Friday, May 1, 2009

For the Record: April 2009:

I had a slow reading month, due in part to the fact that I was rarely in one place for very long in April, and due in part to the fact that I spent valuable reading time in procrastination. Procrastinating what? I was putting off having to read my book club book, (which still has yet to be finished,) and reading the 2nd Advance Reading Copy of a book I've received from LibraryThing. Of the 6 books I read in April, 4 of them were books I read to my kiddos! Oh well, there's always next month. Here are my big 6:

Snow Treasure, Marie McSwigan. We read this aloud for school while studying WWII. It is a schedule adventure reader with WinterPromise American Story 2. It was a great look at WWII from an angle that I never saw when I was young. All the kids enjoyed this book.

Tuck EverlastingTuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt. Studying WWII was getting a little heavy, and spring fever was hitting, so I decided to start letting the kids pick which book was read aloud for school. They all wanted to hear Tuck Everlasting, and I was scarcely less eager to read it myself. We were all pleasantly surprised. It is written very well, bringing great pictures to mind. It also supplied us with good discussions. Now off to rent the movie and see how it compares...

On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Melinda has been on a Little House rampage lately, all of a sudden she just can't get enough of them. She loved Plum Creek and immediately we've pushed onto Silver Lake.

The Tattooed Girl: A Novel (P.S.)The Tattooed Girl, Joyce Carol Oates. I love Joyce Carol Oates' writing, though rarely her subject matter. This is the 4th book of hers that I've read, and it did not disappoint. There were a few parts that were really horrible to read, but I'm just always so impressed with her writing that I end up going back for more eventually. This book was about stereotypes and anti-Semitism, about drugs and abuse, about mental and neurological conditions, about life.

Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren. I can't believe that I'd never read this book before! This was the 2nd book that the kids chose to have read aloud. Pippi sure is a funny girl!

Love's PursuitLove's Pursuit, Siri Mitchell. This was an Advance Reading Copy that I received through It is an historical romance published by Bethany House and set in Puritanical New England. (If I'd realized that it was historical romance instead of simply historical fiction, I probably would not have requested it, because I'm not generally fond of straight up romance.) The main character was developed nicely, although I found myself wanting to have a better grasp on the other characters and their relationships. Historical details seemed to be well researched, and the plot moved quite well once it finally got off the ground. I found the dialog to be somewhat stilted, and was difficult to get used to.

The thing that frustrated me most about the book was the switching of point-of-view. The story was written mostly from the 1st person pov of Susannah Phillips, although it would occasionally jump to the 1st person pov of Small-Hope. The character of Small-Hope was underdeveloped, and it was frustrating to be reading from her pov without knowing much about her. There were times when I felt like it jumped to 3rd person, only to realize that it was the thoughts of Small-Hope.

The foreshadowing of some aspects of the plot could have been handled a little more subtly in my opinion, while at the same time I would have liked to have some of the details about the alleged abuse made clearer. But once I got into the book, it was a fairly enjoyable read.