Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books (or series) I can count on to lift my spirits

TTT summer

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump. I’m not sure I actually have reading slumps — I mean, I can ALWAYS find something that gives me a reading energy boost! So, twisting the theme just a bit, here are ten books that make me happy (even though their stories are not only rainbows and kitties.)

1) The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon: Sure, terrible things happen to the characters throughout the series, but there’s just something so wonderful about spending time with them all, no matter how dire the circumstances.

2) The Parasol Protectorate books by Gail Carriger: Supernatural shenanigans plus Victorian manners — definitely a winning combination.

3) Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs: I love the Mercy Thompson series as well as the Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs. This novella in particular is one that I love reading and re-reading. It’s short and sharp and just so perfect.

4) Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling — need I say more?

5) Pretty much anything by Jane Austen: I love them all, and they always make me smile. The audiobooks are sheer delight!

6) And also, anything by Georgette Heyer! I’ve read 6 or 7 of her books so far, but plan to read lots more! Just happy, fun reading experiences.

7) The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley: It’s been a while since I last read this one, but I know it always makes me happy.

8) Fables by Bill Willingham: Such an amazing graphic novel series. I’m definitely looking forward to starting again from the beginning one of these days.

9) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Such silly fun.

10) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Not necessarily this book specifically, but sweet YA romances in general are sometimes the perfect solution to a gray and cloudy mood.

 

What books made your list this week? Please share your TTT link!

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Five reasons why you should read Fables

There are certain books and series that I tend to rave about — a lot — and anyone who visits my blog from time to time has probably stumbled across my random gushes about one or another of my favorites. One book series that I’m always pushing on unsuspecting friends is Fables, the comic book series by Bill Willingham (available in trade paperback volumes, which is how I read them).

Fables, Vol. 20: Camelot

The newest volume in the series is #20, Camelot. Let me tell you, #19 was a heart-breaker, and I opened #20 with trepidation. Would the pain continue? Would there be any happiness left anywhere in the world of #20? How could the story possibly move forward?

I just read #20 today, and — big surprise — loved it. I won’t say too much about the story. If you’re already a Fables fan, you’ll want to go into this one with no advance knowledge. What I will say is that the story moves forward in new and unexpected ways, with a narrative that follows several storylines simultaneously, so that it’s not all tragedy, all the time. The groundwork is prepared for new conflict, and while ominous signs abound, in many ways this volume serves as a bridge from the awful events of the previous book to the next big challenge for our beloved characters. There’s some hope, but also a clear warning that we readers aren’t going to get everything we want — not by a long shot.

Most devastating of all is the fact that there are only two volumes remaining in the series, as creator Bill Willingham has announced that he’s wrapping up the series. How can this wonderful world be done? I can’t even.

So, if you’ve never read Fables, why should you? Here are five reasons why this series deserves to be on your must-read list:

1) World-building extraordinaire: The world of Fables is huge and magnificent. The premise is that all storybook creatures and magical beings are real, and having been banished from their own lands by an evil emperor, now live in hiding in the human world. The laws of Fabletown are complex, with layers upon layers of history and mythology. With each new chapter, the world expands in different and surprising directions, and the internal logic of the series expands to encompass each new facet of the Fables cosmos.

2) Incredible characters: At first glance at volume 1, you may think that the female characters are too comic-style feminine, with their short skirts and heels and flowing long hair. Look again. The women here rock, from tough-as-nails Snow White to bad-ass superspy Cinderella. These women are nobody’s damsels in distress, and while there are love stories and dashing princes, the women are the ones to watch. Not that the male characters are anything to sneeze at. My two favorites are Bigby Wolf — yes, the Big Bad Wolf who’s a chain-smoking tough guy in his human form, and Ambrose, aka Flycatcher, aka the Frog Prince, whose story is surprisingly tragic and heroic. But scratch the surface of any of the books, and you’ll find richly developed characters to care about.

3) Tragedy and triumph: Good versus evil plays out throughout the series, but it’s not all black and white. There are power struggles, horrible losses, wars that threaten all of existence, and heroes who are ready to sacrifice all for the greater good. It doesn’t get more dramatic than some of the long-running story arcs of Fables.

