Tuesday, October 4, 2016

september wrap-up

Welcome to Stardust and Word's September Wrap Up, in which we talk about all of the things I did read in September, and bemoan the fact that I barely got to post on here at all. September was crazy, and I also went through... it's hard for me to say... a reading slump. There. I said it. I watched too much Brooklyn 99 and didn't do half as much reading as I should've. I think I'm mostly out of it now, but it was a frustrating time for me. Most of the things I did read were for school, with only five being for pleasure, so if this list is more boring than usual, then you have my sincerest apologies :) 

Walt Disney: An American Original – Bob Thomas (4)

Walt Disney is an American hero--the creator of Mickey Mouse, and a man who changed the face of American culture. After years of research, with the full cooperation of the Disney family and access to private papers and letters, Bob Thomas produced the definitive biography of the man behind the legend--the unschooled cartoonist from Kansas City who went bankrupt on his first movie venture but became the genius who produced unmatched works of animation. Complete with a rare collection of photographs, Bob Thomas' biography is a fascinating and inspirational work that captures the spirit of Walt Disney.

Nobody's Family is Going to Change – Louise Fitzhugh (2)  

In the world of children's literature, Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy and The Long Secret are widely recognized as epoch-making. They have been received by young readers, year after year, with excitement and love. The new Fitzhugh novel shares the vigorous sense of comedy and the unflinching fidelity to the real world that distinguished her earlier books. Many readers will feel, however, that Nobody's Family Is Going to Change is even finer than its predecessors.
Willie, seven years old, wants to dance. Emma, his older sister, wants to be a lawyer. Is there something wrong with them? Or is there something wrong with their parents, whose dreams for their children, the ordinary dreams of New York's black middle class, have little to do with what the children want? For Willie won't stop dreaming of the day he will dance with his uncle Dipsey on Broadway, and Emma is determined that someday she will address a courtroom. In this novel, the work of a matchless storyteller , Emma finds an answer for children with families that will not change.

The Movie Version – Emma Wunsch (3)

A whip-smart, heart-wrenching debut YA novel about first love, first loss, and filmmaking that will delight fans of Jandy Nelson and Jennifer Niven

In the movie version of Amelia’s life, the roles have always been clear. Her older brother, Toby: definitely the Star. As popular with the stoners as he is with the cheerleaders, Toby is someone you’d pay ten bucks to watch sweep Battle of the Bands and build a “beach party” in the bathroom. As for Amelia? She’s Toby Anderson’s Younger Sister. She’s perfectly happy to watch Toby’s hijinks from the sidelines, when she’s not engrossed in one of her elaborately themed Netflix movie marathons.          

But recently Toby’s been acting in a very non-movie-version way. He’s stopped hanging out with his horde of friends and started obsessively journaling and disappearing for days at a time. Amelia doesn’t know what’s happened to her awesome older brother, or who this strange actor is that’s taken his place. And there’s someone else pulling at her attention: a smart, cute new boyfriend who wants to know the real Amelia—not Toby’s Sidekick. Amelia feels adrift without her star, but to best help Toby—and herself—it might be time to cast a new role: Amelia Anderson, leading lady. 

Ludell – Brenda Wilkinson (2.5)

A young black girl experiences the pleasures and the pains of growing up during the 1950's in a small Georgia town.

A Room of One's Own – Virginia Woolf (3)  

A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on 24 October 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled "Women and Fiction", and hence the essay, are considered non-fiction. The essay is generally seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.

Furthermore – Tahereh Mafi (4)

There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn't miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it's been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she's about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she'll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit--and with a liar by her side in a land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice's wits (and every limb she's got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself--and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass .1-.5) – Sarah J Maas (5)*

Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J Maas (5)*

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Heyday –  Ben Wilson (3) 

Heyday brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods in modern history. From 1851, in the space of little more than a decade, the world was reshaped by technology, trade, mass migration and war. As instantaneous electric communication bridged the vast gulfs that separated human societies, millions of settlers travelled to the far corners of the Earth, building vast cities out of nothing in lightning-quick time. A new generation of fast steamships and railways connected these burgeoning frontier societies, shrinking the world and creating an interlinked global economy.

