Thursday, December 02, 2004

Good morning from sunny St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Seems somewhat strange to have my snowmen and Santas on display with this weather, but since one of my Santas is in an Aloha shirt and shorts I guess it is okay. :-) Up a bit late this a.m. since I wallowed in Christmas movies on Lifetime until midnight last night. Double Holiday whammy - I worked on cross stitch Christmas tree ornaments while I watched. I never get too much of this Season.

Still in the Christmas mode with my reading. Well, at least in the Holiday Season mode. Ilene Cooper's I Am Sam begins during the Holiday Season with the family's Hanukkah Bush (AKA Christmas Tree) getting knocked over by the dog. Family heirloom ornaments shattered, Mom decides that the family won't put up another tree. Dad decides they will light the menorah instead, but they forget to light the candles the second night. A family that has avoided the issue of a two religion household is now immersed in it and God isn't answering Sam's insistent pleas for help. An assigned unit at his middle school on the Holocaust opens Sam's eyes to who his father is and who he may become.

On the adult front I am just about finished with Mary Higgins Clark's He Sees You When You're Sleeping. Fun mystery reading for the Holiday Season. The main character reminds me a bit of Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life. I read another one of her Christmas mysteries last year too but I can't think of the name of it right now. I am not much of a mystery reader, but hers are good for a quick break from YA books.

Although it is a bit "old," I finally read Pete Hautman's Sweetblood. Lots of talk about it on the YALSA-BK listserv a while back in relation to Lucy's blatant refusal to accept her diabetes. Fascinating theory she has about early diabetics with their pasty skin, receding and bleeding gums, and intense thirst being the basis for the vampire legends. Lucy dresses in black, but don't tell her she is goth, she is too goth to be goth. Match this one up with Gail Gile's newest Playing in Traffic. Skye is one messed up goth chick who manipulates Colby into doing just about anything. Her lies and manipulation, joined with her emotional instability, escalate to an ending that you fear may occur, but certainly don't want to happen. Lots of talk about this one on YALSA-BK too in relation to whether or not Gail is playing head games with narrator reliability again, like she did in Dead Girls Don't Write Letters. Gail assured my YA Literature students the other evening during an online chat that the ending is indeed what it appears.

Okay, that's it for me this a.m. An exciting trip to KMart is planned for today. It is the only "department store" on the island and is always packed - people in the aisles, not items on the shelves. You know to buy two of anything you need because next time the spot on the shelf will be empty. Restocking shelves seems to be an unknown concept down here.