Books I've enjoyed recently:
CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins (sequel to Hunger Games)
I started reading this the same night that I finished HUNGER GAMES, even though it was 3 a.m., and anyone who's read HG will understand exactly why. The suspense doesn't stop, and Catniss's victory quickly turns to more dire peril. Discussion question: how long, YA readers, do we remain patient with the female hub of a love triangle who toys with two hearts and delays making up her mind? At one point does she lose sympathy for not playing fair? Make no mistake: I'll be waiting in line for my copy of MOCKINGJAY.
ORACLES OF DELPHI KEEP by Victoria Laurie (Delacourte 2009)
This debut novel impressed me for its ambitious interweaving of ancient oracles, elemental demons, treasure hunting, exotic adventure, ghastly beasts, historical fiction (pre-WWII Britain), and middle grade orphan friendship story. The beasts in particular stand out in my memory. Hats off to Ms. Laurie for her greasy-hair-by-slavering-fang depiction of her sinister hellhounds. Somehow a beast scene that in audio format lasted about half an hour had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Note: a sequel, THE CURSE OF DEADMAN'S FOREST, releases August 24, 2010.
What I'm reading now:
ST. PATRICK OF IRELAND by Philip Freeman (Simon and Schuster 2005)
Technically, I'm reading this as research, but I'm enjoying it immensely. My appetite for historical study, particularly through the lens of the lives and times of literary and religious figures, is ever-increasing. This is highly readable.
In other news:
I've had two columns come out in the MetroWest Daily News lately. They are:
The failure I'm most proud of, and Weighing in on running.
My next two books release to stores in 24 days! THE RAT BRAIN FIASCO and CURSE OF THE BIZARRO BEETLE, both titles in the SPLURCH ACADEMY FOR DISRUPTIVE BOYS series, release August 12. Check out www.splurchacademy.com for more info. The pictures you see here are being made into washable tattoos, which we'll have available at every signing & event. Don't miss yours!
My goal for the summer: if I must waste time, waste it reading! (Which, of course, is never a waste. But I need to trick myself sometimes.) May you have wasteful summers full of books, too.