A Bookish Countdown Survey

I am doing this electronic swap on Swap-Bot and thought it would be fun to post a bookish survey here. It is also a reminder of all the books I have yet to read! These are in no particular order and it was really hard to choose my favorite covers.

 10 Books Already Released That Are On My Wishlist

9 Favorite Covers

8 Not-Yet-Released Books That I Can’t Wait For

7 Auto-Buy Authors

Good or bad, I always buy books from the following authors:

Jessica Day Lewis

Shannon Hale

John Flanagan

E.D. Baker

Karen Traviss

Juliet Marillier

Gail Carson Levine

6 Book Boyfriends (and/or girlfriends)

Okay, they are more like characters I really really love. They have struck a chord and they are my favorite not real people.

Aragorn- Lord of the Rings

Gandalf- Lord of the Rings

Miri- Princess Academy

Anne Elliot- Persuasion

Hermione Granger- Harry Potter

Will Treaty- Ranger’s Apprentice

5 Books I Recommend The Most

Since I work with kids and teens these are the books that I recommend nearly every week.

4 Books I Thought I’d Like But Didn’t

3 Books That Made Me Cry

2 Books I Never Plan On Reading

1 Favorite Genre At The Moment

Queen of the Tearling- Book review

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

At first I really was enjoying this book. I was intrigued by the main character who was hidden away from the realm until she could take her rightful place. She was naive, brave, and a bit mysterious. Her flight to the throne and her capture kept me turning the pages. I was really starting to enjoy this book.

My first impression of this book was that it is set in a Medieval world with knights and kingdoms in peril. Then the characters talked about birth control, technology, and modern authors… wait what??? What time period are we in again? I actually had to do some research at work (because that is what librarians do) to figure out what the heck was going on. The New York post sheds a bit of light on the confusion:

“The book takes place 300 years in the future — though it appears at first glance more like medieval times. In the Tearling world, technology is banned, castles and royalty are back in vogue and the scourge of slavery and human tracking has returned to society. Slavery, it should be noted, is done via a lottery system as an offering to the Red Queen.”

* This was taken from this article: http://nypost.com/2014/02/15/will-emm…

No where on the back cover is this mentioned at all. When I got to these parts in the book I was super confused. If it had been mentioned at the beginning rather than sprinkled randomly around in the story I might have stuck with this one. The world building in this story is spread out and unclear throughout the book. I ended up skim reading the rest of it because I was so annoyed with the writing.

Also, what is up with publishers who constantly tout “Just like Hunger Games and Game of Thrones?” I get that they want people who like those series to pick up the title. However dear reader, you might as well wipe your brain free of those references because this book is nothing like it.

I would suggest this book to fantasy/dystopian diehards. It is listed as Adult fiction with a Teen appeal and I feel that is accurate. While it wasn’t a book for me I can see some fantasy readers who can suspend their beliefs and are not worried about weird world building and confusing plots enjoying this title.

View all my reviews

Books challenged the most in 2013

Each year ALA releases a list of the books that receive the most challenges for the previous year. You can see the backlog here. The top 10 for 2013 are listed below with an explanation of what made them challenged.  Captain Underpants seems to always be on the list near the top so no surprises there. I was surprised by the “Bone” series making the top 10 this year.

While I have not personally had to deal with challenges, I have had to deal with age appropriate items when I worked at the schools. My previous job was at a Kindergarten through 4th grade building. Our library collection had been purchased as a starter kit. While it is easier to get books on the shelves with this method, it did lead to lots of weeding for age appropriate materials. There were many books that would be great for Junior High or High School readers but not great for Elementary students. Whatever was pulled was sent to another library in the district where those materials would be used. It could be viewed as censorship however, we saw it as getting books into the right readers hands.

That being said, I am curious as to what you all might think of our choices. Was this censorship?  I am thinking of exploring this topic a bit more in a future post depending on the response.

Here are the top 10 challenged books for 2013- (List taken from Christian Science Monitor and ALA)

1. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence

2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

4. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James
Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit

7. Looking for Alaska by John Green
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

9. Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

10. Bone (series) by Jeff Smith
Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence