Friday, March 30, 2012

The End of the Chapter: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The opening lines of a novel establish tone, mood, voice, and a whole mess of other things, as well as being responsible for pulling the reader into the story. The closing lines of a novel have the job of summing up the story, providing closure, and making readers feel a simultaneous joy at the ending and sorrow that their reading experience is over. But what pulls the reader through their journey from the excitement of a beginning to the bitter sweetness of an ending?

As each chapter ends, the desire to put the book down in order to go to the bathroom, go to sleep, or get going to work may come over the reader. Smart authors avoid this by making the ends of their chapters so fantastic that the reader has no choice but to continue on their literary journey, uninterrupted. Some do this with thrilling cliffhangers, others with painful emotional reveals. Regardless of the technique, the end of the chapter has a certain feel to it, a teasing look that says, “Sure, this part of the story’s over. But don’t you want to find out what happens next?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Library Queue: Back in Action

My library queue has been a little wonky lately. A few books I put on hold have lots of people ahead of me with holds of their own. And some (I’m looking at you, Left Hand of Darkness!!!) have not progressed at all in their long journey to my hands (when the hold list says 3 of 3 holds for four straight months, it’s time to give up and admit that the book is lost). What I just said may be gibberish to non-library users, but that’s because you need to start using the library. (Seriously, it is awesome. Free books! They deliver them to you!) Let me sum it up by saying that I had a few books clogging up my holds list and, as a result, was not getting as many books as I need. But now I have a healthy pile waiting for me again, and I can’t wait to dig in!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

I have been listening to Heart nonstop for the past two weeks, and it is all thanks to The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. I have always liked Heart, but I have been on a serious love binge, which has helped introduce me to some songs I never knew I loved and reintroduce me to songs I had forgotten I loved. But The Disenchantments is about much more than Heart (even though it does feature a loving tribute in the form of a road trip sing-along that gives this one and this one a run for their money). The Disenchantments is about friends, music, and finally graduating high school only to realize just how terrifying the freedom you longed for actually is.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando

 True story: my senior year of high school, I did a presentation about the history of Coney Island. This presentation began with my friend and I singing a commercial jingle for the now demolished Astroland amusement park at Coney Island:

Remember Coney Island, and how it used to be
now it’s everything it ever was AND MORE!
we’re gonna rock, ROCK
we’re gonna roll, ROLL
we’re gonna bop, BOP
and lose control

(That was where we stopped because we couldn't remember the rest.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Among Others Reading List: Zelazny, McCaffrey, and Heinlein

After reading AmongOthers by Jo Walton, I was inspired by Mor’s prodigious reading list to dig into some classic Sci-Fi and Fantasy. First on the docket: Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny, Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey, and Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. I enjoyed these books, but boy oh boy did reading them make me glad that I never had to be a woman in the 60s and 70s.