Weird question.

I just noticed that all of the random hula-hooping I've been doing at the library* is being counted as steps by my step counter.


It's possible that I might be slightly punchy.

Summer Reading ends tomorrow.

After that, I'm planning on sleeping for a month.


*The hula hoops randomly lying around at the library have been surprisingly popular, and it wasn't even a deliberate thing—I had them here as part of an obstacle course earlier this summer, and they just haven't made their way back home. Lots of parents attempting to teach their kids, lots of people having impromptu hoop-offs and hoop-parties in the middle of the library. A LOT of laughing, both on the part of the participants and the patrons who happen upon them.

I'm thinking I'll have to introduce a basket of juggling balls next...

So, I finished The Devil in Silver.

And wow oh wow, is it good.

I went into it expecting a straight-up horror story, and it very certainly delivers on the scary front, but it's so much more than that. It deals with power and race and class and it deals with how we often times treat—or flat-out dismiss—other people as less-than-human, as not-quite people. It doesn't just deal with haves and have-nots, it deals with how we—whether consciously or not—think of some other people as LESSER.

It's got a great, flawed protagonist; a fantastic, diverse-in-many-ways cast of characters; the various characters change and grow; it references other related books and movies in ways that are smart and sometimes surprising; it's hugely emotionally engrossing and satisfying; it deals very much with The System, and posits the idea that the system as-is isn't broken—but that it was specifically built for a certain set of people, and so all of the calls to Fix The System in order to better serve populations that AREN'T that certain set of of people are pretty much doomed from the get-go; it's thoughtful and funny and sad and occasionally will make you feel like you've been socked in the gut and at its core is absolute heart, empathy, love, and hope for humanity.

I loved it, I loved it, I loved it.

So. Make sure it's on your radar.


Today at Kirkus Reviews...

...I talk about Mary Downing Hahn's upcoming Took:

Tell me if you’ve heard this one: a group of people—usually college students or people from the city or people with money—head to a rural area for rest and relaxation. The County Folk warn them about a local danger. The People From Away chalk the warnings up to unsophisticated superstition, and dismiss them (usually rudely). The Country Folk are later proven right.

That’s pretty much the storyline that Mary Downing Hahn is working with in Took.

Currently reading: The Devil in Silver

Loving it so much that I'm not sure how I'm going to tear myself away when it's time for work.

It's smart—set in a psychiatric hospital, and there's a wonderful monologue early on about why involuntary longterm residents might not be so particularly into reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest—and it's scary and this aside from the narrator just made me laugh out loud:

What was it? Pepper took his hand off Coffee's shoulder. He looked down at Coffee with a look of pleading. Would Coffee go in first? But Coffee just shook his head. Coffee sure wasn't going in to investigate on Pepper's behalf. He wasn't about to be that black guy. (You know, the one who scouts ahead and gets his ass sliced in two. Somewhere near the first ten minutes of the horror movie. Although, to be fair, moviemakers have largely stopped that practice. Now there's usually one amiable but forgettable white person who dies first, and then they kill off all the nonwhite cast members.)

Today at Book Riot...

...I put together a master list of female crime writers from Norway, the first entry in an ongoing look at female crime writers from around the world. SOME AWESOME FINDS, MY FRIENDS.