Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Reading Thing 2011

March 20 - June 20
Hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days

Spring Reading Thing 2007 was my first ever reading challenge, and I'm excited to participate again this year! (The details of the challenge are here.) Here is my list of twenty-one books I hope to read (or finish reading) during the thirteen weeks of this challenge:
  • All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

  • Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman

  • Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney

  • Far from You by Lisa Schroeder

  • The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages

  • Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

  • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

  • Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression by Ida Lichter*

  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

  • No Going Back by Jonathan Langford*

  • Of Pigs, Pearls, and Prodigals: A Fresh Look at the Parables of Jesus by John Bytheway

  • Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

  • The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman

  • The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

  • Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

  • What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

*Already started reading.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

Published in 2004.
Audiobook read by Scott Brick.

Scott Westerfeld, author of the Uglies series, is a brilliant social commentator! On his website, he describes So Yesterday this way:

What if it was your job to say what was cool? What if clothes and electronics companies gave you cash for your opinion, and lots of free stuff on top of it? You wouldn't complain about that, would you?

Hunter Braque is a professional cool-hunter. No ads go on TV without his approval, no new shoes hit the stores unless he's down with them. It's a pretty sweet deal, until he meets Jen—a rare Innovator, one of the people who actually creates cool at street-level. Real cool, not the corporate kind. Suddenly, strange things start to happen.

First Hunter's boss Mandy disappears. When he enlists Jen to help find her, the two begin to uncover a plot to end consumerism as we know it! Will the world change forever, or can Hunter save the sacred bond between brands and buyers? Does he even want to?

I enjoyed the first two-thirds of this unique book more than the last third, but overall I found it to be a fun, satirical look at who decides what is cool.

Westerfeld's wife, author Justine Larbalestier, called So Yesterday "a love letter to New York City" in a blog post about the book. I particularly enjoyed the shout out to Becky Hammond of the WNBA (even though she's no longer with New York). There is a cool photoblog of So Yesterday celebrating New York City on Westerfeld's blog.