4) Storytelling that takes its time: Because there are so many volumes in the Fables saga, the storytelling can unfold with its own rhythm. Pieces come together that may only have been hinted at; characters and events come back in unexpected ways; an event that seems like a happy ending in one volume may have unforeseen (and usually dire) repercussions down the road.

5) A sense of humor: Even at its bleakest, the writing and dialogue in the Fables books is sharp, witty, and not without its own wicked sense of humor. There’s usually a lighter story thrown in amidst the sadder parts, and there are certainly enough comic relief characters around to lighten the mood whenever needed. Sure, you may be heartbroken at certain places in the story, but I guarantee you’ll be smiling at least a few times during each of the volumes of the series.

I said I’d stick to five, so there you have it. But if I were to go on, I’d just add that the 20 volumes published so far make up the main Fables storyline, but aren’t the entire Fables world. There’s a spin-off series about Jack of Fables that fills up another 9 volumes, stand-alone stories about Cinderella and Snow White, and yet another spin-off series, Fairest. In other words, it’ll take a very long time to run out of reading material!

Even if you don’t normally read comics/graphic novels, give Fables a shot. For excellent storytelling set in a fantasy world overflowing with fascinating characters and complicated plotlines, you really can’t do much better.

The Monday Agenda 12/30/2013

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

The Promise of Amazing

The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine: Done! My review is here.

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The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker: It took me most of the week to finish this book, and I probably should have taken even more time to savor the gorgeous writing and storytelling. Wow. All I can say is wow. A beautiful, hopeful, passionate, wonderful book. I’m hosting a blog tour stop for this book on January 7th — so be sure to stop by! And — totally making my day — I just found out that the paperback release launch event will be held at one of my favorite bookstores next week, and I’m definitely planning to attend!

Fables, Vol. 19: Snow White (Fables, #19)Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride and Joy (Runaways, #1)Runaways, Vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland

In graphic novels, I had a terrific day tearing my way through three amazing books:
Fables: Snow  White (Fables, volume 19)
Runaways: Pride and Joy
Runaways: Teenage Wasteland
You can see my raves about these books here.

What else happened in my bookish life this past week? Well, I wrote two end-of-year wrap-up posts, one focusing on the books I read, and one taking a look at my 2013 resolutions and seeing whether I lived up to them. (Quick spoiler: Yes and no!)

Dinosaur SummerAnd in the realm of reading with my kiddo:

Dinosaur Summer by Greg Bear: My current read-aloud with my son. We’re soldiering on with this sci-fi read, but it’s slow going… especially during winter break, when there are so many other things to do besides go to bed on time!

Fresh Catch:

So many new books this week!

I picked up a used copy of a book I’ve been wanting, received an ARC in the mail, and won two bookish holiday giveaways!

The Far Side of the SkyAfter I'm Gone: A Novel

bbeauty

From Bookish, a book and matching tote bag. Cute!

book box LB

From Little Brown, a box of books — some to keep for myself, some already claimed by friends and family. So cool!

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

PerfectHow to Save a LifeWhat Nora KnewRunaways, Vol. 3: The Good Die Young (Runaways, #3)

Perfect by Rachel Joyce: A new book from the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry! I’m looking forward to reading this ARC. The book’s release date is 1/7/2014.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr: I took this out of the library last week; better read it before it’s due!

If there’s time, then the next ARC on my list is What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin. And if there’s really time (or even if there’s not…), I think I’ll be continuing with my newest obsession, Runaways!

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

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Getting graphic: My Sunday reading

Fables: Snow White (volume 19) by Bill Willingham

Fables, Vol. 19: Snow White (Fables, #19)I thought I’d dedicate my sunny Sunday to sitting outdoors, enjoying the blue skies, and devouring my newly arrived copy of Fables, volume 19. Devour it I did, and boy, was it delicious!

I think I’ve made it perfectly clear by now that I’m a huge fan of Fables. So what did I think of volume 19?

