Saturday, July 25, 2009

Library/(Used) Bookstore Score

Firstly, props must be given where they are due, so I must thank Kristy aka The Story Siren for starting the weekly meme, In My Mailbox! I must also thank her letting me call it whatever I want, because I don't get books in my mail. :(
Okay, on with the show!

I love my little library! Or rather, I love the mysterious lady who donated half of my little libraries YA books! Seriously, she has a book plate in like three quarters of every book I've checked out1. And they're good books. New books. Books that are at the top of people's wish lists. I love her!
This week was very good for seven reasons.

Checked out:
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.
To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

I got the first one as an audio book2 and loved it, so imagine how happy I was to see that our mysterious benefactor3 had donated the whole series in ACTUAL BOOK FORM! I'll probably be checking out City of Bones on my next visit just so I can say that I read it, also because I'm bit concerned about the absorbtion factor of an audio book versus an actual book that you read.
“The end was near.” —Voices from the Zombie War
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

I've read this before, and I gave it five out of five which means that I'd reread it in a heart beat. I was serious when I said that.
Berlin 1942
When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.
But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

I know this one will make me cry and probably put in a funk for a couple day afterward, but I couldn't resist. It's one of those books where you don't even need to read the synopsis in order to decide that it must be read.
Alice just can't stop crying. To her, it seems as if it should be simple. If your parents split up, you live with the one who understands you best. Alice's father had always been the one to "get" her. But somehow she had ended up living with her mom, who drank too much, and her stepfather, who didn't like her and didn't care who knew it. So when a bout with bronchitis lands her in the hospital, she decided she just can't face going home again—ever.
What if she simply stops eating—goes on a hunger strike? They would have to keep her there, wouldn't they? It seems like the simplest solution, even when the hallucinations start, even when they kind of take over. But suppose she goes into a coma—or dies? If that happens, she'll have her new friend Rex, the mysterious boy who says he's dying, but whose jaunty ways have brought Alice to life.
Once again, Bruce Brooks tells an intriguing story that puts new twists on the oldest, biggest issues—love, death, and taking charge of your own life as you move toward adulthood.

I read this book when I was thirteen or so, and I still think about it occasionally4. I was reminded of it recently when someone reviewed Winter Girls by Kaurie Halse Anderson5.

Meet Kate Malone-straight A science and math geek, minister's daughter, ace long-distance runner, girlfriend, unwilling family caretaker, emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by organizing it, as logically as the periodic table. She can handle it all-or so she thinks. Then, like a string of chemical reactions, everything happens: the Malones' neighbors get burned out of their home and move in. Because her father is a Good Man of God (and a Not Very Thoughtful Parent), Kate has to share her room with her nemesis, Teri Litch, and Teri's adorable, troublemaking little brother. And through it all, she's still waiting to hear from the only college she has applied to: MIT. Kate's life is less and less under control-and then, something happens that blows it all apart, and forces her to examine her life, self, and heart for the first time. Set in the same community as the remarkable Speak, Catalyst is a novel that will make you think, laugh, cry, and rejoice-sometimes at the same time.
A book set in the same place that the wonderful, intrepid Melinda came from? I'm in! I've seen this book around libraries before, but we never really seemed to click. I was feeling generous though this trip, so I said, "What the heck!" and checked it out. If it's anything like Speak, I'm sure I won't regret it.

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.
Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.
Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.

I didn't actually check this one out myself. They only had one copy, and me a friend were practically playing tug-of-war for it in the isle. She won. I'm borrowing it from her.
Found at used bookstore:
The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food-—and each other. 

I read the first part of this book a couple years ago, and the line, "Each the other's world entire," has been lodged in my brain ever since. I never got around to buying it, though, until I saw it in a used bookstore a few days ago. I was already checking out when I  happened to glance over my shoulder, and there it was. It was fate. Book fate. The best sort.

Happy reading to all!
Zombie Girrrl

1 It occurs to me that this seemingly generous individual could have just put stickers in the fronts of new books without having donated them, but I doubt that's the case.
2 Isn't audio book kind of an oxy moron?
3 All the best stories have mysterious benefactors! I've now joined the ranks of Harry Potter, Keladry of Mindelan, and Pip!
4 This must be a very important age for reading, because I still remember most (if not all) of the stories I read back then. Unfortunately, I don't remember the titles of most of those books, so my running across a book I've previously enjoyed is the best case of serendipity!
5 Cue segue.


Eli said...

Wow you got some great books there. I loved City of Ash!! And wicked Lovely. Enjoy!! <3

Taschima Cullen said...

I read City of Ashes and Wicked Lovely, both good books ^^

All the others, well, Ill wait for your review!

~The Book Pixie said...

The boy in the striped Pajamas are great books! A lot of the others are ones I wanna read too. Great week. I wish my library would get some better YA books in. lol. My IMM is up if you wanna look.

~Briana :D

Katie said...

Some excellent books. I love "Wicked Lovely" and "City of Ashes!" And it's so cute that you have a mysteriously library benefactor for YA. That makes me very happy.

Happy reading!

Cat said...

Quite the eclectic mishmash of books! Very cool!

And your footnotes made me giggle.

Jaime said...

Excellent books!

I read The Road and The Boy in The Striped Pajamas, they are both excellent reads!

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