In the company of fortune-seekers and ordinary migrants, we journey to these rapidly expanding frontiers, savouring the frenetic activity and optimism of the boom-towns of the 1850s in Australia, New Zealand the United States. This is a story not only of rapid progress, but of the victims of an assurgent West: indigenous peoples who stood in the pathways of economic expansion, Asian societies engulfed by the forces of modernisation. We join, among others, Muslim guerrilla fighters in the Caucasus mountains and freelance empire-builders in the jungles of Nicaragua, British free trade zealots preying on China and samurai warriors resisting Western incursions in Japan. No less important are the inventions, discoveries and technologies that powered progress, and the great engineering projects that characterised the Victorian heyday, notably the transatlantic telegraph cable.

In a fast-paced, kaleidoscopic narrative, Ben Wilson recreates a time of explosive energy and dizzying change, a rollercoaster ride of booms and bust, witnessed through the eyes of the men and women reshaping its frontiers. At the centre stands Great Britain. The country was the peak of its power between 1851 and the mid-1860s as it attempted to determine the destinies of hundreds of millions of people. Heyday is a dazzlingly innovative take on a period of extraordinary transformation, a little-known decade that was fundamental in the making not only of Britain but of the modern world.

Secret Lives – Berthe Amoss (2)

Set against the backdrop of 1930s New Orleans, Berthe Amoss's 1979 young adult mystery follows twelve-year-old Addie Agnew as she struggles to uncover the secret of her mother's death. Living with her spinster aunts in a house that's practically haunted, Addie was always told her mother was perfect and was swept off to sea with Addie's father in a Honduran tidal wave. But Addie suspects there's something her aunts aren't telling her, and it has something to do with the locked trunk in the attic. What's in the trunk? And what really happened to Addie's parents? In this classic story about family secrets and growing up, Addie will stop at nothing to discover truth about her mother, even if learning the truth will change everything forever.

Three Years in Wonderland – Todd James Pierce 
While the success of Disneyland is largely credited to Walt and Roy Disney, there was a third, mostly forgotten dynamo instrumental to the development of the park fast-talking Texan C. V. Wood. Three Years in Wonderland presents the never-before-told, full story of the happiest place on earth. Using information from over one hundred unpublished interviews, Todd James Pierce lays down the arc of Disneyland s development from an idea to a paragon of entertainment.

In the early 1950s, the Disney brothers hired Wood and his team to develop a feasibility study for an amusement park Walt wanted to build in southern California. Woody quickly became a central figure. In 1954, Roy Disney hired him as Disneyland s first official employee, its first general manager, and appointed him vice president of Disneyland, Inc., where his authority was exceeded only by Walt. A brilliant project manager, Wood was also a con man of sorts. Previously, he had forged his university diploma. A smooth-talker drawn to Hollywood, the first general manager of Disneyland valued money over art. As relations soured between Wood and the Disney brothers, Wood found creative ways to increase his income, leveraging his position for personal fame. Eventually, tensions at the Disney park reached a boiling point, with Walt demanding he be fired.

In compelling detail, Three Years in Wonderland lays out the struggles and rewards of building the world s first cinematic theme park and convincing the American public that a $17 million amusement park was the ideal place for a family vacation. The early experience of Walt Disney, Roy Disney, and C. V. Wood is one of the most captivating untold stories in the history of Hollywood. Pierce interviewed dozens of individuals who enjoyed long careers at the Walt Disney Company as well as dozens of individuals who like C. V. Wood helped develop the park but then left the company for good once the park was finished. Through much research and many interviews, Three Years in Wonderland offers readers a rare opportunity to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the men and women who built the best-known theme park in the world.


Kids of Appetite – David Arnold (4) 

The bestselling author of Mosquitoland brings us another batch of unforgettable characters in this tragicomedy about first love and devastating loss.
Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

1 comment:

80% Read the Printed Word!