The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor
Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me edited by Ben Karlin
Peony in Love by Lisa See
Letters of E. B. White edited by Dorothy Lobrano Guth
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Persuasion by Jane Austen
An Arsonist’s Guide to Writer’s Homes in New England by Brock Clarke
I’ve already posted about several of the books on my books read list, but here’s a little bit about the ones I haven’t.
A Crooked Kind of Perfect is a kid’s lit book about a girl named Zoe who desperately wants to play the piano (she has dreams of playing Carnegie Hall) but her dad, who was supposed to be out buying her a piano, comes back with a Perfectone D-60 organ. I loved every second of reading it. All the characters are kooky and lovable, especially Zoe’s father and friend Wheeler. It’s a quick read, and is heartfelt and fun. I highly recommend it.
Gods Behaving Badly – I saw this book around bookstores and on blogs for a while. I picked it up in the library and read the first chapter and was immediately hooked. It’s an original idea for a book, Greek gods are alive and living in London in modern day, trying to sustain their power. Their lives get mixed up with the lives of two mortals, drama and comedy ensue. Unfortunately, the rest of the book is not as good as the first chapter was. It was an entertaining book, but I can’t say that I’d recommend reading it over all the thousands of other amazing books out there, even if you’re looking for a lighthearted read.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – So many people in Rory’s Book Club loved this one that it’s been on my TBR list for a long time. I’ve owned it since September, and finally got a kick in the pants to read it because the author, Lisa See, has an author event on March 3 that I want to attend. I’m so glad I read it, because it’s incredible. I learned so much about historic Chinese culture and the footbinding tradition. The characters, setting, and plot are so vivid and lively; I could not put the book down. I’m excited to read Peony in Love, which is a continuation of the story about the live of the two main character’s granddaughter.
Persuasion – I have a new reading goal for the year: to read all of Jane Austen’s novels, including re-reading the only one I had already read, Pride and Prejudice. I loved Persuasion, and I can’t wait to read another Jane Austen. I will post more about my Jane Austen reading goal in another post.
An Arsonist’s Guide to Writer’s Homes in New England – I have heard so much praise for this book. I’ve been hearing it since September when it was released. I almost bought it in hardcover several times. I’m so glad I didn’t. I checked it out from the library, and it might have gone back unread except that I saw it in The Morning News’ 2008 Tournament of Books and decided to read it. Well….I did not like it. I’m pondering using the word hate. I’ll refrain from that for now though. Here’s what I didn’t like: Sam Pulsifer. The main character. I can’t remember the last time I read a novel with a main character that I found more unrealistic, unbelievable, and annoying. I kept reading in hopes that it would get better; It didn’t. The only thing that kept me turning pages was to see what happened, but I really didn’t even care. I found some of the pieces of the mystery to be too convenient and contrived. For example (possible spoiler) Sam has never seen much (any) of his parent’s handwriting because they write all day at work and therefore don’t do so at home, even for things like grocery lists. That is one of the most unbelievable plot hole cover ups I’ve ever read.
I would have read at least one more book this month, but Arsonist’s Guide took me 9 days to get through its measly 300 pages because I didn’t want to pick it up while I was at home. I mainly read it on the train, and then forced myself to read the last 100 pages last night so I could finish it for February and take it back.
I should say this: Part of my dislike for Arsonist’s Guide may be because I read it right after reading a masterpiece of plot and characters by Jane Austen (Persuasion). It’s not easy to follow Austen. But not all of my dislike can be written off by that; I really didn’t like it.
Also, I’ve now read 5 of the 16 books on TMN’s 2008 ToB. It’s a very fun book tournament, and I recommend checking out each round. It’s done bracket style and each judge reads two of the books and picks a winner. Those books move onto the next round, etc. They have very fun judges this year too.
(Edit: I realized I included a book in the books purchased list and photo that I actually bought in January. Whoops. I’ve taken it out of the list, but it’s still in the photo, because I don’t feel like taking another one. All the other books will have to live with the jealousy of The Fun of It getting to appear in two photographs.)
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