October 2008

I’ve just discovered Booking Through Thursday, and I think it’s a wonderful idea. Every Thursday, a question is posed on this blog, and answered by loads of book lovers around the internet. I’d like to start including myself in that number!

btt button

This week’s question is as follows:

Mariel suggested this week’s question.

“Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?”

I love my books. I don’t just love the words in them; I also love the books themselves. They’re starting to take over my bedroom, because I have such difficulty getting rid of them.

This sentimental attachment to a whole class of inanimate objects means that I hate seeing books mistreated. I try to keep all of my books in good condition–no dog-earing and spine-breaking here–though I know that perfection is largely unacheviable in all areas of life, book treatment included. I try not to lend my books to people who will mistreat them (my mother forces me to make exceptions for my less-than-literary fifteen year old brother sometimes because she wants him to actually pick up a book), and everyone who borrows from my library (which literally has more young adult fiction than the YA section of the local public library) is treated to a short lecture on how to handle books.

My stacks make some book damages unavoidable; for example, my cat jumped last week on a teetering pile of books, and, in the resulting destruction, a book’s cover was bent. Age also shows on some of my books; some of these favorites have been in my personal library for more than ten years, and they are understandably battered and sometimes bent or ripped. These losses are mourned, but, as I said, unavoidable.

These rules, however, apply almost exclusively to narratives read by choice. When I have reference books or books for school, I dog ear, underline, and highlight–I find it necessary sometimes. But for the old favorites that I have such a deep attachment to, I’d never dream of doing such things!

What about you?

The results of my poll were inconclusive, so I’ve decided, as sort of a compromise, to post weekly link roundups of where I can be found on the internet on both Teen Book Review and my personal blog (and other places, when applicable). This includes only posts that could be of interest to both audiences. Feedback about this solution is welcome!

Check out this roundtable post on the Cybils blog with myself and the other YA panelists! The second part will be up Tuesday.

I posted on my personal blog about school and education–two things that do not necessarily go together. In fact, in my experience, they rarely do.

While we’re talking about school and learning, you might be interested in this post about standardized testing, or this one about the value of reading fiction. Also, see what I think about another activity that is often bashed as mindless, but can have real value: using the internet.

As is everyone else, I have been entrenched in politics lately. I’ve been watching the news, reading the papers, biting my nails and hoping for the outcome I want in the election. For a few of my thoughts, you can read my posts on YA For Obama about why voting is important and Michelle Obama’s famous statement about being proud of her country for the first time.

Check out this great Red news!

And while we’re kind of on the subject of my writing, I’d love feedback on the article I submitted to Teen Ink about visiting Morocco last summer.

Speaking of travel, I also posted some quotes and ideas about why travel is an important experience.

I think that’s it for this week. Enjoy!

I’ve seen this on several blogs, most recently Reviewer X, and I’ve decided to try to participate in “Waiting On” Wednesday, which, as far as I can tell, means posting every Wednesday about an upcoming book that I’m looking forward to. I believe it originated at Breaking the Spine. Anyway, this week’s pick:

Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

12.09.08 from Delacorte Books For Young Readers

Sixteen-year-old Erin Misrahe just wants to be like everyone else in her new school. But Erin has more to worry about than passing AP Chemistry or making friends. In times of stress, she has always been overcome by her alter ego, Shevaun, whose violent behavior wreaks havoc on those around her. Erin can never remember anything about these episodes, and she’s grateful to have been spared them for a while.

But when a protective friend comes back into Erin’s life, he insists that Shevaun is a vampire who actually exists apart from Erin. Shevaun has dangerous allies, like the handsome witch Adjila—and they’re determined to sever Shevaun’s connection to Erin once and for all.

(From Amazon)

I love Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. She writes great books, and she started writing and publishing them when she was just fourteen. It’s both inspiring and discouraging, and totally awesome. Check out my interview with the author here.

I’ve posted again on my YA For Obama blog. I hope you’ll check it out! This time, I wrote about Michelle Obama’s famous statement (“For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country”) and patriotism. Read my thoughts here.

I think that voting is very important. Too many people complain, yet far too few of them use the ballot box to do so. They’d rather just whine and then sit at home on election day. In that vein, I have written a blog post at YA For Obama. Check it out here.

There are some things that I’m never sure where to post. Pretty much anything on this blog in the category “random thoughts,” for example, and quite a few things on my personal blog. I know more people read this blog (130 Google Reader subscribers as opposed to 4–I just checked), and these are opinions that I’d love to have others’ thoughts on, but I’m still not sure what belongs here and what doesn’t. Of course, I could make this strictly business and just post book reviews & the like, but I, personally, prefer book blogs with a bit of a personal stuff, too, you know, so it’s an actual person behind the blog and not a book reviewing robot. So I guess the question is–where would you rather see things like my thoughts on standardized testing, fiction, the internet, education, and travel? Where can I share my political opinions? News or thoughts about my writing?

Please comment if you have any helpful advice.

Remember Red? The fantastic book of essays by teenage girls across the country (including myself), edited by the fabulous Amy Goldwasser?

As of today, it’s available in paperback! Get it here. Get it for yourself. Get it for a friend or relative–the holidays are coming up, and surely you need a gift for a reader in your life.

Or, get it for someone else you’ve never met, as part of the Red book drive. Details here.

Also, I just noticed–the title is different on the paperback. On the hardcover book, it’s called “Red: The Next Generation of American Writers–Teenage Girls–On What Fires Up Their Lives Today.” Which I always thought was a bit lengthy. Now, it’s “Red: Teenage Girls in America Write on What Fires Up Their Lives Today.” Not much better, is it? Though I suppose a one-word color title does need some explanation. When I first submitted to the project, it was called Bloody Red Heart. Which, I like better, but I also realize that was probably too vague. Let’s just stick with calling it Red on this blog, seeing as we know what it is, okay?

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