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March 2009 Book Challenge

post #1 of 229
Thread Starter 
(I did it! I spelled a month correctly this year! Yeah for Marvh!

In like a lion, out like a lamb. Isn't that what they say about March? Well ... hopefully we'll all be reading in like a lion and out like a lion this month.

Now, repeat after me...

So, just by way of clarification (for comers both new and old), new and improved guidelines for the Book Challenge Thread are as follows:

1) Post the books you read ... or not
2) Post a recommendation ... or not
3) Number your book ... or not
4) Make a goal ... or not
5) Have fun with books (This one, unfortunately, is MANDATORY)



So, with that, avante and a happy reading March to everyone!


2008's Threads can be found HERE
January's Thread can be found HERE
February's Thread can be found HERE
post #2 of 229
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewCrunchyDaddy View Post
(I did it! I spelled a month correctly this year! Yeah for Marvh!
post #3 of 229
I thought it was a deliberate misspell-joke until your follow-up post!
post #4 of 229
Aw, I thought we had a charming "misspell the month" book club.
post #5 of 229
im new this year and keep thinking you are being witty in your misspellings....lol!

almost finished w/ book #1 for March...we shall see.
post #6 of 229
Tender Morsels
Author: Margo Lanagan
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 3/5
Summary: Liga Longfield has been through hell. So when she stumbles upon her own personal heaven, she doesn’t ask questions. But her heaven isn’t as isolated as she thought. Will she have to face her hell again?

Review: This Printz Honor Book is not for the squeamish. I didn’t read much about the book before starting it, and the cover led me to believe it was going to be fairy tale-ish.

It does contain magic, but this book also deals with some pretty heavy topics. Incest, rape—happy little things like that. Don’t get me wrong—my top 10 list of YA books is not all rainbows and fluffy bunnies. I was just a little taken aback at the start of this book, and I thought I should give you a heads up in case you’re really not into that sort of thing.

Things I loved about this book:

* The language. Unique, gorgeous. When I saw that the author is a poet, I was not surprised.
* The world. (Or I guess I should say worlds.) A seamless combination of magic and reality.

Things I didn’t love about this book:

* Point of view changes. Too many for my taste. I found it distracting, especially later on as more characters come into play. And I’m not sure I get the decision to use first person for the male characters, even the not-so-great ones. Why would you want to foster intimacy between those nasties and the reader?
* Too long. After about halfway through, I got impatient for where the plot was headed. I just wanted to get there, already.
* Adverbs, adverbs everywhere. Petty, I know, but they’re really getting on my nerves lately!
post #7 of 229
#18 So Yesterday
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 3.5/5
Summary: 17-year-old Hunter Braque is a cool hunter who gets the find of his life when he meets a trend-setter named Jen. But then Hunter’s boss disappears, and the world of hunting cool doesn’t seem quite so cool anymore.

Review: This book reminded me a lot of Feed, which is an all-time YA favorite of mine. I prefer Feed—it explores these consumerist culture themes at their outer limits. But this book was still a great read.

The blend of internal and external conflict made for a rich story. And I also got a kick out of the random historical facts peppered throughout. (Did you know the whole “6 degrees of separation” thing was tested, and it worked? Check out page 148.)

However, I found myself wanting more exploration of the consumerist themes, especially when it comes to the Jammers. The ending felt a little like a set-up for a sequel, but this book has been out a few years now so this is probably it.

If you know of any other books like this or Feed, please let me know because I love books on this topic!
post #8 of 229
Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival by Bernd Heinrich
There were a lot of recommendations for this author last year so I thought I'd give him a try. Turns out we have several of his books on our bookshelf. Who knew? (Maybe I should read some more of those books one of these days.) I chose this one because I needed something to help me better appreciate winter. That it did. It relates the different ways animals survive the cold of winter. It was very interesting, well written, and at a comfortable scientific level. However, it was a slow read, and I felt winter wouldn't end until I finally finished the book. So bring on Spring!

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (audio) by E. Lockhart
This book was also highly recommend by this group, and rightfully so. It is a fun, quick story that kept me entertained and piqued my interest in another author: PG Morehouse, of course. The story is of a high school girl struggling to fit in, but not in the usual way i.e. trying to change herself to be what others expect. No not Frankie; she tries to change the rules to make herself fit in as she is. I thought the slang was a little unusual - do kids today really talk a lot like we did twenty five years ago?

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (audio) by Margaret Atwood
I really enjoy books that are a different take on a well-known story. I thought this was well researched and thought out, and highly entertaining. It retells the story of Odysseus but from the view of his wife, Penelope. The reading was great - it was more like listening to someone tell the story than read it.
post #9 of 229
March:
10. Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

I loved this book! Marillier uses Irish mythology and folktales and weaves them into a beautiful story. It builds well off the characters in Daughter of the Forest and brings life to new characters that you will fall in love with. For the most part, there were no slow, dragging areas of the story, everything is there for a reason. Definitely a good read if you like fantasy and mythology.


