Google+ Bookslingers Blog: In which Ari is a model of restraint

In which Ari is a model of restraint

Every year, Vancouver treasure Kidsbooks has a 20% sale. Usually this is a dangerous time for bibliophiles: 20% off is a perfect excuse to extravagantly overspend on our book budget. One protects oneself from this by taking allies (in this case my friend Jen); people who don't think it's at all strange to want to spend an hour in a bookstore. Unfortunately anybody who wants to go shopping with you at a bookstore dedicated to children's and YA literature is probably similarly vulnerable to temptation.

But I escaped with only a reasonable number of books this year. (And then I went and spent too much money at the yarn shop, but that's neither here nor there.)

Two were replacements, or already-reads that I'd been meaning to actually own for a while. the first was Enchanted Glass, by Diana Wynne Jones. You've probably read this (if you haven't, you should), but if you haven't, I'll just tell you that this is a lovely, comfortable little book, pleasant and well-rounded and rich, and that the reason I didn't already own it is because the Canadian edition took a while to come out in paperback, and also the American edition had one of the worst covers I have ever seen. This is the Canadian cover. Isn't it nice? Enchanted Glass is about Andrew Hope, who inherits his grandfather's house. Surprise: his grandfather was probably a wizard. Full of fairy tales and folk tales and family secrets and friendly monsters and walks in the woods. Delightful.

The second already-read was one of my favourite books of all time: From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, in which Claudia and her brother Jamie run away from home and move into The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. There they stumble upon a mystery/conspiracy about a priceless work of art. I cannot emphasize this enough: this book is amazing, and everyone should read it. Twice. Or so many times that you lose count, and the spine cracks, and the pages fall out, as probably happened with my copy (before my cousin, who was obsessed with this book at the same time that I was, probably stole it). And I'm not just saying that because running away from home to live in a museum was something that eight-year-old me seriously considered on multiple occasions, totally independent of the influence of this awesome, awesome book.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. I picked this one up mainly because our good friend and fellow reviewer Pippa liked it so much, despite Miss Corene's lukewarm feelings about it. It's about an American teenager who goes to boarding school in London, and apparently there's a mystery. I am told that the cover is misleading and that there is in fact no Victorian murder mystery, as it takes place in present day? So far it's... good? I think? Apparently we're going to be talking about it on next week's podcast, so we'll see.

The Grimm Legacy, by Polly Shulman, which Jen made me buy. Okay, she didn't exactly twist my arm: apparently this book is about library pages going on adventures and fighting evil. Basically. More details when I've read it, but with an endorsement like that, come on. What choice did I have? After all, Jen was the one who made me buy Graceling, so I think we can all agree that her judgment is pretty sound in these matters.

I, Coriander by Sally Gardner. All I know for certain about this book is that it takes place in 17th-century London, that the main character's name is Coriander, that there are magic shoes involved somewhere, and that at some point she gets locked in a trunk and left to die.

Also she's ginger. I think. Often that's enough for me, so maybe let's wait until I've actually read the book.