Friday, May 7, 2010

Reading Rain-bow: What To Read?

So... Reading Rain-bow is going to be a little different this week. Rather than recommend a specific book I'm going to ask for your recommendations. More on that later.

BUT FIRST, HAVE YOU SEEN THE AMAZING NEW TRAILER FOR LINGER?? Maggie Stiefvater made this herself (including the music - is there anything she can't do?), and seriously, it's brilliant. The music, the imagery, the everything. I don't know if I've ever been so excited to read a book! I am planning on re-reading Shiver in July and I'm trying to hold myself to that. Watching this makes me want to grab Shiver and sequester myself in the reading room.

RIGHT? Brilliant. Linger will be out July 20th, so if you haven't read Shiver yet, get thee to the bookstore! Now! Go! *shoos you off to the bookstore*

Okay, so back to the rain-bow... this week I'd just like to talk about some books in my TBR list. I have to make a big ol' book order this week and I'd LOVE to get some suggestions from you all. I don't know if you all know, but Mr. R and I are adopting our second child, so I'll be on a VERY, VERY LONG plane ride soon and will need some good reading. I know I'm definitely taking the final book in the Percy Jackson series, but I will need more than that for our travels. (I should also mention that I'll be on somewhat of a "New Mama Leave" during the month of June, but Meadow will have lots of help, and I probably won't be able to stay away that long.)

So, here are some things on my book-order list so far:

*Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
*The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
*The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
*Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer

What am I missing? Any new books that I should be adding to the list? Or one of your old favorites? I'm turning the tables this week and asking for your recommendations!

P.S. You might have noticed that Twidays took a break last week. It might be taking a break lots of Fridays coming up. In fact, Meadow and I are thinking of only posting twice a week during the summer. We have a lot going on and rather than give you less-than-stellar posts, we're just going to post a little bit less. But, I'll still be here with weekly recommendations and we'll have a book-related discussion once a week too. And then if something comes up that we have to talk about, we'll just post when we want. Because we're whimsical like that. *wink*

And, don't forget our whimsical book club! Hex Hall is the book for the month, so read up and leave your thoughts in the comment box on the sidebar! The discussion will be posted on May 28th. We can't wait to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book Trailers: Do You Watch?

I've been wondering about book trailers. I've never really used them to choose a book. Honestly, a book trailer usually only makes sense to me AFTER I've read the book. Watching one prior to reading usually just leaves me feeling all WTF? about the whole thing.

But, I do really love Maggie Stiefvater's trailer for Shiver. I should admit that I watched this only after reading the book, so I'm not sure what I would have thought otherwise...

Wow, that Shiver trailer must have taken as long to make as it did to write the book! Speaking of... it makes me want to read it even more.

It's rare that I pick up a book *because* of a book trailer. Let's face it: a lot of book trailers are cheesy. But every once in a while, I come across one, like Katie Alender's Bad Girls Don't Die, that views like a movie. Those are the ones that do their job, prompting me to place an immediate order on Amazon.

Oooh, that was creepy and AWESOME!

I think that as consumers we EXPECT visuals to draw us into books. Until recently I relied on cover art to draw me in. A well-made book trailer, however, does a much better job!

I agree completely about the cover art. And the Bad Girls Don't Die trailer is genius because it actually has a voice-over. So many trailers just use music and text to complement the images. And often that does work, but hearing the main character's voice makes it more intimate, in my opinion.

One of my favorite examples of the text/music/image technique working well is the trailer for Candor, by Pam Bachorz. I love the feel of this and I think it ties in really well to the actual book. (Although I definitely would have cast a different Oscar. Just sayin.)

Well, there's gotta be something to book trailers. After all, Maggie Stiefvater has spent the past few DAYS tweeting about the trials of making a book trailer for Linger. I can't wait to see it, even if it's just to try and figure out the exact point she glued her hands to her hair. *wink*

Oh me too! I think she said she'll be sharing it with us all on Friday or Monday!

So, what about you all? Do you watch book trailers? Do you have a favorite one that we should check out? And, if you're a writer, how do you feel about book trailers?


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Reading Rain-bow: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Okay friends. This book. Oh, this book. I can barely even begin to form words to tell you how much I loved this book. I had picked If I Stay by Gayle Forman up a bunch of times, but wasn't sure I would like it. Then I saw a facebook post by Maggie Stiefvater about it and decided to give in. I trust Maggie.

Here is a quick synopsis from the If I Stay website (which is SO much better than what is written on the back of the book - please just ignore all of that):

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

And here is how my reading went:

Page 50: Feel the need to make facebook post, "Am reading If I Stay by Gayle Forman. 50 pages in and I am in love with this book."

Page 90: Realize I am reading too fast. Force myself to slow down and try to savor every word.

Page 104: Text to Meadow: "You MUST go get If I Stay by Gayle Forman for your trip. I am in love with this book. Forcing myself to put it down to make it last."

Page 152: Smiling and crying through the beauty of the scenes of Mia's life.

Page 185: Scrunching up my face trying not to cry again.... Then, f*ck it. My eyes will just be perpetually wet.

Final page: I wonder. How did she do this? How did Gayle Forman sit down and write such beauty? I don't know. But this I do know: This is why I read. To happen upon a book like this. One that moves me to tears and laughter in the same moment. One that I want to last forever. One that I can't stop thinking about and never want to finish. One that I'll never forget. This is why I read.

And now... I'm not sure why I loved this book so much. I know part of it was Mia's family. I adored them. Mostly, I loved her mom, who was smart and tough and used the word "f*ck," but also was kind and loving and understanding. Not to mention punk rock. Is it sad that I identified most with the mom in this book? Nah - I'm okay with that.

And Mia. Even now I want to cry. Seriously. I'm not going to claim that everyone will love this book. Obviously I had a very personal reaction to it. But, honestly, I hope you love it. And I definitely think you should give it a chance.

If you've read If I Stay, I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if you plan on reading it, let me know!