Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Reading

As we find ourselves rounding into the homestretch, the Mister and I are turning our focus to summer entertainment. That means I've been spending a lot of time on the internet, specifically doing some online shopping. I've not enjoyed this indulgence much this year because it takes forever for things to be shipped to Saudi Arabia. Now I can shop with reckless abandon and have everything shipped to my parents' house (or the Mister's parents' house).

I've gone a little crazy with the purchasing. The floodgates have opened and 10 months worth of shopping is making its way to Middle Tennessee. The other day, my mom commented that it's going to be like Christmas when we get back home because there are so many packages waiting for us at my childhood home. The package I'm most looking forward to opening: the order!

Here's what's on my summer reading list [spoiler alert: it's all young adult lit]:

Beauty Queens

1. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Since placing this purchase, I've read several positive reviews, but just reading the description of the book on Amazon was enough to convince me to put this puppy in my shopping cart. A plane full of teenage beauty pageant contestants crashes on a "deserted" island that turns out to be the secret weapons storage facility for a covert arms dealer. Some of the girls want to try to find help, others want to practice for the swimsuit competition. The book makes commentary on the social priorities of teens. As the Amazon description says, "it's a journey into the heart of un-exfoliated darkness...only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count."


Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story

2. Fat Vampire:A Never Coming of Age Story by Adam Rex. This is the anti-Twilight. Doug, the main character, is a nerdy, zit-riddled 15 year old when he gets turned in to a vampire. Now he's stuck as a nerdy, zit riddled 15 year old for all eternity. I've read/seen positive, negative and meh reviews on this book, so the Mister and I are going to have to decide for ourselves whether it's a hit. We've both read Rex's other book, The True Meaning of Smekday and we LOVED it, so I have the feeling Fat Vampire won't disappoint either.

I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President

3. I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb. This book was recommended to me while ago by the librarian at my school in the States, and I'm only just now getting around to purchasing it. Oliver is a millionaire genius teenager who puts up a dumb facade at school because he's too smart to bother with trying to fit in at his middle school. Even though Oliver's wealth affords him all the worldly pleasures he could possibly want, he doesn't have one thing: the love of his father. He decides becoming class president will win his dad's affection. Only problem is, you can't get many votes when you've painted yourself as the class idiot for years. This book, according to several reviews, is a hilarious trip back to seventh grade. The author was the executive producer of The Daily Show from 2008-2010, so I can only imagine the sense of humor he has brought to his writing.

Living Dead Girl

4. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. After a heapin' helpin' of comedy, I'll settle in to this book. Most of the reviews of this book that I've read have described it as "painful to read." But all the reviews have raved about the book. This is the story of a girl who is abducted from a school field trip when she is 10 and is held captive by her pedophile kidnapper and sexually assaulted. She is now 15 and getting too old for her captor. She is faced with the task of helping him find her replacement. This is the story of the missing children we hear about on the news. This book, from what I've gathered, is disturbing but enthralling. I know this is a really dark topic for young adults to read about, but I think it's important for kids to read books like this, live vicariously, and learn.

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd

5. Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (editors). This is another book my former librarian told me about. I've been wanting to add it to my professional library for a while. It is a collection of short stories by YAL authors like John Green, Libba Bray, David Levithan and Scott Westerfeld. As the title implies, the stories are geared for the proudly nerdy crowd. With titles like "Once You're a Jedi, You're a Jedi All the Way" and "Top Five Words and Phrases You Need to Know in Klingon," you can imagine how much fun this book is going to be. I'm hoping to use some of these stories as resources in my class next year and I'm looking forward to enjoying these stories while waiting for some domestic flights this summer.

I know this isn't a typical post for this blog, but I thought I'd share what I'm excited about in our near future. I'm excited to bring these books and more back to the Kingdom in September and share them with my students who are DYING for a good book (whether they know it or not). That's why I'll never own a Kindle: you can't lend your library out to your students and share your love of reading with them!

Vicariously yours,


  1. some other books you should think about:

    room by emma donoghue - similar concept to the living dead girl on your list - but this book is written from the perspective of the 5 year old - and its surprisingly not dark with such a dark concept - couldnt put it down.

    freedom by jonathan franzen - next on my list, had at least 5 people rec it for me, and his last book, the corrections, is one of my favesies.

    the lies that chelsea handler told me - its easy reading, but has had me laughing to the point of tears at least 6x

  2. AH! I want to read all of these. I am reading Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman, Swamplandia! (which is would love...weird as hell) and Hunger Games.