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. 

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