March book list, part two

Kiss Me Deadly ed. by Trisha Telep: Short stories. I read it mostly for Sarah Rees Brennan’s “The Spy that Never Grew Up,” which was lots of fun. As with any short story collection, especially one composed of stories from different authors, I really liked some and really didn’t like others.

The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan: Oh, I really wanted to like this one, but in the end, I couldn’t quite manage it. I think the main problem was that the balance was off. We needed to spend more time in the underwater world and really understand the relationships there. As it was, I was completely blindsided by the conclusion of the romance. In general, I’m so far removed from that culture that I didn’t feel particularly connected to it, or to the characters.

Juniper, Gentian, & Rosemary by Pamela Dean: I enjoyed Dean’s retelling of Tam Lin quite a bit, so I decided to try another of her books. I liked it, especially the book bits, and Becky. I suppose, very much especially Becky. I was startled, though, by how little space the sort of action of the story took up. It was all very slow and philosophical–which isn’t a complaint, necessarily. In general, I loved the way it was so much about friendship, and sisterhood.

The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier: A lovely fantasy, with overtones of several favorite authors. Reviewed {here}.

Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool by Otto Hirsch: This is in the category of books I might have enjoyed when I was younger. For the present-day me, it felt too light and inconsequential, which sounds weird when the whole plot is centered around Darius’s world disappearing (not literally).

Departure Time by Truus Matti: Overall, I liked this book. However, I never quite felt like the two narratives managed to make it into a cohesive story. I guessed quite early what was going on, and I spent most of the rest of the book feeling somewhat frustrated. I’d be interested to see if others had a different reaction.

The Duchess of Whimsy by Randall and Peter de Seve: Lovely illustrations and a fun story. I think this would be a great book to read aloud, especially with a certain type of kid (I’m thinking of myself here–I would have had fun picking out all the bits of the illustrations).

The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan: A re-read, so I could do the Promotion Notion. I know Alan is a lying liar, but I can’t help lurving him like crazy. He’d better make it out of the series okay!

Wake by Lisa McMann: This was a case where I felt the concept of the story was great and wasn’t quite as taken by the execution. I guess I felt a little unhappy with Cabel’s story, for some reason–I wanted a better reason for his background. There’s at least one sequel, which I’m planning to read.

The Magician of Hoad by Margaret Mahy: I read some fairly negative reviews of this on Goodreads, which surprised me. Okay, I know Goodreads is often not a reliable source for reviews, but I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters, and the setting, which is important to me in general. I wasn’t overly confused by it, and in places I was reminded of the Dalemark Quartet. It’s not The Changeover at all, but I don’t think it needs to be.

Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb: Definitely my favorite book of the trilogy. Fitz finally starts growing up a bit, and the story and language seemed like they were more nuanced and mature. I did start to groan a bit when there were 100 pages left and it seemed like all of the major plot points had been wrapped up.

Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah: I really admire Abdel-Fattah for addressing a topic as sensitive as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a children’s book, and doing it in a remarkably non-preachy way. Her main character is Palestinian, as I’m assuming she also is, so she naturally shows a pro-Palestinian bias. But I almost never felt like it was politics in disguise. Towards the end I think it did slip a little into monologue, but overall I was very pleased with both the story and the author.

The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty: A re-read. I remembered liking this the best of the Ashbury books and I think that still holds true. I feel a lot of sympathy for Bindy and suspect that I was at times just about as insufferable. (Reading my middle school diaries is kind of…awkward.) Anyway, this isn’t a story to take very seriously, but I like it all the same.

Chime by Franny Billinglsey: A lovely book. Reviewed {here}.

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg: A combination of memoir and recipes. I liked the way Wizenberg was able to weave together different portions of her life in a way that didn’t feel sort of self-indulgent or self-congratulatory. And some of the recipes look really good.

The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta: I love Marchetta, as you may have gathered by my Jellicoe Road posts. The Piper’s Son follows Tom Mackee, from Saving Francesca. While quite a bit of contemporary realistic fiction drives me crazy, Marchetta always manages to make me really care about characters with whom I have nothing in common. Jellicoe Road is still my favorite by far–I love Taylor so much–but Tom’s story is another heart-wrenching one, told in a lovely way.

To Rule the Waves by Arthur Herman: A history of the British navy. Fascinating stories, including a lot details I didn’t know about, and several moments where a larger portion of history suddenly made more sense. Somewhat marred by a lack of nuance in his argument, but still a great read for anyone interested in history, especially nautical history.

The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff: Phaedrus’s story is one of my favorite Sutcliffs. His connection with Midir and his relationship with Murna are both finely drawn. I always find the ending very thought-provoking as well. And the writing is brilliant and beautiful.

Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer: A re-read. I do really enjoy this book.

2 Comments

Filed under bookish posts, monthly book list, reviews

2 responses to “March book list, part two

  1. Pingback: Rosemary Sutcliff | By Singing Light

  2. Pingback: March 2013 reading list | By Singing Light

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