Friday, August 20, 2010

She's Much Too Fond of Books: What We've Been Reading Lately

As I've reported before, it's been the Wonderful Summer of Books for us.  Miss Priss has been reading from the Royal Diaries series, specifically the volumes on Elizabeth I and Isabella of Castile. She'd previously read the story fo Eleanor of Aquitaine.  These intriguing and well-written books are styled as journals and written in first-person voice, with each main character around the ages of twelve to fourteen.  Each volume also contains a detailed Historical Note in the back matter.  She has learned a lot from reading these, not nonly about the main character and her life, but also about the times in which she lived.  She’s also recently enjoyed The Horse and His Boy and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, both by C. S. Lewis.  Right now, she’s reading the second in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Waiting in the wings are A Wrinkle in Time, The Prophet of Yonwood (the third Book of Ember), and The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Tiny Girl has caught the reading bug, too, much to her other's delight.  She recently finished White Fang and the first in the Percy Jackson series; she loved both of them. On her TBR shelf sit The Call of the Wild, Justin Morgan Had a Horse, The Cricket in Times Square, and The Horse and His Boy.  Just a few moments ago, she foundEdward Eager's Magic by the Lake here at the library.  If you haven't discovered Eager's fabulous books, you are in for a treat! We loved Knight's Castle and Half Magic.

I took a break from Anna Karenina (it’s a really lo-o-o-ong book) to read Red Hook Road, by Ayelet Waldman, and I’m glad I did. An engrossing read, this story relates the tale of two families, reluctantly intertwined by marriage, and their disparate methods of coping with an ensuing tragedy. Waldman writes with great depth, and I appreciated her style, a perfect example of “excess within control.”* Moreover, her skillful characterization of several distinct personalities is spot on; these people are real. That being said, I didn’t love everything about the book. The climax seemed a tad over the top to me, and a few other plot particulars I found far-fetched. But the majority of scenes are perfectly in tune with the rest of the narrative; any discrepancies, even the climax, did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the story. Recommended, with a red flag for language.

Now back to A. K.!

*I stole this quote from a favorite movie of mine, Somewhere in Time.

1 comment:

  1. "excess within control" perfectly describes your love affair with books, eh? And mine, although I must admit to a certain out of control characteristic there at times.


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