Reading Report: May 2008

Another round of Guys Read is in the offing, and I read the first two books this month… Will Hobbs’ Across the Wire, a survival story about a Mexican teenager trying to make his way illegally into the United States. It’s a good yarn which I think also successfully makes a point about the foolishness of expending so many resources to prevent people from entering the U.S. to take jobs most Americans don’t want. It’ll be an interesting one to discuss with the kids. I understand Hobbs will be visiting some of the libraries, but I haven’t checked out a schedule… from the pic and bio he strikes me as a Gary Paulsen sort, living for outdoor adventures and occasionally writing about them.

Speaking of Paulsen, we’re also reading a Paulsen western, The Legend of Bass Reeves, which is based on a true story… I haven’t read that one yet. I’m currently in the final chapters of Tyler on Prime Time, a light read about a kid who’s trying to land a spot on a TV show, and featuring some believable back-stage scenes… the author apparently wrote for TV so their probably accurate. The third book is Paulsen’s followed by a Diana Wynne Jones fantasy.

That’s pretty much the reading for the month… with a few odds and ends thrown in, including my own ARC. Meanwhile, my resolution long abandoned, I managed to acquire a few more books, including one by Hugh “House, MD” Laurie which I expect to read on the airplane ride to a conference in the city where that show takes place, and The Somnambulist, by Jonathan Barnes, which I spotted at a bookstore and felt compelled to buy after reading the first couple of paragraphs. There’s something immensely compelling about a book that promises from the get go: “Be warned. This book has no literary merit whatsoever.” Oh, and I got a wonderful gift in the mail, a collection of stories by one of the greatest-ever storytellers in a fresh translation by an old colleague of mine at the U of M… she’s a Norwegian professor, and translated a Danish author. Apparently there are few differences between the written languages. Who knew?

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