March Book Challenge - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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cathe's Avatar cathe 09:19 PM 03-23-2011

The House of Mirth by Edith Warton

 

I've never read any of Wharton's books but after reading a biography about her, I was curious. What a great book this was -- it gave a great picture of the weathly in New York in the early 1900's. A sad, moving book--especially for women.



kofduke's Avatar kofduke 07:34 AM 03-24-2011

Blockade Billy, King

 

 

Quote:
A quirky baseball player with a past shrouded in secrecy is the tragic hero of this macabre tale from the dark side of the all-American sport. In the voice of George Granny Grantham, retired third-base coach of the New Jersey Titans, King (Under the Dome) recalls the spring of 1957, when Billy Blakely, a catcher called up from the Titans' Iowa farm system, helped to boost the team out of the basement and add some excitement to the national pastime. Billy hits with such power and guards the plate with such determination (hence his eponymous nickname) that teammates are willing to forgive such eccentricities as his frequently addressing himself in the third person, or bloodying runners who collide with him. Of course, these kinks are clues to a shocking pathology that King coaxes out in a narrative steeped so perfectly in the argot of the game and the behavior of its players and fans that readers will willingly suspend their disbelief.

 

 

I have to say, I always like King's stories better if there's an element of the supernatural in them.  That said, this is still a tightly wrapped short story worth reading a few days before opening day :).

 

 

Beyond The Last Village, Rabinowitz

 

 

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In 1993, Alan Rabinowitz, called "the Indiana Jones" of wildlife science by The New York Times, arrived for the first time in the country of Myanmar, known until 1989 as Burma, uncertain of what to expect. Working under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society, his goal was to establish a wildlife research and conservation program and to survey the country's wildlife. He succeeded beyond all expectations, not only discovering a species of primitive deer completely new to science but also playing a vital role in the creation of Hkakabo Razi National Park, now one of Southeast Asia's largest protected areas.

 

 

Such a fantastic book to read on the heels of Amy Tan's "Saving Fish From Drowning," which was a fictional account of Myanmar. Non-fiction, about the author's work with wildlife conservation and all of the villagers he meets; and how to incorporate wildlife management into traditions of the area.


Bufomander's Avatar Bufomander 05:53 PM 03-25-2011

March
31.  All Clear  by Connie Willis
32.  Mudshark  by Gary Paulsen
33. The 100-Year-Old Secret by Tracy Barrett
34. At Home by Bill Bryson
35. The Beast of Blackstone  by Tracy Barrett
36.The Case That Time Forgot by Tracy Barrett
37.The Improbable Cat by Allan Ahlberg
38. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
39. Sea Change by Jeremy Page
40.  The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse
41.  Cosmic  by Frank Cottrell Boyce
42.  13 at Dinner by Agatha Christie
43.The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne
44. I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman


kofduke's Avatar kofduke 04:02 PM 03-26-2011

Bones of Faerie

 

 

Quote:
A war between our world and a faerie world has left the planet a ruined and perilous wilderness. People huddle in the remains of towns, afraid to venture out at night, and swiftly put to death any child suspected of having been infected by the faerie fallout. When Liza discovers that she may have magical abilities, she flees town, and eventually seeks out answers in the equally ruined faerie realm. Simner’s world-building leans heavily on atmospherics in lieu of specifics, and the foggy descriptions of magic are even tougher to get a handle on. But the mood is strikingly dark, and questions regarding humankind’s tendency toward suspicion and xenophobia will loom large in readers’ minds. Much information is frustratingly withheld from both Liza and the reader, and many questions are left unanswered, but this will still garner a share of fans for its unusual and unsettling vision of a magically dystopian future. 

 


Bufomander's Avatar Bufomander 08:23 PM 03-26-2011


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kofduke View Post

Bones of Faerie

 

 

 


Kofduke-- what did you think of this one?

 

I tend to enjoy dystopias.  Well, fictional ones, that is...


fremontmama's Avatar fremontmama 09:55 PM 03-26-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post

The House of Mirth by Edith Warton

 

I've never read any of Wharton's books but after reading a biography about her, I was curious. What a great book this was -- it gave a great picture of the weathly in New York in the early 1900's. A sad, moving book--especially for women.



Oh, I liked this book too, although it was so sad, and upsetting how limited her options were. I'd love to read other Edith Wharton books, haven't quite gotten around to it....
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kofduke View Post

 

 

The Book Thief, Zuzak

 

Narrated by death himself, this is a compelling and human story of Nazi Germany, and of people who wanted to hope and love despite the circumstances.  I'm really glad I read this.

