6.7.08

Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Children's/Young Adult
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie, Wow. Doesn't matter if you're a YA or an A, just read it. Funny and poignant, and a great new "coming of age" story.
  • Mister B. Gone Clive Barker, Just enough horror to entice a MS student.
  • The Sign of the Qin L G Bass, Chinese mythology, a Monkey saga, and martial arts - what's not to love?
  • Don't Call Me Ishmael Michael Gerard Bauer, Difficult to pinpoint what I liked about this, but I did and will recommend it to my MS students
  • Twinkle and Chubbins L. Frank Baum Non-Oz stories; only for Baumians
  • Nick of Time Ted Bell, Not sure I bought the time-travel bits, but the incursion of the Nazis onto the Channel Islands is something that most Americans don't know enough about.
  • A Tough Nut to Crack Tom Birdseye, Yawn
  • Being Kevin Brooks, Another entry in the "if I'm not human, what am I and who made me?" genre
  • The Crooked Little Path, Thornton W. Burgess Why more people don't read Burgess' work, I don't know - his animal characters really are up there with the likes of Toad, Frog and Rabbit
  • Dragon's Keep Janet Lee Carey, Town menaced by dragons... cursed princess... you guess the rest
  • Rover Saves Christmas Roddy Doyle, Doyle's contribution to the Christmas saga was meh, but his intended audience will probably like it
  • I Am Not Joey Pigza Jack Gantos, Nicely done book about change, or not.
  • Deep and Dark and Dangerous Mary Hahn, Not scary enough.
  • Shug Jenny Han, Good, in a been there, read that way.
  • The Cricket Winter Felice Holman, Lonely child learns to communicate with a cricket
  • 1609 Elizabeth Massie, Mediocre historical fiction about an era few students in the North study
  • Zoo School Laurie Miller Hornik, Very much for younger students.
  • Borrowers Aloft Mary Norton, It's a pity that more don't read past the opening book in this series
  • My Brother's Keeper Mary Pope Osborne, I can see why the Dear America series is so popular in Lower Schools!
  • Keeping Score Linda Sue Park, If only this had been about the Red Sox... still, that aside, good YA historical fiction
  • Keeping You a Secret and Grl2grl Julie Anne Peters, Good additions to any GLBTQ collection
  • The Young Man and the Sea Rodman Philbrick, Probably not what the author intended, but I saw this as almost a companion to Sensible Kate
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth, Rick Riordan, Already reviewed
  • Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, Gary D. Schmidt OW! I get it - you've got An Important Message To Impart in your books. Less heavy handed, please?
  • The Innocent's Story , Nicky Singer What if, when you die, you can enter the minds of people around you? What if you might be able to change future events as a result?
  • Eggs Jerry Spinelli, Not impressed
  • The House of Djinn Suzanne Fisher Staples, I don't know why, but it's difficult for me to like the Staples' oeuvre. I just kept feeling that in other hands, I'd have liked the book more...
  • Girls in Love and Girls Under Pressure, Jacqueline Wilson Very much long the lines of Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging... not something I'll necessarily buy for MPOW but if you've got overwhelming outcry for "more", then this is a good series.
  • The Pit Dragon Trilogy (Dragon's Blood, Heart's Blood and A Sending of Dragons), Jane Yolen Book Two made me cry; the rest were good dragon stories that I have to say I like better than the Pern series.
  • Story of a Girl, Sara Zarr another cautionary tale, a la Good Girls
  • Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin Another book about what happens when you die, this time told from a 15-year-old's perspective as she ages backwards, Elsewhere.
Fiction/Literature
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Sherman Alexie, Alexie's work won't sit well with the PC police, but his is a great voice and if he can't tell the Indian's story, who can?
  • People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks, I tried hard to like this, but despite an interesting premise and some good historical research, I just didn't.
  • Monkeys, A relatively quiet book where you're not quite sure somethings actually going on, until you're past it and realize that a lot happened.
Mystery
  • A Cure for All Diseases and Who Guards a Prince Reginald Hill, The former is the latest Dalziel/Pascoe and a great addition to the series, the latter is a one-off that I highly recommend to all mystery lovers
  • The Body in the Gallery Katherine Hall Page Too cute, too cozy, and wrapped up too quickly
  • A Foreign Affair Caro Peacock, Any time I hear "remarkable" or "stunning" debut, I'm automatically skeptical... in this case, it's a decent debut with a not-so-interesting mystery told with tons of Historical Atmosphere
  • The Chameleon's Shadow, Minette Walters I really liked the book and the characters, although the mystery really wasn't (to me) much of a mystery.
Reference
Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • Un Lun Dun China Mieville Not quite as enjoyable as Neverwhere, but a good addition to the "alternate world" genre
  • Bad Monkeys, Matt Ruff, Guess I'm just not clever enough to read this, as I didn't get the "layers of reality" or feel the need to re-read.
Total removed from Mt. Bookpile this quarter: 46 books (NB: most are children's/YA, not weighty tomes)
New books added to Mt. Bookpile this quarter: 2
Net loss: 10

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