Tag Archives: Simon & Schuster

Recommendations of Note (for the scrappy ladies)

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It has been pointed out to me of the double meaning of crafty—I did not mean anything by it, fabulous ladies. I just think of you of my crafty ladies, and today, you’ll be scrappy. =)

So my last post of recommendations focussed on book series, and today we’ll focus on individual books! (The harder task, since so many books today are part of series.)

The Fault in Our Stars (John Green, Penguin). This one can’t be ignored, especially since the movie is making women and their daughters everywhere sob out loud in cinemas. Two teenagers fall in love and they just happen to have cancer – a lovely, heartbreaking book that shows all the beautiful and ugly emotions associated with grief. Recommended for 14+

Saving Francesca and On the Jellicoe Road (Melina Marchetta, Penguin). Melina is definitely one of my favourite Australian authors; she captures the teenage soul so well. Saving Francesca is about a girl whose mother suddenly won’t get out of bed while trying to navigate her new school as part of the first class of girls in an all-boys school. The pop culture references are to die for (and are particularly relevant to me as this book was published when I was sixteen.) On the Jellicoe Road begins the day Hannah disappears. Taylor was left at the 7Eleven in Jellicoe by her mother when she was 11. Hannah, the woman who picked her up, is the closest thing she has to a mother–and one day she’s just gone. But Taylor doesn’t have time to be mad at Hannah (although she makes time)–the Cadets are arriving in Jellicoe and that means the territory wars are on again. I have so many emotions about these books that I could never do them justice in one or two sentences. Recommended for 13+

Everyday (David Levithan, Random House). I don’t read much David Levithan. I’m not entirely sure why, I should–I really like his work. I also really like that he’s a publisher at Scholastic and STILL has time to write meaningful books. Everyday is a book that should be on every single school’s senior curriculum. It challenges sexuality and gender in a very open, very real way, and that just makes the book all the more endearing. Recommended for 12+

Stardust (Neil Gaiman, Harper). A true modern-day fairytale. Stardust is beautifully written that makes the reader feel like they’re floating and softly landing in a magical land. It is nothing like the movie, so don’t expect the lightning pirates to turn up, sorry. Both movie and book are individually brilliant. I particularly like Stardust because it was written as if it’s meant to be read out loud. Start reading this at bedtime! Recommended for all ages.

Tithe and Doll Bones (Holly Black, Simon & Schuster). Tithe, as I’ve said many many times before, is the book that made me want to become an author–specifically a children’s and young adult author. Tithe follows Kaye as she discovers the fae world through the intriguing and slightly off-putting Roiben–the Unseelie Court’s knight. Doll Bones is Black’s latest children’s book and is seriously creeepy. Three kids on the brink of ‘growing up’ make one last ditch effort at being real kids playing with their dolls–only the queen of their dolls’ world (an antique piece made with real human hair) suddenly starts sending them messages trying to be buried with her bones. Tithe is recommended for 12+, Doll Bones is recommended for 8+

The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern, Random House). Like Stardust, this is a gorgeously written book. It wants to be illustrated! The book follows the Night Circus and the character’s the interact with the moving exhibition. What the patrons and artists don’t know is that the Night Circus is a battle between two apprentices of frenemy magicians, and that their magic is the only thing holding it together. Recommended for 12+

Before I Fall (Lauren Oliver, Hachette). My favourite book in 2012, and probably the last great book I read until I found a bunch of fabulous ones in the last three months. The best way to describe this book is to let another review do it for me! (You can’t blame me, there are SO many books on this list.) Kat says: “This book is about a teenager, Sam, who is a Mean Girl who trips into Groundhog Day world and is set on a path to redemption.” Before I Fall shows just how much of an impact your actions can have on the world around you, and that you never ever want to be like Sam (you don’t even like her at the beginning of the book!). Recommended for 12+

