Blogs

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Vera Dietz lost her best friend Charlie-- so why is he appearing to her at all the wrong times? What ensues is a beautiful tale of loss and redemption. While there are touches of romance, and plenty of school drama to go around, the real gem of this narrative was held for me in the burgeoning relationship between Vera and her emotionally distant, yet caring father.

I loved ASK THE PASSENGERS by King, and so I had to read more of her work. And I'm so glad I did. King has nailed the magical realism genre in way that is so authentically teen that it hurts my mind. In a good way. Told with King's signature sense of humor, depth, intelligence and honesty, this novel has affirmed my goal of reading EVERY BOOK A.S. King has ever written. And I hope you do, too. (ages 13+)

--Reviewed by Maggie, Books Inc. Children's Department Director

Imogen: The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys by Amy Novesky

Ms. Novesky gives us another picturebook biography of a fascinating female artist (Georgia in Hawaii; Me, Frida)...this time celebrating photographer Imogen Cunningham who spent much of her life in San Francisco. A lovely introduction to a ground-breaking talent. Will be a good addition to any Women's History Month reading list in March.

--Reviewed by Summer of Books Inc. Laurel Village

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

I don't read many graphic novels but I was drawn to this one because I heard great things about this author and another kids specialist was really moved by this story. I can totally see why. This story was great and I loved that she had gay characters in it. I think any kid could find something from this story they can relate to, I know I did and I'm no longer a kid in age...but always in heart The art was beautiful and I think the story sends a very good message about excepting others which is a very much needed lesson it seems these days. I will definitely be reading more from this author and will try reading some more graphic novels in the future. --Reviewed by Melanie of Books Inc. Berkeley

Book Club Update

 It's been awhile since I've checked in. Cooks and Books has had 4 meetings so far, and we've read some really wonderful books. I think the favorites have been David Lebovitz's "Sweet Life in Paris", and Brad Kessler's "Goat Song".Just to remind you, we meet on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at the Chestnut Street store, at 7PM. We're excited to welcome anyone who is interested in food: making it, eating it, and of course, reading about it.Our next meeting is on February 19. Our book is Kristin Kimball's "The Dirty Life", not your typical 'city-slicker-moves- to-the-country' memoir. 

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Anna grew up with the story that when she came along, her mom wasn't alone anyone. She was her mom's world, her "five-pointed star", but that wasn't enough for her mom. She wasn't enough. Her mom starts dating and along come a string of boyfriends and husbands that flutter in and out of Anna's life. Soon, it's just her alone in the empty house. To fill the loneliness, Anna turns to boys thinking that if she gives boys what they want, they can give her what she needs. Companionship. Company. Affection. This 240 page book is not light, contrary to looks. Sexuality, rape, abortion are some of the issues that show up in the story. However, this book never dissolves into an "issues" book - not once while I was reading the book felt like I was being bashed over the head with a point. Rather, the entire focus of the story is Anna. It's her story. And Anna....I felt for her so much. I just wanted to spirited her away or at least give her a million hugs of affection. The things that she endured and the lack of positive, loving adult presence in her life breaks my heart. But the thing that drives home Anna's story is Scheidt's prose. It's frank, sparse and lyrical. She doesn't hold back in her words, but she's not overly descriptive either. The words are just so. Raw. honest and wonderfully written. --reviewed by Connie of Books Inc. Opera Plaza

Los Colores del Camaleon por Chisato Tashiro

Los Colores del Camaleón es una deliciosa historia llena de creatividad y diversión. A través de ella conoceremos a todos los animales de la selva y aprenderemos lo importante que es valorar aquello nos hace únicos. Prepárate a ver leones a rayas de mil colores, cebras azules con puntos verdes, e incluso ¡hipopótamos rosas! ¿Qué estará tramando el camaleón?

Chameleon’s Colors is a delicious story full of creative joy. Through the story you will get to know all of the animals of the jungle and you will realize the value and importance of the things that make us unique. Be prepared to see lions with stripes of a million colors and blue zebras with green polka-dots and even a pink hippo! What is going through the chameleon’s mind?

Reviewed by Yolanda—  Books Inc. Mountain View’s Monthly Spanish storytime visitor

Yolanda reads stories in Spanish the first Sat of every month at 4:30 in MV!

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