18 January 2013

Booklist 2012

It's a little bit late in coming, but that's not so far off from how my reading went last year.  Meaning, better late than never. So.

The Willoughbys ~ by Lois Lowry
Silly.  Silly entertaining, but also just kind of silly.

Ivy & Bean ~ by Annie Barrows
I read this at the request of my (then) 8 year-old daughter.  Ivy and Bean are funny.

Westmark / The Kestral / The Beggar Queen ~ by Lloyd Alexander
Otherwise known as The Westmark Series.  And how did I get so far along in my life not reading these books?  These books address many things, like war, for instance, and its affects on people. 

The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio ~ also by Lloyd Alexander
Fairly enchanting. And frankly, Lloyd Alexander is someone I plan on looking up in the afterlife because he is awesome.

Escape from The Carnivale ~ by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
Read because once again my daughter encouraged it.  I like the Starcatcher books and this was a good little read.  A good suspenseful story for kids a little younger.  Or older, I guess, as the case may be.

Chalice ~ by Robin McKinley
Intriguing, somewhat vague.  But enough thread to spin a tale.

Because of Mr. Terupt ~ by Rob Buy
My 10 year old daughter was the recommender of this book. It's what they term "realistic fiction" and she doesn't read much of that, but she read this at school and liked it.  It's a book about the social dynamics of kids, and about consequences and life lessons and all that jazz.  All in all, a good story.

If You Want to Write ~ by Brenda Ueland
I think I need to read this again.  My problem with this book is kind of my same problem with Anne Morrow Lindburg's Gift From the Sea.  The language, for one thing is dated, and I have a hard time connecting with the message.  And the idea presented--that I probably don't write because I don't appropriately value my creative time as a woman--is kind of annoying.  Maybe because it's true, and that's why I don't write as I should (?), or that maybe I don't write because I really can't at this season.  Anyway.  It feels impractical.
I know lots of people get a lot out of this book, and I am ready to give it another try.  Maybe because I feel more like writing at the moment, but who knows!

On Writing ~ by Stephen King
So, because I never write, but should, I read another book on writing, and how I should write etc., etc.  (I am a glutton for punishment.)  But this book?  I loved.  LOVED.  Look.  I am not a fan of Stephen King.  I do not like his subject matter.  It is not appealing to me in the least and I may on occasion look down upon it.  Sue me.
Mr. King is coarse, sometimes crass.  He uses more language than I like (I have what some would consider a pretty low threshold, though), but his advice is awesome, and his narrative is just plain enjoyable.  Even if I didn't want to write (someday. ha.) I would have enjoyed this book.
And also, although I still won't read his work, it made me consider Mr. King in a different light, and that is always a good thing.

The President's Club ~ by Nancy Gibbs & Michael Duffy
FASCINATING.  Also informative and helpful for me in placing people in their historical contexts.  I like politics and history and this really was a good book.  Once they got over using the phrase "the once and future" about everything, which was annoying.

Almost French ~ by Sarah Turnbull
The French are quirky.  Which is why these kinds of memoirs are fun to read.  I hope to write a memoir about the quirky French, someday, too.  Her narrative style didn't pull me in so much as the fact that France is my adopted country.

The Underneath ~ Kathi Appelt
This book is intense.  Also, it's a children's book.  Want to read mixed reviews? Hop onto Amazon.  Again, my 8 year-old sent this book my way.  It deals with some pretty heavy stuff, but it's well written (some may find the style annoying, but I was fine) and my daughter really did love this book.  It's one of those books that felt like a safe way of exploring some dark things.

So there you go.  What I read.  Sorry if this review language is redundant.  It's late.

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