March and April reading lists

Yes, you read that right. I completely missed three books from the March reading list, so I decided to just tack them on here. And then my thesis was due May 4. And then I had to recover. So, here we are.

March
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta: Oh, I really, really wanted to love this one. I did like it, but I wasn’t completely blown away by it as I was by Jellico Road.

Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer: One of the mad-cap adventures, with Lord Desford determined not to marry his old friend Hetta just because his father wants him to. He gets entangled in the adventures of Cherry Staines, the Charity Girl of the title. Not my all time favorite, but very sweet.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P.Figg by Rodman Philbrick: Yay! I always love a good historical fiction and this fit the bill exactly. I think girls would like it–I know I would have–but it should also appeal to boys, especially around the middle school age. I loaned it to my brother to read (he’s 14 almost 15) but haven’t heard how he liked it yet. Lots of fun, but it also has a good heart.

April
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis: I reviewed it {HERE}. Basically, I thought it was hilarious and fun and will definitely keep reading Connie Willis.

Witch’s Business by Diana Wynne Jones: This one definitely read younger. I mean, technically I think most of DWJ’s books are in the MG/YA category, but this one felt like it was meant to be there. I’ve found myself enjoying her older books more recently, with the exception of Chrestomanci. This one is also a little more “magicky” than usual.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente: I head about this from The Black Letters and decided to check it out because I’ve enjoyed Valente’s short fiction. Wow. This was a wonderful read, with gorgeous prose, a lovely cast of characters and a great plot. A bit fairytale, a bit Alice in Wonderland, the story managed to feel familiar without feeling derivative. The only (very, very minor) complaint I might have is that in one or two places (literally one or two) the prose felt a little over-written. I’ll definitely be buying a copy when it comes out in book form.

Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey: This is not my favorite Tey (that would be The Daughter of Time), or even my second-favorite (Brat Farrar). But it’s a compelling story. Slightly tragic, as most of Tey’s mysteries are, with a few unexpected twists. I did feel on this read-through that it ended very abruptly.

The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer: I had never read this, despite having seen it in my middle school library. I really loved it. The interweaving of different stories, the way the future and past collided. It all worked. Anyway, Nancy Farmer’s books are now on my TBR list.

The Rock that is Higher by Madeleine L’Engle: A non-fiction book about story and faith. I found it very lovely and refreshing, even if I don’t agree with L’Engle’s theology 100%.

Frederica by Georgette Heyer: A re-read. Enjoyed it as usual.

Olivia Kidney by Ellen Potter: I enjoyed this book, which felt very Roller Skates to me, but I think I actually liked Pish Posh a little more. Just personal preference, I think–I happen to not be very keen on ghost stories. But I’ll try the next Olivia book. She’s an interesting character.

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart: An atmospheric, Gothic mystery. I liked the main character, Linda, quite a bit and the mystery was fascinating. I’m not quite sure what I thought of the hero–I wavered between liking him and feeling a bit annoyed with his caveman tactics, but I think the very end decided me in his favor.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb: I’d been meaning to read this series for a looong time and finally got around to starting it. Overall, I enjoyed it and since I’ve heard that the books keep getting better over the course of the series, I’ll keep reading. Things I liked: the Fool (please tell me there’s more of this character!), the everyday details which so often get lost in high fantasy. The prose was a bit stilted sometimes, but my interest in the characters kept me reading.

Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones: Okay, so I feel awful saying this, given how much I love DWJ, but I have sort of mixed feelings on this one, stemming from two things. One is pure personal preference: I tend to enjoy her more adult books (Dalemark, Deep Secret) a little more at this point. The other is an actual problem: the end. Plumping down a major plot point with almost no reaction from any of the characters just…didn’t work. And the plot point itself was problematic because (spoiler–highlight to see) we’re supposed to like Andrew’s uncle, but all of a sudden he’s Aidan’s father and somehow it’s not his fault at all? WHAT?

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater: I’ve been hearing good things about this series for awhile and I finally decided to see what it’s all about. At first I was rolling my eyes a bit at some of the description and the quickness with which certain relationships developed. But then I got sucked into the story and fell in love. Wow. I think one of the things I liked most about it was the fact that Deirdre actually felt like a real person with real interests. I believed in her as a harp player, I believed in her as someone who would make the choices she did. And what’s up with her aunt? I want to know!

Paradiso by Dante Alighieri: I read this for my Medieval Intellectual History class. I found it fascinating, especially as a meditation on relationship between Dante the Christian and Dante the poet and where they overlap and where they don’t and how the shaping of the identity of one ties into the shaping of the identity of the other. Also, it was odd to read it while finishing my thesis, because now I think I could write an essay about the ways in which the Paradiso shaped Monna Innominata.

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6 Comments

Filed under bookish posts, monthly book list, reviews

6 responses to “March and April reading lists

  1. the Fool (please tell me there’s more of this character!)
    YES. *grin* I love him too!! He remains pretty elusive, but his character and role are further developed, and there’s a tiny dollop of backstory here and there.

    Man, I haven’t read a Rodman Philbrick book in so long. That one sounds wonderful, too.

    I look forward to seeing your other Nancy Farmer reviews, since I love The Ear etc., but have never tried her other books.

  2. Pingback: Diana Wynne Jones | By Singing Light

  3. Pingback: Mary Stewart | By Singing Light

  4. Pingback: Georgette Heyer | By Singing Light

  5. Pingback: Madeleine L’Engle | By Singing Light

  6. Pingback: April 2013 reading list | By Singing Light

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