June 17th, 2011


Last of the Book Reports for Now

Last but not least, I read some young adult and kid books, some science fiction/fantasy, two graphic novels, and some nonfiction.

The Seeing Stone is a book I got from Syd’s shelf. It’s the first book of a trilogy involving the Arthurian legend. I may eventually read the rest of the books at least in part because it is not the usual use of Arthur.

The book T. hated last time, Whirligig, I actually pretty much liked. He didn’t like the beginning, which features a drunken teen party, because he felt like the whole thing was stereotypical. I found it kind of funny because it was written long enough ago that the protagonist puts on his Vuarnets to be cool. It is a story of redemption, sort of, with the maturity to know that some things can’t be fixed. (Digression: it has been really fun to read along with T. the stuff he’s reading in school. He likes to talk about the books and it is fun to watch his mind work.)

Carbonel the King of the Cats was written for a much younger audience. Good fun for the emerging reader.

Snow Treasure is based on a true story about a bunch of kids who smuggle out the Norwegian gold on sleds so the Nazis don’t get it. I enjoyed it in the moment, but gave it away when I was done.

My dealer, Elizabeth, loaned me two books, both of them super. Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls is a sequel. Emmy and her rat friends triumph over adversity and rescue the victims of the evil nanny. Emmy also manages to make human friends as well. Plain Kate is a great story about a woodcarver’s daughter who survives and triumphs over the powers of evil.

Steven Erikson concluded his Malazon series with The Crippled God. The epic saga ends, well, epically. It’s all very satisfying.

T.R. and I had been reading The Dragonriders of Pern aloud. It’s a compilation of three Anne McCaffrey books whose individual titles escape me. We got past the point of reading aloud together, so the book just sat there in my car. I was looking for something not entirely challenging but interesting to read and I read it to myself (not out loud… I don’t need any more crazy markers on my chart). I read the books a long time ago, which is what made me think T. would like them. I still like them, but I realized that the books triggered a lot more stuff in my imagination than was actually written. Narnia books are similar in that respect.

Elizabeth also gave me (to keep!) Lost and Found. It’s beautiful. I loved The Arrival, so I knew I would be happy with the new one. It’s a series of thought-provoking stories with gorgeous intricate pictures. The Easter Bunny brought T. a graphic novel called Fables that was a clever story about imaginary people in a real world.

Philip Ziegler’s book, The Black Death, is an account of how the plague swept through Europe, but more particularly though Great Britain. In some ways, it was more a book about how to develop statistics when chroniclers were unreliable sources, a lot of records have been destroyed, and some large fraction of the population in question were busy dying of plague rather than counting themselves. Nonetheless, I was fascinated.

I’ve already written about my adventures with The Manga Guide to Physics. In the faith and superstition realm, I also read Open Mind, Open Heart about contemplative prayer and How I Write, a collection of essays by writers about their personal talismans.

That’s it for now, although I’ve already got a few on my list for the summer contest!