Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Real Quick Like

I’m in the middle of back-to-school preparations (and in the middle of B*G’s third season), so there’s not much time, but I wanted to share a couple of new finds.

To start, allow me to explain my usual M.O. for novel procurement:

1) Go to Barnes and Noble and peruse the New Release section, followed by the Fiction and Literature section, followed by the Children’s section, followed by the Sale section.

2) Make a list of titles I want to read.

3) Return home and request all titles via my online library queue.

4) Wait patiently.

On the other hand, this is my procedure for Tana French books:

1) Go to Barnes and Noble on the day her new novel is released in hardback.

2) Purchase it at full price.

(Perhaps a full understanding of how cheap I truly am is required to thoroughly appreciate this explanation.  Just trust me:  Her books are that good.)

Broken Harbor was fantastic, as expected.  I find it rare that a much-anticipated book or movie lives up to my inflated expectations, but French never disappoints.  She produces that most unusual and satisfying of crime thrillers – the kind so twisted and complex that you can never figure them out in advance of the characters.  Instead, she hooks you, and then keeps surprising you.  And her characters are so well-drawn, the prose so energetic and natural, the setting and mood so beautifully creepy, that I honestly can’t think of a new(ish) author I enjoy more.

And now something for the little ones.  Eloise has been devouring The Sisters Eight series all summer.

We stumbled upon these on the shelf at the local library, and she decided to give them a try.  They have turned out to be her favorite self-read novels to date.  I, of course, am always thrilled when she finds something outside of her established Magic Tree House-Junie B. Jones-Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew trifecta.  These books are even more exciting, because they seem to fill the gap I’ve been worrying about – the one in between the first, easy chapter readers with snappy plots, easy vocabulary, and plenty of pictures (Junie B., for example), and the later, more advanced works with more complicated situations and dialogues, more advanced emotional issues, and fewer pictures (Beverly Cleary).  Does that make sense?  (Have you noticed the gap there as well?  Because I’ve been struggling to bridge it all last school year, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.)  Anyway, The Sisters Eight books are a little longer than first chapter readers, but still have a few pictures, to keep the wee ones happy.  And the writing and vocabulary are markedly more interesting and complex. 

Plus, the story is cool.  The basic outline is this:  A group of eight sisters (with superpowers, hooray!) work together to solve an ongoing mystery in order to save their mysteriously absent parents.  Anyway, Eloise highly recommends them, and the final installment in the series releases today! 

In closing, I leave you with this, from my number one fan and dear friend Wendy:



  1. Seriously? I am pretty sure I need to meet the bitch that wrote that e-card! She'd fit in JUST fine :)

    Can't wait to read Broken Harbor. I just finished Where We Belong, so you should let me borrow it and GET UP ON MY KINDLE, fool!!


    1. I NEED YOUR CHARGER! Tonight, my friend.

  2. I hope you are bringing some French to the book swap! I've never read her before.

    1. YES, girl. IN THE WOODS is in my pile. Can't wait to see what you bring!