FIVE: Birthday Haiku

Happy birthday to
my Turkey Boy! May you stay
forever insane.


Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011: Review Haiku

Perfect for dipping
in and out of while on the
beach in Rio (sigh).

Best American Nonrequired Reading edited by Dave Eggers. Mariner, 2011, 528 pages.


Why We Broke Up: Review Haiku

I think the New York Times
just ji$$ed in its collective pants.
Epic win.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, illustrated by Maira Kalman. Little Brown, 2011, 368 pages.



Breadcrumbs: Review Haiku

And another one:
Yes, it really is that good.
My Newbery pick.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. Walden Pond Press, 2011, 320 pages.


A Tale of Two Castles: Review Haiku

A surfeit of classic
fantasy tropes adds up to
a middling tale.

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine. Harper, 2011, 336 pages.


Alvin Ho #4: Review Haiku

touching, yet still wicked funny.
Marry me, Alvin?


Secrets at Sea: Review Haiku

Is it sacrilege
to say I thought this was just
okay? Lurve the art.

Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck. Illustrated by Kelly Murphy. Dial, 2011, 256 pages.


The Leftovers: Review Haiku

"Left Behind for atheists"?
-- probably too flip.
Solid Perrotta.

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta. St. Martin's, 2011, 368 pages.


Little Bets: Review Haiku

Nothing shocking, but
a good reminder that
incremental change works.

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries by Peter Sims. Free Press, 2011, 224 pages.


Don't mind me . . .

. . . I'll just be in Rio for a few days.


Darth Paper Strikes Back: Review Haiku

Multiple narrators
sometimes grate, but it's

Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angelberger. Amulet, 2011, 176 pages.



St. Paul's Advent Fair: TOMORROW!

Local peeps, stop by my church's awesome Advent Fair for terrific gift baskets, crafts, food, and a raffle for an iPad2!


Divergent: Review Haiku

Does the world need more
dystopian YA? Well,
this one kinda rocks.

Divergent by Veronica Roth. Harper, 2011, 496 pages.


Clementine and the Family Meeting: Review Haiku

Clementine returns!
(I vote for One-Ball Reilly
as a name.)

Clementine and the Family Meeting by Sara Pennypacker. Hyperion, 2011, 176 pages.


This Won't Hurt a Bit: Review Haiku

The first step in
Medical Memoir Addiction:
admit your problem.


Happy Thanksgiving!

. . . from my Turkey to yours.


Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry: Review Haiku

Good rats win, again.
(It's okay that I still find
them revolting, right?)

Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry by Lynne Jonell. Holt, 2011, 384 pages.


Tales for Very Picky Eaters: Review Haiku

Funny for me? Yes.
Funny for the children? Erm . . .
maybe not so much.

Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider. Clarion, 2011, 48 pages.


The Last Time I Saw You: Review Haiku

Nostalgia, and could-
have-beens, and surprisingly
honest life lessons.

The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg. Ballantine, 2010, 288 pages.

P.S. Annoyingly Unanswered Question: WHY was this their last-ever reunion? HS reunions don't traditionally stop after the 40th, as far as I know. Everybody kept saying, "Oh, it's our last one!" but nobody ever explained why (except, you know, as a Convenient Plot Device, I guess). Irritating.


The Borrower: Review Haiku

Reluctant kidnapper/
librarian gets in
over her head. FAB.

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai. Viking, 2011, 336 pages.


Sex on the Moon: Review Haiku

Too clever by half:
hardscrabble genius loses
everything for love.

P.S. Hyperbole much, Ben?


Warp Speed: Review Haiku

Slow to get started,
but ultimately satisfying:
geek makes good.

Warp Speed by Lisa Yee. Levine/Scholastic, 2011, 320 pages.


Bossypants: Review Haiku

YES, I'm the last person
to read it, and YES, it
really is that good.

Bossypants by Tina Fey. Reagan Arthur Books, 2011, 320 pages.

P.S. Happy birthday to my big sister! I can't imagine why this title made me think of you.


