Thursday, April 30, 2009

Guest Book Report!

From David

This bookwill not help you become any more adept at "living in the moment" (despite it's provocatively liberal cover) unless you are a hopeless 15-year old private school girl desperately focusing all time and energy into getting a 5.3 GPA.

If you can get over all the swearing and the repeated (graphic ) lesbian sex* scenes thing



this book is actually a pretty fun trip.

(*which, despite how graphic the book was, I'm still not entirely clear on how works.)

This book


is all dystopian and stuff.

I guess trying to make science cool sounded good in the pitch meeting

But in practice, really, that's harder than it sounds.

Someone tell me

Is writing your novel entirely in verse supposed to make it deeper or something?


cuz maybe in the one case I just can't get over the whole 700 pages thing, but, uh, no.

Guest Book Report

from La Yen

This book
was BAD. But in a horribly, shameful way that makes me want to know if they ever are sober in junior year!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Guest Book Report

From Ann.

This book did NOT make me want to put on a bathing suit.

Guest Book Report

From Karen.

the people in this book


don't just have mashed potatoes. they have ROSEMARY GARLIC mashed potatoes.

So, there I am reading this book


and it's all manly and footbally and everything. but in a halfway deep sort of way. I'm twenty pages in and I have to pee. So I go do that. Then I climb into bed, grab the book, turn to page twenty and start reading again. Only, what I don't know is that I've accidentally grabbed this book:

and I am SO CONFUSED. Why did the football game turn into an orphanage where people think they can fly? I mean, the football player did talk about how he could stop time, and this new (girl) orphan discovers that she can go all invisible and stuff (and both the football guy and the orphan girl mysteriously keep repeating "if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?") but WTH is the author trying to do here?!

It takes me three chapters to realize that maybe I should read the flapcopy.

It takes me two reads through the flapcopy to realize that I'm not reading the same book.

And, yeah. They're thinking of giving me a PhD.

Guest Book Report

From my mom.

This bookhas some cussing. but is otherwise all cute and gothic.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When you're finished reading your book...

I was going to have you email me so I could send you a form.

However: Nicole, who I am now shamelessly in love with, took the form I sent her and uploaded it into an online site.

I'll put a link in the sidebar. Thank you, Nicole!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Just a note...

I am so thrilled by the number of people reading books for me! Y'all are going to make me get all weepy and, like, UN-cynical! Thanks so much!! (And keep reading!)

That very deep poem about Ninja slavery I was telling you about...

A ninja waiting
in the dark -- chains keeping him
from kicking your butt

(recited by this guy:)

Guest Book Report

This book



was beautiful and deserves a read by Kerry... after the dissertation is done.

from Nicole

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This book

was wicked awesome.

Things Students will do for Paper Extensions!

Dress like polygamists:

Proclaim their love for SWILUA via T-shirt

Walk around BYU (with a straight face) dressed like Abe Lincoln. And then--after reciting by memory the Gettysburg address--share a self-written Haiku about Ninja Slavery. (A very deep poem, at that.)

And last but certainly not least, make me THE MOST AWESOME PURSE EVER out of DUCT TAPE!!! It even has little magnets that snap it shut. I'm totally going to use it!

Guest Book Report

from my mom:

Don't tell anybody, but this book



was kinda sweet. I almost cried. (almost.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yay for fans of absolute crap!

La Yen: your book is "The It Girl #1," by by Cecily von Ziegesar

Mom: you can take "Audrey, Wait!" And I happened to pick up a copy at B&N today (don't tell Steve), so you can nick that.

Woo Hoo! Y'all Rock!

Thanks for your reading offers!! (And keep them coming!)

Here are some assignments. When you finish, send me an email at kerryspencer@byu.edu and I'll either email you the form to fill out, or if you're around/available I'll buy you lunch and explain it in person. then maybe I'll con you into reading another book...(I think your local library should be able to get most of these to you--I use inter-library loan a lot; if not, let me know and I'll figure out how to round you up a copy.)

Natalie: Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins

BFF: Roots and Wings, by Many Ly

Nicole: What Happens Here, by Tara Altebrando

Audra: Hershey Herself, by Cecilia Galante

Emily: unfortunately, you'd have to keep reading about the boners! but thanks, though!

Karie: Forging the Sword, by by Hilari Bell

Jamie: (yay for wanting the crappy ones!) Frenemies (Drama High), by L. Divine; I'm not sure how crappy it is, but the series is Drama High and that totally *sounds* crappy, right?

Karen: Secrets of My Hollywood life: Family Affairs, by Jen Calonita

We're totally going to have to have a cupcake party when we're done. Oh, and if you want me to post a "very brief book report" for you as a guest-poster, that could be hilariously awesome!

Thanks again!

