May reading list

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Stewart: The first sequel to the highly exciting and enjoyable Mysterious Benedict Society. Like the first book, this one combines high adventure with a nice sense of friendship and appreciation for family and relatives (biological or adopted). I enjoyed it, despite realizing just how ridiculous the cover issue is.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: My roommate had this out and I stole borrowed it and re-read it. With tears streaming down my face. Seriously awesome. For much more, you can read my original review {HERE}.

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater: Full review {HERE}. Verdict–good but not quite as awesome as Lament, although James is still amazing.

The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer: I was interested in the parallels between this and The Ear, The Eye, and the Arm given that the stories are set in such different cultures. Both books seemed very interested in young characters who find themselves confronting the differences between the world they were raised in and the world they find surrounding them. The House of the Scorpion had a more bitter-sweet feel to it than The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, but I found both very lovely.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke: I read this once a few years ago and really didn’t get it. As I remember, I was sick at the time. On re-reading it, I understood why several of my friends love this book so much. All the bits about reading books and loving books and caring for them were great. And it seemed like there was an interesting sub-plot about the role and responsibility of a writer for his or her creation.

I Capture the Castle
by Dodie Smith: A re-read. At some points I felt as if the story was happier than I remembered, and at other points I felt as if it were sadder than I remembered. It’s still a wonderful book, with all of its poignant and hilariously funny bits. Reading notes {HERE}.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien: What I do I even say? Wonderful as usual. I notice slightly different things each time. Reading notes {HERE}, with spoilers.

Harper’s Quine by Pat McIntosh: A medieval mystery set in Glasgow? Yes, please! Despite a few lingering questions about one of the characters, this is definitely a series I’ll keep reading. Review {HERE}.

The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart: After mostly liking Nine Coaches Waiting, I decided to try another Mary Stewart. This is another mystery. It’s not nearly as atmospheric and I had figured out the central twist long before it was actually revealed. However, the characters were interesting and the beautiful descriptions of Northumberland were great.

City of Gold and Shadows by Ellis Peters: An Inspector Felse mystery. This time, a young woman’s great-uncle, a noted historian and archaeologist, has disappeared. Without intending to, she stumbles into the heart of the mystery of his disappearance when she visits the last place he wrote about. With typical Peters prose and a great cast of characters, this was a treat.

The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones: Tragic and well-written, and yet somehow not my favorite. Review {HERE}.

Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia McKillip: A collections of short stories, some of which I really liked and some of which I didn’t. Review {HERE}.

In the Forests of Forgetting
by Theodora Goss: Pretty much literally what I just said for Harrowing the Dragon, although the stories are a much different style than McKillip’s. Review {HERE}.

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta: My sister read this one and demanded more Marchetta. I am planning to introduce her to Jellicoe Road very soon. This ranks above Finnikin and below Jellicoe Road (because I love that book with a deep and abiding passion which will be hard to top) for me. I did really like it, but Francesca’s voice never quite achieved that crystal-clarity that Taylor’s did.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield: I tore through this one. Very exciting! Alternate realities with living warships and walking machines! I would have loved it around age fifteen or so–which isn’t to suggest that I don’t like it now. I did feel that prose-wise it wasn’t super exciting, and I’m not sure I always believed in Deryn/Dylan. I lent it to my brother today and I’m waiting to see what he thinks.

Mister Monday by Garth Nix: I definitely felt this was aimed at a younger audience. It’s exciting and I’ll probably keep going with the series, although it strayed back and forth between simplistic and overly didactic at times. Review {HERE}.

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff: I was visiting a friend and she mentioned this book. Then she paused and said, “You have read that, haven’t you?” I hadn’t, so she shoved it into my hands. The story of a great relationship, based around books and told entirely through letters. Next up: the sequel.

Dingo by Charles de Lint: Despite an interesting concept, I had a few problems with this one. First, there were some phrases that no teenager has ever, and I’m including myself the Queen of British and Old-fashioned Slang in this, used. Example: Miguel describes himself as having “a dark cast to my complexion”. I understand that it can be hard to come up with non-cliched, non-offensive ways to describe a character with a different skin tone, but seriously? Also, it felt like the story moved too fast.


Filed under bookish posts, monthly book list, reviews

11 responses to “May reading list

  1. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith – my friend two summers ago was reading this outloud… I never finished it as I really wanted to hear the ending out loud too!

    84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff – love this one!

    City of Gold and Shadows by Ellis Peters – have not read this one yet, sounds great!

  2. I read the Benedict Society this month too! I LOVE it!

  3. Mimi

    “84 Charing Cross” road was wonderful, but I agree, I think I read it in about an hour.

    And, I never quite loved “I Capture the Castle”. Perhaps I should re-read it.

  4. hmmm….Neither of those two is my favorite Mary Stewart. I think The Moonspinners might be mine, but then I read them when I was young, and thing were different then. I think I might be too cynical to enjoy them for the first time now! But have you read her Arthur series, starting with the Crystal Cave? excellent at any age!

    (but then, I liked Ballad much better than Lament!)

    • Maureen E

      Hm…I have a fairly high junk tolerance, I think. There were certainly parts of both which made me dubious, especially much of the plot of “The Ivy Tree” (also, love interest in that one? not so cool with me). These are the first two Stewarts I’ve ever read and I’m not sure I’ll keep reading them. An Arthur series, on the other hand, sounds very interesting!

      I know–I think I’m the one person in the world who liked Lament better than Ballad. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, other than the alternating narrative thing.

  5. Pingback: Ellis Peters | By Singing Light

  6. Pingback: Mary Stewart | By Singing Light

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

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