First and foremost, it’s Fables! Which is practically synonymous with awesomesauce. Is there any way I’d give a Fables volume less than a 5-star rating at this point? I adore everything about this series, and this volume definitely delivers.

We get a great wrap-up of the Bufkin story to kick things off on a light note, but the rest of the volume takes us to some pretty dark places… and leaves off with a cliffhanger of sorts that makes me want to jump out of my skin (or call up the author and say, “Do something! Take it back! Make it all better!). The action in volume 19 overlaps time-wise with the events of volume 18, which mostly took place in a different world. In volume 19, we see what everyone else was doing while the cubs went missing — and it’s intense and quite unexpected. We split our time mainly between the new Fabletown and the kingdom of Haven, and as always, it’s wonderful to spend time with beloved characters — who by now feel like old friends.

My chief complaint about this series is that I binge-read it when I first started, reading the first 15 or so volumes straight through. Now that I’m caught up, it’s a long six-month wait in between volumes, and I feel like my head might explode by the time the next one is published in 2014!

I guess the bright side here is that I’m behind on the Fairest spin-off series, so at least I don’t have to leave the world of Fables entirely just yet.

Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan
Volume 1: Pride and Joy

Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride and Joy (Runaways, #1)

As if I needed any further convincing… reading Runaways just cements the fact the Brian K. Vaughan can do no wrong! I’d been hearing for years that Runaways is essential reading. Okay, okay, people — you were right!

I sat down and read the first volume of this series, Pride and Joy, and I can see what all the fuss is about. Granted, volume 1 really just lays the groundwork, but the premise is a doozy! As the book blurb makes it clear, all teens think their parents are evil. But in Runaways, this group of six teens is actually right about their parents. After stumbling accidentally onto their parents’ secret membership in something called The Pride, the kids realize there’s a lot more to their parents’ get-togethers than they’d been led to believe. And these kids aren’t powerless either. One way or another, whether through their own inherent super-powers or just access to some really cool toys, these six have to use their strengths to outwit their parents, hide away from all sorts of nefarious bad guys, and maybe try to figure out what the heck’s going on… and stop it.

I don’t know where all this is going yet, but I absolutely intend to find out! Volume 1? Total win.

And hey! There’s a psychic dinosaur involved! If that doesn’t spell awesome, then I don’t know what does.

Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan
Volume 2: Teenage Wasteland

Runaways, Vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland

After a break of oh, at least an hour or two, I couldn’t resist and continued on with volume 2, Teenage Wasteland. And all I can say is… this is going to be good. I love the story so far, I love the exploration of each teen’s developing powers, and I love the context of a big bad conspiracy of evil parents trying to control the world — if only they can get their own kids under control first.

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finally read Runaways… but I think it’s safe to say that I’m hooked now, and will probably gobble up the entire series much more quickly than is probably good for me. Then again, who needs to sleep?

The Monday Agenda 11/4/2013

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

Parasite (Parasitology, #1)The Tulip EatersThe Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon

Parasite by Mira Grant: Done! My review is here.

The Tulip Eaters by Antoinette van Heugten: Done! My review is here.

The Expeditioners by S. S. Taylor: Done! My son and I really loved this steampunk adventure. My review is here.

Fresh Catch:

One new book this week, and it’s gorgeous! I’m thrilled to have my very own copy of the brand-new Fables Encyclopedia:

Fables Encyclopedia

If you’re a Fables fan, you’re going to want this! And if you’re not a Fables fan, what are you waiting for? Fables is my super-duper, absolute favorite comic series. Start with the first paperback volume (Legends in Exile), and you’ll be hooked!

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?
Palace of SpiesBellman & Black: A Ghost StoryThe Rosie Project

I’ve just started Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel, and so far, it’s a lot of fun.

After that, I’ll be reading one review book and one library book:

  • Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

HootAnd in the world of reading with my kiddo, we’ve just started Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. We read Chomp earlier this year and loved it, so we have high hopes for Hoot as well. Judging by the first few chapters, this should be a… hoot (no, I won’t go there!) blast.

