My continued work through the collected works of Joan Aiken resulted in the reading of two more of her books, The Witch of Clatteringshaws and Midwinter Nightengale. I always enjoy her characters because they have a solid sort of personal integrity that other writers might make look like simple eccentricity. Her plots are exciting, if far-fetched, and make for a happy hour or so of reading.
Judy Moody was another find in T.’s shelf. I read it and found it funny, but did not need to keep it. I gave it to Opal.
Opal, in turn, loaned me Utterly Me, Clarice Bean, which made me laugh out loud. I would give the book as a gift for sure. It’s clever and fun, both in writing and layout.
Elizabeth got me hooked on Hilary McKay. I read Saffy’s Angel, Indigo’s Star, Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After, and Forever Rose. A wonderful unconventional family full of love and chaos finds its way through a variety of events and near-disasters. The books are the kind that restore my equilibrium after a horrible day. Go forth and read them.
I have a thing about Louisa May Alcott. Her books inspired me as a kid and probably form the roots of my hippie world view, not to mention my sense of practical Christianity. The Quiet Little Woman is a book with a couple of short stories for Christmas. While not her best work, they do touch on the essential values of kindness and love and hard work.
I swiped Bud, Not Buddy from Syd, who seems to have swiped it from one of his teachers. Entirely worth larceny. The Newberry committee made a good choice here in selecting a book about a kid who finds his place in the world and his place in an unconventional sort of family.
Ronia the Robber’s Daughter is a book I got in Sweden while I was under the influence of the amazing children’s literature museum. It’s kind of a Romeo and Juliet story, but with robber clans, camping, horses, and a happy ending. Not my favorite, but not bad either.
It is always a treat to get new books. When Elizabeth shows up and hands me books, I know I have good times at hand. Graceling is a book about the most kick-ass girl ever. It was awesome. I want to read it again, but I have to go to work instead. A Drowned Maiden’s Hair was also completely satisfying, beginning with the traditional orphan and ending with a happy family, but the stuff in the middle is not at all what one would expect. Loved it.
The last batch tomorrow!