Books for Light and Hope

Hello lovely everyone,

Like many people, I am finding the news (and the world) a little overwhelming right now, so I thought I’d just stop by to recommend a bunch of books, many of them brand new.  I find that reading gets me through all kinds of worries and stress, so I hope that sharing these will help do the same for you!  

I should also mention that I’ll be at Boskone this weekend and would love to see you there — here’s a link to my schedule.  I am on panels with many brilliant authors, and I will be doing a Dragonslair gathering on Saturday where I’ll talk about Book Eleven and answer as many questions as I can!  🙂

And then on Saturday, March 2, from 2-4:30pm, I’m participating in a middle-grade author festival called Smack Dab in the Middle in Dedham, MA, hosted by the Blue Bunny bookstore and the Dedham Public Library.  I hope a lot of you can join us!

All right, books!  First up, out this week, is The Prince and the Dressmaker, by Jen Wang:

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It’s a graphic novel about a prince who just wants to wear beautiful dresses sometimes, and the girl who’s brilliant enough to make them for him.  It’s sweet and happy and full of light; I recommend it so very much!

Another book that made me happy this month (although it came out a couple of years ago): Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho:

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It really is like Georgette Heyer but with magic plus diversity and excellent world-building — so, essentially, the perfect recipe for a book I’ll love — and it’s funny and delightful and clever and surprising.  Take a break from the news and read this instead!  🙂

Third, out recently, The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert:

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It’s weird and lovely and unique, with strange new fairy tales and an excellent prickly heroine.  My friend Cyd, who hosts the splendiferous Book Talk radio show, interviewed Melissa and then chatted about the book with me and Brian Slattery, if you’re curious to hear our thoughts on everything we loved about it!  (After you read it!  Spoilers abound!)  (The short version is: we thought it was awesome.)

Then coming out this week is the sequel to a book I loved (and blurbed) by Kevin Emerson — the one I loved was Last Day on Mars; this one is The Oceans Between Stars and it looks AWESOME and I CANNOT WAIT to read it!:

Next, coming later this month (Feb. 27!) is another book I blurbed, The Serpent’s Secret, by the exceptionally kind and lovely Sayantani DasGupta:

Book - The Serpent's Secret by Sayantani DasGupta

Here’s my blurb: “This funny, unique book feels like the spirit of A Wrinkle in Time married the awesomeness of Bengali folktales and had the coolest, fiercest Indian princess – so much fun!  Can Kiranmala save the rest of us next?”  If you need some girlpower right about now (and you can’t wait for the Wrinkle in Time movie!), give this book a try.  🙂

One more book that’s just come out, which I haven’t read yet but I hear amazing things about (and I love this author) is The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton:

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I loved Dhonielle’s book Tiny Pretty Things (written with Sona Charaipotra), and I also think she’s an incredibly cool, sweet person, so I’m super super excited to read this! 

Finally, last but not least is Mary’s Monster, by Lita Judge (whom I adore infinitely):

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I wouldn’t call this one comfort reading exactly, but it’s really haunting and beautiful, with astonishing art on every page and a gorgeously written, compelling story.  There was so much about Mary Shelley (and her incredibly sad life) that I didn’t know.  (And I guess I do find it comforting to live in a time where women can publish under their own names, at least!)  🙂

Lita has appearances for this book coming up, so check out her website and try to see her if you can — she has so many fascinating stories to tell!  (Also she is very wonderful and worth meeting!)  🙂

So that’s what I’m mostly up to — staying home with my bears and reading a lot!  I always find it reassuring to remember that there are so many wonderful people in the world making wonderful art.  (And also anytime I spend time with the next generation of readers, who are full of light, too.)  

Another thing that helps: donating to organizations that are trying to make the world a better place, like Everytown for Gun Safety, Reach Out and Read, and Earthjustice, just to name a few.

I’ll come back soon (probably March — that’s kind of soon, isn’t it?) with details about Book Eleven (eeee!) and hopefully permission to show you the glorious cover (speaking of wonderful art!) and spill some more secrets!

Something Making Me Happy Right Now (apart from the books above): How excited I am for the Black Panther movie — we have tickets for tomorrow and I can’t wait to see it!

Also Chloe Kim, the Olympic snowboarder — she is just awe-inspiring.  I’m trying to watch the Olympics with my kids, but I’m not sure they’re picking up the “hard work! perseverance! determination!” messages I’m putting down.  Instead, one has decided that going headfirst down all the playground slides would be great preparation for Olympic skeleton, and the other says he wants to go to the Olympics as the half of the curling team who shouts commands at the other half.  HMMMM.  😀

What We’re Reading:
Me:  Lathe of Heaven, by Ursula K. Le GuinMonstrous, by MarcyKate ConnollyThe Subtle Knife, by Philip Pullman (I’m rereading the original trilogy so I can read Book of Dust), and I’m hoping to start The Belles soon!

With my bears:  We’re FINALLY reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which is pretty much literally the reason I had kids (so I could read the series to them!), and it’s the awesomest. 😀