Two novels this weekend plus several Cybils nominees

I had the opportunity to read quite a bit this weekend, as I was not feeling up to par and didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything much. When not sleeping the extra hours from feeling bad or the additional hours gained from going to bed extra early Saturday night, and then another hour from the end of Daylight Savings Time, I did nothing but read. Here are the results:

This novel, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, by Jan-Philipp Sandker is interesting. It presents protagonist, Julia Winn, whose father disappears without explanation. She travels to Burma and learns of his early life before he was her father and of his return to Burma shortly before his death in search of his one true love. Julia learns what real, pure love is as she learns of her dad’s love for Mimi. The book is filled with family mysteries and is a “magical and uplifting tale of hardship and resilience and the unyielding power of love.” It is a darned good read.

Cleverly written, this one is for older high schoolers.

Described as a “frank tale of teenage girlhood,” this novel tells the story of Jemimina, a complex character who is fighting the male patriarchy with all she’s got. In her school, she is chosen as part of the Triumvirate who “rules” the school, and with Jemima’s strong desire to “make things different,” changes the ways things are done at this posh private school. It is also a story of first love, “the first time,” and first impressions. It is frank, relevant, and challenging to YA readers.

Appealing to the questions of teenagers about the usual things of teenage-hood like sex and “first times,” The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kinkaid listens to the needs of its YA readers.

I finished four Cybils nominees this weekend, one of which made my shortlist. I understand that a panelist for the first round in poetry (mostly novels in verse) should list 5-7 candidates for the award. I believe the one I added makes 5. I still have many to read, so I will have to do some “adjusting” to my list.




Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

4 thoughts on “”

  1. You can actually have as many books on your shortlist at this point as you want. Glad you didn’t reveal anything about which books you read, though. Keeping everything on the qt.

    I’m terribly sorry to hear that you were not feeling well this weekend. It was crazy busy here, as my son and his family came down here to celebrate Annie’s sixth birthday. As usual, she asked to use her special cheese knife! And we checked out a bounce house from the library that was great fun.

    I hope to settle down and get some books read this week!

    Liked by 2 people

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