So yesterday we were all being attacked by zombies, and today I check out the BBC news... only to discover that "FBI tries to fight zombie hordes." No, really. (The actual article is about computer hijacking
. But still.)
I am currently reading Nancy Pearl's newest book, Book Crush
, which is ... essentially Book Lust
but for kid and YA fiction. It's fabulous! I mean, it's basically a list of books with commentary, categorized in amusing ways ("Girls Kick Butt" "After Sam Spade and Kinsey Millhone" &c). But it's by Nancy Pearl, who is so awesome she has her own librarian action figure, and most importantly...
... it reminds me of things I haven't read in years. Books I could find on the bookshelf at my local library (if it hasn't been remodeled) but couldn't have told you the author or the titles or anything. Betsy-Tacy and Tib! The Tattooed Potato
(man, I loved Ellen Raskin's books as a kid). Maniac Magee
, which I tried to describe to a friend recently and totally failed to stimulate recognition. (I was like "running kid! ignores racial divisions in his town! sleeps in zoo! his friend can stop traffic by shuffling across the street!" and I got nothing.) The Melendys and the All-of-a-Kind Family and Caddie Woodlawn and the Great Brain and Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking. The House With a Clock in Its Walls
and Sister Light, Sister Dark
Anyway, I recommend it highly, at least as a fun bookstore read, because at the very least it will make any childhood book addict worth her salt incredibly nostalgic. I mean, if you read half the books in your local library, and can still tell you that you can find Tamora Pierce in the back corner, right shelf, halfway down, and that that book with the mysteries and the painter and the stories-within-a-story (as it turns out, this is called The Tattooed Potato and Other Tales
) on a shelf halfway along the left-hand wall? You will end up constantly going "oh! oh! That's what that book was called!" and "Damn, that was the first book I read that featured Yom Kippur!" and "oh, man, I remember how much I wanted to sleep in the Met Museum after reading that!" Oddly, the section for eight to twelve year olds makes me far more nostalgic than the section for twelve and ups, perhaps because twelve and up fiction has changed so much -- chick lit? wtf? -- and perhaps because I was reading a lot more genre fiction by that point.
It's not all old books, of course, because Nancy Pearl is far too awesome to rely on her days as a children's librarian. It's got John Green and Jonathon Stroud and other awesome people as well, so if you still read YA fiction it's a great rec list too.