Friday, June 14, 2013

What's on Your Bookshelf? Pt. 3

This week's "What's on Your Bookshelf?" asks Megan, the Press's summer intern, about her summer to-read list.

I recently finished this book about a boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard, and it was one of the most beautiful and bittersweet things I’ve read. I hadn’t read a complete Neil Gaiman book before, but the love he receives on the Internet and his last American signing tour going on right now both urged me to try something of his. Now I can say with confidence that I love his writing and have already bought my ticket to hear him speak in Dallas at the end of June.

My senior thesis advisor recommended this nonfiction book to me. It’s a book for writers with tips for style and voice as well as forming good habits to tap into creativity. I haven’t read much of it yet, but I’m using it to get pumped for writing my senior thesis over the summer. A lot of writers recommend reading it because it’s for writers by a writer who has struggled, too.

I saw this at Barnes & Noble and bought it on a whim. It’s a mix of historical fiction and mystery in which the main character, Maggie Hope, is the newest secretary to recently elected Winston Churchill just as World War II is getting underway. She got the job because her predecessor had been murdered, so who knows what might happen. I’d been in the mood for something historical, and my favorite decades to read from are the first half of the twentieth century. Add in an intelligent, spunky, feminist protagonist, and I’m good to go.

I’m a big fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series and have been slowly jumping through it for years. Next up for me is this book, which follows the Ankh-Morpork Nightwatch, the city’s police department in a lot of ways. It combines two of my favorite genres: fantasy and mystery. Although it’s easy to dismiss these books as regular trade fantasy, any of Terry Pratchett’s books hint at a deeper truth of human nature that does make you think. It’s just wrapped in a hilarious, easy-to-swallow fantasy adventure.

A lot of my friends kept telling me that I’d missed out on Tamora Pierce during puberty. It’s a little late now, but I’ve borrowed all of the Tortall books en masse. The next one is the first in the Protector of the Small series. Every girl should read these books, and so should everybody, because young adult fiction isn’t just for young adults. A sign on the Kent District Library once said, “It’s okay to read [young adult fiction] even if you are no longer, by any stretch of the imagination, young. In fact, you’ll find they often have provocative themes and complex characters that are the equal of most of the books you’ll find on the ‘adult’ fiction shelves these days.” That’s definitely true for this series. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What's on Your Bookshelf? Pt. 2

This week's "What's on Your Bookshelf?" asks Rileigh, the Press's Associate Editor, about her summer to-read list.

Hell's Half Acre by Richard Selcer
While working on our upcoming book about the early years of TCU football, I learned more about how Fort Worth and TCU’s early histories are very much intertwined. Part of the reason the Clarks originally left Fort Worth to build their school elsewhere had to do with the many saloons and gambling houses popping up all around site they had picked out. Last year TCU students petitioned for the newly renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium to be nicknamed “Hell’s Half Acre,” because it sounds intimidating and is a huge part of Fort Worth’s history. I agree, however, with Chancellor Boschini that in light of what Hell’s Half Acre truly was, I think we can probably do better than that for our university. I’ll be reading and reviewing Selcer’s book later this summer. 

Son by Lois Lowry
Most of us have read The Giver (and if not, you should!), but I didn’t learn until much later that Lowry also wrote more books that followed it. I’ve read Gathering Blue and Messenger, and am excited to finish the series with her new and final book, Son. Each of Lowry’s books, written in simple and pure language, causes me to really stop and think about our society—what we value, and what we should value.

Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
My high school Spanish teacher read this book to us in class if we finished our lessons early and had time before the bell rang. (Subtle, Mrs. Kovacs! Keeping us quiet by reading us a story.) I don’t remember anything about it except her family knew Ron Hall. Because it’s a true story, set in Fort Worth, and has become a national bestseller, I’d like to read it for myself. I checked it out from the library and both of my parents read it before I had a chance to, and of course they want to discuss it, so now I am obligated to read it!

The Hidden Hand: Or, Capitola the Madcap by E.D.E.N. Southworth
Becca told me to read this book! When she said it was one she read for a womens’ studies course, I was skeptical… You really want me to read a book you had to dissect and write pages and pages of literary criticism about? But she says it’s fun. And I trust her, so read it I will…eventually.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
It seems like everyone has read this book! I’ve read the first page and loved how the husband can recognize his wife by the back of her head. There’s raw emotion there that’s so difficult to capture in print sometimes. But then I just got busy and didn’t keep going. I’ve heard really awesome things about it from bookish friends, and I love mysteries. What’s summer without reading a few books you’re bound to love?