The past week or so, I’ve managed to be awake each night well past eleven. I blame my children. It is harder and harder to put them to bed before nine with how light it is in the evenings. Then I’m forced to make the rounds and check on them a few times after we’ve tucked them in, because the sneaky devils insist on using flashlights to read in bed, even though I said, “Everyone one needs to go to sleep right away, because Mommy needs some freaking alone time!”
Then, without fail, one or more of my sneaky offspring hide themselves in the bathroom or closet after I’ve taken away their flashlights and continue to read. So I have to make a literary bust several times a night, until I’ve accumulated a large pile of confiscated books and gotten my grouchy-pants on.
Finally, close to ten o’clock, everyone succumbs to the lure of the pillow and falls asleep and my serious work of decompressing from the day’s events can begin.
Who taught my kids to like reading so much anyway? Oh wait. That was me.
Besides trolling Netflix for things to watch on t.v., one of my favorite ways to relax is to read a good book. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately.
Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt. Set in 1987 at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, this coming of age novel talks about losing the people we love to illness, death, anger, and misunderstandings, but eventually finding them again. Emotional, poignant, and capably written, this book kept me awake far into the night, when I probably should have been sleeping. Kleenex alert: parts of this novel are devastating and heartbreaking. Crying is a distinct possibility.
The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu. This is a fantasy novel aimed at middle graders, but that shouldn’t turn you away from this gem. I adore Anne Ursu with all the fibers of my literary heart. She writes beautifully and effortlessly. Ms. Ursu is extremely talented in taking traditional fairytales, turning them inside out while keeping the essence, but making it something uniquely hers. Let me be honest here, The Real Boy is good, but if you want to read her best work, trying reading Breadcrumbs– it’s absolutely gorgeous.
Unspoken, by Sarah Rees Brennan. This YA fantasy/magical realism novel was a big hit with me. I fell in love with Kami Glass, the main character, and her sharp wit and large vocabulary. Oftentimes in YA the banter between characters moves at such a fast pace that it can go overboard and get a bit out of control. Happily, Unspoken finds a great balance between cleverness and restraint. The plot moves quickly (sorcery, mental telepathy, teen angst, oh my) and I have only one complaint: the dreaded love triangle. Seriously, I am over love triangles. Let’s find a new plot device, authors everywhere, shall we? All in all, this was a very entertaining read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book in the series.
There you have it, Gentle Reader. These books (and my determined and stubborn children) are what’s been keeping me awake these nights. have ou read any good books lately that you want to share? Let me know.