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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

World Book Night: The End

Finally, I'm ending on my final read of the inaugural thirty picks, The Stand by Stephen King. World Book Night has come and gone and this book took me over a month to read, but I soldiered through. The Stand is truly epic in both size (1400+ pages) and scope (it is about the death and resurrection of society). This one was a grand undertaking and I'd love to hear from some people who pitched it to non-readers. I had trouble with the size of the much more manageable 600+ page Irving book that I handed out, A Prayer for Owen Meany.

May I pause now to discuss that night for a bit? First of all, it was a lot of fun. You should follow the development here so that you will be ready to participate next year. I passed out all of my copies within two hours. Plus, I had some great conversations with people who had been looking for an excuse to get back into reading or enjoyed reading but never really found the books in which they were interested. There was one guy who admitted that he did not like to read but would give John Irving a try (I'm going to say that's a point for my own enthusiasm). Only two people turned me down flat and I'm just going to say they were having off days and hope that I run into them next year.

As for the thirty books themselves, I had such a great time reading them. There were those that I loved as well as those I did not particulary enjoy. I was reading way out of my comfort zone and got to enjoy several books that I never would have read. The experience of reading and sharing my thoughts on these books that so many people care about was invigorating. As people continue to bemoan the death of books I will point back to World Book Night and the wide community that supported it adn continue to feel good about what I do everyday. World Book Night giving was one of the most satisfying things I've ever done, and I am anxiously awaiting next year's batch of books.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

The rule is don't judge a book by its cover. There are so many reasons why I don't follow that rule. Doesn't a book with a great cover suggest the publisher spent a little more money on it? Doesn't that suggest they have great faith in it? I don't base my buying decisions (either personally or for the store) on the cover, but a bad cover is more easily glanced over. I will always read the blurb or synopsis of a book with a great cover. Always. But wait, wasn't this supposed to be a book review?

I guess what I am trying to say is that "The Search for WondLa" (both written and illustrated) by Tony DiTerlizzi has a gorgeous cover. I've never read anything by DiTerlizzi and the title is a bit odd so it was solely on the strength of the cover that I picked this book up. Then the blurb clinched it. Basically it's this, Eva Nine is a young girl that has never left the safety of her underground home or the protection of her Muthr robot until she is forced to flee to the surface. That's for me. Flipping through the book showed me more gorgeous illustrations, introduced me to a kindly alien and otherwise told me I had to read this book.

I was so pleased that I did. I don't know that I would recommend "The Search for WondLa" to reluctant readers because it did take me a little while to get sucked in to Eva's world, but kids that like fantasy/adventure and adults that like middle grade (like me!) will absolutely love it. I actually think it is a perfect book for reading out loud together. It is sure to keep both parents and kids interested.The second book in the proposed WondLa trilogy, A Hero for WondLa, came out last week and I am so anxious to read it! Waiting for the final book will probably kill me.


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