Books read in September 2013

Shoot. Here it is the end of October and I haven’t yet written book reviews for September.  Except Bluebird, which was so hideous I immediately wrote the review before time could smooth out the edges and I didn’t think it was so bad.  So these will be short reviews, which is too bad, because there were some good books this month.

Far, Far Away
Tom McNeal
Read for Librarian Book Group
A fairy tale set in Nebraska narrated by the ghost of Jacob Grimm.  Incredibly awesome.  A five-star book.  Until, unfortunately, it morphs into a grim Chelsea Cain-type thriller at the end.  I wasn’t so much a fan of that.  Still, worth the read.

Primates
Ottaviana &  Wicks
Read for Librarian Book Group
Graphic novel featuring three women who work with primates.  Interesting.

The Spectacular Now
Tim Tharp
I read this immediately after I saw the movie so the two melded a bit, for better or for worse.  Great main characters, interesting setting, a look what can happen when alcohol is more than a social lubricant. To me, the book ending was much more satisfying than the movie.

The True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp
Kathi Appelt
Read for Librarian Book Group
“Ugh. Raccoons are characters?”  J-fiction is not my favorite and I never read books with animals as main characters so I wasn’t too thrilled to tackle this.  But guess what?  The book is great. The multiple character viewpoints (animal, human, mythic) are interesting.  The plot is gripping and multifaceted and it would make a great read aloud, especially if you like to do different voices.  Top notch.

One Came Home
Amy Timberlake
Read for Librarian Book Group
Horribly hideous title. Which is too bad, because this is an outstanding book.  It’s got a spunky main character, an interesting historical setting, good information about the passenger pigeon.  Plus it’s an adventure story,  road-book, and a mystery with the tiniest bit of romance sprinkled in.  Very well done.  If only someone had counseled Ms. Timberlake about her damn title.

Etiquette & Espionage
Gale Carriger
Read for Librarian Book Group
Fun Steampunk take on finishing school.  It’s more of a “finishing” school.  As in finishing people off.  The world was not fully developed, but it was entertaining.

Winger
Andrew Smith
Read for Librarian Book Group
Very, very funny.  Best 14-year-old Junior in high school.  It captured well the wanting of adolescence.  My only problem was the cover, which featured a picture of a bloody nose on the front and a comic version of the same bloody nose on the back.  I had to put post-it notes on both sides.  Other than that, I was a fan.  Many people were not thrilled about the ending, but I was okay with it.

Bluebird

Bob Staake
Read for Librarian Book Group
Nope.  Not a fan.  I was charmed at first, by this picture-only picture book, though I found it a bit tough to follow the narrative on some pages.  But the library has it in the “Parenting” section of children’s books for a reason and that reason has to do with the ending.  Good for helping a child understand death, I guess, as long as your belief about death involves floating up into the clouds.

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