February:
6. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
7. Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson
8. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
9. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

January
1. Jane Eyre
2. The Alchemist
3. New Moon
4. Eclipse
5. Brave New World
post #10 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by boricuaqueen327 View Post
March:
10. Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

I loved this book! Marillier uses Irish mythology and folktales and weaves them into a beautiful story. It builds well off the characters in Daughter of the Forest and brings life to new characters that you will fall in love with. For the most part, there were no slow, dragging areas of the story, everything is there for a reason. Definitely a good read if you like fantasy and mythology.
I love this series as well! I started it right before my DD was born and finished it during those first 2 weeks of her life. It was engrossing enough to keep my attention even while sleep deprived and struggling with adapting to nursing.
post #11 of 229
I can't believe it's March already! Almost as much as I can't believe you spelled it correctly.

Boy, did I suck in February. I think I need to read probably 12 or more books in March to make up for my lack of reading in February.
post #12 of 229
Schuyler's Monster by Robert Rummel-Hudson

Rummel-Hudson's book is as much about his coming to grips with not only his daughter's special needs but his overall role as a father. This true story details how he and his wife were told that their only child had a rare brain deformation resulting in (amongst other things) the inability to speak.

You can read his blog at http://www.schuylersmonsterblog.com/
post #13 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by friendtoall View Post
The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (audio) by Margaret Atwood
I really enjoy books that are a different take on a well-known story. I thought this was well researched and thought out, and highly entertaining. It retells the story of Odysseus but from the view of his wife, Penelope. The reading was great - it was more like listening to someone tell the story than read it.
I love The Odyssey (the book and the movie)! Gonna add this one to my list. And Margaret Atwood wrote it? Cool!
post #14 of 229
#30 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

I liked this. DH started it and didn't finish -- but he said he knows it was well written, he just doesn't like epistolary novels. I do. One of my favorite parts was when one of the characters said something like "what we call cheek and Americans call can-do spirit.". But yeah, I liked it. I used to be a real letter writer and I like to ponder what stories can be told by reading correspondence.
post #15 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewCrunchyDaddy View Post
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeta View Post
I thought it was a deliberate misspell-joke until your follow-up post!
Me too!
post #16 of 229
21. Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark

A Newfoundland fisherman finds a baby girl floating in a basket that is strapped to a small iceberg, wrapped warmly in her bunting. He raises her as his daughter and she grows up in an odd culture that fears fairies and changelings. An old woman, she traces her roots and finds the truly remarkable story of her past and where she came from. I don't want to give it away, but the story of how she came to be on the iceberg is the best part of the book. The reviews on the back cover describe it best:

"An 80-year long family saga rich with folklore and freshened by the chill breeze of the supernatural... Fascinating... A work with both breadth and depth, full of the unmistakable flavour of a culture unique in the world... A magical novel."

22. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa is one of the rare people born with a Grace - a magical and unexplainable talent. She believes she has a Killing Grace, but later learns the true meaning of her Grace and uses it for good purposes. I usually like this genre, but I just wasn't that into this book for some reason.
post #17 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bufomander View Post
#30 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

I liked this. DH started it and didn't finish -- but he said he knows it was well written, he just doesn't like epistolary novels. I do. One of my favorite parts was when one of the characters said something like "what we call cheek and Americans call can-do spirit.". But yeah, I liked it. I used to be a real letter writer and I like to ponder what stories can be told by reading correspondence.
I enjoyed this one too! Although, I will admit that I checked it out because the title is so much fun.
post #18 of 229
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post #19 of 229
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaliki_kila View Post
21. Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark

A Newfoundland fisherman finds a baby girl floating in a basket that is strapped to a small iceberg, wrapped warmly in her bunting. He raises her as his daughter and she grows up in an odd culture that fears fairies and changelings. An old woman, she traces her roots and finds the truly remarkable story of her past and where she came from. I don't want to give it away, but the story of how she came to be on the iceberg is the best part of the book. The reviews on the back cover describe it best:

"An 80-year long family saga rich with folklore and freshened by the chill breeze of the supernatural... Fascinating... A work with both breadth and depth, full of the unmistakable flavour of a culture unique in the world... A magical novel."
That sounds fascinating. I'll have to see if either of my local libraries has it.
post #20 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbond View Post
I love this series as well! I started it right before my DD was born and finished it during those first 2 weeks of her life. It was engrossing enough to keep my attention even while sleep deprived and struggling with adapting to nursing.
I also read the series while nursing my first babe! I loved that it had a resourceful female character.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaliki_kila View Post
I love The Odyssey (the book and the movie)! Gonna add this one to my list. And Margaret Atwood wrote it? Cool!
I think I'm going to have to read Ulysses while I'm revisiting Odysseus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bufomander View Post
#30 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

I liked this. DH started it and didn't finish -- but he said he knows it was well written, he just doesn't like epistolary novels. I do. One of my favorite parts was when one of the characters said something like "what we call cheek and Americans call can-do spirit.". But yeah, I liked it. I used to be a real letter writer and I like to ponder what stories can be told by reading correspondence.
This book made me long to write more letters. But writing is just not me.
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