Monday, September 03, 2007

Books Read, and Audio too

Among the Impostors (Shadow Children) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Already I read this the 2nd of this series. Usually it takes me forever and a day to get to the next one. I've been trying to whittle down the number of library books I have checked out. I can read these kids' books in an hour, so there you are. It wasn't quite as interesting to me as the first one, with the boy in the attic, but still a good book for the reluctant boy reader. Now the boy is in a school with a fake identity, and living through the particular hell of hazing of the new kid. Oddly, the school has no windows and kids aren't normally allowed outside. Teachers don't seem to worry about whether he's in the right class or is learning. One day he finds an open door that leads him to a woods. Taking a respite from the bewildering classes and the cruel classmates, he finds a new boldness, and intrigue.
Skellig by David Almond
A boy, Michael, and his parents are worried about his new baby sister. Born too soon, she has to return to the hospital soon after they finally bring her home. The old garage of their recently bought home is full of the discarded stuff of a lifetime, and threatens to fall in at any moment. The boy is warned to keep out, but something gets his attention and of course he explores. The whole house needs repair, and while the mom stays with baby in the hospital, the boy and his dad fix up the house. Michael meets a new friend, a girl named Mina, and learns from her while he also gets to know the creature in the decrepit garage.

Funny thing, as I googled skellig, I found Skellig Michael must be the rocky island that my neighbor visited in Ireland, with the beehive-shaped monasteries that inspired his pottery in the faery garden. This opens up more ideas about just what the creature called Skellig is in the book.

I found Skellig slightly ominous, sitting in the garage with dead beetles and flies for food, somehow staying alive but unable to move due to Arthur Itis. Would he prove to be a vampire-like creature, sucking the life energy from little boys? Yet the boy and his new friend aren't afraid and help the odd man, and in the end the story is all about love.

Beka Cooper Book 1: Terrier by Tamora Pierce, read by Susan Denaker
I've tried a couple of times in the past to listen to books. If I was just sitting there, I got too sleepy to listen. The voice would weave me in and out of a hypnotized consciousness. If I was doing something while listening, I would forget to listen and miss whole chunks of the book.
But somebody on a library email list said she's started listening to books while she went for a walk. She said she would keep walking because she would want to finish the CD. I was intrigued, so I thought I'd check it out. That very day, my workday almost done, no time left to go browse the shelves, my breaks all used, I remembered I thought I'd try a talking book. I hadn't given a single thought about what book I might like to start with. I've always meant to listen to the Pullman books, and the Potter books, because so often people have said those readings are particularly good. But again, no time to browse the shelves, and those were unlikely to be on the shelves anyway. Besides, I've read those.
I walked by a book truck waiting to be shelved. I just might find something in the teen section. I see a thick CD case, pull it off. Ah HAH. Tamora Pierce. Whenever youth librarians find out my reading preferences, they tell me I must read Tamora Pierce. I still hadn't got around to it. And this is the first book in a series. How lucky is that? I checked it out. I couldn't have been luckier I think.
I am absolutely loving the walking while listening to a book thing. It got even better after the second CD when I realized I could dig out that IPod Nano that Steve received as an incentive from work. I have now finally entered the IPod age. This book particularly got me hooked. You know, don't you, that an audio book goes much sloooooower than a book read silently? I find myself getting impatient for my next installment.
Will Beka Cooper, guardswoman in training, find more clues to the kidnapper/murder cases? I just must hear the reader, Susan Denaker, say "puppy" in that superior sexy way she has. Phrases swim through my head in ways a silently read book never does. Will this puppy (a dog/police guard in training), succumb to the wiles of her sexy neighbor who is also on the other side of the law? Denaker's reading has me convinced this sultry rake will have at least a kiss before the book's end. What other clues will the ghosts that ride the pigeons give to the earnest Beka? She's already earning the fine name of Terrier. It's true, I do keep walking more, even though I don't have a CD to get to the end of. Then, I keep listening for awhile when I get back home, until my ears say, no more voices in my eardrums please. I admit, I've been cheating a little, listening some while on the bus too, but later, I still get out and walk to listen.

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