Then Now Next Thursday (June 4, 2015)

Heart and the BottleTHEN

I finished reading The Last Unicorn. It was just as lovely as I remembered.

I also read two picture books: Owl Babies, an old childhood favorite, and The Heart and the Bottle, a new childlike favorite.

NOW

I’m currently in the middle of several things: Naomi Novik’s Uprooted on my phone, Mossflower on my home and work computers via Open Library, and Sabriel on audiobook through my local library! CLAMS kindly set me up with an online library card, even though I live abroad! (I’m still legally a resident of S. Yarmouth, Massachusetts.) I’m like a kid in a candy store now that I have my library card, but I have to remind myself to be reasonable and only borrow as much as I can read. Free access to so many (English) books is such a relief. Why didn’t I ask for a library card sooner?

MossflowerI also listened to some of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stoneduring a dentist’s appointment. I only made it into the second chapter and I don’t listen enough to justify two audiobooks out from the library at the same time, but it was soothing. I mean, it’s not like I don’t know how the series ends.

NEXT

Well, first I have to finish all this. After that? It’s anyone’s guess, honestly.

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Then Now Next Thursday (May 21, 2015)

The Last UnicornTHEN

I haven’t finished anything since How to be a Heroine, whoops. I got most of the way through Shelf Discovery, and I may still finish reading it, but I got distracted.

NOW

The Last Unicorn Tour came to my hometown. I don’t live there, but my mother went to the show and met Peter S. Beagle. So of course I had to pick up The Last Unicorn again. I don’t think I “got” it the first time I read it, or the time after that. It’s one of those books that changes meaning for me every time I read it, but each time, it becomes more and more beautiful as I understand it more deeply, or differently. So I’m taking my time.

NEXT

While looking for the image to use with this post, I discovered Two Hearts,the coda to The Last Unicorn, which is available for free on the author’s website. I will certainly read that when I’m finished The Last Unicorn, and after that… I’m not sure. We’re doing a big order for books at the library, so I’m sure I’ll want to read some of those, and then it’s summer. Everything is up in the air, to be honest.

Then Now Next Thursday (May 7, 2015)

How to Be a HeroineTHEN

blew through How to Be a Heroine over the week, although I seriously wondered if Samatha Ellis only ever read classics growing up. Review to come later. I had a busy offline week.

NOW

On a reading memoir kick from How to Be a Heroine, I picked up Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading. It’s … okay. I don’t find it as witty or as well researched as Heroine, but I also haven’t put it down yet. It’s easy to read, a series of small (aptly named…) “book reports” on a theme, like kids in danger or supernatural powers. I was hoping for a little more research and self reflection, but you can’t win ’em all.

NEXT

This week blew by me pretty quickly because it was a vacation, so I still have to start my #SecondChanceChallenge books, Pantomine and The Twistrose Key. Plus, I have a library meeting coming up tomorrow where we all get together and debate books until we can agree on a list of twenty(ish) picture, chapter, middle, and high school books for the upcoming school year reading program, and I always end up with a lot on my TBR shelf after that, even if not everything makes the shortlist.

Then Now Next Thursday (April 30, 2015)

The Darkest Part of the Forest THEN

I finished reading (and reviewed) Virgin: The Untouched History. Since I last posted a round up, I’ve also started and finished Holly Black’s The Darkest Part of the Forest. That’s the quickest I’ve finished a fiction book, like, all year. I’m just having such a hard time concentrating, but man, it’s so good.

NOW

I’ve been really into nonfiction this year, so I read the intro to Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, but then found that I wasn’t really interested in the stories, so I put it down and picked up How to be a Heroine, which I like a lot, even though I haven’t read most of these classics, except Anne of Green Gables.

NEXT

Karen Jensen on Teen Librarian Toolbox proposed the #SecondChanceChallenge, to give a book you dropped a second chance. I signed up and said I would try to read and finish The Twistrose Key and Shadowplay. Both were very good (like, I loved Pantomime, which is the first book in Shadowplay‘s series) but just not what I was looking for at the time, so I’ll give them both another chance.

Then Now Next Thursday (April 23, 2015)

Let's Eat RamenTHEN

I’m back to bouncing around from one thing to another and never finishing a book. It’s very frustrating, but I just can’t focus! I did manage to finish Let’s Eat Ramen, a manga dojinshi collection. Maybe I should stick to graphic novels for now?

NOW

Currently, I’m reading the only kind of book it feels like I can finish lately, a cultural history. This one is called Virgin: The Untouched History. It’s no Holy Sh*t, but I’m enjoying it well enough to keep reading. I love learning more about concepts we take for granted, like virginity, or swearing, or cupcakes.

I’m still reading The Story Thieves, but the going is slow because 1) it’s kind of boring? which is a huge letdown because I loved the premise, and 2) I’m taking extensive notes on craft while I read, because I’m trying to improve as a writer, and because I love the concept of the book, but it’s just not working for me and I’m trying to figure out why (so I don’t make the same mistake)


Story ThievesNEXT

Well, if the sun ever comes out again, it will be spring/early summer, which is, in my opinion, the (second) best time (after New Year’s) to (re)read Weetzie Bat or Witch Baby or Baby Be-bop, or maybe all three. (I have the whole Dangerous Angels collection, but I don’t care much for either Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys or Missing Angel Juan.)

I have a library meeting coming up the week after next where we’ll get together and argue about books (it’s one of my favorite days of the school year), so I’m sure my TBR will get some substantial additions for summer reading, regardless of what we decide makes the final cut.

Then Now Next Thursday (April 2, 2015)

The WhisperI decided to make up a weekly check-in since the demise of both What Are You Reading? Wednesdays and What’s Up? Wednesdays.

THEN

I recently finished reading Aaron Starmer’s The Whisper, second book of three in the Riverman TrilogyHoly Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing, by Melissa Mohr; and since we’re reading poetry books in library class to celebrate National Poetry Month, I read Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo with my students. They can vote on The Gruffalo or a selection of dinosaur-themed poems; votes have overwhelmingly gone to The Gruffalo in every class so far this week.

NOW

I picked up Story Thieves, by James Riley, when I finished Holy Sh*tI knew after enjoying a nonfiction book that much, I’d need to switch genre tracks, so I went for MG meta fantasy. Then I got really into writing a detailed annotation of Story Thieves, but I needed something to just read on the train, so I went back to Iron-Hearted Violet after literally months hiatus in the middle of the book.

Iron Hearted VioletI don’t know why I had to press pause on this book. It’s so good. Maybe it was too good. Sometimes, if I’m not in a good headspace and something is too beautiful, it hurts and I just can’t. Well, I picked it back up, and it’s so beautiful and so perfect. Iron-Hearted Violet is everything.

NEXT

What I really want to read is the third volume of the Riverman Trilogy, but not only has it not been released, there’s not even any title, release date, or cover! Rude. I really need to know what happens to Aquavania before I can decide wether or not I liked The Riverman and The Whisper.

Seeing as I can’t have that, instead I’m going to finish up the books I’m reading (including The Silmarillion) and I got really excited about The Great Beanie Baby Bubble when I first heard about it on BookRiot.