Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What I Read: November 2014

Betrayal in Death by J.D. Robb (Dallas/Roarke #12): A particularly enjoyable entry in the series, thanks to an interesting mystery case, ties to Roarke's past, and the usual strong character dynamics. I love that (so far, at least) Robb is keeping Dallas and Roarke in a good place while still dealing with the differences between them, and the relationship between Peabody and McNab provides a good secondary romance plot.

Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving: I knew the basic story but had never read this one, so I figured I should read along with the Classic Alice plot! I enjoy Irving's writing, and the Arthur Rackham illustrations in this edition were gorgeous. And, you know, ghost bowling. Absolutely here for the ghost bowling.

Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg: Quite funny, as expected - plus it made me want to go read or reread a bunch of the books it parodies IMMEDIATELY.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton: Read for book club. I'm not a fan of magical realism, generally, so I had trouble getting into this - when people suddenly turn into birds or are so tall they block the sun, my automatic reaction is to roll my eyes. That said, while I was never sold on those aspects of the story, Walton did a good job of making me care about the characters. And I liked her prose style; the bakery descriptions were definitely my favorite part of the book.

White Snow, Bright Now by Alvin Tresselt: This caught my eye when I walked past the picture book bins at my local library, and I'm glad I grabbed it! The narrative was charming, and I really like the illustration style.

A Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet (Max Tudor #4): I continue to really enjoy this series. While I missed the village stuff a bit in this one, the look at nunnery life was fascinating. The mystery itself was a little slow to get going, but satisfying in the end. And I'm so excited about the developments in Max's personal life.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: I'd read this for a history of children's lit class in college, but my memory was hazy, so I reread along with Classic Alice. As is often the case with classics, I was delighted to rediscover how FUNNY it was. It was also genuinely touching, and while I'm not always the biggest fan of animal stories, I mostly got past that here. (I did have to make myself stop trying to figure out exactly how anthropomorphic these animals were supposed to be, especially when it came to things like how large they were compared to humans - the illustrations made them human-sized - and exactly how the animal/human justice system worked.)

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas: This was delightful - hilarious and clever and compelling. I only wish I'd done more background reading first, as I fear a lot of things were going over my head because I'm not as familiar with this period of history as I should be.

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