We are right in the thick of things school-wise, so I took it easy on myself this last month and only read one book.
Totally kidding—I just didn’t sleep!
We’ve had so much going on with UT ALA/TLA this past month. We had our first meeting, ran a Banned Books Week contest and topped it off with the Texas Teen Book Festival, which technically started on September 30th and ran until October 1st.
UT ALA/TLA’s first meeting:
It was great to meet everyone plus there were some really great ideas bounced around.
Our lovely Banned Books Week contest winner, Pamela Carlile:
She reads so many that she actually sent in two photos!
And finally, September’s Short Stack AND Texas Teen Book Festival wrap-up. The festival made this month the best of times and the worst of times. It was the best because most of the books I read were incredibly good; it was the worst because the author panels made me want to read about 50 more books. Laini Taylor and Leigh Bardugo both gave excellent keynotes and I was in the same room as Mindy Kaling, so that is a win.
1. How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
Samantha Mather is a fictional descendant of Cotton Mather, but the author is a real one. After Sam’s father slips into a coma, she and her step-mother move back into the Mather family home in Salem for financial reasons. As soon as they arrive, people start dying in accidents and tragedies. With the help of a ghost and notes her grandmother left behind, Sam starts investigating the possible connection alongside the Descendants, living relatives of the Salem witches. I loved this book because it was fun and not too dark, plus it really captured the Salem experience. Salem is a spooky place that is drenched in history and commercialism and where text messages only half send or don’t send at all.
2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The best part of this book is that the second of this duology just came out, so I don’t have to wait a year to see what happens! Set in the same world as her Grisha Trilogy, Six of Crows is the story of how six criminals band together to bust out a scientist from an impenetrable ice castle full of Grisha-hunters. The scientist has created a drug that gives Grisha powers beyond what they can normally do, but is incredibly addictive and burns the life out of them. This story is so well-told that I cared enough about all of the characters and had panic-attack-level anxiety towards the end. That said, I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Crooked Kingdom even if it does me in.
3. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Not only was Roshani incredibly lovely, but her fun fact was that she has a false tooth that doesn’t show up under black lights. Fun fact- we have false teeth in the same spot! That’s what we’re pointing at in the photo on the right because we are, as she put it, false tooth sisters. As for the Star-Touched Queen, it has a dreamy quality about it that makes it good for when you have time to really absorb it. Maya is one of the Raja’s many daughters, but it’s her star-based fate that makes her an outsider: Maya is partnered with death, which everyone interprets as death for those who associate with her. With a rebellion against her father forming, he offers her up as a bride to leaders of the angry opposition, but gives her poison to drink after she makes her choice. It will look like murder and give him just cause to go to war. Instead, the suitors lead an ambush of their own and in the midst of it, one of the men offers her an escape. Maya goes with him and becomes his bride, even though her new kingdom is full of secrets, closed doors and no one can tell her why until the full moon.
I had such a good time at the Texas Teen Book Festival. The panels were interesting and the authors are incredibly nice to one another and their fans. I will absolutely go again and, if you’re a YA fan, it’s definitely worth a trip.
Be on the lookout for more information about our bake sale and a read-a-thon later this month! I’m going to try and get some sleep (read until I pass out).
American Library Association / Texas Library Association – UT Student Chapter
We are the UT Austin student chapter of the American Library Association and the Texas Library Association. The UT ALA/TLA student chapter strives to:
- bring together iSchool students interested in academic, public, and school libraries.
- provide programming on topics of interest and use in various library settings.
- promote participation in ALA and TLA.
The chapter holds events to create networking opportunities, introduce students to professionals in the field of librarianship, and promote educational and professional development opportunities.
If you would like to join ALA and TLA, you can do so here.