 

The Windup Girl, Balcigalupi

 

Alternately terrifying and all too believable...


Eek.  That 2nd one does sound creepy!

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bufomander View Post


 


Kofduke-- what did you think of this one?

 

I tend to enjoy dystopias.  Well, fictional ones, that is...


Me too, the fictional ones also :D

 

 

Stuck with all the books I'm reading for work.  What a bunch of snoozers!   Just finished Sarah's Key though, that was good, albeit tragic.  I'll come back soon to post my actual numbers.  Hopefully I'll get back on the horse with some good fiction soon!

 

 


kofduke's Avatar kofduke 06:12 AM 03-27-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bufomander View Post


 


Kofduke-- what did you think of this one?

 

I tend to enjoy dystopias.  Well, fictional ones, that is...



I thought the setting was amazing, and the take on how different towns handled the magic issue was really well done -- however, I periodically got confused as I thought some of the issues were just skimmed over too fast -- how did children get their magic?  why did the war start?  etc.  It's a YA book and very quick, so it certainly can't hurt to pick up...

 

That said, what do I not know about the Saint Louis Arch?  With the Percy Jackson series, this is now the second book I've read where it's played a major magical role...

 


cathe's Avatar cathe 09:09 AM 03-27-2011

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

 

I agree with the other posters that this was good but not great like Still Alice. Still, a good read.


Bufomander's Avatar Bufomander 11:52 AM 03-27-2011

#45 Fortune Like the Moon by Alys Clare

Fortune Like the Moon, set in 1157, is the first in Alys Clare's Hawkenlye mystery series featuring Josse d'Acquin and Abbess Helewise.  It was published in 1999 but this is my first time with the series. 

As I read, I kept going back and forth on whether I liked the book or not.  By the end, I decided that the storyline wasn't a super draw for me, but that I was starting to enjoy the friendship between d'Acquin and Abbess Helewise and that alone might be enough to make me try to pick up the second.  I also liked learning more about the time period. 

When Richard Plantagenet (son of Eleanor of Aquitaine & Henry II) becomes king he releases all prisoners, in the hope of creating a favorable image for himself.   When, soon after this, a nun is murdered at Hawkenlye Abbey,  King Richard sends d'Acquin to investigate, solve the murder, and, in the process, prove that there is no connection to the recently released prisoners. 

Who else has read these?  Opinions about continuing with the series?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kofduke View Post





I thought the setting was amazing, and the take on how different towns handled the magic issue was really well done -- however, I periodically got confused as I thought some of the issues were just skimmed over too fast -- how did children get their magic?  why did the war start?  etc.  It's a YA book and very quick, so it certainly can't hurt to pick up...

 

That said, what do I not know about the Saint Louis Arch?  With the Percy Jackson series, this is now the second book I've read where it's played a major magical role...

 


Cool, I put it on hold.  And hmmm... intriguing about the Arch.....

 


raksmama's Avatar raksmama 02:37 PM 03-28-2011

Do you ever love a book so much that when you get about 3/4 through it you start to dread that it is going to be over?

 

Elfland by Freda Warrington http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/freda-warrington/elfland.htm   was like that for me.

 This is enchanting story that takes place in our world.  Elfland is definitely not the typical urban fantasy with lots of violence and a tough heroine. Not that I don’t  like some of  these novels, because  a few of them like the Mercedes Thompson or Darkfever series I  do,  but Efland has a completely different feeling to it. The leading characters are “Aetherial s” an ancient race from anotehr world, that live secretly among humans. The secret gate that connects them to the Otherworld where they originally come from has been closed. Part of the story is about this, but there is also a beautiful love story as well.   In a way, parts of it remind me of Wuthering Heights but more contemporary.  Unfortunately I cannot write too much about it without giving away spoilers...   I look forward to reading more books from this British author.

 


cathe's Avatar cathe 05:48 PM 03-28-2011

Comfortably Unaware by Dr. Richard A. Oppenlander

 

Talks about how your food choices affect the environment. 


cathe's Avatar cathe 05:49 PM 03-28-2011

And I know exactly what you mean about loving a book so much you don't want it to end . . . I've had a few in my lifetime. I think The Thirteenth Tale was one of those.

