Friday, May 26, 2017

Opps...It's Definitely Time for a Wrap-Up...

I know it's been a couple of weeks since I have updated you on what I've been reading. The truth is I haven't been reading as much as I would like to and therefore, I feel like I haven't had much to say. But I finally have a few ideas floating around in my brain that I want to share with you. So without further ado, here is what I've been reading the last couple weeks.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I thought this book was absolutely charming. It follows Clay Jannon, who gets a job as a clerk in a 24 bookstore. He soon discovers that the bookstore contains all manner of puzzles and mysteries and begins a journey that will lead him into the midst of a secret society and to the beginnings of a 500 year old mystery. This book is whimsical and sweet and just a light and fun read. 

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The third in the Little House series, this book focuses on the childhood of Laura Ingalls eventual husband, Almanzo Wilder. I love the contrast between their two childhoods, while Laura's family had very little, the Wilders had an abundance but were still taught to work hard and be diligent and disciplined. Plus all the descriptions of the food they ate made my mouth water!

 Maud by Melanie J. Fishbane

This brand new release is a fictionalized account of the teenage years of Lucy Laud Montgomery. It is geared toward younger readers and honestly, I think I would have absolutely loved this book as a teenager. As an adult, I still enjoyed it but it was not what I was hoping it would be. Montgomery is known for her descriptive writing and that was what I was hoping for when I picked up this book but overall it fell just a little flat for me. There is too much telling instead of showing. Also, the focus is too much on her romances and flirtations as a teen. Again, it's not a bad book, it's just not what I was hoping for. What it has done is inspire me to read Montgomery's journals for myself.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature by Elizabeth Kantor

Non-fiction discussing the lack of classical education when it comes to literature and how our current educational focus is about interpreting literature in light of current events and hot button issues instead of studying great literature and striving to understand the genius of the writer. A reminder that poetry is meant to be memorized, plays are meant to be seen, and great literature is meant to be discussed and gossiped about. Though I didn't agree with the author entirely (do we ever agree with authors entirely?), I very much appreciate her perspective and her desire that great literature be studied simply because it is great.

That is all for today but just know that I am excited about the books I am currently reading so I will be back soon! What will you be reading this weekend???

Monday, May 8, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up 5/8/17

Here are the three books I read this week:

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

This middle grade novel is set in a slightly magical world where everyone has a talent - it may be cake baking or it may be spitting. A sweet story about a girl finding a home with all kinds of twists and turns and puzzles along the way. Bonus: The book is also filled with cake recipes that I am hoping to try! All in all, a fun frivolous read!

The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers

This books was...weird...I don't really know how else to describe it. So I'm going to just give you a brief synopsis copied from goodreads:

     "Optimus Yarnspinner, finds himself marooned in the subterranean world of Bookholm, the City of Dreaming Books, where reading can be dangerous, where ruthless Bookhunters fight to the death."

Horton Halfpott; or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset by Tom Angleberger

Another middle grade book. This one was cute as well, full of ridiculous characters and bizarre plot twists (just in case you couldn't figure that out from the title). A lovely way to spend a couple hours. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

It's a Wrap! Readathon April 2017

I have successfully survived another readathon. I slept a little more than I intended to this time around. I came off of two days of babysitting and two nights of abnormal sleep patterns so I was already tired when I started. I still managed to read 1381 pages which included 5 complete books and parts of three others. I was also able to finish up those three books Sunday afternoon when I went back to babysitting and the kids were napping so I will be covering all eight books today. 

We'll be covering the books from bottom to top because that is the order in which I read them.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
I started my morning with this and read it straight through. This book has been quite popular since it came out last year and normally I avoid new books. I like books that have proved themselves over time and are not just the flavor of the month. However, coming in at under 200 pages this seemed like a great choice for readathon. The plot of this one immediately grabbed me: teens who have been taken to another world as children (think Alice in Wonderland) and how they cope with life upon their return to the real world. Unfortunately, though the plot had so much potential, the story fell very flat for me. I think the author spent too much time fleshing out things that were irrelevant to the story and left the main plot lines fairly shallow and uninspired. 

Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise
A middle grade novel about a grumpy old writer, a little boy, and a ghost. Although creative in the way it told the story it was not a particularly intriguing tale. 

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
A very charming novella about what happens when the Queen of England discovers a mobile library parked outside the palace and how the more books she reads the more her life and her perspective changes. 

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan 
Fun anecdotes about working in a library. Odd questions asked, rude patrons, and the wonderful moments that make it all worthwhile. A quick, fun read. 

The Farthest-Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks 
A middle grade fantasy/adventure story. It was entertaining but there was nothing that made it especially memorable.

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
This may be my favorite book I read during readathon this time around. The true story of a man who stole tens of thousands dollars worth of rare books just because he wanted to have them. Very enjoyable.

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
A reread. I had fun with this one. I read part of it and listened to part of it on audio. It was a great way to break up the day.

Akin to Anne by L.M. Montgomery
A book of short stories. Reading Montgomery is always refreshing and relaxing. My one thought on this is that these stories were all originally published separately and when they were collected into books they were grouped by theme and so many of the stories in this book have identical plots so maybe spread these out over a week or two and not read them all in one weekend.

What's coming up this week?
My goal this week is to read the rest of my readathon tbr stack plus finish the three books (pictured on the right) that I had started before readathon.