Man, I am slow with the posts lately.  No apologies though, I have been super busy.  I came back to work and got dunked in Summer Reading fever in which we are often 4 kids deep giving out prizes and signing them up.  I always forget how involved it is and what a great opportunity it is to engage the little readers–and make them less afraid of talking to the big scary librarian ;)

Plus we have been getting some serious reference questions mixed in there despite school being out.  And readers advisory for all ages–lots of folks going on trips and looking for a “good book” or a book on cd.  My teen shelves are at half capacity right now.  Almost all the easy to recommend stuff is checked out.  I’m having a hard time finding things to put on display.

So, I promised a what I’ve been reading catch up, so here it is.

Embassytown by China Mielville  The first person narrative and the cold science fiction combined with the short story format  leave this book feeling cold.  The stories are great, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t feel like I invest myself in them.  As always, Mielville creates an interesting and surreal world where you feel immersed in the setting.  Embassytown is a settlement on a world far from others in civilization.  The humans there share their space with the Hosts and while I am only half way through the second story, I have a feeling there is more to the name Hosts than just inviting others into their homes.

Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin  I found myself thinking of this book a lot in New Orleans.  It is set in the South, along the Mississippi river and follows the captain of the Fevre River Packets owner.  You learn a lot about piloting and outfitting a steamboat, which might sound boring, but totally is not.  Did you know that steamboats would use lard to make their boats go faster?  There are vampires in this book, but their origin is different from what we are used to and the plot is so interesting.  Very mysterious and dark, Fevre Dream kept me interested all the way through.  It takes a great writer to weave historical elements into a story to make parts that are slow in plot fill you with thoughts of steam engines.  This book is not as long as Game of Thrones and not as fanciful.  It’s a good solid read, although probably most satisfying on dark cold winter nights.

Spartacus and the Circus of Shadows by Molly E. Johnson  I got this one in the mail from Rain Town Press just before I left for vacation.  They included a carmel apple pop, so I couldn’t say no and I have to say that the mystery of a book wrapped in black paper also piqued my interest.  As their website says:

RainTown Press is extremely proud to announce our first book, Spartacus and the Circus of Shadows, by Portland author Molly Johnson. It’s a high adventure runaway tale about Spartacus Zander, a normal kid with a not-so-normal name (and freakish circus abilities) who runs away from home in search of his human cannonball mother who he thinks has been kidnapped by a traveling circus. No spoiler alert here, kids. You’re going to have to wait until October 1st to find out what happens.

I am also not going to give away any spoilers, but I will say this is a wonderful book for older children and tweens.  It’s a bit dark with some moral questions about families that might make it hard on younger readers.  There are lots of cool tricks and characters–lots to do and see!  I’ll definitely be recommending it for purchase.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline  I was lucky to get this book, I think. I approached the Crown booth at ala11 and saw some intriguing buttons scattered around the table.  These were green pixelated keys and half full hearts on a black background.  I asked the rep about them and she started telling me about a book that was coming out, called Ready Player One.  It is set in the future when the world has become so disheartening that most people retreat to OASIS, a simulated world where one can go to school, see movies and look however you want.  It’s also a place to play massive multiplayer games.

The rep saw my Intellectual Freedom Fighter ribbon on my badge and said that the Unshelved guys would be posting an interview with the author sometime soon.  She could tell I was interested and I mentioned that I had read and liked Corey Doctorow and similar authors, so she kind of looked around then went over to a cabinet and pulled out a copy of the book and handed it to me.  It’s the book I decided to keep out to read when I sent all the others off by media mail, and I am almost done.  I will tell you more about it next time, when I am actually finished.  I can say that I love it.  Great first novel that I can’t believe is a first novel.  I keep going to the back of the book to make sure I read that correctly.

Falling Skies by Paul Tobin I don’t actually have this comic in my possession yet, but The Mister and I started watching the TV series in our hotel last week. It was pretty amazing and I love Noah Wyle.  When Dark Horse tweeted about the TV series, I replied that I was watching it and they replied to me that there was a comic and had I read it yet?  I immediately went to see if the library had it, and no they didn’t, so I put in a purchase suggestion and today it popped up in my hold list.  They were probably going to buy it anyway…but it always makes me happy when they purchase something I suggest.  I can’t wait till my copy comes in.