Friday, April 24, 2009

Well Worth Watching Blogger Profile (4) Underage Reading

I first discovered Underage Reading through my reciprical comment challenge. Elizabeth left a comment on my blog, I checked out her blog (which she runs with Emily), and I was hooked. I love reading their book commentaries because they are intelligent, insightful AND fun. So please do yourself a favor and check them out if you haven't already.

If someone were to blurb your blog in 25 word or less, what would he or she say?
Elizabeth and Emily review, discuss, debate, mock, and enthuse about kids’/teen books... with forays into classic teen television and whatever else occurs to them.

What kinds of books do you read and review on your blog?
All kinds, from board books through teens -- and from new releases to old favorites (in an inclusive sense that makes room for the trash we read as kids). We do some proper reviews, but mostly we tend to have Thoughts to Share. We pretty much operate on the principle that we should post about whatever we feel like as long as its at least somewhat, tangentially related to kid/teen lit.

What were a couple of your favorite books recently and which ones are you most looking forward to reading soon?
Emily: I tend to re-read books I already love, because hey, its a sure thing. But a recent discovery that I absolutely loved was The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stuart. I've been recommending it to everyone and their mother. And my mother (no really - my mom loved it!). I'm trying to find this new picture book about urban planning, Where Things Are From Near To Far, by Tim Halbur, Chris Steins, and David Ryan, which I heard about maybe a month ago but have had trouble finding (wouldn't you think you'd be able to find a book like that pretty easily in New York City?)

Elizabeth: Octavian Nothing rocked my world; The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was another recent favorite. I'm very much looking forward to reading some Maureen Johnson -- not necessarily new books, but new to me.

What are some of your favorite posts or reviews in your blog archive and why?
Emily: My favorite post of Elizabeth's is "Book vs. Book: Battle of the kids battling racist humiliation and not quite winning." I just think its a really insightful comparison, and gave me some new ideas about Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, which I've read a million times. I think my favorite post that I wrote is "I do not like it, Emily I am." It was fun and exceptionally satisfying to write, and I think its quite Emilyish.

Elizabeth: My favorite of Emily's is "Teach Your Children Well" (about Frog and Toad), because it makes me laugh and laugh. And I love her new series "Books I felt I ought to have liked, but really didn't."

My own favorites tend to be clustered in the "Flawed Does Not Preclude Interesting" category, like my reviews of An Abundance of Katherines and A Great and Terrible Beauty. I suppose because the books I feel the most deeply ambivalent about make me think the hardest.

I'm also ridiculously proud of our "Shades of My So-Called Life" series, which began with "When your crush seems somehow more important than the Holocaust."

Emily: Yeah, that "Shades of My So-Called Life" series was a stroke of genius on Elizabeth's part, like the kind of genius where afterwards you see it was so obvious and perfect and pretty much inevitable that it had to happen. I say that because probably the two biggest features of our friendship back in high school were reading kids' books and watching My So-Called Life.

Ooh! You picked out ones I loved as well! What are some posts or reviews on other blogs that have caught your attention as being well worth reading?
Emily: I enjoy all of Sadako's posts on Dibbly Fresh, but I found her review of Whatever Happened to Janie particularly snarkily delightful.

Elizabeth: Yes. I also loved your post, Lenore, on Frankie Landau-Banks -- the review and the poem you included. And I love the "Unfortunate Covers" series at 100 Scope Notes -- especially this one.

Thanks! And I love Sadako's posts too. Complete this sentence: "If I didn't have my blog..."
Emily: I would have to find some other way to amuse myself at work. And I'd watch even more bad tv than I already do (which is a lot).

Elizabeth: I'd discover far fewer great books, and wouldn't have nearly so much fun!

The Well Worth Watching Award was created and designed by Joanne of The Book Zombie. I'm just passing it along to other bloggers!


susan said...

This rocks! I sound so dated, don't I? lol Lenore, I thoroughly enjoyed this and yes, I am adding Underage Reading to my ridiculously long blogroll.

Unknown said...

This is great :) Thanks so much for sharing and giving me another place to read and learn : )

bermudaonion said...

Great feature, Lenore! I went to check out Underage Reading, and I agree, it's fantastic!

Sadako said...

I've also been enjoying the gals at Underage Reading. (They inspired me to watch MSCL yet again and they don't think I'm insane for launching into long analyses of it.) And they remember those great books of my childhood! Huzzah for Emily and Elizabeth! (Wow, I just realized that their names together make up the girl's name from the Clifford books.)

I also loved the picture associated with that award.

Oh, and thank you for the shout out, guys.

Zibilee said...

I loved checking out that blog! I had never come across it in all my stumbling around the web, but have added it to my blogroll, so thanks very much!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks so much for the kind comments, you guys!

And, of course, to Lenore for making us the blog worth watching. We are seriously honored.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marie Cloutier said...

Great post! :-) Looks like a terrific blog.

Alix said...

Thanks for this link, I've really enjoyed the posts I've read so far over there. Another one for the blogroll :)

Jen said...

I've enjoyed Underage Reading! Also hope you guys like your Maureen Johnson!

Yvonne said...

Thanks for posting this. I will certainly check out that blog.

Ladytink_534 said...

Oh no! I needed to add another book blog to my Google Reader like I needed another hole in my head lol. Oh well, too late now! :)