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Books I’ve Been Meaning to Read – Book Challenge 2K16

Molly Kane, Head of Teen Services and Emerging Technologies

Title & Author : The Raven King  – Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Audio Book via Audible

Description: For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him. Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

Title & Author : View from the Cheap Seats  – Neil Gaiman
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Audio Book via Audible

Description: An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Title & Author : End of Watch  – Stephen King
Genre: Adult Fiction / Horror
Publisher: Audio Book via Audible

Description: Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room. Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney, who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. Brady also remembers that. When Bill and Holly are called to a murder-suicide with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put not only their lives at risk, but those of Hodges’s friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Because Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Bill Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

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Reviews: I’m not sure if it’s cheating to read three books for this month’s reading challenge, because is it ever cheating to go above and beyond? It’s just that I read all three of these books in a very short time frame and couldn’t pick just one blog about. Luckily they all fit into the same challenge category – Books I’ve Been Meaning To Read – although probably that category should really be Books I’m Excited To Read. I had the publication dates of all three in my calendar and, in once instance, was literally counting down the days until it came out! Every year I wait for new books the same way small children wait for birthday cake and this year I was lucky to get them all in a one month period!

View from the Cheap Seats is by far my favorite of the three. I adore Neil Gaiman. He narrates the audio book version and there’s something wonderful about hearing an author read his own words, especially when he’s talking about books, authors, and the importance of libraries. If ever there were a cheerleader for librarianship, it’s Neil Gaiman.

Both The Raven King and End of Watch are final books in trilogies and like all series finales, I couldn’t read them fast enough, but was deeply saddened at the end of the last chapter. The Raven King wasn’t quite as satisfying as I’d hoped it would be, mainly because it strayed from the story’s origins in order to tie up the plot with a beautiful bow. I adore this series because it’s a contemporary sibling to two of my favorite YA series from when I was a YA – Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising and Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles – but perhaps the tropes 2016 don’t always fit into ancient Welsh mythology.

End of Watch was a fantastic novel, fitting in brilliantly with the first two books and I was disappointed that I had to say goodbye. Luckily, Stephen King has hinted that he may spin off my favorite character and give her her own book. More than that, I can’t ask for!

I’ve completed six categories with six still left to tackle. Maybe next month I’ll try to revisit a book that I’ve previously abandoned.