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Book: M is for Magic
Author: Neil Gaiman
Recommend: An amusing read by a great fantasy author.
I’m a big fan of the work of Neil Gaiman so when I found this book of his short stories, I snatched it up. While I didn’t love every single story, most of them were really good.
This book is a collection of shorter works, which is always something I really enjoy reading. Short stories are typically extremely well written and can be a lot more imaginative than longer fiction can be. I think my favorite of this set was a crime story using the characters from nursery rhymes. It was so tongue in cheek but the characters took themselves seriously enough that it remained hilarious instead of coming across as hokey.
The seed of what would become The Graveyard Book is also included in this collection as well as a few others which were all fun to read.
Definitely worth the read if you like his other work. If you’ve never read something by him before, start with Neverwhere before getting into his short stories.
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Book: We are Absolutely Not Okay: Fourteen Stories by Teenagers who are Picking Up the Pieces
Authors: The Kids of Scriber Lake Alternative High School
Recommend: This is a tough read but worth the journey.
I just won a copy of this book from the members giveaway on librarything. I thought the concept sounded interesting. I love reading the work of teenagers. There is something so open and raw about the way that they write. These kids are no exception.
This book deals with kids who are learning and living through tough situations in their lives. Each story gives a snippet of some of the life changing events they have dealt with. While this book is a great read, there is a lot of adult material. This book includes drug use, alcoholism, abuse, cutting, suicide and a transgender student. I would caution any parent to read this with your teen and discuss it. This one is definitely a teaching tool and not for everyone.
The only major critique I have, is that a couple of the stories just don’t fit with the rest of the book. I get that it was a class project but I wouldn’t recommend a couple of the stories simply because they were not as strong as the others. In particular, Coming Out and Help Yourself are not worth the time to read. The rest of the book however is great.
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Title: Geektastic:Stories from the Nerd Herd
Authors: Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
I picked this book up at one of the many closing Borders stores in my area. I really just couldn’t resist it on account of the amazing title alone. I must admit- I am a geek of epic proportions. My friends are even worse. I tend to be a literature and music geek but I dabble in most of the major geek areas (except math- cause I’m hopeless at it- that’s what my best friend is for).
I swear that most of these stories happened to me or someone I know. (Especially the last one- you know who you are!!). I loved every second of it. Most of it is funny but some of it really makes you think. This is a great title for the lonely geek who is feeling vastly outnumbered. It will remind you how many of us there are out there. I honestly hope for another installment.
The only negative I can say about this book is that they seemed to deliberately avoid certain geeks. The biggest glaring omission for me was not a single mention of World of Warcraft. This game is the end all be all of geekness. What geek hasn’t logged considerable hours grinding for rep? This needed to be in there and it was completely absent.
I loved that some of the writers were people I actually had heard of and read (most notably, Cassandra Clare- my new hero). I think this is a book that needs to get more notice. If you are a geek, have friends that are geeks or are the parents of a geek- you need to pick this one up.
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