Monday, August 2, 2010

For the Record: July 2010

Summer is the time when I don't (or try not to) feel guilty for taking time to work on creative projects that often get pushed out during the school year.  For this reason, July started out as a slow reading month.  Thanks to way too much time in the car, however, that changed before the month was over.

I did pretty good about writing reviews during the month, so I'll link those if you are interested.  I'm happy to say that apart from my 2 review copies (Skin and Resurrection in May)  all my books were already on my shelf.  This summer book-buying-ban is starting to feel good!  Here's what I read this month:

[Ella Enchanted](Paperback)[Levine, Gail Carson]
60. Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine, 4--I read this aloud to my girls and we all really loved it. This is the second time I've read it, and it was just as great this time around (much better than the movie, by the way).

61. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls, 4.5--Read for my book club, what great discussion comes out of this book! An incredible childhood she had. Easy to read and unbelievable, sucks you in! (see my full review)

62. Skin, Lori Bergamotto, 4--A LibraryThing Early Reviewer book, and Teen NonFiction. This is a great little reference to your skin and how to care for it. (see my full review)

63. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov, 4--What an odd book! Written around the 1920s-1940s but not published until 1966 because of the strong statement it made about Stalinist Russia, this is about the farthest thing I would have expected for making a political statement. On the surface it is a story of the Devil visiting Moscow and wreaking havoc, with a side story of an interpretation of Pontius Pilate and Jesus' last days. Amazingly written. If you like the style of Alice in Wonderland, you'll like this. (see my full review)
Black Horses for the King (Magic Carpet Books)
64. Black Horses for the King, Anne McCaffrey, 3.5--Sonlight book, pre-read for my 11 year old son for school. I enjoyed the story, but the first half of the book was so bogged down with different characters that I was frustrated. Multitudinous characters with weird names really bugs me--unless it's Tolstoy--and usually I'm clued in by the presence of a Cast of Characters at the beginning (which I think is often a cop-out, used instead of making the introduction of the characters clear and coherent.)
65. Olive's Ocean, Kevin Henkes, 3 stars--Newbery Honor, good but with a bit of unnecessary content that ruined it somewhat for me. (see my full review)

66. Ramona Forever, Beverly Cleary, 4 stars--I love Ramona, what can I say. This was a read-aloud for my girls.

67. Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis, 4.5--GREAT stuff here. This was my first CS Lewis NF, and I loved it. (see my full review)

68. Resurrection in May, Lisa Samson, 3.5--read for a review for BookSneeze.  Modern Christian fiction, more edgy than traditional (all is not love and roses) detailing the journey to find God through all the bad stuff that happens. (see my full review)

69. The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck, 4.5--like Mere Christianity, this was way easier to read than I thought it would be, and very good as well. Heartbreaking at times, but such a great picture of pre-revolutionary China. (see my full review)

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