One favorite author leads to another

  • Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I recently was excited to find a new author to add to my “collection” of favorite young adult authors. His name is John Green, and you may have heard of him. His novel, “The Fault in Our Stars,” was on lots of the Best of 2012 lists that came out recently, and I highly recommend it. The story revolves around two teens who meet at a cancer support group, but you’ll just have to trust me when I say that it’s a book that is as much about life as it is about death. After reading “The Fault in Our Stars,” I wanted to immediately read every other book that Green has written. I checked out “Looking for Alaska” next, a story set in a boarding school similar to the one that Green attended in Birmingham, Ala. I read that one, and loved it, too. 

That’s when I decided I’d better slow down or soon I’d have no more John Green books to look forward to. There are several other titles, but I won’t read them right now. 

I’ll save them for some time in the future when I need a treat, perhaps for an out of town trip. 

Another young adult author I can recommend is Sarah Dessen. She grew up in Chapel Hill, N.C., and still lives there. Although she’s fairly young, she has written close to a dozen novels now, and I’ve read most of them. If you like young adult novels, pick up any one of them - I don’t think you can go wrong. You could also get the movie “How to Deal” with Mandy Moore, which was based on two of Dessen’s books, “That Summer” and “Someone Like You.” Her newest book, called “The Moon and More,” will be coming out in June of this year, and I’m already looking forward to it.

Brendan Halpin is another favorite. He has written some great young adult books, my favorite being “The Truth about Forever,” the story of the relationship between a girl and her father, and also a story of life and death. You might cry, but it will be worth it, I swear. And actually, I have to tell you that my very favorite Brendan Halpin books are his two memoirs, which you’ll find in the nonfiction section of the library. I recommend both of them highly. “Losing My Faculties” is a story about teaching, and “It Takes a Worried Man” tells the story of his wife’s struggle with cancer. 

I suggest you check out the websites or blogs of all of these authors (or any other authors you like) as well. Brendan Halpin had great things to say about author Dana Reinhardt on his blog, so I gave her a try, and promptly added her to my favorites collection as well. She’s the author of “A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life” and “The Summer I learned to Fly,” among others.  Once again, just pick any of her titles - you can’t go wrong.   

When you find an author that you love, it’s fun to find out which authors they love.  John Green was recently raving on Twitter about a new YA novel called “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell. He linked to a review of the book that he wrote for the “New York Times,” and after reading that, I’ve put “Eleanor & Park” at the top of my to-read list. 

Of course there are also many, many books in the nonfiction section of the library which, although not geared specifically to young adults, are absolutely wonderful, and which I love to recommend. One top pick is “Geeks:  How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho” by Jon Katz, a wonderful story of two computer geeks who find a way out of their small town to a new life in the big city. Hilariously funny, “Devil in the Details” by Jennifer Traig is the story of a girl who had OCD back in the ‘60s before anyone knew what OCD was. She thinks she’s crazy, and her family thinks she’s crazy, but they all manage to keep a sense of humor about it (and there’s a happy ending – don’t worry).

If you have a favorite author and wonder if there are other, similar authors you may enjoy, try the NoveList Plus database which can be found at ccpl.org. Under “Quick Links,” select “Research Tools,” then “Literature,” then “NoveList Plus.” You’ll have hours of pleasant exploration, with satisfying results.


Library programs

Writing Critique Group (adults ages 16+)

Saturday, April 13 from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Library Conference Room

Open to all writers. For more information, please call the Reference Desk at 849-6161 or email MtpReference@ccpl.org.

Great Decisions (adults)

Monday, April 15, from 6-7:30 p.m.

Attend the sixth meeting of the Great Decisions program series to discuss “Iran and the U.S.: Three Decades of Futility.” For more information, call the Reference Desk at 849-6161 or email MtpReference@ccpl.org.

Great Decisions (adults)

Monday, April 22, from 6-7:30 p.m.

Attend the seventh meeting of the Great Decisions program series to discuss “China in Africa: Savior or Self-Interest?” For more information, call the Reference Desk at 849-6161 or email MtpReference@ccpl.org.

PLAY: Pursuit of Happiness Day! (all ages)

Saturday, April 13. All day.

Visit the Happiness Board in the Children’s Department and write or draw about what makes you happy. Your contributions to the Happiness Board will be displayed for the rest of April.

Afterschool Movie: “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” (all ages)

Friday, April 19 at 3:30 p.m.

“The Odd Life of Timothy Green” starring Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, and CJ Adams. A childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears. (Rated PG; 105 minutes).

Babygarten (birth through 19 months with adult)

(Please register)

Tuesdays, April 16, 23 and 30 at 10:30 a.m.

Wednesdays, April 10, 17 and 24 at 10:30 a.m.

Time for Twos (24 months to 3 years with adult)

Thursdays, April 11 and 25 at 10:00 a.m.

Preschool Storytime (ages 3-6 years)

Thursdays, April 11 and 25 at 3:30 p.m.

Lua Wells is a library assistant at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library. She is honored to be giving a talk at the upcoming TEDx Charleston event on May 15. For more information, go to tedxcharleston.org.

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