bookish posts reviews

Recent reading: early January edition

Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson: This is an extremely enchanting middle grade book. I liked the main character, Hilary Westfield, a lot–she wants to be a pirate and practices knots, etc, but she’s also good at waltzing and she never comes across as a Strong Female Character. The plot is generally a bit ridiculous, but you know, pirates! Sensible plots need not apply. 11-year-old Maureen would have enjoyed this book immensely.

The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb: The story of the hunt for Aldof Eichmann following WWII. It’s a fascinating story, well told here (although there were occasionally time jumps that I found a little confusing). Apparently, it’s the YA version of an adult title, and I did find places where I felt a lack of complexity and detail showed that it was an adaptation rather than the original. On the plus side, now I want to read Hunting Eichmann. But for me, the moment of greatest power was the quote from the Israeli Attorney General at Eichmann’s trial.

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore: I had been meaning to read this one for ages (since it first came out) and I finally just snapped and requested it. It’s a nice YA and would probably be great for some upper mg readers as well. With almost-echoes of Jane Eyre and a world where fairies are real, it’s also a great historical fantasy. AND Nimira, our heroine, is a WOC (I couldn’t quite figure out the real-world analogue to her culture) and a lot of what happens relates to her experience as an immigrant and a member of a marginalized culture.

Night at the Vulcan by Ngaio Marsh: I’ve really enjoyed this one in the past, but for whatever reason, on this re-read I found almost all the characters unsympathetic. Somehow the whole thing just seemed rather sad and tawdry. However, Mike Lamprey remains my favorite! Perhaps re-reading A Surfeit of Lampreys is in order.

By Maureen LaFerney

My name is Maureen. I currently work as a library assistant in a public library in the Indianapolis area, and also just so happen to be a voracious reader. I frequently end up under a cat.

6 replies on “Recent reading: early January edition”

I don’t know. 😦 I’m hoping it was just my mood–I did still like Martyn and Mike a lot, but the rest of the theatre people just all seemed so hopelessly unhappy. Like Gay and J.G., and even Jacko.

I was trying to work out why I hadn’t heard of Night at the Vulcan – and then I realised it must be the US title of Opening Night.
It’s one of my favourite Ngaio Marsh novels to reread, even though I think it’s one of her weaker mysteries and I dislike the romance, and many of the characters are unlikeable or unhappy (or both). I just find the way it captures that world – of a theatre preparing for their first performance – so fascinating.

Yes, the US/UK title thing is confusing, especially since I’ve seen some of the UK titles here.

I’m hoping this was a one time weird reading experience–I do love her theatre books generally.

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