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Tuesday 1 January 2013

Reading in 2012

I have spent some time over the past few days, knowing that my turn to write the blog was fast approaching, mentally reviewing my year’s reading. Do I think there any books which stood way out from the others? Am I happy with what I had achieved? Do I need to expand the sources of my reading? I have also been mentally reviewing the processes I use for finding books to read: reviews (online and hard copy), lists from my local library and online, newspapers and of course word of mouth as well as bookshops. And I get lots of wonderful suggestions from other writers of the CBCA Tas blog, of course. I am sure that I have previously said several times that I am no longer buying books in the same way as I used to do. With this in mind, now I must either borrow from other people or use my local library and this also restricts the titles available.  Fortunately the library service is still reasonably well resourced, though it’s not as good as it has been in the past.
Most of my questions, for this blog, are going to remain rhetorical, and I am not going to spend time discussing my own responses. But they are relevant for all of us to consider now that it’s at the end of a calendar year and at the beginning of the summer holiday season when we might have the opportunity to read different titles from the ones which we usually choose.
My recent choices have been YA titles published in 2012 in the US, titles suggested by one of my lesser-used sources. There hasn’t been anything outstanding, but several have been ‘good reads’ which have been ideal for this time of the year.
The False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen. This is the first of a fantasy series and I look forward to seeing where Nielsen travels when she develops the story of King Jaron. In this first part, we have the story of four boys, only one of whom will be chosen to impersonate the kingdom of Carthya’s missing prince. The chosen one is predictable, but not the processes which the boys have to go through.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith is a delightful light love story set in New York and London. Though it is not deep and meaningful, those who enjoy chick lit will end the book with smile on their faces.
Out of Sight Out of Time by Ally Carter is part of The Gallagher Girls series. Cameron has returned with amnesia and has to find out what happened during the summer when she found herself pitted against the Circle of Cavan. I enjoyed this one – despite my initial misgivings.
I have also re-discovered some of David Wiesner’s picture books (for readers of all ages) and had a delightful time exploring them again. He has won the Caldecott medal three times (with Tuesday, The Three Pigs and Flotsam) and has also had two honour books (Free Fall and Sector 7). His multi-layered stories, several of which are wordless, show the ordinary in a fantastical way, with a frequent focus on clouds and the sky. If you don’t know these books, search them out. 
Have a wonderful 2013, with peace and prosperity for yourself and your family. May you have lots of time for reading and may a superb selection of titles be available. 

Maureen Mann

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