Thursday, August 11, 2011

So Many Books...

Once again, I've left it so long the list is unwieldy. Let me break this down into categories to simplify things!

--Breaking in here to vent: What the heck is it with Blogger and spacing? Does ANYONE know why spacing goes all wackadoo when you hit PUBLISH? There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. Anyway, I know this post is all messed up, but I am not going to mess with it any longer. Excuse the interruption!--

Random Books from the New Books Shelves:

Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: I really wanted to like this. It's a non-fiction book about a young woman who starts a dressmaking business in Afghanistan. It was a brave and admirable thing to do, but it didn't make for a great book.

The Civilized World by Susi Wyss: This was a complete surprise. I haven't read about it in any book review papers or magazines, but it deserves some attention. Now, granted, I have a fascination with Africa lately and that could be clouding my judgement, but I really enjoyed this. I agree with the comparisons that have been made to The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Olive Kitteredge. I don't usually succumb to this sort of book-review-ese, but there is a real gentleness to her writing and a nice, gradual unfolding of the story.

The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure: Hey, I wanted to be Laura Ingalls as much as the next girl when I was a kid. I did my cross stitch by the light of an oil lamp and longed to churn butter. But aside from a few observations that really hit home, this was a snooze.

The Bride's House by Sandra Dallas: Love Sandra Dallas. Liked the book. I'm trying to think how to explain's like there's a certain atmosphere in some of my favorite SD books, and it's lacking here. It felt a little thin.

The Old Standbys (the authors I've been reading for months):

Summerhills by D.E. Stevenson: I think has been my least favorite Stevenson so far, because I got (dare I say it) a little bored with it. I wonder, though, if I would have enjoyed it more if I'd read it in proper order, after Amberwell. It just seemed to lack the wit I've enjoyed in other DES books.

The House on the Cliff by D.E. Stevenson: Loved it, and I read this right after Summerhills, so I guess I'm not tired of Stevenson after all!

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym: So good! Excellent even! Said to be the quintessential Pym, and this is available as a reprint, so you should be able to find a copy pretty easily.
The Fledgling by Elizabeth Cadell: This was a darling book. Just look at that cover! :)

Home for the Wedding by Elizabeth Cadell: Wasn't my favorite. It felt like there was simultaneously too much and too little going on at the same time. Does that make any sense? It's like there was a lot of coming and going, but to no end. But, you know, not bad.

The Search for a New Mystery Series:

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters: This is the first Amelia Peabody book, and I think I could read more of these. I didn't like it quite as much as Maisie Dobbs, but I liked it a lot more than some of the other series I've sampled! An aside: Holy cow, Elizabeth Peters is a lot of people! Check out her website!

Say It with Poison by Ann Granger: This was the result of searching for English village mysteries. It was okay, but I'm not eager to read more.

Books Getting Lots of Attention:

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett: I have such a girl crush on Ann Patchett and could not WAIT for a new book from her, but I was disappointed. I really liked the Amazon setting, and it started out well, but I felt it start to lag in the middle, and it seemed to limp to the end. I'm sad now. I didn't want to say anything bad about my girl.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: I didn't like this at all. It's supposed to be so compelling and moving and thought-provoking and it even has its own website, but it didn't work for me. Maybe I'm too far removed from all the teenage angsty stuff.

One More School Reading List Book:

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix: I was DREADING this one, because it's science fiction, but it wasn't all that bad. I thought it got a bit ridiculous towards the end, but it was a lot more readable than I expected.

How 'bout you? Read anything good lately? Always taking suggestions!


Paula Jo @ Home and Garden Decor said...

Very nice post, and I enjoyed reading it. I haven't had time to read all summer and I'm missing it. Maybe this winter, I will find a little more time.

Care said...

SO not happy with Blogger right now. :o( I've had all kinds of problems the last two weeks or so!!

Angela Pea said...

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. My kids had to read it for school, so I read it, too, and was completely surprised that I really enjoyed it! There are more books in the series, so we're going to read them.

The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson (and the following The Girl Who Played with Fire which I am halfway through and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest which I'll probably get to by Christmas!)...These have been on bestseller lists forever, and I wanted to check them out so I did! Very detailed, and slow in some bits, but excellent murder mysteries all around.

Karen@Candid Diversions said...

The Amelia Peabody series is my favorite mystery series.

Since reading your blog I have become a full-fledged D.E. Stevenson and Elizabeth Cadell fan. I kind of enjoy it when I get the oldest editions from our library with the original library cards and stamps in them and the pages so well loved they are soft to the touch. :)

Darling Petunia said...

Paula Jo, if you find more time, tell me where to look! :)

Darling Petunia said...

Care, I just fixed it by going in and playing with the HTML. I don't understand what that is necessary, because it worked just fine up until now! UGH!

Darling Petunia said...

Wow, Angela Pea, Ender's Game, huh? I will give it a try (eventually). I've been really surprised by how much I've liked some of the juv and ya books I've read.

Darling Petunia said...

Karen, I am having to request most of my Stevenson books through interlibrary loan, so I never know what I'm going to get! I love the ones with the soft pages too! And they smell so library-ish!

Linda C said...

I can't remember if you have mentioned this one yet. It's been out for a while but I thought I had no interest in reading this from the reviews I had read (actually, I had no interest in reading any of the NARNIA books from reading the book jackets- think what I would have missed, had I not come across a kid's library program on the school tv one day where the man would read a section of the book he was promoting that day, while illustrations appeared on the screen. Rather low tech- but it worked).

The books I'm talking about today is THE HUNGER GAMES and its sequel. My 13 yr old granddaughter gave them to me the other day and said, "You need to read these two. I didn't want to read them from what I had seen- but they are really good. Not what I thought at all." She is right. They are really good. Linda

Linda C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I just re-read Ender's Game recently after finding in a used bookstore, and was sort of surprised that it held up so well when I read it as an adult. It's such a prototypical YA book in some ways. Now that I think about it, The Hunger Games is a bit similar.
Surprised to hear that you didn't love State of Wonder, but thanks, now I think I'll wait for it at the library instead of buying it.
I really liked the Amelia Peabody books for about the first five or six books, then tired of it. But I'm like that with most series. The new series I'm reading is by Laurie King, starting with The Beekeeper's Apprentice. It's about a teenage girl who works with Sherlock Holmes. The first two books were a lot of fun.

Darling Petunia said...

I put a hold on The Hunger Games at the library. It's high time I read it and see what all the fuss is about!

sheila 77 said...

I've always loved the D.E.Stevenson books and have read them many times. Have you tried the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton? - I read the first eighteen straight through - read them in order if you can. They are still being written.