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Wheeee!  I feel so fortunate when I get to have an interaction with a favorite author on Twitter. It just makes me all glowy.

I read Justine Larbalestier’s post on her blog (which I found through a twitter post) about a cycling adventure. I was impressed because I didn’t know she biked and told her so and she tweeted back at me. I wanted to dance around it makes me so happy.

I’m missing my bike right now. I did a dumb thing and hurt my knee falling over a speed bump in a parking lot. I was looking for a car2go and it wasn’t where it was supposed to be and I was distracted. It didn’t hurt at all, although I had to ice it for some swelling. I rested for 2 days, then rode my bike for 2 days to work and it was still fine, so I went running on the fifth day and oops, not so good. The swelling came back and it started to hurt, too. The bruising came out then as well and I had a pretty purple pattern all over. That’s fading now and I’m feeling good again, but I’ve banned myself from the bike and running until April 1st. No fooling (I wish I was).

Why April 1st? Well, April is the 30 Days of Biking is a fun challenge because it gets me on my bike on my days off, when I’m tempted to take it easy or stay home cleaning. I’m also signing up for The National Bike Challenge that runs May – October and I’ll be doing Bike to Work month in May. I’m a team captain and love the idea of getting my coworkers to bike to work, however, I also love logging all of my bikey miles with the National Bike Challenge which doesn’t care where you are riding to or how often. It just gives a bit more of a sense of accomplishment.  And April 1st so that I don’t start too soon and hurt myself again and have another setback.

So, as you can see, I am a little bike obsessed, as well as YA author obsessed.

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The Blossoming Universe of Violet DiamondThe Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was on a list of books that include people of color as the main character. Violet Diamond is in the situation where her mother and all of the family around her is white, she lives in a predominantly white town and she is half black. Her father died before she could know him.

Violet hates the looks from people when she’s out shopping with her mother and sister. Everyone always has that question on their face, where does she fit in? These are questions that children do see, whatever their difference from others. Eventually they start to see it whether or not it’s there.

Violet does get to work through this feeling. She meets her grandmother and the rest of her father’s family. At first she doesn’t quite fit in there either, being half white, but as time goes on she is able to see herself as a whole person and her family sees her that way as well.

The writing drew me in, the characters were well done and the message was interwoven with the story in such a way that you don’t feel preached to. It is nice to see it set in a middle class household (possibly upper middle, as mom and dad were doctors and grandma is a successful artist) rather than a poor one as seems to usually happen.

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The Crane WifeThe Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Based on the Japanese myth (the same one The Decemberists wrote about) Patrick Ness has woven a modern day fantasy in his book The Crane Wife. The crane comes to George in the dead of night, needing help and support and getting it of course, as these fairy tales begin.

This one is a bit on the dark side though. As George struggles to break the arrow and remove it from her wing, he’s freezing to death and contemplating his shortcomings as a man and a human. The complex character building continues through the book with most of the major characters. The only one we don’t get to know is Kumiko, the crane, the wife, who should be a mystery.

I love the art work they create through the book. It gives an added depth I didn’t think possible. I enjoy paper art; making it, looking at it, exploring the possibilities, and the multi-media art that makes George and Kumiko semi-famous, a little richer, and builds the story is just the right touch to really draw me the rest of the way in.

This book was effortless for me. It flowed, the characters were flawed but relateable and the whole thing just took me out of time and place, sat me down and read to me.

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I’ve been struggling to get through a book. It seems like I only get a few pages in a night and that just doesn’t cut it when you have a pile of books to read.  On top of it, it’s a book that a lot of people like and one that I bought, thinking I would like it.  That’s right, I actually bought a book. ahem, back to the subject. So, I’ve decided not to finish it. I can still give it to the right teen–someone who likes supernatural mysteries with strong characters and strange plots with a little historical fiction.

Now I’m reading The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness.  It’s the kind of book I can’t wait to get back to. The main character is just a regular guy on the surface, a little amazing below it, who finds himself in a very strange situation. I love the story, the tone and the complex characters and I’m so happy to move on to something that keeps my mind intrigued.

The library has been busy. I’m planning a couple of special projects that have been going up and down with triumphs and setbacks.  Each time I run up against a setback, another opportunity saves the program. It’s been bumpy but I’m learning a lot and feeling very optimistic how they will turn out.

Now if only I could make most of my job revolve around community biking programs, I’d be set! ;)

Oh, one more triumph this week. I watched a webinar today given by Eidelweiss and finally scored my first digital ARC. I also figured out how to download it. So I’ll be reading Singapore Noir, a series of short dark stories set in Singapore, a place that’s always intrigued me.

And now to go nurse this cold. My third in a month. I hope it’s short.