Saturday, July 3, 2010

For GUYS (and Girls, I Suppose)

Over the last month of the summer reading program, I have tried to find some of you books to read, and you do a lot of shrugging when I ask you if you like I have decided to compile A Reading Guy-de. Get it? It's "guy" and "guide" put together!

No one else is laughing.

In fact, there were some face-palms. That means you think I'm a moron.

You're right.

Here, though, are some NEW books that don't involve the beheaded torso of some girl, or pink on the cover.

The newest book from Cory Doctorow (who is made of awesome, so if you don't know him, read his stuff) For the Win.

I'm going to let the publisher describe it for you:

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual "gold," jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world's poorest countries, where countless "gold farmers," bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of "General Robotwalla." In Shenzen, heart of China's industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

That would be the blurb from the dust jacket of the first edition, brought to us all by Tor (and now I won't get sued).

And although I love the U.S. cover, I have to say, the U.K. one is legendary, as it reminds me of an old Soviet-era propaganda poster.

From the author of Holes (Remember Holes? If you don't, go read that too), Louis Sachar, we have The Cardturner.

Alton's summer is looking bleak. Here is why: 1. His girlfriend dumped him 2. She did so in order to date his bast friend 3. He is penniless 4. He is jobless 5. His parents have forced him to drive his great-uncle Lester to bridge club four times a week and 6. He must be Lester's cardturner because 7. Lester is blind 8. Lester is old 9. Lester is sick and 10. Lester is RICH.

As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins has eye catching illustrations to go along with poor Ry's many near-death experiences. They look like something out of The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook, which is a much-referenced part of my home library (I love the travel one too--it teaches you how to ask for towels to stop the bleeding in, like, five languages. You can't beat that.).

See, Ry was headed to archaeology camp, but before he could get there, it was cancelled, but when he tried to call home, his train left while he stood dumbstruck on the platform and now he has no food and no anything else and his parents are off in the Caribbean and his grandfather is concussed not to mention missing and Ry has to get home using only his wits and the lint from his pockets.

A personal favorite of mine is the utterly original Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin.

Part thriller, part dark comedy, part philosophical debate, Fade to Blue follows Sophie Blue, Goth-Girl Supreme, who is currently being stalked by a Popsicle-Truck-Driving Robot/Man who may or may not be her father, who vanished/spontaneously combusted/got abducted by aliens a year ago and Kenny Fade, the Basketball God with the gorgeous cheerleader girlfriend and the perfect life. What do they have in common? They're both pretty certain they're losing their minds.

This novel starts out, well...novel, then breaks into a graphic novel portion, then snaps back to prose without skipping a beat. And the ending--I'll just let you figure that out for yourself.

Wereling by Steve Feasey, for those of you who aren't sick of the whole werewolf thing (I am).

Trey wakes up one morning in "retina-splitting, vomit-inducing agony" with his clothes shredded and his room trashed. Now he's being hunted by every demon out there and by the "most psychopathic bloodsucker to rock the Netherworld." All because he can take on a vampire and win. Maybe.

And remember this one from earlier today?

And there's always this one, a generation ship "waking up" and destroying the people on board...

Living Hell by Catherine Jinks.

And the prison Incarceron (by Catherine Fisher), filled with prisoners who've lived inside its ever-changing walls there whole lives, until Finn decides to escape, that is.

And Maze Runner, a giant experiment filled with boys with no memories, except Thomas, who knows more about the Glade than he wants to remember.

For those of you who enjoy literary fiction (books that make you think, the ones that have Symbols and Whatnot), take a look at these:

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

And Going Bovine by Libba Bray.

That's enough to get you started, right?

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