Once I finish Bellman & Black, I’ll be caught up on my review copies! I still have quite a few more to get through, but none are late (except for the ones I intentionally held off on, and even those, I’ll get to in the coming month).

Do you know what that means? I can finally start digging into my Pile of Sadness (aka, the books I simply HAD to buy the second they came out, but haven’t allowed myself to read yet)! Next week should be fun too:

book pile

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

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The Monday agenda 1/28/2013

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

Happy Monday! Looking back and looking forward…

From last week:

A little slower on the book front this past week:

Just One Day by Gayle Forman: Done! I liked it much more than I’d expected to. My review is here.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich: Reading now, only about 50 pages into it so far. 

I read a bunch of my son’s graphic novels and reviewed them here.

My long-awaited new Fables paperback arrived last week! I loved Fables: Cubs in Toyland (volume 18), but now have the usual complaint — I don’t want to wait months for the next one to come out!

I also read the first volume of a new (to me) graphic novel series, Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan. Very intriguing story; I think I’ll be be reading the rest as soon as I can get my hands on them.

And this week’s new agenda:

I think it’ll take me a good part of the week to read The Round House, which is quite good, but fairly heavy.

After that, I may tackle one or two books from my TBR pile, probably An Abundance of Katherines by John Green or Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan…

…although I’m also terribly tempted by my new arrivals, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and The Child’s Child by Barbara Vine.

I believe this is what’s called an embarrassment of riches! Having too many books to choose from is definitely not a problem I mind having.

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

My week in graphic novels

Last week, after finishing a couple of heftier and long-awaited novels, I made my own personal proclamation: It’s Graphic Novel Week!

Seven days and seven books later, here’s what I read and what I thought:

First up was Soulless: The Manga, Volume 2 by Gail Carriger (author) and Rem (artist). This manga version of Changeless, the 2nd book in the wonderful Parasol Protectorate series of novels, is a rather delightful affair, even for someone like me who doesn’t typically care for manga-style illustration. While I occasionally found the artwork a bit too cartoon-y, there are moments and scenes that are just wonderfully conveyed, including the Scottish settings, the steampunk gadgets and gewgaws, the fashion (and rather atrocious hats), and some of the interplay between main characters. I would never recommend the manga version as a sole introduction to Gail Carriger’s work, but for anyone who’s read and enjoyed the series, these manga volumes are a nice, amusing side dish.

Next was the continuing stories spun off from my beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series. As anyone who was a fan knows, the TV series ended after seven seasons, but Buffy lives on! Under the auspices of creator Joss Whedon, Buffy’s story continued in comic form through season 8, which wrapped up in 2011, and in the newer (and ongoing) season 9. This past week, I had the pleasure of reading the 2nd volume in season 9, On Your Own, as well as the 2nd volume in the spin-off Angel & Faith series, Daddy Issues. Reading these comic series are like visiting with old friends. The gang (or most of the gang) is back! We get to hang out with Buffy, Willow, Spike, Xander, Dawn, and more. The series remains true to the characters as they existed in the TV series, but with a natural growth and progression through the ensuing action. While the season 8 plotline was a bit more convoluted than was truly necessary for good storytelling, the season 9 plot so far is engrossing, surprising, and yes, even touching. Meanwhile, I’m finding myself much more interested in the Angel and Faith spin-off than I thought I’d be, as the two team up to atone for past sins, right some wrongs, deal with visits from important figures from their pasts, and put some bad guys in their places. Both of these volumes were quick but engaging reads, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

