Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tony DiTerlizzi, Cassandra Clare, Kazu Kibuishi, Kiiro Yumi, and Kaoru Mori

I didn't get the Diocesan House job and I'm still waiting on the word from the State Library and Archives after my interview for the paid internship position there about a month ago. I have another interview for a part time Library Assistant position at Everest College, a for-profit college that is in-between a two and four year school. I would be doing a little bit of everything since it is a very small library (would only be and the Librarian if I got the job), which would be great experience. We already had a phone interview that I think went really well so now I have an in-person interview on Wed afternoon. 

Other than that, things have been pretty good. My son Liam had his 6 month doctor's appointment and he weighed in at 18lbs 9 1/2oz and was measured at 29 1/2 inches long. He's so long, it's almost like he is a baby in a toddler's body. He's very healthy and we've been feeding him solid food for about 2 months now. We started him on veggies and only recently added fruits, which is supposed to help him not develop a sweet tooth. Needless to say, like most babies, he likes sweeter veggies like carrots and squash more than his green veggies. Also we finally have found a place outside of my parent's house to live, though we cannot move in till March 1. The rental house is in pretty rough shape now, but it should be ready by then. 

I've been reading up a storm since the beginning of the year and have finally gotten in the groove of reading again regularly. Today I have read my 22nd book, which is pretty awesome considering it is the 22nd of January! I will try to post again more regularly as I am reading more. I will be dividing these up also as I've read  12 books since the last time I've reviewed on the blog. 

Just Go to Bed by Mercer Mayer
One of my favorite Little Critter books, in which he pretends to be a spaceman, zookeeper, cowboy, general, sea monster, train engineer and more. This is all while his dad is trying to get him bathed and in bed, finally exclaiming "Just go to bed!", which is very funny if you've ever tried to get a kid to bed who didn't want to go. Recommended for ages 6 months+, 4 stars. 

Ted by Tony DiTerlizzi
I have been trying to find a copy of this picture book for years and was so excited when I finally found it at my local library! It was as good as I thought it would be, i.e. a zany and funny picture book done by the fabulously talented author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi. Ted is the pinkish-purply imaginary friend of a young boy, and they get up to some pretty crazy adventures, which the boy's dad does not appreciate. That is until the boy realizes that Ted knows his dad (was in fact his imaginary friend named Ned) and the dad rediscovers his sense of fun and spends his time playing with Ted and his son. Recommended for ages 5+, 5 stars. 

Children and Young Adult
Amulet, Book 4: The Last Council by Kazu Kibuishi

I swear the books in this series keep getting better and better, though now it is killing me not to know how the series ends. I love it that the book works so well with and without words to convey the story/action. 

In this volume, Emily and her family have finally made it to Cielis, where the Stonekeeper's amulets were first created from the Mother Stone. She is told that she will be called on by the Guardian Council and given a set of trials to prove her worth, but she feels that something is not quite right. New allies are introduced, who will help Emily in the next volume. Why is everyone in Cielis so quiet and why do they distrust foreigners so much? Why does the Guardian Council keep itself hidden away? How much does Emily know about Max, the other Stonekeeper who accompanied her to Cielis?  Recommended for ages 10+, 5 stars. 

Young Adult
Flash Gold (Flash Gold Chronicles #1) by Lindsay Buroker
I found this on the free list for the Kindle and it looked interesting so I decided to give it a try. It was a very quick read and I really got into it. The story is set in the 1890s in the Yukon Territory in Canada, and is about an 18 yr old inventor named Kat. There is a dog sled race where the grand prize is $1000, which is enough for Kat to get out of the small town she is in and create more inventions. The title comes from a substance that her inventor father, Ezekiel, created to power machines and is apparently in very high demand from gangsters. They have sent gangs of people to capture Kat and get the Flash Gold, all of this during the dog sled race. A stranger named Cedar comes with her to help her out at the last minute, though his intentions are unclear. Will they get her and the gold? Will she win the race? Why is Cedar there in the first place? To find out, read this novella. Recommended for ages 14+, 5 stars. 

Emma, Volume 1 by Kaoru Mori
I picked this one up by accident (though apparently it's been on my to-read list for awhile) while browsing the teen section at the library. I enjoyed this quick read about a young servant girl named Emma who works for Kelly, a former governess to William Jones. The first time Emma meets William, he falls in love with her but is too shy to tell her how he feels. She has had letters from multiple suitors but always says no. William's friend Hakim comes to visit him from India and then he falls in love with Emma, only he tells her outright about it. The first volume ends with William's father telling him that he is to marry the young girl he danced at the ball with the previous night. Recommended for ages 12+, 4 stars. 

The Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

Ok so I've been reading Cassandra Clare books for over a year now and I love them. She is simply the best writer for kisses/make-out scenes, at least in teen books. You really feel right there with the main character experiencing it as it happens. And there were some really great scenes like that in these books, and with two hot guys no less. I usually cannot put these books down once I've started and this book was no exception, although it did take me awhile to get into it because I could not remember for the life of me what in the heck happened in the previous book (until about 50 pages into it). The only thing that really annoyed me about the book (and the reason it got four instead of five stars) was because I found out pretty early on that the author was once again using a formula to explain the story, i.e. girl torn between two guys, one sensitive and shy and the other brash and beautiful. For whatever reason, that just annoyed me. 

This book picks up where the other left off. Tessa is still staying at the London Institute for Shadowhunters, Will is still treating her and everyone else like he doesn't care, and they are trying to find Mortmain and what he is planning to do with his clockwork creations. As the book progresses, Tessa is slowly falling for both Will and Jem and can't really decide who she likes more. Charlotte's tenure as head of the London Institute is questioned by another Shadowhunter named Bernard Lightwood, who wants to take over control of it from her. The Consul has given Charlotte two weeks to find out Mortmain's whereabouts. Meanwhile, Will has been secretly seeing Magnus Bane in an attempt to find a demon that cursed him five years ago. Charlotte, Jem, Tessa and Will find out that Mortmain sought reparations from the Shadowhunter Council after his parents were murdered, and that he lived in York. Will they be able to find Mortmain before the two weeks is up? Will Tessa ever discover who she is? Which boy will Tessa chose? These answers and more are found in this delightful sequel to "The Clockwork Angel". Recommended for ages 15+, 4 stars. 

Library Wars: Love and War, Vol. 1 by Kiiro Yumi
A very funny introductory volume to Library Wars, a futuristic view of Japan where the government has "created a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable (back cover)," and the libraries fight back by creating a militant librarian task force which protects against censorship. The concept is just so cool sounding, and kinda makes me wish they had something like this in real life. The main character, Iku Kasahara, is one of the hardest working people in training to join the Task force, and is better than the men who have joined her. She has followed "her hero" to the Task Force after the mysterious male stranger saves her book in high school after the gov't does a raid on a bookstore that she is in. She and another boy named Hikaru Tezuka are invited to join the Task Force but Kasahara is always behind as she fell asleep during her classroom training. During the whole thing, you can see her falling for Dojo, her teacher, especially after she realizes that he is "her hero," even though she doesn't want to. Tezuka may also be falling for her. Can't wait to read the next 3 volumes! Recommended for ages 12+, 5 stars. 

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