 


Igraine's Avatar Igraine 05:06 AM 03-30-2011

 

1) A Falcon for a Queen, Catherine Gaskin
2) Peace Like a River Leif Engel
3) Life of Pi by Yann Martel
4) The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
5) Little Bee Chris Cleave
6) The Lost Gate, Orson Scott Card
7) Gail Carriger does some great steam punk, "Blameless" was recent read
8) In the Bleak Midwinter, Julia Spencer-Fleming
9) Guardian Of The Darkness (Moribito) by Nahoko Uehashi with the kids
10) The Zoo Keeper's Wife, Diane Ackerman. 
11) The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
12) Quest For The Spark Tom Sniegoski  graphic novels.with the kids.
13) Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez- I really enjoyed his writing. Some very beautiful lines and connections between people were so detailed and intricate. How he demonstrates the love one of the main characters for another has was interesting and beyond obsessive. I was uncomfortable with some of the liaisons (one was with a minor). I know it is a work of fiction, but I work with kids and I would have been all over that old man beating his you know what. It took me a while to read so it slowed down my progress some. 
 


cathe's Avatar cathe 11:15 PM 03-30-2011

The Adulteress by Leslie MarGolin

 

This is based on true events -- a woman's affair with her chauffeur spins out of control when she becomes pregnant and his jealousy escalates. Very well-written and pretty creepy . . . reminded me a bit of Lolita as it is told from her point of view and she really thinks she is not doing anything wrong.


kofduke's Avatar kofduke 03:50 AM 03-31-2011

Once a Runner

 

 

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ONCE A RUNNER IS AN INSPIRING, FUNNY, AND SPOT-ON TALE of one man’s quest to become a champion. Originally self-published in 1978 and sold at road races out of the trunk of the author’s car, the book eventually found its way into the hands of high school, college, and postgraduate athletes all over the country. Reading it became a rite of passage on many teams and tattered copies were handed down like sacred texts from generation to generation. Once a Runner captures the essence of what it means to be a competitive runner, to devote your entire existence to a single-minded pursuit of excellence. In doing so, it has become one of the most beloved sports novels ever published.

 

Wee Free Men, Pratchett

 

 

 

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Tiffany, an extremely competent nine-year-old, takes care of her irritating brother, makes good cheese on her father's farm, and knows how to keep secrets. When monsters from Fairyland invade her world and her brother disappears, Tiffany, armed only with her courage, clear-sightedness, a manual of sheep diseases, and an iron frying pan, goes off to find him. Her search leads her to a showdown with the Fairy Queen. It is clear from the beginning that Tiffany is a witch, and a mighty powerful one. The book is full of witty dialogue and a wacky cast of characters, including a toad (formerly a lawyer). Much of the humor is supplied by the alcohol-swilling, sheep-stealing pictsies, the Wee Free Men of the title, who are six-inches high and speak in a broad Scottish brogue.

 

 

 

 

 


cathe's Avatar cathe 06:22 PM 04-02-2011
Bufomander's Avatar Bufomander 08:01 PM 04-11-2011

Last one for March:

 

46.The Distant Hours by Kate Morton


raksmama's Avatar raksmama 12:17 PM 04-22-2011

 

Sefafina’s Stories by Rudolfo Anaya

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/a/rudolfo-anaya/serafina-s-stories.htm

What a delight to come upon this book! Anaya has been one of my favourite writer ever since I read Bless me Ultima years ago; however I have not loved all his novels since.

 

Serifna’s stories takes place in the 1600's Santa Fe when New Mexico was the northern most province of New Spain. Based on  the history of clashes between the Spanish and  Native Americans, 12 Pueblo men are rounded up and face trial on charges of plotting a revolution against Spain. One is actually a young 15 year old girl named Serafina!  Like  

Scheherazade in 1001 Nights, Serafina agrees to tell a story to the governor and if he likes the story, he must agree to release one prisoner. Serafina is an excellent storyteller, so by the end of 11 nights all prisoners are released. The tales she tells are real “Cuentos” from New Mexico. Some of them are similar to European Fairy tales but have been New Mexicanized, for example there is one story that bears a resemblance to Cinderella, but instead of a good fairy the Virgin Mary helps! Other stories originated in the Indian subcontinent made their way to New Mexico via Persia then Spain but have  Hispanic and Pueblo characters. . Although this particular governor never existed, the problems as well as the peaceful coexistence between Pueblo and Spanish did.  This novel is a great way to read about the history and culture of the Southwest.   One could be for any age to enjoy this book. I highly recommend it


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