Between Expectations: Review Haiku

Yes, I AM a sucker
for medical-school memoirs --
why do you ask?

Between Expectations: Lessons from a Pediatric Residency by Meghan Weir, MD. Free Press, 2011, 288 pages.


Lucky for Good: Review Haiku

Careful, brilliant
conclusion to Lucky's Hard Pan
history. Enjoy.

Lucky for Good by Susan Patron. Atheneum, 2011, 224 pages.

P.S. Hate new illos. Haaaaate.


Super Sad True Love Story: Review Haiku

Could not last thirty
pages in this hipster
douchebag fantasyland.

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. Random, 2011, 352 pages.


Knowing Your Value: Review Haiku

Fairly obvious
platitudes, repeated ad
nauseam, for girls.

Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You're Worth by Mika Brzezinski. Weinstein Books, 2011, 208 pages.


The Summer Before Boys: Review Haiku

War and loss and love
and friendship, skillfully captured
in one tween girl.

The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin. S&S, 2011, 208 pages.


The Adults: Review Haiku

Hated every
character, yet somehow did not
hate the book. Odd, no?

The Adults by Alison Espach. Scribner, 2011, 320 pages.


Lexie: Review Haiku

Like Junonia, but
with rawer emotions and
more clueless grownups.

Lexie by Audrey Coloumbis. Random, 2011, 208 pages.


Faith: Review Haiku

The mea culpas
don't come from where you think they
might in this stunner.

Faith by Jennifer Haigh. Harper, 2011, 336 pages.


Going in Circles: Review Haiku

Roller derby girls
are HOT. That's really all I
have to say on this.

Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon. Downtown Press, 2010, 336 pages.


A Tale Dark and Grimm: Review Haiku

All the cliches that
shouldn't work, do, in this smart
fairy-tale nightmare.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. Dutton, 2010, 192 pages.


Marty McGuire: Review Haiku

Tomboy Marty makes
princess play her own in this
charming new series.

Marty McGuire by Kate Messner. Scholastic, 2011, 160 pages.


The Sublime Engine: Review Haiku

Surprisingly moving
biography of our
most important pump.

The Sublime Engine: A Biography of the Human Heart by Stephen Amidon and Thomas Amidon. Rodale, 2011, 256 pages.


My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies: Review Haiku

High school theater geeks,
unite! This will feel oh so
very familiar.

My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff. Egmont, 2011, 288 pages.


Sidekicks: Review Haiku

Look! Up in the sky!
It's a crime-fighting hamster
and chameleon! Duh.

Sidekicks by Dan Santat. Levine/Scholastic, 2011, 224 pages.


We'll Always Have Summer: Review Haiku

Love the emotions,
but are there really NO other
guys on Cape Cod?

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han. S&S, 2011, 304 pages.


Amy and Roger's Epic Detour: Review Haiku

The best kind of love
story: slow, natural, and
full of cream soda.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. S&S, 2011, 368 pages.


Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters: Review Haiku

Family drama
has never been quite so much
wicked, heartfelt fun.

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford. Scholastic, 2010, 320 pages.


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: Review Haiku

Is it normal that
I found the pictures scarier
than the monsters?

Miss Pettigrew's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Quirk, 2011, 352 pages.


Hold Me Closer, Necromancer: Review Haiku

crazy-pants-ness wins with its
charming nonchalance.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. Holt, 2010, 352 pages.


The Social Animal: Review Haiku

Proves Forster's hoary
dictum has ring of truth to
it. Dense but snappy.


Then Came You: Review Haiku

Weiner's latest had
me sympathetic right until
the end. . . . The hell?

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner. Atria, 2011, 352 pages.


State of Wonder: Review Haiku

Rogue researcher sends
Marina into uncharted

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. Harper, 2011, 368 pages.


Please Ignore Vera Dietz: Review Haiku

Label kids "damaged
goods," and they'll behave just like
you expect them to.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King. Knopf, 2010, 336 pages.