Last night I started reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls.  It came in on hold, for the second time, and I thought I’d better start it right away.  Sometimes it’s hard to get books back off the shelf once I bring them home – it can turn into a black hole of Things I Want to Read.  At any rate, I’m a little ways in and simultaneously interested and repulsed.  Repulsed isn’t quite the right word – I’m not irritated by Anderson’s style (the use of strikethroughs and various text sizes mostly works for me) and I’m finding the characters intriguing.  I think it’s mostly that I just don’t get anorexia.  I can’t even imagine having that kind of relationship with food.  That, in turn, makes it hard to empathize with Lia.  At the same time, it’s like a car accident – it’s hard to look away.  I’m curious to see how I feel as I get further into the story.

Speaking of things I’m reading, I need to work fast and clear some space on my To-Read shelf, because there are a lot of books coming out soon that I want to read.

  • Top of the list is the sequel to Patrick Ness’ The Knife of Never Letting Go, which is coming out in September.  I might go so far as to purchase this one for myself – The Ask and the Answer – just so I don’t have to wait for the YA librarian to order it , which of course means I need a matched set.  Which means I need to reread the first book.  Talk about cliff-hangers!  I’d better prepare myself for what I’m sure will be another.  Also, why isn’t there an audio version of The Knife yet?  Seriously.  September 8.
  • Everyone’s all buzz buzz buzz about Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games.  And I’m definitely looking forward to this, but not with the same intensity or cliff-hanger-resolving anxiety.  I’ve got it on hold, and I’m willing to wait a bit before devouring it.  September 1.
  • Same thing goes for the Graceling prequel, Fire – I want to read it, but I’m not biting my nails.  October 5.
  • Katherine Sturtevant, author of the wonderful At the Sign of the Star and it’s companion, A True and Faithful Narrative (both excellent historical fiction) has a new one coming out, which isn’t another book about Meg, but I trust Sturtevant’s style enough to be looking forward to it.  It’s called The Brothers Story, and don’t you wish it had a better title AND a better cover?  Sheesh, don’t the publishers want people to read it?  Also, shouldn’t there be an apostrophe in the title somewhere?  November 10.
  • Speaking of bad title decisions, the third installment in Linda Buckley-Archer’s Gideon trilogy is due out – Time Quake.  The first book was originally called Gideon the Cutpurse – doesn’t that just scream fabulous historical fiction?  Then, when the second book came out, the title was switched to The Time Travelers.  Yawn!  Book two is The Time Thief and the new one is Time Quake.  Sure, sure, this is a nice sort of branding and the whole series is unified, blah blah blah.  But I had to look them up to make sure I had the right name for each book – the titles aren’t distinct or memorable.  True, the books focus less on Gideon himself than on the children, but the switch did the whole series a disfavor.  Nice covers, though.  October 6.
  • Speaking of new covers, I’m not too much in love with the cover for Shannon Hale’s new one, Forest Born.  I liked the style of the original covers of The Goose Girl, etc., much better.  This one looks less old-fashioned and distinct and more like it could belong on any girly fantasy story.  Which isn’t to say that I won’t read the book.  But this series is more companion-y and less of a build-up from one book to the next, which means it probably won’t be at the top of my pile – I ordered it, and I’ll let the kids have at it first.  September 15.
  • Al Capone Shines My Shoes.  I feel like I need an exclamation point at the end of the title.  I can’t wait to see what Gennifer Choldenko does with this sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts. It’s been a while since I read the first one, but I have fond memories – and it’s historical fiction that won’t scare off boys.  Can’t wait to unpack it when it arrives.  September 8.
  • I already mentioned Richard Peck’s new one a while ago, A Season of Gifts.  I highly recommend both A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder on audio – so hilarious and still sweet at the same time.  So of course I ordered the new one.  And speaking of covers, I have no doubt who’s driving that car.  September 17.

What am I missing?  I know there’s a new Kate DiCamillo, and a Neil Gaiman novella, and Jasper Dash and the Flame Pits of Delaware – what else?

Edited to add:  Duh.  Sacred Scars, the sequel to Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey.  My hold just came in and reminded me.

Second duh: Front and Center, the sequel to Dairy Queen and The Off Season.

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