Ice Station and Contest (Matthew Reilly, Pan Macmillan). I don’t know if there’s anything I can say about Matthew Reilly’s books that hasn’t already been said. Do you have reluctant readers around you? Start them on Ice Station–lots of action, a bunch of swearing. I read these books because my Dad (he’s a manual arts teacher) told me that the year ten boys at his school were studying Ice Station in English. Most of his books are page turners and I’m partial to the action-orientated ones. Yes, Ice Station is part of a series, but it stands alone. Contest was his first ever book that he self-published before being picked up by Pan Macmillan. Recommended for 14+

Attachments (Rainbow Rowell, Hachette). Better than any rom-com I’ve ever seen! (This is a slight exaggerations as I’ve seen a lot of rom-coms and I love a lot of them.) Lincoln is brought on as a security supervisor–what this really means is that he gets to read the company’s flagged emails and send warnings to their writers. Except, he never sends a warning to Beth and Jennifer, best friends who ignore the company’s email policy, and suddenly becomes utterly involved in their life story to the point of falling in love with one of them. Sounds creepy, but is actually pretty adorable. Recommended for 14+

 

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(photo credit: martinak15 via photopin cc)

via bronzewing on instagram

I am the editor of a scrapbook magazine. This means that all the new friends and creatives I meet are papercrafters, not writers. And often they have kids. Occasionally I’ll see a post like the one on the left on my social media streams and I just have to jump in and recommend books because I love introducing people to my favourites. (And all the writers in my life know this list.)

Note I: This post will deal with series only. They are not in any particular order.

Note II: Harry Potter is not on the list because it’s assumed you’ve already read it.

The Lumatere Chronicles. (Melina Marchetta, Penguin) I had to start with an Aussie series, but this series holds its own against even the best overseas series. A country is in exile and it’s up to the king’s best friend to reunite his people and take them home. Recommended for 14+

The Spiderwick Chronicles. (Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, Simon & Schuster) I am very partial to this series as I have never found anything for middle readers that quite lives up to the imagination that this book has. Jared, his twin brother, older sister and mother move into an old Victorian house in New England after their father leaves them. When Jared comes across an old book that details the mysterious creatures of the forest, Jared has to see them for himself. Recommended for 8+

“The Daughter of Smoke and Bone” trilogy. (Laini Taylor, Hachette) A recent addition to my recommendation list, but I’ve bought it twice now–once in ebook form and once in hard copy. Karou is mysterious to everyone, she has crazy blue hair, open eyed tattoos on her hands, and is whisked away at any moment for no reason. The reason that she can’t share is that she is a tooth collector for her foster monster dad. Recommended for 14+

The Raven Cycle. (Maggie Stiefvater, Scholastic) Warning: do not get too attached to this book. There are only two published out of the four in the series. Whenever I read these books, I feel like I’m coming back to old friends. Set in Henrietta, a town that lies on the magical leyline which is the key to finding the lost king who will grant his saviours one wish. Recommended for 14+

The Sally Lockhart Mysteries. (Philip Pullman, Oxford University Press) No, it’s the normal Philip Pullman recommendation, but it’s just as amazing. Meet Sally, who is essentially an orphan, and is looking for a way to make her life meaningful in Victorian London. She stumbles upon a mystery surrounding her father’s death and a photographer who is willing to help her. Sadly for Sally, the fourth book is my favourite and she’s barely in it! Recommended for 11+

The Tales of the Otori. (Lian Hearn, Hachette) Admittedly, I have not read all five books, and honestly I’d only recommend reading the original trilogy. As a historical fantasy novel, it is greatly influenced by feudal Japan. Another plus point: Australian writer! A riveting story that makes you want to visit Japan. Recommended for 14+

“The Bronze Horseman” trilogy. (Paullina Simons, HarperCollins) This book is not for the faint-hearted. It’s intense. It’s heart-breaking. It’s an epic love story set in World War II Russia. It’s my go-to gift book. (Testament in this picture and this picture) But it’s not for young kids. I read it when I was fifteen, but that’s because I ignored my teacher’s recommendation to get my mother to read it first. And then my mother was a little horrified when she eventually read it. (What I’m trying to say, descriptive sex in this book!) I won’t put an age recommendation on this book because everyone is different. At fifteen, I read it twice in one week.

This list should keep you going for sometime. But I’ll make a non-series list sometime soon too. AND: I would love to hear how the papercrafters go!