In my ever-evolving quest to recognize the books that I read and enjoy (but without writing reviews (because I am terrible at that)), I give out awards that highlight some of my favorite things about the books I’ve read over the past month. And since my bookmark is a shark–a bookshark, if you will–I call them the Sharkys. And because I’m a few days late on these, here is a picture of a shark being befuddled by a calendar.
On to the awards! (Click on the cover to be taken to the author’s website.)
Reunited, by Hilary Weisman Graham
Faithful readers of this blog will recall that I did a two-week long road trip last year with my sister, and our car of choice was not exactly an inspired one: a tiny little rental painted the color of feces with a license plate that, as if in agreement, included the letters “YUK”. If only we’d been able to ride in style like Alice, Tiernan, and Summer: in a tricked-out pea-green 1876 VW camper van affectionately known as the Pea Pod. It restores broken friendships, it makes dreams come true, and it has a sink!
Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman
Well, not really–I mean, it is a book, and not one of those greeting cards that sing at you until you have to hurl the thing to the floor and stomp on till it dies. But Seraphina’s love for music, her skill on a variety of instruments, and the lyrical way in which all that is described sort of makes it seem like you can almost hear it. Or maybe it’s all the dragony magic in the air. Oh my God…that’s exactly what it is! A sinister plot by the dragons! *hurls book to floor, stomps it*
Shades of Earth, by Beth Revis
This is more of an award for the whole Across the Universe trilogy, which I very much enjoyed. Now that I’ve reached the end, I still can’t understand how many twists and turns and lies and half-lies and fibs and whoppers were crammed into three books, but damn. There must have been some sort of technological wizardry involved. A plot twist consolidator, perhaps? Plotwistcon©, for short?
On Writing, by Stephen King
This book has been recommended to me by pretty much everyone I’ve ever met, and now I’m going to turn around and do the same thing to you. Read this thing. Captain Ghastlypants (which is not one of Stephen King’s nicknames as far as I know, but hey, it is now) is bursting not only with blood and guts and gore but also witty, helpful advice for aspiring and established writers, gems like:
At its most basic we are only discussing a learned skill, but do we not agree that sometimes the most basic skills can create things far beyond our expectations? We are talking about tools and carpentry, about words and style…but as we move along, you’d do well to remember that we are also talking about magic.
I will admit to a certain amount of breath-holding on my part while reading this, as I was sure that somewhere inside would be a list of Things Writers Shouldn’t Do That Gina Does With Reckless Abandon, but I was relieved to find that most of my process and techniques fall pretty much in line with Captain Ghastlypants himself. I’ll be dragging my family up to a deserted hotel and going crazy and terrorizing them all with a hatchet in no time!