Vicious, flesh-eating water horses live in the ocean surrounding a small island called Thisby, a place somewhere off the coast of England or Ireland. It’s sparsely populated by a very rugged, hardy sort of people. Every October they begin prepping for the November Scorpio Races, a race where participants risk their lives to ride these deadly creatures, the cappail uisce. The winner receives money, honor, fame, and prestige. The losers don’t always survive to cross the finish line.
This is the story of two hopefuls—Kate (Puck) Connelly and Sean Kendrick. Each has something riding on this race—Kate is racing for her family and Sean is racing to own his beloved horse (yes, a flesh-eating one). Both have lost family members to the cappail uisce and both are scraping to get by. Kate, tired of poverty, is courageous, prickly and determined. Sean, a four-time winner, has a natural horse sense and manages a horse yard for a wealthy Thisby resident. Brought together by the races, these two horse lovers discover a solid bond. Will it help them survive the race?
This is the kind of book that draws you in slowly, allows you to get a sense of this beautiful, harsh island and its compelling residents. Stiefvater draws from Gaelic/Celtic folklore and takes readers back in time to a place where technology is scant and survival is everything. It’s unique, romantic and utterly engrossing. You don’t need to be a horse fan to enjoy this one!
A Curse Dark as Gold Elizabeth Bunce
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Your Name: Rachel Spitzig
I am a Geneva High School senior on a mission to read 50 books in 2012!
Title: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Author: Tucker Max
Number of Pages: 326
Reading level: Adult
Who should read this book: Anyone with a crude sense of humor and no objection to obscenity; WARNING: Not for young readers (or those offended by explicit, vulgar, and many times illegal activities)
Why I read this book: Friend’s recommendation; needed a nonfiction book for the library’s winter reading program
Summary: Tucker Max is a bright law student, working his way through Duke University, while having the time of his life along the way. From the good to the bad to the really bad to the just plain disgusting, Max conversationally takes you through his early years as an adult. Through his hard partied nights, exploitation of the opposite sex, and encounters with the law, Tucker Max learns some key lessons in life… but he mostly gets drunk.
Reflection: Tucker Max’s blunt, uncensored recollection of his young adult follies in bars, hotels, and numerous college campuses left me with a mixed bag of emotional swings-from absolute belly laughing to side snickering to jaw dropping. Journaling his top adventures from the late 1990’s to the mid 2000’s, Max took me through his crazy twenties scene by scene. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell’s screenplay-like dialogue and side commentaries brought a familiarity to the book, as if Max himself was sitting right next to me, retelling the story as would old friends. The best parts of the book come from exerts taken directly from Max’s tape recorder, which he brought with him on many of his escapades.
Looking for some humor? Try some of these!
Alexie, Sherman The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Anderson, M. T. Burger Wuss
Bell, Hilari The Last Knight
Bray, Libba Going Bovine
Calame, Don Swim the Fly
Crawford, Brent Carter Finally Gets It
Garfinkle, D. L. Storky
Gauthier, Gail Saving the Planet & Stuff
Gerber, Michael Freshman
Goldman, Steven Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film...
Green, John Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Hartinger, Brent Project Sweet Life
Hornby, Nick Slam
They thought they had all kinds of time.
The Titanic was a gorgeous lady—a shining ship, sea-ready, sure and sturdy. No one doubted the course ahead. They had four more life boats than was required, surely this was a sacrifice for the First Class passengers who appreciated space to walk and stretch. Amid the hustle and bustle of staff attending to their duties; the beauty of the ordinary and every day happenings; and calm, smooth sea—disaster struck. There were warnings of ice ahead; it was just too difficult to see the iceberg until it was upon them. And then there was chaos, separation, unfilled life boats and loss.
The Watch that Ends the Night tells the tale of this doomed ship from many different perspectives. Meet the Captain, First Class passengers, Third Class passengers, workers, gamblers, musicians, children, young lovers, the baker, the postmen, and many, many more. They’ll take you aboard and bring their experiences to life for you. This fascinating re-imagining comes at a perfect time—April 15th, 2012 marks 100 years since the Titanic sank.
Don’t miss this fantastic book!
Today is an exciting day! The Youth Media Awards were announced by the American Library Association this morning. Here are the winners:
Michael Printz Award
This award recognizes literary excellence in young adult literature.
Winner: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Honor: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Honor: The Returning by Christine Hinwood
Honor: Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
Honor: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
William C. Morris Award
This award is given to a debut book written by an outstanding first-time YA author.
Winner: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Finalist: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Finalist: Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
Finalist: Under the Mesquite
Finalist: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
For a complete listing of awards check the 2012 ALA Youth Media Awards.