After that, I moved on to the world of Fables by Bill Willingham. While the Fables series has been around since 2002, I was not introduced to Fables until earlier this year — at which point I fell madly in love and gobbled up the entire series as quickly as I could. Which left me completely bereft once I realized I was all caught up and had to simply sit and wait for the next volume to be released. (Side note: Fables, Volume 18: Cubs in Toyland is due out in January 2013!). Luckily for me, two new side projects were released in fairest-1November: Werewolves of the Heartland, a stand-alone volume centered on Bigby Wolf — only my very favorite character from the Fables ‘verse! — and volume one of a new ongoing series, Fairest, which focuses on some of the female Fables. Both of these, while enjoyable, were more or less filler for me. Werewolves of the Heartland follows Bigby on an adventure alluded to in the main Fables series, in which Bigby sets off in search of a new safe location for the Fables in exile. I won’t get into too much of the plot, but it’s nice to see Bigby in action again — although for the most part, it just left me hungry to return to the main series. (January, hurry up!) Fairest was fun, but I’ll have to see where the series goes as a whole. Volume 1 focuses on Briar Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty), Ali Baba, and the Ice Queen. Interesting and entertaining, but again, it mostly just whets my appetite for the main body of the series. Still, for a Fables fan, these are good choices for the in-between months.

wrinkle-graphicA Wrinkle In Time (or more accurately, according to the book jacket, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson) was my next choice. This was such an interesting reading experience. It’s been many years since I’ve read the original novel, yet it made such an indelible impression upon me that I approached the graphic novel with some misgivings, wondering how on earth it could succeed in capturing the essence of Madeleine L’Engle’s masterpiece. Fortunately, the graphic novel does a wonderful job of conveying the spirit of the novel, with simple but expressive illustrations that portray the characters’ emotions and struggles quite well. Meg in particular comes across in a manner so true to the novel — full of doubts and insecurities, driven by love for her family, confronting her anger and frustrations on a daily basis, and trying to become her own person while caring for those she loves. My only hesitation about this edition is that, in a way, it moves too fast. The journey to find Meg’s father and all the events surrounding it happen quickly, and I wonder whether a person reading the graphic novel without having read the original would get the same level of emotional impact. I enjoyed it a great deal, but it’s no replacement for the “real thing”.

Finally — and I’m still recovering from this one — I read the latest volume in the Locke & Key series by Joe Hill. Volume 5, Clockworks, continues right where the previous volume left off, with the Locke children in terrible danger and with no adults available or able to help. In volume 5, we get two very important pieces of Key House history — the origin of the keys in 1775, and the fateful events of 1988 involving the children’s father and his friends at the end of their senior year of high school. Both historical pieces are powerful and disturbing, and finally answer some questions that are essential to understanding the mystery and terror of the story. Locke & Key is scary, suspenseful, creepy, tragic, and un-put-down-able. This series just blows me away. Joe Hill is a master storyteller, and the illustrations are crisp, frightening, gory, and just generally wonderful. Highly, highly recommended.

And there you have it! Seven days, seven graphic novels, one very satisfied reader! Let’s do this again soon, shall we? Meanwhile, back to reading books without pictures… sigh.

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The Monday agenda

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

So what’s on the reading agenda this week?

From last week:

Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin: Done! My review is here.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: Quit after reading 150 pages. I just couldn’t get into it, despite having enjoyed the first book in the series.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Done! My review is here.

Beta by Rachel Cohn: Returning to the library unread. I was about to start this one, then discovered from the dust jacket that this book is first in a new series… and I’m trying to swear off new series for a while.

So far, no new books for my kiddo and me. We haven’t settled on our next read-aloud yet, and had a couple of false starts this week with books that neither of us ended up enjoying. Soldiering on! We still have a few more to try, and I’m hoping that one of the ones that I most want to read will also appeal to this opinionated 10-year-old.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon: Done! The group re-read has finally come to an end. We’ll be starting the next in the series, The Fiery Cross, in January. And if you happen to be an Outlander fan and want to join the fun, just let me know and I’ll get you connected.

And this week’s new agenda:

I hereby declare: It’s Graphic Novel Week!

I’ve been accumulating a stack of graphic novels over the past few weeks, and I think I’ll dive in and devote my reading week to catching up. So exciting! On the list are:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 9 volume 2: On Your Own: If you thought Buffy’s story ended when the TV show went off the air, and you’ve been missing her ever since, check out the continuing story in graphic novel form.

Angel and Faith: Daddy Issues: Excellent Buffy spin-off.

