It looks like I didn’t read much this month. This was because Mary was very long, but also because I was doing that thing I said I wouldn’t do anymore where I’m reading several books at once. Most of them I finished right after the turn of the month, look for them in the July review. In the meantime, here’s how my June went.
Janis Cooke Newman
Good lord, but this book was long. It was also mostly depressing, because Mary–as depicted by this author–was just never quite fulfilled. No one ever quite loved her enough and her interests did not mesh with her sphere of the time. I think today she would have been a beloved talk show host a la Rosie O’Donnell, but maybe with a bit more of an edge. The book was interesting, and full of detail, but I just didn’t enjoy it every much.
The Wilder Life
If you could rock a Laura Ingalls Wilder Pub Trivia Night (and why have I not seen one of those?) then you will love this book. Wendy McClure does what I want to do: she visits all of the LIW home sites, immerses herself in the books, reads criticism and history of Wilder’s life and stories and even makes butter. She is also quite funny. This is a humorous, breezy book for everyone who has read the books over and over. My preferred way: my mother read them to me, but once I could handle them on my own, I read the whole series every summer. Sometimes I would read them backwards and enjoy Mary’s miraculous return of sight.
The Brothers K
David James Duncan
Read for Kenton book club. (Although it was a re-read for me, I first read it in the late 90s)
“It’s got a lot of baseball, but it’s totally worth it!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that to someone reading this book. And there is a lot of baseball. And I know that not everyone is into baseball. But if you can just get through the baseball (and there is less of it as the book goes on) you will read one of my top 30 books of all time. It’s very long, yes. It’s meanders, yes. It’s is chock full of America’s Pastime that no one I know seems to like very much, yes. But if you keep reading, I bet you will like it as much as I did.
Anne of Green Gables
I started this series when I was about 14 and enjoyed them, though not enough to finish all six books. I think I petered out in book five. I decided summer is a good time to see if a re-read is a good idea and the answer is, “Yes ma’am!” This book is funny, not in a slap-sticky kind of way, but because Montgomery is so good at writing her characters so vividly. Anne, though mostly “very good” in that early-20th century children’s book character way, is not sickening in her goodness, she’s funny. I couldn’t get enough and will be continuing on with the series. Also, of note: this book uses big vocabulary for something that is a children’s book. A lot of words were SAT-type words, and I’m not sure today’s 12-year-old would know them. Clearly, children reading books circa 1900 would have done much better on the SATs than today’s youth.
Order of the Stick, Book 1
As mentioned every time I review a graphic novel, said genre isn’t my thing due to my skimming technique and the not looking at the pictures that provide a good portion of the action. However, Matt and I read this aloud during our Bike Trip, with each of us taking parts. Matt helpfully put his finger on the frames of the comic that have no words, so I was forced to look at them and comprehend. This worked well and I enjoyed the humor of this Dungeons and Dragons Adventure send up.