Seven Books for People Who Like the Color Yellow

Organizing a bookshelf according to color makes perfect sense to me — I am more likely to remember a book by its cover than its title or author. I went to a bookstore and did some color arranging of my own the other day. Though I wasn't interested in reading any of these books, I did have fun on this scavenger hunt through the YA section.

OMG! I'm in Love With a Geek! by Rae Earl
Tape by Steven Camden
Exile by Kevin Emerson
Innocent by Anne Cassidy
Burned by P.C. & Kristin Cast
Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal by Chris Colfer

I found this book on my way out:

When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan

What color should I hunt for next?

An Arabian Nights Remix: Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn

If you were to guess that this book is a retooled tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, you would be correct. Like any good fairy tale, it is not incredibly original. We seek out fairy tales because of their familiarity. Consider why most western fairy tales have events in sets of three (e.g. Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Twelve Dancing Princesses and the three night challenge…) – to let us get comfortable but not too comfortable, to add suspense as we search for the change in the pattern, to give us a skeleton for retelling and embellishing the tale for the next generation.

Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn

The authors, Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Day Al-Mohamed, rely heavily on the structure of a couple of the more famous Arabian folk tales: there are forty thieves, a vast treasure that once belonged to the caliphate, an enchanted cavern that reveals itself to the words “open sesame”, and a djinni (anglicised: genie) that is trapped in a bottle and a ring, among other elements that readers familiar with the traditional tales will recognize. But they go beyond the familiar to weave a tapestry infused with strands of Arabic, Persian, and Egyptian culture and vocabulary, create scenes that transport the readers to the early twentieth century Arabia (if it had magic and steampunk additions), and teach us about the nature of the Islamic faith through the patient piety of Baba Ali.

Ali is a 18-year-old Arab boy, doing an engineering apprenticeship in England. The book begins by following him as he seeks to complete a simple errand, but shows his exhaustion as he is discriminated against and antagonized by the homogenous, unwelcoming streets of London.

Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don't Own Yet

Between the library, ARCs for review, friends, and books I am trying to read to sell back, I have put a moratorium on book buying. My self-imposed bookstore exile has increased my to-read lists because it encourages me to read more. Thanks to the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish for inspiring this list!

Book covers of the following list

x. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

When I asked a couple teen girls at my church what they read, they lit up and told me about this series. Naturally, I have to read it.

Self-Published Spotlight: Alora by Tamie Dearen

I have a prejudice. I will watch cell phone videos of a person in a dirty bedroom playing a guitar with interest. I supported Radiohead when they released In Rainbows sans record label. I love the forefathers of contemporary art because they thumbed their noses at the institutionalized rules. Recently, Youtube serial dramas have filled the void in my life created when I stopped watching TV seven years ago.

But books? No. There are just too many reckless users of the English language out there and I am not going to bother wasting my time unless it has the official stamp of approval. And a professional editing job.

After reading an article about how the book industry is the last snobbish holdout against the internet-fueled creative revolution, I decided to confront my prejudice. How could I say I disapproved of self-published books if I had never read one?

Sisters: the small stuff may annoy you, but they do have benefits

Here’s the gist: Little Miss Sunshine style road trip complete with the rickety VW bus, parents on the verge of a divorce, and family members that are too wrapped up in their own worlds to see the problems of the others. You can guess how it resolves.

National Book Lovers Day: a list of my current reads

Happy National Book Lovers Day!

I am celebrating National Book Lovers Day by consuming an entire box of After Eights and a large chunk of my current reads. Let it be known: I support book polygamy.

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Romans by R.C. Sproul
The Poem and the Journey: 60 Poems for the Journey of Life by Ruth Padel
Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul David Tripp

Enjoy your book binging today!

One Hundred Years of Solitude: Does anyone else have trouble remembering what it is about?

If you ask me: Hey, what is that book about that you said you really liked? I will probably give a vague response that will leave you thinking that the summary I just gave could have been about any number of books. I have had multiple embarrassing conversations at the reference desk of a bookstore that all went something like this...