23 June 2008
04 June 2008
Journey to the End of the Millennium by A. B. Yehoshuah. Adult fiction. DONE
- Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Adult fiction. DONE. This book starts off kind of slow then BAM! Now we know what will tie the loose characters together: a school shooting. We know all along who did it, but the book tells WHY and we wait to find out the outcome of the trial.
- Cheating at Canasta by William Trevor. READ HALF, THEN STOPPED. Adult fiction.
I started reading this and had to stop to look at the author biography, then resume reading. I quickly suspected that the author was not American. It uses a number of English and Irish words, like the Irish word for policeman. His short stories read like the dialog (or dialogue in England-type English) of a play. My guess is that I would like his books as audiobooks better than as print.
I read about half of this book. Some of the stories were better than others. The title story - Cheating at Canasta was my favorite and worth reading. I just couldn't get into this book.
- Barbie Fairytopia Magic of the Rainbow, a Barbie Board Book. DONE. Children's fiction.
We had a hard time following this book. There were too many characters for a simple cardboard book. I think it assumes you have already seen the Barbie movie and bought the Barbie dolls and know the characters. I wasn't sure which one was Elina and which was her friend and who was the bad lady. I will be putting myself on hold for this video at the library now out of curiosity. Great literature this is not.
- So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger. READ HALF, THEN STOPPED. Adult fiction. I had heard good things about his first book, Peace Like a River, so I thought this might be a good one to read. The author very conceitedly had the main character also be a writer writing a second novel. That is not very interesting, and I couldn't get into the story of a middle aged guy running away to Mexico with his outlaw buddy. The description sounded good, but the reality is that everyone I talked to who read the first book was disappointed in this second novel.
- Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater. Children's Fiction. DONE.
I love this book! I don't know why I don't already own this except that my copy that I had as a child must have fallen apart. This was popular in its day, but now I had to get this through interlibrary loan. Thank you to the Raymond Library, Raymond, Ohio.
This book is the antithesis of sensible zoning. In part, because of this book I now have an aqua colored house and a purple colored car that the mechanic has dubbed "Barney". One of our neighbors asked if our aqua color was the final coat of paint then was disappointed when it was, and a drive-by commentator yelled "I hate your house"!
The plot is that there was a "neat street" where all the houses were the same until one day a seagull dropped a can of orange paint on a house. One neighbor, then many decide that they like their houses personalized, not cookie cutter. They really go all out to show that
"My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams".
If you love this book then you should read the poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph, which is also known by its first line:
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple.
Then read "If I Had My Life to Live Over(I would pick more daisies)" by Nadine Stair.
- Amelia Bedelia and the Cat by Herman Parish and Lynn Sweat. Children's Fiction. DONE. Herman Parish is Peggy Parish's nephew.
This is a pleasant book, with dear Amelia the housekeeper misunderstanding people's idioms. The audience I read it to did not understand the idioms, either, but did not care. They liked the pictures and the kitten.
- Bear on the Motorcycle by Reiner Zimnik. Children's Fiction. DONE. As you can guess, it is about a bear who rides a motorcycle. This is an oldie but goodie.
- Laughing without an Accent by Firoozeh Dumas. Adult nonfiction. DONE.
Her first book was rather endearing. This follows up and supplements information from the book Funny in Farsi. It isn't quite as good as the original, but still has her charming take on life as a first generation American. She does have a number of opinions on books and libraries which I will quote here when I get a chance.
- Holly Hobbie's Through the Year Book by Holly Hobbie. Children's fiction/nonfiction. DONE. This book blends Holly Hobbie's lovely American Greetings characters with little poems. I saw that my library had purchased some Holly Hobbie videos and was reminded of this character. This book was published in 1978 and she used sepia tones throughout, so all the illustrations are muffled. The current videos use full color, however. Someone remarked right away that today's Holly Hobbie does not wear a dress, but feminine clothing. This is a far cry from the calico and patchwork Holly Hobbie of the 1970's. Both are cute and well received by girls and their mothers. Although this book seems old fashioned, it is old fashioned in a good way and still enjoyable like Highlights magazine.
- Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig. Children's Fiction. DONE. Winner of the Caldecott Medal. One of my coworkers who is a mother of 5 and a former children's librarian told me to read this. It is a classic tale of wishing for something, then regretting getting it. I liked it well enough, but it isn't my favorite story. I also watched the Scholastic video version of this book being narrated. That was pretty good, too. (This is the man who brought us Shrek in another book).
- Why Things Don't Work: Train by David West. Children's Fiction. DONE. This is another fine book in the series. I like the perky grandmother who fixes trains while wearing a green bodysuit and having her hair up in a gray bun.
- Generation T 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt by Megan Nicolay. Adult Nonfiction. DONE. I am not into crafts, but these look pretty simple. Many require no sewing at all - just scissors and tying. The ones that use lacing are particularly attractive and the key word to the success of this book is AFFORDABLE. Most American teenagers and college students could make these for less than $5.00 using Goodwill t-shirts. I will show this to my Goth library aide who frequently safety pins her clothing. I may be inspired to cut up something to wear to our local Renaissance festival as a pirate-type outfit. http://www.generation-t.com/
- Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu. Adult fiction. DONE. We are considering if we should make this our One Library, One Book selection for 2009. The Seattle Public Library chose this for their book this year, but I would not recommend this to all audiences. It is a slow, thoughtful book about an African immigrant. I have not known many African immigrants in my life, but I am sure that most of them are not this broody. There is only one "action" scene, and that is when the main character remembers a violent episode from his childhood. http://www.spl.org/default.asp?pageID=audience_current_seattlereads
page 39: The main character talks about a present he received - a book and that he checked out a paperback novel from the library.
page 89: Naomi "had raided the local library for all it was worth". Then the author lists a number of long books.
page 191: Stephanos gives his mother a book of Emily Dickinson's poetry for Christmas.
- Timbuktu by Paul Auster. Adult Fiction. I was looking for another good dog book, so I thought I would try this one. IN PROGRESS.
- Harold and the Purple Crayon - Opposites by Jodi Huelin and Kevin Murawski. Children's Fiction. DONE. Adorable Harold demonstrates some opposites by his drawings. Effective.
- Early Bird by Richard Scarry. Children's Fiction. DONE. I am guessing that this came before his Busy Town series since there is a worm that looks like Lowly, but has a different name. This book shows Scarry's distinct style and appeal. This is a good early reader.
- Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie. Children's fiction. DONE. This is a take on the country-mouse/city-mouse where one pig stays home and one travels. We see the advantages of travel and of home. The words are okay, but we can tell that Holly Hobbie is known more for her illustrations.