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.