4/21/2012

The book stack is finished . . .

 Remember these? This is my latest stack of library books. Last night I finished the very last one, which means I read all of them. (obviously) That's actually an accomplishment. Even though I do read a lot, I have a bad habit of checking out library books that I never read. Since I managed to read them all, I feel obliged to talk about each and every one of them. Prepare for a long post consisting of Lydia-style book blurbs/short reviews. You don't have to read all of it. It's more for me than anybody.

A Zoo in My Luggage
This isn’t really a sequel to My Family and Other Animals, but it is about Gerald Durrell as an adult, so it kind of goes along with the story. Gerry has grown up to be a naturalist (of course) and A Zoo in My Luggage is about his adventures in West Africa, collecting his own private zoo. I prefer the Corfu stories, but A Zoo in My Luggage was also quite entertaining, and it gets an easy four stars.

Dear Enemy
Oh dear. I’m a little sad about how this book turned out. Dear Enemy is the sequel to Daddy-Long-Legs. At first I assumed it would be about Judy’s married life, but it was actually about her friend Sallie McBride. For the most part, I really, really liked this book. This might be a spoiler, but . . . *whispers* . . . Sallie becomes the head of the John Grier home. There. I said it. Isn’t that fabulous? Well, if you haven’t read Daddy-Long-Legs, you wouldn’t know whether it is or isn't. But trust me when I say that it’s a fabulous turn of events. But then.Ugh. Bad part. Many of the characters, including Sallie, view eugenics in a positive light. In other words, they believe in selective breeding of the human race, and they believe that the world would be better if the “feeble-minded” just died off. Ew. Not good. Yeah. Sort of reminiscent of Hitler. Not that the storyline includes attempts to kill off people of lower intelligence, and all of that, but they discussed the subject rather often. So. You’ve been warned. I really wanted to give Dear Enemy four stars, but I definitely can’t. So three stars. Maybe it should be two. Or one.

Dragons in the Water
Hm. This was a weird book. I feel like I usually end up saying that about books by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s supposed to be a mystery of sorts, and it includes a murder, an attempted murder, a missing painting, smuggling, kidnaping, and a tribe of South American Indians known as the Quiztanos. It took me a while to get through it. It wasn’t the sort of book that you can’t wait to get back to. A lot of it seemed highly improbable, particularly the friendship between the children, which honestly bugged me. It was just a little to-to and annoyingly perfect. But anyway. Overall, I’d still give the book three stars.  

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Well, well. I finished the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter is a little controversial, but I’m going to say it quite frankly. I really liked the Harry Potter series. I suppose I could write up a super-long article about why I chose to read the series, and why I ended up liking it, but I’m not going to do that. For now. Anyway, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wasn’t my favorite book of the series, but it wasn’t my least favorite either. I’m not really in love with the ending. It wasn’t a horrible ending, but when you read a series that’s thousands of pages long and it ends, it’s awfully weird to read the last page . . . Oh. Wow. The end. Okay, it ended. Hm. Well, I guess it ended . . . At least that’s what I felt like. Four stars to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Life Among the Savages
I found this in the non-fiction humanities section. How boring is that? However, Cheaper by the Dozen can also be found in a similar place, and My Family and Other Animals is on the third floor with all the science books. My point is, don’t judge a book by it’s category. Personally, I would put Life Among the Savages in the category of “old, humorous memoirs.” It wasn’t thrilling, but it was kind of funny. Sadly, the title doesn't exactly match the book. Three point five stars, I’d say.  

My Friend Flicka
I just finished this book. It was beautiful and superb. Definitely a classic. *Spoiler alert* The horse doesn’t die. I really appreciate that. Why do animal stories always end with the animal dying? That’s a pet peeve of mine. (Crap. I didn’t mean for that to be a pun.) The story was a little tense in some spots. I hated the way that the dad always yelled. I’m so glad my parents don’t make a habit of yelling at us. I liked the way they balanced the father-son relationship though. It wasn’t all rainbows, but it wasn’t all thorns either. I liked that. My favorite character was possibly Nell, although she needed to have a little more backbone. She didn’t necessarily stand up for Ken when she knew she should. But that’s part of the story. No complaints about the actual book or writing. Five stars. 

Once
Hm. Another World War II story told from the perspective of a child. It wasn’t outstanding, but it had its points of originality. However, Milkweed (Jerry Spinelli), is still my absolute favorite from this genre. Go read Milkweed, because it’s the best. After that, read Once ;) I’d rate it at about three stars.  

Pictures of Hollis Woods
This was a good book, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. It was a little predictable. But hey, it has a Newbery, so what do I know? Truth is, I enjoyed it and I’m glad I read it. Certainly worth three stars, probably more or less, depending on who you are.

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
I think this is the third book in the Penderwicks series. They’re kid’s books, and they're not overly exciting, but I’ve enjoyed them. This particular book has some great points and some not-so-great points. It was a stroke of genius to make Skye the OAP. However, the whole “Jeffrey finds his dad” thing was not a stroke of genius. It could have been, but I felt like it the author carried it off rather badly. It was obvious and cliche. But I did enjoy it. And the predictability probably isn’t that bad, considering the age group it’s written for. Easily worth three stars. 


Overall I was pretty pleased with this batch of books. Now I'm out of library books :(
Have a great Saturday everyone,
Lydia

P.S. While we're on the book topic, you can visit me at Goodreads, and you can also browse through my virtual blog bookcase
P.P.S. I've read forty-five books this year. Is that a little insane?

2 comments:

  1. I *must* read Milkweed! that was a good list of books, i should read more:p haha, not gonna happen;)

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  2. I LOVE "Milkweed". One of my top-favourites. And I really love "Pictures of Hollis Woods", though yes I'll agree that it was a little predictable.

    45 books! Whahoo, how fun! Congrats. :)

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