Friday, May 14, 2010

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

This little beauty was a Newbery honor book for 2009. I have to agree with a friend of mine who recently told me she thought it should have won the medal. When You Reach Me was interesting and had a cool plot, but Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is spectacular. It is moving and has an incredible message. In a way it reminded me of The Tale of Despereaux because of it's profound simplicity. I loved everything about it.


It's a new semester and that means neo-classic British literature for me! This book was recommended to me by my good friend Kristen as well, so when I saw it on our reading list I was excited. I loved it. LOVED it. I don't think I've enjoyed reading a book this much in ages (and I have read a lot of really great literature!). I don't know if it was the fact that I broke in my new couches by spending a day in them reading this with my fireplace on, but something about reading this book was extremely enjoyable. This is my kind of book. It's pre-Austen, but contains a lot of the Austen elements that I enjoy. It's a totally different writing style than Austen, of course. Fanny Burney is a fantastic writer, and I really loved the format of this book (it's told in letters). I'm going to start petitioning PBS to make a movie version of this for Masterpiece Theater. If you are an Austen fan, you will love Evelina.


More lit for my British lit class. Oroonoko is, to be frank, gruesome and horrible. There's no getting around that fact. All the same, it is an interesting piece of history. It's a good reminder that not all slaves were poor workers; some slaves were princes. This story has love, suspense, mystery, slavery, and a violent (really way too detailed in my opinion) ending.

Fablehaven 5

Talk about action-packed! Holy cow! This book picks up fast and kept me engrossed until the end. It was a spectacular ending to the series, and I think it did a great job of wrapping up all the plot lines. It had everything I love in a book. Really, it was brilliant. I won't say much more, but if you're a fan of the series, you will love this.

A Countess Below Stairs

I read A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson last year and liked it, so I decided to try something else by her. I have to say, I enjoyed this book much more than A Company of Swans. It has a plot that's been done before, but it was done well and with beautiful writing. Also, one of the things I really liked about this is that it's a romance that's clean. It's so hard to find good, clean romance anymore. I definitely recommend this one.

The Little Prince

You'll probably be able to tell from my next few posts, but there was a period in-between semester when I had nothing to do, and no books from the library, so I randomly pulled children's books off my shelf to read. I have this goal of reading all the Newbery books (winners and honors), so I worked on that. Of course, The Little Prince is not a Newbery, but it's a classic, and I haven't read it in years. I think that, as an adult, it was even more interesting that it was when I first read it (not sure when that was, but a really long time ago). Kids miss all the philosophical/moral messages this book is trying to make and focus on the prince's fun adventures.

In fact, the same day I read this (it was actually Earth Day) I watched some special Earth Day movie on PBS and one of the people in the documentary reminded me very much of the business man in The Little Prince. Basically, there was this guy who has spent his entire life trying to calculate how long it will be before the earth is destroyed because of lack of food/clean air/fuel etc.. for all the people on earth. Remind anyone else of the business man in The Little Prince who wastes his whole life counting? It was definitely a reminder to me to not waste my life worrying about inconsequential things and to instead go out an DO SOMETHING!

The Egypt Game

I remember this book very fondly from my childhood, so it was fun to revisit it. I love it for two big reasons:

1. I love Egyptian culture.
2. I spent a great deal of my childhood playing imaginary games.

This book has a good mix of real-life childhood emotions, comedy, mystery, and fun. It's superb.

A Year Down Yonder

Oh Richard Peck is so funny! I was laughing out loud the whole way through. This book is delightful. I also highly recomment A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck. Don't read this around people who might think you're strange if you occasionally laugh, snicker, snort, or guffaw while reading (like my five-year old).

Island of the Blue Dolphins

I will admit to being frustrated with this book. I couldn't remember how it ended from my childhood, so I kept expecting something that didn't happen (which I won't explain here in case you haven't read it). It seems to be a much different book now that I'm an adult. Still, I think survival books are fascinating, and this book has vivid and detailed descriptions. I think it's a "you have to read once in your life" kind of book.

Maniac Magee

This is a great "boy" book, and I'm glad I read it so I can know to recommend it to my boys. Aside from just being fun and interesting, it covers some great history about black and white segregation in America. It's a feel-good book, and definitely deserves that shiny sticker.

The Adventure of English

I read this book for my theory of language class, and I wasn't sure what to expect; I was surprised! This book is entertaining and educating at the same time. It details many of the twists and turns English took before becoming more established. The origins of thousands of words are detailed, and as I've always been a bit of a hobby etymologist, I loved it. This book also happens to be hilarious at times. Seriously. And if you ever have the chance of watching the History Channel's documentary based on the book, you should. It's hosted by Melvyn Bragg himself, and features all of the wit and funny facts found in the book. This is a fun read, especially if you're at all interested in history or the origins of our language.

Grammar by Diagram

It's ok, you can say it. It won't hurt my feelings.

"You are an English nerd."

"You're putting textbooks on your book blog???"

To which I will respond:

"Yes, I am a nerd. I loved my grammar class and I now subconsciously diagram every sentence I read. I am obsessed with correct punctuation and grammar now more than I ever was before taking this class."

"I feel that I have every right to put this book in this blog, because I read it cover to cover. And studied it. And screamed over it. And tore my hair out until I understood it. This book has been painful, but I have learned so much from it."