. Athena's Books: Technically speaking, this is still the Christmas season...the rest of 12 Days' List!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Technically speaking, this is still the Christmas season...the rest of 12 Days' List!

Wow...Christmas was last Saturday! I actually took my tree and Christmas decorations down a few hours ago...but now...on to more yummy, festive times.

Making buenelos for New Year's Eve is a traditional Tex-Mex/ Mexican thing down here in the Valley so I need to go buy some "partially" cooked tortillas and plenty of sugar and cinnammon tomorrow so I can get started early on Friday. Basically, for all you non-Mexicans out there...buenelos (with the funny symbol on top of the "n" that I don't know how to type) are fried flour tortilla dough (what we call masa) covered in a sugar-cinnamon mix. Buenelos and Mexican chocolate are essential during the Christmas season! The ultimate sweet Christmas comfort food I grew up with! Just thinking about it makes me want to curl up with a few good books!

Here are the rest of my 12 Days of Christmas book recommendations:

5. The Lives of Girls and Women...the classical book by Alice Munro. Everybody out there...you have got to read this book. This is what stuffy shirts call "literary" but really, this is just good ol' grown up YA before YA existed. First person POV, strong female protagonist, coming-of-age, love story all mixed in with spectacular writing, wit, and humor. You will laugh, cry, and just wish every single YA book was written like this. Don't let the turn of the century copyright date get you...you can't tell. I love contemporary YA more than any other genre, and this book is as contemporary as it gets even though the time setting is not our own, but yet giving you insight to the way the female mind works...and you know that never changes...I seriously give this book a gazillion stars as a rating! But for the older YA crowd!

Summary: (From Penguin.Ca)

Lives of Girls and Women is a coming-of-age story told through the eyes of Del Jordan. As Del moves from childhood through a nervous adolescence and into young adulthood she introduces us to such memorable characters as her vibrant and unorthodox mother, the sad and dangerous men from her small town and the school kids who make fun of her and her family.

6. The Flowers by Dagoberto Gilb. So this is also the type of book classified as "literary" by not necessarily by the stuffy shirt people. This is "literary" by contemporary creative writing standards. You want progressive? You want "now"? You want experimental forms? This is it! This is unadulturated, at times stream-of-consciousness writing with significant male testorone as the driving force and no chapters...here we have a very unique, edgy male voice with a lyrical, passionate, in-your-face tone who sees the world in colors (metaphorically) and grows up to be a better young man than the boy he is at the beginning. By the way...one of the few Latino novels out there accessible to a the older YA crowd.


How would I be if I lived here? I’d let that come into me, I’d let my mind go to the show it liked. Maybe you could say I would go off to my own world. To me it wasn’t mine, nothing like mine, because it would go to black. I loved that color. It was like when the eyes aren’t open but try to see. What would finally come were colors and lines busting through, flying out and off and cutting in, crazy fires and sparks, and it’d come out speeding, and I’d be like a doggie out the window, those lane dividers whiffing by on the freeway straight below an open car window. I’d start to see shapes floating and straightening and wiggling and see it like it was a music that didn’t make sound but was making a story. Not a regular story and I don’t mean one you would hear some loco nut tell you, one that didn’t have nothing to do with people or places you’ve ever seen. It’s that I can’t describe it better. Just, I have to watch, I have to listen.

I guess I'm out of time...will have to just list the rest...and make these my first set of minni-reviews for 2011! Happy New Year's Eve folks!

7. Sophie Mendoza's Guide for Getting Lost in Mexico by Malin Alegria

8. Incantation by Alice Hoffman

9. Sea by Heidi Kling

10. Circle the Soul Softly by Davida Wills Hurwin

11. ummm...The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan! I will never stop promoting this book!

12. ummm...The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan! Ditto!

I want to thank my professor (Jean) for Form and Theory of the Novel this past semester for putting Munro and Gilb on the reading list for class! Two of the best books I have ever read in or out of school. She is not a stuffy shirt (even though I did have to read BORING Middlemarch...don't read it all you YA book lovers)!