Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Big BIG News!

I've got a new job! And I'm moving!

My new title is Associate Acquisitions Editor.
My new town is - well. It's in the Albany, NY area. Not sure yet EXACTLY where I'll be living, so we'll just say the Capitol Region.

I'll be working for an educational publisher, doing some traveling, and really just - making a difference with the books I publish. I'm very, VERY excited about this opportunity, even though I am a little sad to be leaving children's books behind.

I'm still going to try and keep up on my YA though. So - the blog won't change any, but this at least explains my absences? My hiatus and then, my comeback that was really wasn't a comeback at all because I haven't been posting as regularly as I wanted to?

Anyway - my last day at Sterling is the 25th. I'll have a lot going on - packing my life and such. But I should be back to regular posting soon enough, once my life is at least a little bit settled.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Geek Love - Katherine Dunn

Rating: 5 stars
Shelf: Reading Now

Not at all what its title implies - even when you find out exactly what Katherine Dunn means by Geek. Should have been called Freak Love, but I think the mystery and the - "Oh my god, this isn't about two nerds falling in love?" is half the attraction.

Concerning a traveling carnival whose acts were bred instead of hired - the story is told by Olympia Binewski, a bald, albino, hunchback dwarf and the youngest daughter of Lil and Al Binewski. Olympia records her memories of the freak family - which included a boy with fins, Siamese twins, a telekinetic, and a host of baby experiments gone bad and preserved in jars - so that her daughter, Miranda, might one day understand not only why Olympia had to give her up, but also why Miranda is so special.

The book focuses on freak as norm and norm as freak. The reversal not only aids in highlighting familial relationships, but also, and more importantly, shines a light on the problems with social constructs and cult-like, follower, behavior. For one - the Binewskis seem to value their more messed up children higher than those who could pass for "normal." Olympia is told that she herself is barely a keeper, though she meets none of the standards of normal in our culture.

Dunn was, apparently, influenced by the events of Jonestown at the time she was writing this book. Having just read Raven by Tim Reitermann, I was really drawn to these comparisons and their power over all of the characters - both immediate and secondary. Arty - the boy with fins instead of hands and feet - forms a cult that is strangely reminiscent of The People's Temple. Jones' followers gave up their entire lives for him, cut themselves off from their worldly possessions to follow Jones to the promise land - Arty's followers gave up their limbs, quite literally, to become more like him and to be able to shake societal norms and become their most pure.

But mostly, I just loved the characters and the language. The Binewskis, for all their troubles, are an incredibly close family who rely on their differences to keep them safe and keep them together. There were moments when Dunn painted such a beautiful, emotional - and normal - scene - especially those which depicted Olympia interacting lovingly with her siblings- I was moved practically to tears.

The future of my reading endeavors for 2011 seems so bleak, now that I've already read what will most likely be my favorite book of the year.

Purchase Now from Amazon: Geek Love: A Novel

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Song of Ice and Fire Series Continues - FINALLY!

Okay - okay! I have to calm myself down right now, because I just saw this on Omnivoracious:

George R.R. Martin fans, take note: A Dance with Dragons, the newest book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, will publish on July 12. It's over 1000 pages long and six years in the making -- the previous book, A Feast for Crows, published in October of 2007--and according to Martin's official website, he's still tinkering with A Dance with Dragons. But he assures everyone that the publication date is firm: "Barring tsunamis, general strikes, world wars, or asteroid strikes, you will have the novel in your hands on July 12."
Oh my god, you guys! THE NEXT BOOK IS COMING OUT! So that means - HBO series due out in April followed by the next book in the series, oh my!

Actually, I haven't read A Feast for Crows yet, because I didn't want to be finished with the series and have nothing but a bleak future of promises from Mr. Martin. Running out to purchase that one and gobble it up before A Dance with Dragons comes out. Hrm - since I re-read Game of Thrones recently - perhaps I'll just re-read the entire series this year?

Sounds good to me!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Lion Among Men - Gregory Maguire

Rating: 1 stars
Shelf: Reading Now

I struggled with whether or not I should finish this book. I'd read so much that it seemed, how could I not finish? Can I even review it if I don't finish? A friend told me I could review it, but I'd have to let all of you know that the book was so horrible I couldn't find it in me to finish it.

This was incredibly disappointing because I absolutely LOVED both Wicked and Son of a Witch. But this was... it wasn't even written in the same tone. It didn't hold any of the same magic as the first two. It's sole purpose for existing seemed to be to explain whatever gaps existed in the first two books - but I didn't need any of that. I wasn't curious. The "gaps" were intentional and added a sense of literary mystery to the books.

In short, I wish A Lion Among Men had never been born.

Purchase Now from Amazon: A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, Book 3)
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