Apr. 2nd, 2017

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Time to talk about this quarter in books! I read 31 of ‘em over the past 3 months, which I guess has become a fairly standard average for me. Ha ha ha ha let’s see if I can actually narrow that down to only a few favorites…

Later, after going through my list of what I read: Nope, I’m terrible at narrowing; once again it’s going to be a long list of books I love!


TOP BOOKS:

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
     This book starts out deceptively simple and gets richer and richer and richer. It unfolds from the painful, tight, short single-page first chapters of childhood abuse and degradation to a beautiful story of a woman who's found herself and built a found family around her. My pitiful words aren't doing this justice. Can anyone tell me if all of Alice Walker's books are this brilliant?

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
   
How did I not know about prolific writer Seanan McGuire? This slim book pulls off not just one but many worlds' worth of world-building, because it's set at a boarding school for children who've tumbled into other fairytale worlds...and then accidentally fell back into our world again. So good. Also, bonus asexual character representation, and trans character representation, all presented totally matter-of-factly as "this is who I am, why would it be an issue?"

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Dawwww this book is so charming! I just want to cuddle it! (I literally sometimes have to pick it back up and cradle it to my chest and grin about how much I love it.) Not-yet-out gay high school student Simon might be falling for his secret penpal, Blue. Blue is someone who goes to Simon's school, but Simon doesn't know who. Their online friendship is perfect, so do they risk ruining everything by telling each other who they are in real life? (Becky Albertalli was a school psychologist before she became an author and it shows. Here is a YA writer who knows teenagers.)

the “Hereville” graphic novels by Barry Deutsch (How Mirka Got Her Sword, How Mirka Met a Meteorite, and How Mirka Caught a Fish)
    My colleague's two kids were kind enough to loan me this series about the adventures of, as the tagline says, "just another troll-fighting Orthodox Jewish girl." Mirka is stubborn, brave, sometimes a brat, always awesome, as she fights trolls and shapeshifter meteorites and dangerous magical fish. The books also present a loving, detailed picture of Orthodox Jewish family life, while still allowing Mirka to push against her culture's double standards for girls.

Forgive Me if I’ve Told You This Before by Karelia Stetz-Waters
     I read this on the recommendation of one of my students, which always makes me really happy. A beautifully written coming of age novel about a girl in rural Oregon growing into herself and her identity as a lesbian. Feels very different from the usual YA fare both for the poetic language, and because it's clearly drawn from the author's own experiences and is set in the early 90s, rather than now.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
    This book had me laughing out loud. Helplessly. A book that promises to be the opposite of all those "inspirational story about a kid whose friend gets cancer and they all learn a life lesson" type books, and delivers on that promise, and yet sneakily makes you feel stuff, too. All while yelping with laughter.


don't stop there – here are even more books! )

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