Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Books! Books! Books!

And hey, it's Monday!
I can join the IT'S MONDAY, WHAT ARE YOU READING gang.

I've been thinking about Boy v. Girl books. I don't like that division but I'm willing to admit that there are some girls and some boys who like certain types of books better than others. Often, publishers push this with their cover designs.

But recently at our monthly workshop for the Tampa Bay area SCBWI group (The subject matter of the workshop taught so well by Nancy Stewart was Genre Jumping. We explored ways to connect your books and keep your readers, even if the books are different genres or sub-genres.), somebody asked if it was okay to write a boy character if you're female. And vice versa.

I can't imagine a hard and fast rule about this.
Having read many books written by male authors, with female protagonists, that I loved, I don't want to restrict this, not even a little bit.
(Hello, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise! Written by a guy!) 

The best book I read this week might seem to lean toward being a boy-ISH book. 
I don't think so! Such a good book- for anybody!
Loved Esme, the female supporting character, written by a guy of course. (She has a clever connection to the story. Excellent plotting!)
Some of the many things I loved about ON THIN ICE:
1. It's funny. The main character has so many issues-- physical, emotional, family-related, school problems. But he pretty much keeps his sense of humor through everything. 
2. It's fast-paced. I have a ton of admiration for writers who know how to do this.
3. The cover is totally cool. 

Another novel I finished last week that took me by surprise. Mostly because I knew so little, really nothing, about the history behind it.
Here's a bit of the review I wrote for UNDER THE BROKEN SKY by Mariko Nagai.

Natsu lives on a farm in Manchuria where she and her young sister are lovingly cared for by their father. But when he’s conscripted into the Japanese army and the Soviets occupy their country, Natsu and Asa must make a grueling escape. The 1945 Soviet occupation and the loss of  the woman who’s cared for them create an unbearable situation, and the older sister sells Asa to a Russian woman. A detailed Afterword enhances this period in history and the resulting refugee experience.
I suspect this story will be new to young readers and to many adults. Suggested for ages 10-14. 

I'm rereading LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY by Gary Schmidt. Everything he writes astounds me. I'm wowed by his perfect use of "close first" person. A POV I really love but man, is it hard to write well!
For the first time in eons, I read a bunch of PICTURE BOOKS. 
All so very good. More on these soon.

Grownup books I've been reading:
New to me, author Ann Cleeves's RAVEN BLACK. Because I'm still on a British detective/ mystery kick and I'm getting in the proper mindset for the new Starz series, Dublin Murders based on the books by Tana French. 
Also, THE LAST ROMANTICS for a book club. Jury is out on this one. A fast read, but I saw the plot twist coming a mile away. Hate when that happens...

And now it's time to scurry around all the fun IT'S MONDAY WHAT ARE YOU READING POSTS, which you can find and link to HERE.