We know, Gemini, you are ready to go. This sun sign is ruled by twins, just as you are ruled by two separate natures: one side outgoing, on the move, ready for action and new adventures — warring with the other side that is contemplative, curious, calculating, and maybe just a little mischievous. So now that summer is almost here it can be hard to keep either side focused on anything that doesn’t include travel, exploring, and meeting new people. When it gets overwhelming, Gemini, we caution you to take a few seconds and breathe deep, regroup, and enjoy these books that feature dynamic and exciting Geminis like you.
Have you ever just felt in the mood for certain types of books? Like after reading something dark and mysterious, you suddenly have this strong desire to read something light and funny? This happens to me all of the time. There have definitely been certain books that I have ended up greatly disliking mostly because I read them at the wrong time. And I’m not talking about the text being too difficult or the themes too mature, but more along the lines of my psyche just not being completely there. Jane Eyre was one of those books for me. I haven’t met too many people, let alone other book lovers like myself, who disliked that book as much as me. I read it in college while studying abroad in London, so really who would’ve thought that would be bad timing given it’s an English classic?! Well it was, and I suppose we’ll leave it at that. Perhaps if I had read Jane Eyre at another time, I would actually see why my most of my friends on Goodreads gave it four or five stars.
Since my Jane Eyre conundrum, I’ve become more mindful of my finicky psyche when choosing books. At times, just the act of deciding which book would be next up to bat was a cumbersome process. Then one day while I was listening to my iPod and reading, I had an epiphany about how best to select my next book based on my mood: music! If you think about it, your musical playlist is a great mood ring and can help narrow down what genre should be up next in your reading queue. With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of songs and the books that best remind me of those songs. So if you catch yourself playing one of these tunes on repeat over the next few weeks, I suggest you pick up its book read-alike.
Lots of books bring songs to mind, especially when the title of the book is in the song. You see the book, and the song sticks in your head for the rest of the day.
Which books bring a song into your head? Here at Jukebooks, we take requests!
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
“Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” by Nine Days
– Diane Colson, currently reading Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng and listening to The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman, read by Noah Taylor
Last week we asked which YA book-to-movie adaptation you thought was the worst, and the results are in: with 32% of the vote, Eragon walks away with this dubious honor. The Lightning Thief also captured 30% of the vote, and Twilight came in third with 17%. You can see detailed results for all of our previous polls in the Polls Archive. Thanks to all of you who voted!
One of our posts last Friday was about how well For Darkness Shows the Stars translated Persuasion into a new setting — and that got us thinking: which classic story would you like to see get a YA makeover? It could stay set in the past; it could be a modern update; it could venture off into a new genre while maintaining the basic plot or themes of the original. Vote in the poll below, or leave a comment if there’s another classic you’d like to see get a YA treatment!
Not signed up for YALSA’s 2013 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 3 counts, so sign up now!
I did it! I finally read both Enchanted and Dodger and returned the books to my local library. That brought my total to 17, and then I took that momentum and went whizzing through Heist Society (how have I never read this?!), Friends with Boys, and This Is Not a Test. All in all, a pretty good couple weeks as far as reading in general and this challenge in particular. I’ve got five books to go, and five weeks left — I may actually make it this year!
What about you? Are you going to complete the Hub Reading Challenge this year? Did you set any personal goals (like reading an entire list, or something from each list) and if so, how are you faring? Have you discovered anything about your reading habits or preferences during the past couple months? Has your reading produced any great insights or burning questions?
Think about it, because on Wednesday, May 22, from 2 to 3pm EDT, we’ll be hosting a Reading Challenge chat on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook, and we hope you’ll join us on whichever platform you prefer.
If you’ve completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list, let us know by filling out the form below. (The information you provide is what we’ll use to send you your Challenge Finisher badge, contact you about your reader’s response, and notify you if you win our grand prize drawing, so be sure to use an email address you actually check!) Do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles
If you’re not done yet, happy reading and keep us posted on your progress! Tweet your reviews and progress with the #hubchallenge tag, and we’ll see you at next week’s check-in!
