Friday, January 16, 2009

best teen lit (second post)

Cairo by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker

This is my Graphic Novel of the year (actually came out in late 2007) though there were some other worthy titles. The authors weave a story that takes place in Cairo and involves an American tourist, a soldier, a drug runner, a potential suicide bomber and a reporter. Everything fits quite well together and is somehow political, religious and recounts some legends without ruining the flow. This is an outstanding GN.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Best Teen Lit

So, I have been getting back into writing a little bit and will also start going through my Top Ten Teen books of the past year. I'm still, however, reading a lot of the potential award winners, so the list could be greatly altered as I go and some of them I read almost a year ago. Anyway, the first of my current favorites (revealed in alphabetical order) is:

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

17-year old Jenna has woke up from a coma in a new place with memories that don't quite fit with her new reality. Pearson writes a incredibly engaging story as Jenna begins to find out what happened to her. This novel blends a coming of age story with science fiction (it is almost cyber-punkish, but I can't actually go that far). Unfortunately, this is one of those books that if I say anything beyond one or two sentences I will completely ruin the book, so that is all I'm saying on this one.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Best Music in '07 that I Didn't Know About Until '08.

I'm going to be going through my favorite Cd's of the year, because year end lists are awesome, but first here are two I would have put on my 2007 list if I had heard them soon enough.

Plauge Park by the Handsome Furs.

Plaugue Park is a killer lo-fi combination of electronics, guitars and distortion. This short, 9-track disc shows off the folky sensibilities of Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner, who partners here with Alexei Perry. While this is a moody piece, Boeckner creates a hopeful soundscape that can be listened to on many levels. Obvious comparisons are to Postal Service, though it also reminds me of The Decemberists and Iron and Wine's The Shepherd's Dog.

The Ghost that Carried Us Away by Seabear

Why didn't I know about this band? The only thing I really know about them is that they are from Iceland and they are awesome. Seabear is unabashedly indie-pop and gets the disc off to a great start with the instrumental (should be used in a soundtrack) Good Morning Scarecrow. Top to bottom this is an incredibly solid disc in every way. The lyrics are also interesting like on Arms they write, "left your black gloves on my table/ left your dark horse in the stable/ thinking of a way to get you to stay/ and I'll promise to/ fight the wind and wait for you/ I'm an owl with tired eyes/ I'm a scarecrow in disguise." This is just a fun, stirring album with some traditional folk elements and indie-pop goodness. Fans of Elliot Smith and Death Cab for Cutie will enjoy this.