September 11th, 2006

Publishers Weekly lists hot fall upcoming titles

Here's a sampling [I picked the ones that intrigued me]:

- The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Traitor to the Nation: Volume I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson (Candlewick), the first in a two-part story that reimagines the past as an eerie place, from the author of Feed. [Feed was crazy and fascinating]

- Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking), a new novel from the author of Speak.

- Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks (Harcourt), a thriller where nothing is as it seems.

- Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick (Scholastic Press), about a boy who must do community service at a senior center. [I have emailed this guy!]

- Side Effects by Amy Goldman Koss (Roaring Brook), about a teenager dealing with cancer. [I have heard good things about this one.]

And you can get more here.



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Steam comes out ears

Yesterday I was running errands when I decided to bite the bullet and use a gift certificate I got a long time ago for Jiffy Lube. I've always been hinky of the place since they drained my husband's transmission fuel instead of his oil in 1999. But they were close and there wasn't a line, and I had that gift certificate.

They told me it would take 10 minutes. I told them I did not want any hard sell for additional services. Despite this, I was
- shown my air filter and told it should probably be replaced
- brought a ph test strip that supposedly demonstrated that I needed a special additive in my radiator fluid
- shown a big bolt that supposedly should be silver on the bottom but was black.

Now, since my regular honest mechanic services my car every 3,500 miles I was able to ignore all these suggestion.

From where I sat I could see the nose of my car. No one was working on it. After about half an hour, I began to wonder what was taking so long. But I was reading a good book so I didn't get up. Then a customer came in and asked who owned the Outback. I said I did. He asked me if I knew they had locked the keys in my car and were trying to get them out.

Um, no.

I came out and found them trying to force a coathanger (right - like that works anymore) through the window gasket. I told them I lived just a few blocks away and that I could go home and get another set of keys.

To add insult to injury, when I went to check out, the guy said he could give me $10 for my trouble. I took out a 15% off wallet card for Jiffy Lube. The checkout guy told me he could give me one or the other, and that the 15% off, which came to $8 and change. So for me having to walk home and get my keys, the whole thing taking an hour, and my groceries sitting in my car getting warm, I saved less than $2. Oh, and I got a gouged rubber gasket out of the deal.



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