Calamity Jack: Review Haiku

Hold onto your
pixie hat and keep your braids at
the ready: Jack's back!

Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale. Bloomsbury, 2010, 144 pages.


The Serial Garden: Review Haiku

Magic-ridden sport
to dip in and out of; too
much for one sitting.

The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories by Joan Aiken. Big Mouth House, 2008, 327 pages.


The Farwalker's Quest: Review Haiku

Classic narrative
gains depth from apocalyptic

The Farwalker's Quest by Joni Sensel. Bloomsbury, 2009, 394 pages.


The Prince of Fenway Park: Review Haiku

Wait -- you mean it
wasn't my magical uterus
after all? Damn.

The Prince of Fenway Park by Juliana Baggott. Harper, 2009, 336 pages.


A Lenten Resolution

Several years ago I got the bright idea to make a list of books I'd always meant to read, books I felt I should read, and books I had loved and wanted to re-read. I combed through my mental files and also got suggestions from commenters on what I should include. Because I am a creative person and work with words for a living, I called this list The LIST. (#genius)

All told, The LIST was 54 books long. A mix of classic and modern, children's and adult, fiction and nonfiction, it introduced me to some wonderful books, some surprising favorites, and a few old friends. Tragically, I will never get back the 37 hours I spent reading Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina.

As of today, I have read 51 1/2 books from The LIST (Sophie's World, you were just not compelling enough to finish). Those last few books have been sitting there for six months now, silently mocking me from the sidebar like some hypertext Nelson Muntz.

So as of today, I am officially abandoning The LIST. Consider it what I'm giving up for Lent. It's been a good run, anyway. Someday I'm sure I'll re-read Where the Red Fern Grows; I'm less confident I'll give Stephen Daedalus or Tocqueville a chance.

I'm currently putting together a (much shorter) list of middle-grade and YA books that I adored on first reading. As is my wont, however (fast reader = superficial reader), I remember little about most of these books now, except that I loved them. Stay tuned for The Great Re-Read, coming to a sidebar near you in the not-too-distant future.

11 Birthdays: Review Haiku

Family feud plays out
a la GROUNDHOG DAY, with bonus
middle-school angst.

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass. Scholastic, 2009, 267 pages.


Dreamdark: Silksinger: Review Haiku

Not into faeries
and all that rot -- and yet

Silksinger (Dreamdark #2) by Laini Taylor. Putnam, 2009, 449 pages.


Happy Cybils Day!

The Cybils are coming! The Cybils are coming! The Cybils are . . . HERE!

Congratulations to all the winners!


The Accidental Billionaires: Review Haiku

A whole lotta drama
just to bring us Mafia
Wars and Farmville.

P.S. Could someone pls proofread this book? And could someone from Harvard pls read it?
  • Page 15: Mark lives in Eliot. Page 17: Mark lives in Kirkland. (Hint: They are not the same house.)
  • Page 64: If you are standing on the Widener steps, you can't "just make out the peak of Memorial Church in the distance," because it is RIGHT IN FRAKKING FRONT OF YOU.
  • Page 80: Aaron Greenspan becomes Aaron Grossman within two LINES of each other, then reverts to Aaron Greenspan on the following page.
  • Page 115: There are no "three-one"s at the law school; there are only "3L"s. (As in "Law," get it? Could you not read your handwritten notes?)
  • Page 235: OMG the president of Harvard does NOT hand out rolled-up diplomas and read out names at Commencement. BEN, YOU WENT TO HARVARD. YOU KNOW THIS.


Marriage and Other Acts of Charity

Dear Kate: Please be my
a) mom; b) sister; c) friend;
d) wife. Circle one.

Marriage and Other Acts of Charity by Kate Braestrup. Little Brown, 2010, 224 pages.


Cleaving: Review Haiku

I'm sorry, I just
cannot get past adultery.
I'm harsh like that.

Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell. Little Brown, 2009, 307 pages.

And NOW back to your regularly scheduled Cybilly hiatus.


I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Review Haiku

Gotta love a book
that makes review haikus seem
rather excessive.

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous and Obscure by SMITH Magazine (editor). Harper, 2009, 192 pages.

And now back to your regularly-scheduled Cybilly hiatus.