Books Read in August 2013

Vacation!  Much time to read!  Very exciting!  I even read three books that were not book club books.

Written in Stone
Roseanne Parry
Read for Librarian Book Group
I was a great fan of Island of the Blue Dolphins as a child (though I haven’t read it since) and this book left me in the same place.  It’s a well-crafted tale of a Native American girl living on the Olympic Peninsula in the 1920’s.  The story is moving and full of details and the author, who is not Native American, seems to have worked hard to respect the Native American culture.

The Rules for Hearts
Sara Ryan
I wanted  more from this book.  More of the brother, who remains a cipher throughout and then is suddenly explained in a few paragraphs in the final chapters.  More of the household relationships.  More of the play, even.  I did enjoy the various Portland locals very much.

Man of My Dreams
Curtis Sittenfeld
“Huh.  I seem to have missed reading one of Curtis Sittenfeld’s books” said I to myself as I perused a review of her new novel.  Being a fan of Prep and a rabid fan of American Wife, I put this book on hold at the library and soon had it in my possession.  And then, while I read it, I puzzled over whether I had actually read this book before.

It’s not listed in my Goodreads list, but that only goes back to 2008, so it’s possible that I did read it when it was first published in 2007.  The plot seemed incredibly familiar to me, so much so that I was distracted a bit while reading, stretching to see if anything felt familiar.

That said, I love how Sittenfeld’s character was fairly removed from her emotions, peering at them as if watching them over a fence, happening to someone else.  She was so careful, and so unnatural in her actions, I enjoyed her journey.

Chu’s Day
Neil Gaiman
Read for Librarian Book Group
I was left with a feeling of “eh” after reading this very short picture book.  But the librarians reported this is a great read aloud, with the sneeze repeatedly building and building and then stopping.  Until it doesn’t.

Take Me Out to the Yakyu
Aaron Meshon
Read for Librarian Book Group
The part of me that should have been a double entry accountant (whatever that is) LOVED this book.  On one page, we see the American version of baseball.  On the facing page, we see Japanese version of baseball.  Great bi-cultural little kid experience, great compare and contrast, great illustrations.

Rainbow Rowell
Solid and clever romance with two characters who do not know each other.  Bonus newspaper newsroom setting for fans of the reporter genre.  Very funny conversations between two friends.  Excellent twists. Omaha, Nebraska setting. Great fun of the kind where I abandoned other projects just to keep reading.  After Eleanor and Park and this, I’m ready for whatever Rowell throws my way.

Monkey and Elephant Get Better
Read for Librarian Book Group
Pretty much what the title says, though Monkey and Elephant have very different ways of fighting off a cold.  Good three-chapter beginning reader.  The librarians really liked the clarity of the font.

The Zookeeper’s Wife
Diane Ackerman
Read for Book Group
This was packed full of sometimes a few too many details, but was quite fascinating. I learned a lot about the Polish resistance, of which I knew little, and I found it to be good enough that it was worth breaking my “no more Nazis” rule of book reading.

A Tangle of Knots
Lisa Graff
Read for Librarian Book Group
I did not love this juvenile chapter book that also came with recipes for various cakes.  I found there to be too many characters, many of whom were rather shadowy, so I was vaguely confused for the entire book.  However, many people really enjoyed the book’s quirky nature and you might too.  I did copy a few of the cake recipes to make.   Lime Pound Cake anyone?

That is NOT a Good Idea
Mo Willems
Read for Librarian Book Group
A picture book that might be a child’s first glimpse of what silent movie title cards looked like.  I call that a plus.  This is a funny story with a twist.

Silver Linings Playbook
Matthew Quick
It is rare for me to prefer a movie adaptation to the original book, but I did in this case.  Everything that makes the movie delightful is here in the book–and more!  But I found the book to drag a bit in places.  That said, the book was as funny as the movie and worth the read.

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great
Bob Shea
Read for Librarian Book Group
Goat has a problem with Unicorn.  Just the existence of Unicorn brings Goat down.  Very bright colors and also rainbows.  Funny.

The Watermelon Seed
Greg Pizzoli
Read for Librarian Book Group
By the time book group came around I didn’t actually remember this book.  But it’s a fun little vignette and a good summertime read.

Gone Fishin
Read for Librarian Book Group
A story of a boy going on a fishing trip with his father told in many different poem forms.  Includes information about the different poetry forms as well a poetry vocabulary.  Not only is it interesting from the poetry standpoint, it is fun from the storytelling point too.  It might make a fun read aloud.

September Girls
Bennett Madison
Read for Librarian Book Group
Boy spends summer on island populated with very attractive and unique girls.  Said girls have eyes for him, in a way that makes his older brother crazy.  Interesting exploration of sex and identity in a way that I think YA books usually shy away from. I wonder if male authors can get away with this more than female authors?

One thought on “Books Read in August 2013”

  1. Excellent reading on your part. I am not going to even come close to my reading goal for this year and I am a little bummed. I need to work on my down-time choices, reading has drifted to the bottom of the list.

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