one to enjoy or understand the other. Personally, I think Sutcliff is such mandatory reading that you should read any book of hers you can get your hands on as soon as possible, whether or not it’s part of a technical series that you don’t have the rest of. She’s that good!

    • Jenn
      July 23, 2012

      You know, I don’t think I’ve ever actually been to a Half-Price Books store. This was actually at their annual sale at the Indianapolis fair grounds. Stores from all over the state send material to be sold — most of it is stuff that no one wanted to buy in the stores, but if you look hard, you can find some gems.

      I can’t quite remember why I stopped reading The Eagle of the Ninth in the first place. I think it was just not what I wanted to read at the time and I never got around to picking it back up again. I’m definitely going to have to give The Silver Branch a go sometime in the near future if you say it’s that good. I’ll let you know what I think.

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