Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Crayons: What's New On Our Shelves

Remember when you were a kid and getting new crayons was a big deal? Getting new books holds the same kind of magic for some of us big kids. Every week on Sunday, I post what's new in our box. Hope you'll share what you picked up from the library, bookstore or in the mail, too.

We are very fortunate to have so many generous donors. They are a modest lot, too; most of our donations are made anonymously. We received more donations this week. Below are titles we received in the mail and titles I brought home to add to my ever growing tbr (remember me lamenting about the lack of reviews earlier this week?).

In the mail:
Children in The Waters by Carleen Brice
...the literature of Denver is oddly scant, and it’s refreshing to see the city portrayed this way, populated by characters who feel like genuine Denver folks. In Children of the Waters, Denver is a city that’s multi-cultural yet stuck in the middle of the somewhat monochromatic West, mountain-oriented yet urban, with the problems of poverty and drugs that go along with that, as well as the culture and privilege to be found in any city of its size: the Cousins family has Club Level Rockies season tickets, and Billie enjoys dining at WaterCourse Foods, a Capitol Hill vegetarian restaurant. See review at New West Book Review. Looking forward to reading this. You can win a copy in our Summer Madness Giveaway.

Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson an excellent collection of stories by a talented writer. Some of the stories here are science fiction, some resemble fables, and there's even a sprinkling of horror, but what unites all of them is Hopkinson's deftness, insight, and vivid prose. Not every writer merits their own collection of short pieces, and this honour comes relatively early in Hopkinson's career: she has written two novels and edited an anthology. Skin Folk is a welcome addition to her oeuvre. See full review at Challenging Destiny. I've read Brown Girl In The Ring and currently working on my CORA Diversity Roll Call so this couldn't have come at a more opportune time.

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler
...In the feisty Shori, Butler has created a new vampire paradigm — one that's more prone to sci-fi social commentary than gothic romance — and given a tired genre a much-needed shot in the arm. See full review here. This was my introduction to Butler's work. The opening scene is so graphic and chilling, I immediately impressed with her writing.

A Stone In My Hand by Cathryn Clinton
Publisher's comments
In Gaza City, 1988, a sensitive, observant girl finds her voice - and the strength to move beyond the violence that surrounds her. It has been a month since eleven-year-old Malaak's beloved father left Gaza City to look for work in Israel, only to disappear. Every day she climbs up to the roof and waits for him, imagining that she can fly to the prison cell where she is sure he waits. She speaks little to anyone, referring to commune with the loyal little bird she has tamed. Malaak's brother, Hamid, has his own way of coping. The volatile twelve-year-old feels only anger, stoked by militant extremists who preach violence as the only way to change their fate. There was some debate about this title. The issue was if it was biased. I don't think so. I think it reflects how a child processes conflict. The fact that the writer is outside of the culture yet renders a voice I'm convinced is authentic also impressed me.

From our library:
A New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson
The New Moon’s Arms is about mermaids–sea people, to be precise, and that drew me in right away. The main character, Calamity Lambkin, is mourning the death of her father and struggling through “the change of life”; she has a strained relationship with her daughter, Ifeoma, and her raging hormones seem to turn every eligible bachelor into a tasty treat. Eventually, Calamity discovers that menopause has restored a “gift” she had as a child: she was once a finder, with an uncanny ability to locate things that had been lost. See review at Fledgling. Thanks, Zetta for a great review.

When The Black Girl Sings by Bill Wright
Publisher's Comments
Lahni Schuler is the only black student at her private prep school. She's also the adopted child of two loving, but white, parents who are on the road to divorce. Struggling to comfort her mother and angry with her dad, Lahni feels more and more alone. But when Lahni and her mother attend a local church one Sunday, Lahni hears the amazing gospel choir, and her life takes an unexpected turn. This was on our wish list. Miss Attitude highly recommends it. Looking forward to this.

What did you get this week? Drop us a link with Mr. Linky.


gautami tripathy said...

All sound so good to me!

Mondays: Musings/Whereabouts

Carleen Brice said...

My mother told a story of me and my brothers breaking our new crayons because all our friends crayons were broken, so we thought they were supposed to be that way. :)

D Alexandra said...

I've been searching for books to add to my summer reads. I'm currently reading a book called "White Teeth", but when I'm finished I'll be looking at a few of your reviews for more book inspiration. <3 your blog. Keep it up!

Color Online said...

There is no shortage of inspiration here. Enter our Summer Madness Giveaway. Free book!

Windowpane Memoirs said...

Very good titles. Happy Readings!


Rebecca :) said...

Looks like a wonderful group of books! I am putting the Hopkinson short stories book on my list.

Taste Life Twice said...

I love that you're calling it New Crayons! I think I'll do that everytime I forget a book that should go in Mailbox Monday, which I'm sure will happen often lol

Color Online said...

Hi Tashi,

I call it New Crayons for two reasons, which I just recently realized I left off. The first is the metaphor I mention and the other is crayons are a great way to refer to multicultural lit.

I participate in 3 mailbox memes. My suggestion is list the same link for each mm.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I have got to read When the Black Girl Sings, Children in the Waters, and A New Moon's Arms. Then I want to read the rest of these! Great list.

I read Scott Westfeld's Extras this week, which is about Japanese teen geeks in the future. It's better than I expected and very enjoyable reading.

Color Online said...

Hey Andromeda,

Drop a link at Black-Eyed Susan's, Little Lov'n Monday. I'm offering Westerfield's Uglies in the drawing.

Sandra said...

I haven't done a New Crayons post as nothing has come in, not in the mail or from the library. Glad to see the interest picking up. I'm sure I'll have something for next week.

Serena said...

that's a wonderful variety! happy reading

Anonymous said...

Crayons for me! YAY! I won a $25 gift certificate to Amazon, so I got these 3:

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges

Can't wait to read them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kelly @ The Novel Bookworm said...

That's a terrific stack o'books! I'm looking forward to reading your reviews! Happy reading!

Color Online said...

Hi Kelly,

We never have a shortage of good reads. Anyone who really wants a good book by an author of color can find plenty here. :-)