Reading, Watching, and Doing. Oh my!

We’re most of the way through January, and while I haven’t been posting a lot, I have been doing writerly things a lot. I’m finishing up revisions on MANIAC to send out to my critique partners, mostly, so that’s been my main focus. But in between, I’ve been doing this:







Lena Dunham, Lauren Oliver



I’m just starting ROOMS, by Lauren Oliver. This is her first piece of adult fiction, so I’m interested to see how the voice changes and how the writing evolves. I usually enjoy her writing, so I’d like to be able to promote this as a great crossover for older teens starting to venture into adult fiction at the library, or as a book for adults looking to read a few new authors.



NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL by Lena Dunham is suprisingly good! Not that I should have been surprised, but I thought it would be more like all of the other biographical reads that funny people tend to put out—-heavy on the comedy (are their lives really that funny all the time???), and less about them as people. If you haven’t picked this one up, do it. It’s poignant, personal, and yes….still has that Lena Dunham charm.  I’m taking this one slow because I don’t want it to end.



I must admit, I almost put THE DOUBT FACTORY by Paolo Bacigalupi down after the first few pages. It was a simple description about a “black-guy”——his words, not mine——that I thought was a little insensitive in this day when we need more diversity in YA books. But, I think Bacigalupi is going somewhere with this, so I’m still reading. In fact, it’s got a good thriller feel, and I haven’t heard much about this release, so maybe it’ll turn out to be a good book to recommend to our readers at the library. Have you read it?






Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn, BoyhoodWe like a good movie in our house, and we tend to see quite a few over the course of a year. I think some of our best discussions come out of watching and doing our own little movie reviews at the end of the day. This month, we’ve hit a couple of biggies: “Gone Girl” and “Boyhood”.



Of course, I was very interested to see “Gone Girl”, and I’m happy that it followed the book quite closely. Was it a good choice to have Gillian Flynn write the screenplay? Yes and no, in my opinion. The book was soooooo good, and really read well. There were deep thoughts about relationships and insight into men and women that I don’t think anyone had tried before, especially in such a twisty type of book. That’s what I loved about it….the combination of thrill-ride and therapy session.  The movie, though, felt too wordy, too narrative instead of conversational when Nick and Amy were speaking. In a book, it works. Onscreen, not so much. But, it was better than a lot of movies out there, so I forgave it that.



“Boyhood” was another movie that surprised me. Yes, it was thoroughly delightful to see these young characters growing up onscreen. And for some reason, I always enjoy Ethan Hawke in movies. The story was thoughtful and realistic and had some wonderful moments. Would it have been as impressive if they’d used different actors throughout to convey time passing? Probably not. Which makes me think this was a device. Clever, yes, but if you take that away, is the movie as strong? You decide.



I wonder what we’ll watch next weekend?






I’m off to the Ontario Library Super Conference next week in Toronto, Ontario, so I’ve been madly prepping things at work for my time away. This conference is always fun and informative. I usually come away feeling like I have new ideas for my programs, new books to read, and lots of great memories. This year, I’m hoping to hit some of the book signings a little earlier and lug around 50 pounds of books all week. Not that I’m complaining….this is about as close to a writer’s conference as I’ll most likely ever get, so I take advantage. I’ll try to take lots of photos to share when I get back. Thousands of librarians in one place….can you imagine!



What have YOU been up to lately? Drop me a line….





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