Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hunker Down

This morning I was feeling very antish as I considered the jars of tomatoes, peaches, pears, pickles and fruit jam sitting on my shelves. I felt very stocked up and prepared for winter. All that preparation was hard work, but so worth it.

The ant in me also took note of the wind and the rain and the cooler temps. With the food on the shelves and the thermostat turned up, it is now time to hunker down for the duration.

I realize there are plenty of good days left; blue skies, sunshine and piles of leaves to be jumped upon. However, there is something very instinctual telling me it's time to read books.

It just feels right.

You might not have 57 quarts of tomatoes on your shelf, but you don't have to approach winter completely unprepared. To help the inner ant in you hunker down and get through the colder months with a stack of books at the ready, here is a list of some of my favorite reads for your consideration.

Can't get enough werewolf love stories? Maggie Stiefvater's "Shiver" is a fun teen romance about a 17 year old and her relationship with a wolf who changes into an 18 year old boy one fall. Stiefvater's writing is lyrical, quite literally in parts, and full of beautiful descriptions.

My only critique is that there could have been a bit more character development for my taste: a little more light shed on why Grace and Sam are so obsessively in love with each other. Check out the youtube book trailer here.

"When You Reach Me," by Rebecca Stead is one of those books that I've a) blogged about before, and b) can't say too much about for fear of ruining what makes this book so great (i.e. that holy cow moment when the missing puzzle piece falls into place and changes the way you perceived the whole story.)

I loved the message of this book too. It's a juvenile fiction, so be sure to share it with your favorite juvenile.

"Tamar" is an old favorite (from a couple years ago) that I was recently reminded of by MT Anderson at a book signing. If you love spy stories and love stories, and stories of the Dutch resistance during WWII, this book is for you.

Told from several different points of view through out the story, Mal Peet crafts an exciting and moving tale of love, lies and espionage. And if my recommendation isn't enough, MT Anderson said it was a gem.

Have you been living under a rock for the last year and not heard about Suzanne Collins, "The Hunger Games?" Time to experience rock-free living and read this book. It's dystopian, which might not be your thing, but you really need to give it a shot.

Here's an exciting trailer to get you all pumped up, or freaked out as the case may be.

This book is non-stop action and edge of your seat suspense; a book that you might want to clear out a whole day to devour greedily. Then run out and get the second book in the series, "Catching Fire," and devour that one too.

"These is my Words" is the fictional diary of Sarah Prine living in frontier Arizona. Her tragedies (and there are plenty) and her triumphs (yay!) are matter of factly recorded by this honest, tough, admirable young woman.

What makes this book so unputdownable, for me, is the insight into Sarah's character. I love a good character and I love knowing exactly what is going on in her head. This book took me right where I wanted to be.

Oh, and did I mention there is a fabulous romance? Sigh.

Read it!


Erika said...

Yes, the romance in "These Is My Words" is one of the best I've read!! So amazing. I think I gained the most personal strength from reading that book than any other. I'm thoroughly enjoying Echo in the Bone. It's my treat every night once the kids are in bed. I love being back in the world of Jamie and Claire, Roger and Bree, and the whole gang. Makes me wish I had a cute Scottish accent and lived at Lollybroch among the bracken and heather. Love it!

Jenni said...

I LOVE Hunger Games. I totally plan on getting the second book...once I feel like I can justify the spend lol! Have you heard of the Korean movie called "Battle Royale"? It is practically the same idea as Hunger Games...just asian-fied. lol this post! I am in dire need of an new good read. Sigh. :)

Emily Laing said...

Afton, you inspire me. Lately, I have started reading again. It is just that season. Maybe that is why I love fall so much. I just lent books to several people after reading them myself. Although I love you antish analogy, I am a bit bigger so I am going with hybernation and a bear. Canned and dried all my food, stocking the freezer, bought a whole butt load of crafts, and plan on reading and writing for the next few months. Did I mention I love fall? I love fall and long baths with a good book and a glass of grape juice!

Marah said...

Loved "These Is My Words", and have "Hunger Games" on my to read list. I also loved "A Girl Named Zippy" as one of my all-time favorites.