Let's all be haters together!! (i.e. I desperately need your help)

You know how I've been having to read through those 212 &a^%$# books? Here's the thing. I realized today that if I added 100 more books to my sample, I might be able to say something entirely fascinating about how successful the publishing industry is at choosing which books to put marketing money behind.

The problem: I only have one month. And I can't read that many books in a month.

The plea: Will y'all help me read them?

The bribery: For every one (randomly assigned by moi) YA novel that you read and then fill out a form about within the next month, I will give you your choice of:

A) a cupcake from the locally famous Mrs. Backers. (if you read 30 books, just think of the sugar high!) I am willing to ship these wherever.
B) One point of extra credit. I realize that this would only benefit current students, but if you could read 20 books in a month, just think of your grade!!

C) A handmade flower barrette. Any color you want. I make these for Lily all the time and I bet I could pump out at least 100 during two nights of catching up on Lost. They look particularly good on two year olds, though I have been known to wear them myself.



D) A personally signed note. That says I heart you. So much.

Any takers?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Things I Hate About YA Literature Today: An Open Letter to YA Authors and Editors

First, a caveat: I've always loved YA literature. Always. Thought it was better than every other kind. More artistic. More solid. Better stories. More fun to Read.

And then I had to read through a random sample of 212 YA books.

And the problem: as statisticians are well aware, you can't really say, "I've read 1000 YA books, so I know something about YA literature," because your 1000 books might consist of a skewed sample. I might have read 1000 books, but if they were all Newbery winning books, or books that my friends raved about, or books that sold a gazillion copies, then they're not representative of YA literature as a whole. You need a *random* sample to say anything about that.

It turns out that what I thought was YA literature was a skewed sample.

Which is depressing.
And necessitates the following rant.

Be warned, as this is a subject I feel so passionately about, I might not be able to keep myself from swearing.

Things I Hate about YA Literature Today:

1) There is a world outside of NYC. And it's not LA.

2) Most kids are not that rich. Nor do they know anyone that rich. Nor do they care.

3) Whining really, really loud about something does NOT make it a conflict. i.e.: "OMG! I can't afford this $3000 Marc Jacobs purse like my friends because my AWFUL MOTHER put a $2000 limit on my credit card!!" = not a conflict.

4) Using more !!!!!'s will not make me more emotionally involved with your story.

5) Speaking of story, just because your book is "edgy" (i.e. everyone is drunk all the time except when they're doing blow and having indiscriminate sex with indiscriminate genders at indiscriminate orgies with lots and lots of indiscriminate boners and indiscriminate F words) doesn't mean you don't need one! Shock = not a story.

6) Speaking of F words, why the &^%$ are so many of your protagonists ungrateful, spoiled, entitled, b*tches and @$$holes who are utterly unlikable? Why would I want to waste my life reading about people who I wouldn't want to hang out with in 1000 years?!

7) And they really drink THAT MUCH?

8) And their parents really DON'T CARE AT ALL?

9) And speaking of unlikable protagonists, just because you made your protagonist exactly like you doesn't mean I'll find them charming. I'll just find you both annoying.

10) And if you wanted to publish a memoir about your youth, why the *&^% didn't you do THAT? Don't call it fiction and force me to wait for the *&&^%ing plot to appear.

11) See, fiction needs to be *believable* but it can't be *real.* Real life doesn't follow the fiction-required elements of story arc: conflict/complication/escalation/climax/resolution.

12) Small towns aren't always horrible. Neither are parents.

13) There are other professions more interesting than: actress, model, fashion designer, writer, heiress.

14) If your book is 500 pages long, then FOR THE LOVE OF LITERATURE SOMETHING BETTER HAPPEN!

15) Please decide which is more important: what you NEED to say, or entertaining your audience. If you chose the first one, stop writing for teenagers and get a blog.


Random samples = TOTALLY DEPRESSING. We can do better than this, people.

These Books



have inspired me to take Ann's advice! Stay tuned!

Vote!


Then:
Now:

Friday, April 03, 2009

Another fun BYU poster!

Just in case it's too small to fully appreciate, the caption reads: "Two thumbs up for the trendy tops including sleeves, backs, and high necklines! Fans will rave for the constantly covered skin!"

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I just looked through my spreadsheets

and discovered that of the last 60 books I've read, I only enjoyed 20 of them.

making me wonder:

do 2/3 of books just suck?

or am I 2/3 more cranky than the rest of the world?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

This book


will make you think that moms drink a lot.

and then this book

will confirm what you thought about moms drinking a lot.

next will come this book
where the protagonist will drink so much that he accidentally falls asleep for 20 hours. which actually sounds nice and makes you think maybe you should be a mom that drinks a lot.

and then when you feel bad for wanting to be a lush, you can read this book

where you can spend time in Israel NOT drinking, and you can learn to whine a lot.

and when you're done whining you can read this book
because it helps you remember that there are ways to fall asleep without drinking. Like, when you're so bored you want to die! this is a realization you'll be grateful for.