february reading in review

Books Bought This Month
Natural Selection by Malinda Lo
Dear White People by Justin Simien (IndieBound)
No Condition is Permanent by Cristina Kessler (IB)
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (IB) Continue reading

what else i’m up to, and where

I haven’t been writing here much lately, but that’s just because I’ve been busy with lots of other projects that involve writing and reading.

  • I’m doing a lot of blogging for The Hub, which is where more general book posts are going as far as recommendations and booklists, rather than here, which I’m reserving for more deep critique or personal thoughts on books.
  • I’ve been asked to write a book chapter on developing multicultural collections for school libraries! So that’s in the works. I’m very excited to have the chance to do some scholarly work again.
  • I will be reviewing books for the Horn Book Magazine!
  • I am helping We Need Diverse Books with a Cool Thing! I will tell you more about it when I am able to.
  • I am also working on two secret undercover awesome new blog projects in conjunction with other super awesome cool people, so stay tuned!
  • I am working on my novel(s). My writing group and I devised a system where we get punished if we don’t live up to our goals. For me, it started as 90 minutes of novel work a week. I failed. So now it’s 60 minutes novel, 60 minutes blog/book chapter. When I don’t live up to the goal, I owe everyone in the group lattes or breakfast. So far, so good with this new goal! Since we started this on February 8, I have written 4299 words of fiction, which is more efficient than I have been in a very long time. I also re-outlined the whole novel, as I am now about halfway through, so that the second half would go where the first half seems to be directing it, since the original outline was no longer totally true.
  • I am taking a screenwriting class! I am learning a whole bunch and really enjoying myself and will have written at least Act I (that’s all that’s assigned, but I hope to go beyond that) by the end of May.

So please keep checking back here, as I want to write as much as possible, but also look for me in other cool places, because I like being everywhere.

the walls around us

I just finished The Walls Around Us (IndieBound) by Nova Ren Suma, and wow.

This book is really creepy and really good, and most importantly, it’s really different from other YA books. You haven’t read it before. I haven’t. And I’m glad I did.

It’s about ballerinas. I don’t particularly care about ballet, but I cared about these two ballerinas a lot. It’s also about juvenile detention. I care a whole lot about juvenile detention, having worked in diversion (i.e. the thing kids get sent to do as a last chance before ending up in juvie) and having thought, when I went to library school, that working in a detention hall as a librarian is what I wanted to do. It’s also about the twistiness of memory and how scary it is not to be able to trust your own brain. Even if you don’t have dementia or a brain tumor, I’m sure you can relate to that feeling. Also, there are girls of all colors here, and frankly, the light ones are considered weirder and more out of place than the brown ones, which I gather would be pretty accurate to the juvie setting, since we all know that prison and the “justice” system are not racially just at all. Continue reading