Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My year in reading

Wow, I've read 300 books this year. Granted, 237 of those were graphic novels, but still! And there are still so many books that I never got around to reading. Forget any of those new teen books that I ordered for the library--I didn't get to them (unless I had to review them!). I wish I could have, but other reading seemed to need my attention. My work with YALSA had me reading the majority of my nonfiction and fiction selections. And my graphic novel reading stems from my desire to straighten up my bookcases at home. And the rest are either pleasure reading, review books, or book discussion books! But here are some highlights:

Radioactive Boy Scout by Ken Silverstein

The true story of a boy who built his own nuclear breeding reactor in his mother's potting shed in her backyard. A product of a divorced family, David Hahn, loved science. His basement experiments got him into some trouble, but not enough to trigger the adults in his life's attention. While working on an atomic energy badge for the boy scouts, he decides to try to build a reactor of his own and succeeds until the EPA steps in to shut down his lab in the potting shed.

This book intrigued me to no end. It was fascinating to read the steps that David took in his obsession. And heartbreaking to see all the opportunities adults had to step in and stop him from a potentially catastrophic disaster. But they just kept overlooking him and misjudging him. Sad, really.

Bus Gamer by Kazuya Minekura is one of the stand alone graphic novels I read this year. Three strangers are hired as a team to play a game for a business. It's a cat and mouse game of business secrets and sabotage. One team has the secrets, the other team has to get them. The winning team get $3 million a piece. Pretty sweet, right? Elite business men are the spectators, bet placers, and judges. But the three guys soon discover what happens to the losing team--they're killed.

Never finished in Japan, which is too bad since this story has some real promise as a gritty urban action crime drama. By the creator of Saiyuki.

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith has a great cover. This was one of those books that I picked up for pleasure reading. I'm a sucker for vampire books (yes, pun was intended). Multiple murders happen in Austin, Texas and is threatening the re-opening of Quince's family owned vampire-themed restaurant. The first murdered is her chef. Now she is scrambling to get a new chef, while worrying that her best friend and possible werewolf is the prime suspect.

This is for those readers who love Twilight and need something else to read. It's not wonderfully written, and I could see who the bad guy was a mile away, but it was still an enjoyable vampire novel. And it has a great cover....

The two books I've recommended more times this year to young teen boy readers are...

Both of these titles are remarkable. They are contemporary action stories with twists. Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan focuses on Percy Jackson who discovers that he is a demigod. His mother sends him to a camp for other demigods to keep him safe, but he is sent on a quest to prevent a war from breaking out between the gods.
Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson has a science fiction twist. 5 teens in Orlando have been models/actors for hologram guides for visitors of Disney World. At night, they are transported into the Magic Kingdom--like a dream--but it's real. They're part human, part hologram. They must work together to solve Walt Disney's riddle before the Overtakers take over the park and the rest of the world. This is a great inside look at the Magic Kingdom when they shut their doors at night. It also asks the question, what if the characters came to life because of all our dreams and wishes and live in the park after it closes each night?

No comments: