Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holy Mother of Gutenberg!

So, I'm signed up to review for the Beehive Awards Long List.  The Beehive Awards are the children and young adult literature awards for Utah as voted on by kids and teens.  The nominees are chosen by librarians (such as yours truly) and kids get to vote on their favorites of those nominees.  The Beehive Awards are run but the Children's Literature Association of Utah or CLAU (pronounced "claw") and they are fun.  It's sort of like our Newbery and Caldecott awards, except the winners aren't chosen by nasally pretentious old people who dictate what kids these days ought to be reading (there, I said it.  I'm sorry, but sometimes the Newbery and Caldecott winners are just "...what the ever-loving hell were you people smoking???"  With few exceptions such as "The Giver" and "The Graveyard Book," the winners typically just aren't that great.  More often than not, it's the Honor books that are the most memorable. Without doing an internet search, anyone remember who won the years "Charlotte's Web" or "Princess Academy" were given the Newbery Honor? Yeah, that's what I thought).

Back to my original point - Those In Charge sent me a copy of the Long List (which I am not allowed to share - or maybe I am. They were a little fuzzy on that point) and I get to read a variety of children's and young adult fiction and rate each title to help decide the nominees for 2013-14.

Am I excited about this? You betcha!

On top of that, I'm currently reading "The Company of the Dead," which I wasn't entirely sure about when I started reading it, but I'm liking it the further I read.  The premise is that there's this guy who time traveled back to 1912 and got stuck there, so he decided to make the best of a bad situation and change a few key moments in history (which, for those of us versed in time-travel fiction, is generally seen as a big no-no).  The first thing he does is try to prevent the Titanic from sinking, which he does initially... only to have it hit an iceberg a few hours later and it sinks anyway (this happens in the first 100 pages - I'm not spoiling anything).  However, the survivors are different, which begins a chain reaction that creates an alternate history of the 20th century in which Germany and Japan run the world, America is divided between the Union and the Confederacy (the South's Second Secession turned out better than the first one) and, of course, there are airships (you can't have a good alternate-reality story without them, it seems).  I'm about halfway done - it's a door-stopper - but I am enjoying it.

What else am I reading?  Oh yes, I FINALLY found a copy of "Heir of Novron," which is the third installment of the Riyria Revelations (it's actually an omnibus of the last two in the series - long story).  Since Salt Lake County Library had "Theft of Swords" (first in the series) on the most recent Reader's Choice list and since I liked it so well (so did pretty much everyone who read it, according to the high ratings it got from those who bothered to vote - not enough votes to win, though. Dammit), I read the second one, "Rise of Empire."  And since "Rise of Empire" ended on The World's Worst Cliffhanger!!!!!!!1!!!, I've been anxious to get the third.  Problem is that the County's copies have been tied up in holds (like I said, everyone else who read it liked it too), so I finally caved in and got a Salt Lake City Public Library account, which I was fighting ever since I moved here (I don't know why, now that I think of it).  The City Library patrons obviously don't know what kind of a gem the Riyria Revelations is (which is an advantage to me) because their copy was free and clear.  So, I've got that sitting on my nightstand.

In addition, there's a rather Large Pile of Stuff that I just randomly pick up at work because I think it looks good and it's the library so it's free so why the hell not?  Hopefully I'll have things to review and blog about as 2013 gets underway (oh yeah - the final Wheel of Time comes out in January - I'll have that to review as well - and I'm about halfway done with "Reached," which is turning out not to be anything I expected. In a good way, though).  That's not counting new "Doctor Who," either.

Watch this space, my friends.

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