Meet my Kindle in all her unframed, unfocused glory:
Her name is Penelope. But! If I ever bite the bullet and name one of my children Penelope, she will be renamed. Have I ever mentioned that I adore the name Penelope? I LOVE the name Penelope, despite the fact that it's become even more hipster than the name Maxwell. I promise, when we named Maxwell, we didn't know a soul named Maxwell. Now there are little Maxs running around all over the place (dogs included). Speaking of, is it true that Jessica Simpson named or is going to name her daughter Maxwell? If so, I hate her.
Moving on. I am an advocate for real books, especially the ones from used book stores that have inscriptions written inside of them and are less than a dollar a pop. I love how books feel and how they smell and how the text looks so, naturally, when e-readers came out, I was disgusted. I mean, I just shuddered as I typed e-reader. It just feels gross to me. So, let me say it again. Meet my Kindle, named Penelope.
We got this little baby super cheap and, best of all? It's hooked up to my mother-in-law's account so I haven't bought a single book. I just take them. Greedy? Probably, but there's not much better than a virtual library, especially when you can call someone right after reading a book and talk to them about what just happened. This isn't the main way I read books, but I do use Penelope frequently and will definitely be using her when we go on our once in a lifetime trip we'll be embarking on later this spring.
Anyway. This post is like word vomit, but I'm writing because I wanted to share some of the books I've read recently with y'all, mostly because I love to talk about books but also so that I can kick my only-read-one-book-in-the-past-three-weeks booty back into shape.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.
You should read this without a moment's hesitation. I've been reading a lot of Newbery winners this year and this is the best one I have read so far. It's touching and creative and funny and beautiful and emotive and unexpected and it perfectly captures that awkward pubescent period where you can't decide whether you should paint water colors and jump rope or dye your hair with Sun-In and attempt to flirt with boys who can't yet grow facial hair. This book is spectacular. I cried.
Divergent by Veronica Roth.
Ah. Another Dystopian Young Adult novel. I admit, I've never fully embraced the Dystopian train, but I loved this book. I stayed up half the night to read it (after reading, like, four other books that day... I read a lot in early pregnancy). I didn't expect this to be good, but, for me, I liked this a lot more than most of the Dystopian fiction I've read recently. What I liked the most about this is that the only thing the Society (technically) controls is where you belong within the Society, even though that is somewhat of an option as well. In so many other Dystopian novels, everything is controlled, especially relationships. In this one, though, the citizens work for their jobs, they can have whatever friends they like, and they're free to fall in love when and how they want. The faction Tris (the main character) chooses is extremely competitive, which is really different than novels like Matched and Delirium. Definitely read this one if you like Dystopian novels but get tired of Societies with similar layouts.
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.
I love history. I love all kinds of history. So, naturally, I love historical fiction, especially when it's twisted and weird with a good amount of fantasy that doesn't go too overboard. When the book opens, the main character, Yelena, is little more than a ghost living in a dungeon. She's about to be executed for killing her benefactor's son (which she totally did), but instead she's picked to be the new poison inspector for the king. Meaning, she has to learn how to detect poisons, try all the king's food, and die if the king is, in fact, poisoned. Yelena is a piece of work and her relationship with her mentor is awesome. This books does get pretty gruesome and deals with heavy issues, though, so don't read this if you're looking for something light.
Annnnnd the funniest book I have read electronically? Hands down, The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale. I like Shannon Hale. I think she is funny and that she writes easy, fun fairy tales for teenagers. I love those kind of books! But this book? It's a trainwreck of ridiculousness. Honestly, I can't talk about it without laughing. It's like a fantasy gone crazy and paints Mormons as complete weirdos... and that makes it weirdly awesome (in a horrible way). You should read it, because, based on the obscene amount of reviews I read, you will either fall in love with everyone in the book, or still laugh about it three months after you read the final page. Either way, I consider that a win.
What have y'all been reading lately?