67. Across the Wall - Garth Nix 10/18/08 - in which Garth Nix rules with short stories. It is difficult to find authors who have mastered the art of the short story or novella. Thankfully, Nix has. We also get to enjoy his sense of humor in an EPIC pick your own path sort of short story involving swash-buckling swords (sorta), princesses in need, and a cyrano sock puppet. Read.
68. Mister Monday - Garth Nix - 10/22/08 - Since I've so far finished the Abhorsen books, I'm trying out the keys to the kingdom books. Main character Arthur is randomly chosen as Heir to the key(s), much to his chagrin. The kingdom is in another realm where oddity is the norm. It is a bit formulaic but what book series isn't these days? I enjoyed it, especially since it was such a quick read. :)
69. Uglies - Scott Westerfield - 10/27/08 - I'm not sure how I feel about this take on "dystopia" where everyone who turns 16 is transformed from an "ugly" to a "pretty"...side effect being a small adjustment to one's brain to make everyone retain those adorable neotenous traits we all find irresistable in baby animals and humans. It also makes them a little (a lot) complacent and malleable. Some teenagers try to avoid the operation by running away to a place where everyone is "ugly". They rely on hunting, small factory farms, subsistance gardening and bartering to survive. In the "pretty" towns, everyone is apparently vegetarian, possibly vegan. While I'm a big fan of choice and all that jazz, I don't like the implication that the "better" society is one in which we confine animals in tiny spaces, hunt them or eat them. Call me crazy for that. We'll see how the next book goes before I get overly judgemental.
70. Powers - Ursula Le Guin - 11/2/08 - I adore le Guin. Adore. Earthsea and the Annals of the Western Shore are some of my favorite books. She has a way with words, a way of capturing different societies, individuals and their homes. Most of these books involve magic but really speak to the resulting prejudices of being different. In this book, we follow a young slave through his ups and downs and, as always, his journey to finding himself. Another good read.
71. Grim Tuesday - Garth Nix - 11/3/08 - Okay, quick read. Liked the first one better, I think (had a bit more drama). Plus, I find Arthur as annoying as Harry in the 5th Potter book. Fact. Hoping it gets better on Wednesday. :)