Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm a happy camper - Steve came home and did something to make the wireless connection for the printer work from my laptop. I am still having problems since I caught that lovely computer virus while we were in Mexico. Sooner or later we are going to have to just purge the hard drive and reload my software, but I don't have another computer to use so I can't afford the time to leave it to be worked on at ECU.

I started doing some research on urban lit. Wow! Some of this stuff reads very close to porn. I found a few sites with excerpts and was almost blushing and I was alone in my office! Trying to find good YA level titles isn't as easy as it looks. But I am learning a lot! I found that very little of the urban lit is published by mainstream publishers. No surprise there. Not as easy to find, but worth the search. I picked up a couple of titles from series I hadn't heard of before when I was at Barnes and Noble in Greenville. Can you believe I have still to set foot in the B&N here in Lexington? Weird! But, I am a regular in the Half-Price Books.

Matter of fact, that is where I found the audiobook version of Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle, which is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to. I was having a hard time turning off the car cause I wanted to hear more. I think part of it was because there were constant references to Alaska - the father in the book had been raised in an Inuit village and was harassed because of being white. I related to that from the two years we lived in Galena, an Athabascan Indian village on the banks of the Yukon back in the late 1970s. I was the Head Start teacher and went to training in Nome. I was the only white person there and certainly did not fit in. But, I did get a chance to try whale blubber - chewy and gross! And, an old Eskimo guy thought I was so white that he wanted to adopt me. Now I can smile about it but there were times I felt so out of place I wanted to just stay home. Then I had Mic and he was the hit of the basketball games we went to and was passed around the bleachers. I'd get him back and he'd smell like dried fish! His first winter outfit was a rabbit bunting with a fox fur collar. Still have the picture - he looked adorable!

Okay, back to The Tenth Circle, which is intended for the adult reader, but will have high teen appeal as it is about a Freshman girl who says she was raped by the boy who she was trying to get back as her boyfriend. Picoult pulls no punches about what happens at teen parties when parents aren't in attendance. But, this book is more about the aftermath of how Trixie is treated in school after she accuses Jason, a hot shot hockey player, of rape. From his point of view it was consensual and he figured she was out for revenge because he broke up with her. Trixie's father is a stay at home dad and graphic novel artist and the mother is an English professor. The title comes from her obsession with Dante's The Inferno. The perspective shifts among the people involved, including the police officer who is intent on finding out what really happened the night Trixie ended up at the hospital, as well as what happened on the bridge the night Jason's hockey career came to an end. Add the mother's affair with one of her students to the mix and you have a very intense dysfunctional family situation that the vicarious listener/reader just can't walk away from until he/she knows what "really" happened, if that is possible. I find Picoult a fascinating author as she most often writes about teens but she isn't writing for teens.

Now for dinner - pepperoni pizza with black olives and no cheese.