March 2012 book list

Books I’ve already talked about:
Enemy Brothers by Constance Savery
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. [I read this on the airplane on the way to see my parents and I had not realized before just how many dead fathers there are in this book. Gah. It’s still amazing.]
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Merry Hall by Beverley Nichols: A memoir of Nichols’ house and garden. It’s written in a kind of arch, self-aware tone that I found amusing but which could just as easily have made me put the book down in annoyance. Still, if you’re in the right frame of mind, this is an enjoyable record of the tribulations of the inhabitants of Merry Hall.

Lirael by Garth Nix: I loved Sabriel, so I was excited for the sequel. I did like it, though it does one of those abrupt time jumps that I often find disconcerting. Lirael is a new character and I found her journey a little less interesting and convincing than Sabriel’s. In general, the world-building that I had liked in Sabriel was present, but Lirael didn’t feel as tight as the first book.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley: I think my reading of this one suffered a bit from over-high expectations. I had several blog friends who really loved it and so I expected to as well. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, which leaves me wondering if it was me? the book? something in the water that day? I may try a re-read sometime, to see if reading at a different time changes my opinion.

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen: I read this immediately after I read Why We Broke Up, which was funny as they’re the same sort of basic plot–slightly quirky girl meets popular boy. Having Min’s voice so freshly in my head might have contributed to me feeling that I liked Truth or Dare, but wasn’t entirely convinced by the ending.

The Return of the Twelves by Pauline Clarke: A nice, old-fashioned fantasy for younger readers. It would probably work best with children who know who the Brontes were, as well as having some general sense of English history and geography.

Abhorsen by Garth Nix: I had a better sense of who Lirael was as a character, and liked her better once she had worked through the Clayr stuff. But this book felt seriously bloated to me. Long passages of journey where not much happens, either plot or personality wise. One of the things I loved about Sabriel was how spare it felt–not a word wasted, so that was a big disappointment. But it was nice to have everything wrapped up, and I may have shed a tear or two.

Certain Women by Madeleine L’Engle: This is not in the normal vein of L’Engle books I enjoy. In fact, I’m still not sure if I did like it or not. I liked the characters and, at the same time, felt somewhat impatient with them. I’m not sorry I read it, but I doubt I’ll want to revisit it.

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson: I might have a different opinion if I had read 13 Little Blue Envelopes when it was first published and therefore had a sentimental attachment to it, but I really liked the sequel. Like, more than the first book. I think part of this was that I was never entirely wild about Keith and I liked where the sequel left that relationship.

The Cottage at Bantry Bay by Hilda Van Stockum
Speaking American by Richard Bailey
Vanishing Ireland
Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus! by Atinuke
Spies for Mississippi by Rick Bowers
They Called Themselves the K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
The Greatest Show Off Earth by Margaret Mahy
The Hob’s Bargain by Patricia Briggs
Francie on the Run by Hilda Van Stockum
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson


Filed under bookish posts, monthly book list, reviews

6 responses to “March 2012 book list

  1. I have been trying to remember what The Return of the Twelves was called for years! It was my first introduction to the Brontes.

    • Maureen E

      Oh, fun! 🙂 I came across it in an interview with Megan Whalen Turner, who said it was one of her favorite books.

  2. I’m one who really loved Graffiti Moon. I also really loved her other book, A Little Wanting Song.

    Interesting thoughts on The Fine Art of Truth or Dare. I haven’t read it yet, but I did recently read Why We Broke Up. (I enjoyed your review of it btw. I intended to comment when you posted it and then forgot.)

    I completely agree with you re Kieth, but for some reason I still liked the first one more. Interestingly I read The Name of the Star this weekend and had similar feelings toward the love interest in that. I’m hoping the sequel to that does with Jerome what The Last Little Blue Envelope did with Kieth. Or it could just lose him entirely.

    • Maureen E

      I do want to re-read Graffiti Moon, because both you and Chachic loved it and I feel like I was missing something!

      It’s always interesting to me how much reading a book is influenced by what one read before and after and what kind of mood one is in, etc. I think if I hadn’t read Why We Broke Up, Truth or Dare would have just been a nice light story.

      Maureen Johnson has a history of writing new love interests in second books that I completely buy into (Max in Scarlett Fever, as well as Oliver in LLBE). We’ll see what happens with Madness Underneath–I can be convinced in several directions there. And I can see why people would like 13 LBE better–I just felt like her writing style and characterization had grown up a lot between the two books.

  3. Pingback: 2012 in books, part 3: non-fiction | By Singing Light

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

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