Book Blizzard

In a bizarre twist of fate two things are happening: 1)I’m writing a mid-week blog post & 2)I’m having a problem controlling the books I’m starting. Does this mean that the East Coast might finally be getting some snow? Is it a sign the world is going to end in 2012? I don’t know. Nor do I care. I declare the Reading Funk officially over! (for now)

The funk’s end began over the weekend. After my last post, I picked up Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. It took a bit for me to get into the book – call it a funk, call it skepticism, call it whatever you want. After about 100 pages I was hooked. And once again a Printz Award winner did not let me down. I loved it. And my spirits were picking up. Jellicoe Road is a tough book to review without giving anything away because there are so many layers to it. It is a gem of a book – complex and honest. I loved Taylor’s voice and Marchetta’s writing.

The next book I picked up was Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. For some reason, this book has been sitting in a pile on my office floor for years (no kidding years, but then again Jellicoe Road was sitting in the same pile). I love Anderson’s writing. She’s an author who can create a character. Her teens sound like teens. Anyway, I devoured Twisted. I actually had to slow myself down so I could savor the book. The funk was receding.

On Monday, I picked up Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes. Not YA, but simply beautiful writing. I needed to get away from the cold that had gripped New Jersey in its icy claws, so spring in Tuscany was a perfect get away. But I didn’t want to abandon the YA thing I had going on, so I picked up Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements. Notice I’m reading all monographs. In some ways I’m feeling so liberated not to be tied to a series, which could also be part of the end to the funk.

Tuesday arrived and with a full school bag, I head to my classroom eager to booktalk the new additions to the library. On my way to school, I realized that I didn’t put Things Not Seen in my book bag.  I was seriously depressed. So I started thinking about what was on my nook shelf that I could read on my iPad during Reader’s Workshop. And then I got to school and realized I had a book in my bag!

So during Reader’s Workshop I pulled out Startled by his Furry Shorts by Louise Rennison. I was not happy to start this book. I didn’t want to read another book in another series even though I adore Georgia Nicolson. I wanted to read Things Not Seen. And so with a pouty face, I began a third book in a 24 hour period. And of course, I got sucked in. I left the book at school at the end of the day, headed to a department meeting, and then headed home.

Tuesday was a whirlwind in our house because we literally ran in the door dropped our stuff, fed the dog, and ran out to our local Barnes and Noble to see Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. Reading is not the word to use to discuss this event. Hands down this was the best author event I’ve ever been to (and I average about 15 events per year conservatively). Asher and Mackler spent well over an hour talking about their writing process, bicoastal co-authoring, The Future of Us, and pretty much anything else the audience cared to ask. This was the anti-Rick Riordan signing. Mackler and Asher care about their readers and took time with them. And as a reader that means the world. I came home wanting to dive into The Future of Us. I waited to get it until this event. I had been looking forward to reading it, and after hearing about it from the authors, I wanted to curl up on the couch and just lose myself in the book. And I will tomorrow after school. It’s my weekend reward to myself. So that will be my fourth book started without having finished one.

Sadly, I’m resisting the urge to turn on my nook. I’ve got a few on there I want to start. I’m also resisting the urge to enter my office and read the two Mackler’s I’ve got sitting in a pile on my office floor – The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things and Love and Other Four Letter Words. I actually opened the B&N webpage and toyed with buying four more books – or was it five. I have about 300 YA books still sitting, waiting to be read, and waiting to be placed in the hands of adolescents who will love them.

And so the Funk is OVER!  Instead it’s simply a blizzard of reading inspiration. In some small way, I feel really badly for my students when I finish all the books I have started. I can foresee a book talk that leaves their heads spinning and not even knowing what book to read next. Oh no! Could I be responsible for starting their reading funk as mine as ended? NEVER! Not in my room! (Well, maybe once in a while it’s okay because when you come out of that funk, reading is fun again.)

Until next time… See YA!

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