Here’s the round-up of news this week:
@OfficiallyAlly: What do you think of the final Gallagher Girls title and the cover? Tell @EW http://ow.ly/1WbWty @Hypable: John Green rereleases limited run of self read ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ audiobook http://www.hypable.com/2013/05/16/john-green-the-fault-in-our-stars-audiobook/ … @Scholastic: Wowza. Want to see JK Rowling’s hand-written plan for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? http://www.buzzfeed.com/ailbhemalone/read-jk-rowlings-hand-written-plan-for-harry-potter-and-the … @randomhouse: 20 Questions with Author Michael Scott http://bit.ly/13vkRNE
Classics — whether they are novels, plays, or epics — offer us great characters, interesting plots, and lots of things for discussion … but sometimes they can be a little tough to tackle. Sometimes we adore them, but sometimes we can’t get past page 3, let alone the requisite 50. That doesn’t mean that we should give up what they have to offer, though, does it? Many of today’s authors try to use these classic works as a starting-off point to write a more modern version. If done well, these contemporary versions can have a huge impact and impart the same wisdom that made the earlier story gain its classic status. Jessica Pryde and I decided to find and examine some great pairs of classics and their contemporary rewrites to see if they are successful … or maybe not.
The Classic: Persuasion by Jane Austen
You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever.
Anne Elliot had once been happily betrothed to a poor but kind naval officer, Frederick Wentworth. When both her family and a trusted friend objected to the match, however, Anne broke the arrangement and spent the next nine years deeply regretting her action. When Wentworth reemerged a newly rich and successful Captain after the Napoleonic Wars, Anne’s family was on the brink of financial ruin. To help defray costs, they’d rented their home and lands to Wentworth’s sister. Forced to be in each other’s company once again, Anne and Frederick must each decide whether they can be persuaded to put aside their own hurt and mistrust to reconcile with the one person they each treasured the most.
This post is written by one of our guest bloggers, 17-year-old Halle.
It seems like The Great Gatsby is everywhere these days, making special appearances (with LeVar Burton!) on The Colbert Report and starring in terrible Jezebel movie reviews. I don’t mind. I love The Great Gatsby. I read the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald in school a few months ago and I was fairly certain that I’d like it, but I never expected to enjoy it as much as I did because in my experience, school makes reading books — especially classic literature — way less fun than it should be. As it turns out, though, I actually loved The Great Gatsby and ended up thinking Fitzgerald is a genius, an amazing writer, and a brilliant storyteller. I was very excited to see Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, which I did — in 3D — on opening night.
First, the book
One of the three themes for YALSA’s 2014 Popular Paperback for Young Adults (PPYA) list is “Conflicted: Life During Wartime.” It’s an exciting new path, as this is the first time the committee has ever compiled a war-themed list before. So what’s this list about, you ask? Well, a short answer is that it embodies all sorts of realistic fiction and nonfiction books that relate experiences of people affected by war in one way or another. A longer description would explain that the main character doesn’t have to be the one in a physical war, but rather the story could focus on how a brother, a sister, other kinfolk, or a family as a whole has been affected by someone’s experience from participating in a war. Or another take could be a personal account of the war experience and its effect on a person’s life and the way they see the world around them. Experiences could be regarded as emotional, physical, spiritual, psychological, and so on.
Some of the books that have been nominated for this category so far are:
- Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick
- Beyond Bullets: A Photo Journal of Afghanistan by Rafal Gerszak
- War Brothers by Sharon McKay
Visit the PPYA field suggestion form to suggest titles for the Conflicted: Life During Wartime list or for any of our other two lists, Humor Me: Funny, Fantastic and Witty Reads and GLBTQ: Books with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer-questioning, Intersexed, Asexual individuals, and Their Allies.
– Nicola McDonald, 2014 Popular Paperbacks committee member, currently reading The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara and Susan McClelland