Soulless manga, volume 2: The manga version of Changeless by Gail Carriger.

A Wrinkle In Time graphic novel: My Hanukkah gift from my daughter. See me gushing with joy about this here.

Fairest, volume 1: A new spin-off from Bill Willingham’s Fables series, which I love madly and deeply.

Werewolves of the Heartland: A Fables stand-alone, centered on my absolutely favorite character from the Fables world. Can’t wait!

Locke & Key: Clockworks: Volume 5 in the superbly creepy series by horror master Joe Hill.

Other than graphic novels, I plan — quite cautiously and with some trepidation — to add in Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman. Given the fact that I am just a terrible reader of short stories and find it impossible to maintain interest long enough to get through an entire book of stories, even if they’re by an author whom I love (as is the case here), I’m setting myself the rather mild goal of reading this collection of fairy tales bit by bit. I’ll aim for two stories a week — that should let me enjoy the stories without feeling my usual frustration at not reading a “real” novel.

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

The Monday agenda

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

You might think an agenda has no business showing up on Labor Day. What can I say? A reader’s work is never done! It’s time to take stock and plan for the upcoming week.

From last week:

Every Day by David Levithan: Read as fast and furiously as I possibly could. See my review here. The short version? I loved it. Add this one to the list of YA fiction that everyone should read.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray: Finally finished, after several stops and starts. My review is here, but the bottom line is that, despite several laugh-out-loud moments and some truly snazzy writing, I just didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much as I’d hoped.

In graphic novels, I ended up diving into the Jack of Fables series by Bill Willingham (a spin-off from the incredibly wonderful Fables series). I’m on #4 of 9, and so far, I’d say… amusing, but not essential.

My son forced me to read the comic/graphic novel he gobbled up, Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre. Quite funny and spirited — definitely a good choice if you’ve got middle-grade readers to entertain.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (group re-read): Need I keep saying it? Terrific book, terrific chapter discussions!

And this week’s new agenda:

I’ve simply got to make some headway with my stack of library books. Next up should be Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, which I’ve really been looking forward to.

After that:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Frozen by Mary Casanova

Plus, I’ll plow on through and finish up the Jack volumes. Must see what that scamp gets up to next!

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (group re-read): Chapters 44 and 45 on deck for this week.

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

The Monday agenda

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

Continuing with the Monday agenda concept started a few weeks ago, it’s time to see how well last week’s reading agenda worked out and sketch out the plan for the coming week.

This week’s fresh catch. Thank you, O Great Public Library!

From last week:

Ashfall by Mike Mullin: Thoroughly enjoyed this young adult novel of disaster and survival (reviewed on this site on 8/15/2012).

1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham: Fantastic addition to the world of Fables. If you’re a fan of the series, this is a must-read.

Small Damages by Beth Kephart: Still haven’t gotten my copy, but expect it any day. This one moves back to my to-read list for now.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (group re-read): Another couple of terrific chapter this week, with thought-provoking discussions, as always.

Non-agenda reading: Because there’s always room for change! Who needs to be confined by an agenda, when there’s a world of books out there? I also read Rape Girl by Alina Kline (reviewed 8/18/2012) and — for some light, fun diversion — Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories by Zack Whedon.

And this week’s new agenda:

Going Bovine by Libba Bray: I loved Beauty Queens by this author, and am finally getting around to reading this earlier young adult novel, winner of the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. I’ve read about a third of Going Bovine so far, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Can a book about a boy with a fatal illness be funny? You see my dilemma.

I hit the motherlode at the library over the weekend, and now have some tough decisions to make. As far as I can tell, my next book will be:

Gold by Chris Cleave. The subject matter doesn’t really call to me, but I did love Little Bee, and I just found out that Chris Cleave will be speaking locally in October. Perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

In graphic novel world, I have a tough call to make: Start reading Joe Hill’s Locke & Key series, or stay in the world of Fables with the Jack of Fables series?

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (group re-read): Chapters 40 and 41 on deck for this week.

I’m sure I’ll also dig into a library book or two… in all of my non-existent spare time.

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.