Reading Notes May 2019

Girl Reading by Tony Robert-Fleury, via Wikimedia Commons

Finished

Can You Forgive Her? by Trollope

I read this with an online book group, a one-time Facebook group created by a friend of mine for the sole purpose of reading this novel together. I’ve really liked this idea of a one-off book club. You aren’t committing to reading a whole bunch of books with a group, just: let’s read this novel. Having someone else set the schedule and a bunch of people to be accountable to helps me to keep going (not that I needed much encouragement, Trollope is a delight.

CYFH is the first of the Palliser novels. My suspicion is that it’s also the best of the lot. I really enjoyed it. I’m going to try to read more of the series, I’ve downloaded them to my Kindle.

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Revisiting this series that I have no memory of actually reading, but I know for certain I owned, so I must have read them. Probably devoured and hardly absorbed. I liked The Blue Sword much better than The Hero and the Crown. I liked the protagonist of HC well enough. Aerin is very likable. and the dragon slaying scene where she almost dies is perhaps one of my favorite moments in literature. But I was not a fan of the two love interests. It weakened the plot considerably.

Books in the Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane:

I’m going to have to write about this series at length because it’s really delightful and I could write a whole blog post about them, if not a series of blog posts.

So You Want to Be a Wizard, Deep Wizardry, High Wizardry, A Wizard Abroad, Wizard’s Dilemma, A Wizard Alone, Wizard’s Holiday.

The White Rose by Kip Wilson
A novel in verse about Sophie Scholl, the German college student killed by the Nazis because of her dissemination of anti-war propaganda. I’m not sure this book really worked for me. It’s told in first person, as if Sophie had written a series of poems in her diary. As such it lacks context and other points of view, especially what happens after her death. A postscript addresses that a little, but really I wanted more. It was an easy read, the verse wasn’t difficult. Bella read it too and also liked it ok.

The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

I’m pretty sure I never read this one as a kid. I rather enjoyed it. Am seeing a pattern in ZKS of girls who are neglected by a divorced parent who become fascinated with the supernatural and dabble in it to the point of getting frightened when it turns out to be bigger than they are. Sort of cautionary tales I guess. The kids are intrigued about why she wrote so many children of divorce.

Currently Reading

Wizards at War by Diane Duane

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay

Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel

With the kids

We finished The Far Side of the Loch and started Down to the Bonny Glen. Melissa Wiley’s novels about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ancestor Martha Morse are delightful. Sadly they’re out of print. The publisher released an abridged versions, I can’t imagine why– why would anyone would want to cut a single word? I was lucky enough to find them used years and years ago and I cherish them.

Reading Vision book about St Thomas More, which is provoking some great discussions. Last time we tackled it we gave up halfway through. But that was probably four or five years ago. The kids are much older now.

Audiobooks

finished listening to The Saturdays in the car started The Four Story Mistake
We’re listening to the Kay Ray podcast version. She’s a great reader. And they’re free!

Also currently listening to Peter Duck in the car with Daddy. Now we are in the season of long car trips as a whole family and the kids are excited to get back to Swallows and Amazons. Peter Duck is such a great yarn.

Finished listening to The Odyssey. Began Beowulf (translated and read by Seamus Heaney) and Moby Dick (Big Read podcast, each chapter read by a different voice). The kids are really liking Moby Dick

Audiobooks are for me, but I usually listen to them with one or more kids around. They aren’t any of them listening to the entire book, that’s too hard to coordinate, but they’re all getting some tastes of these great classics and I’m hoping it will at least whet their appetites. Meanwhile I’m enjoying revisiting favorites that I haven’t read in twenty years.

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