Saturday, November 18, 2017

Classics Club Spin #16: What I Got

For the Classics Club Spin #16, I got book #4 - 1984 by George Orwell. I'll admit I'm not as thrilled about this as I could be. But that's part of the point of this Spin! It helps us get through our list, including the books we're not as excited about! I have until the end of December to read 1984. I checked it out from work today, and hte paycheck is fairly small, so it should be fine.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Title: Book Scavenger
Author: Jennifer Chambliss Bergman
Pages: 343
Finished: November 12, 2017

First Sentence: Garrison Griswold whistled his way down Market Street, silver hair bobbing atop his head like a pigeon wing.

Summary: Emily is obsessed with the online game Book Scavenger - a game where people hide books and others hunt them down. Think Letterbox and Geocaching with books as the prize. Book Scavenger has been her constant friend while her family movies around from state to state. And now, they've moved to San Fransisco, home of Garrison Griswold, the founder of Book Scavenger. Only Griswold has been shot and Emily finds a book that might be the start of a new game. A game people will kill for.

Thoughts: Middle grade fiction perfect for kids who like treasure hunts and suspense. Repetitive and boring as an adult reading all the Caudills and Bluestems.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Title: Among the Hidden
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Pages: 153
Finished: November 5, 2017

First Sentence: He saw the first tree shudder and fall, far off in the distance.

Summary: Somewhere in the supposed future (that feels more like now or even a little earlier) Luke lives in his parents' attic. He's a third child. Illegal due to current laws that limit how many kids a family can have. He lives a life of monotony until one day, he sees a face in a house across the way. A face behind a curtain. Taking a chance, Luke sneaks over to find another Shadow Child, and his live changes forever.

Thoughts: I like Haddix a lot, but I found this fairly dull. I know it was set up, but little about it made me want to read more. Look! Dystopia of a government completely overstepping their bounds. However, I'm betting kids primarily 4th grade and up would really enjoy this. Read for my Bluestem Challenge.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Classics Club Spin

It's time for a Classics Club Spin! The way this works is that I pick twenty books from my Classics Club list, list them in this post, and then on Friday, November 17th, the folks over at will pick a number. I have until the end of December to read that book! According to them, to make this really worthwhile, I should pick 5 books I want to read, 5 books I'm procrastinating/dreading, 5 I'm neutral about, and 5 free choice. However, as I look at my list, I feel more analysis paralysis instead. So I'm going to let RNG figure out my 20 books for me. My only rule is that I am picking shorter books. I still have two left from my Back to the Classics Challenge plus it's December! I don't really want to be saddled with The Count of Monte Cristo. So below is my list of 20 books for the Spin.

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
2. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
3. A Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare
4. 1984 by George Orwell
5. A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
6. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
7. The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
8. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
9. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
11. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
12. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
13. Sanditon and other Tales by Jane Austen (includes her Juvenalia)
14. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
15. The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
16. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
17. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
18. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
19. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
20. Possession by A. S. Byatt

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Last in a Long Line of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre

Title: Last in a Long Line of Rebels
Author: Lisa Lewis Tyre
Pages: 279
Finished: November 3, 2017

First Sentence: From the diary of Louise Duncan Mayhew

Summary: Louise Mayhew has the most boring summers ever. So when she prays on an old family Bible for something exciting to happen, she's hoping for something a little better than normal. What she gets is a summer learning the village wants her house, the discovery that her ancestor apparently stole some gold and murdered someone, and the knowledge that that gold has never been found. So she and her friends take it upon themselves to find the treasure and save the house.

Thoughts: Ugh. I feel like I read the same twenty books every year when it comes to the Caudills. The kids are super smart. They find the gold. They don't suffer any consequences for the things they do to get the gold. They're shocked that their ancestors owned slaves in the 1800s (they live in Tennessee). Middle grade, but not really worth it.

Read for my Caudill Challenge.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November Reads

The Lost Princess of Oz by L Frank Baum - Wizard of Oz Challenge
The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens - Back to the Classics
Among the Hidden by Margaret Petersen Haddix - Bluestem Challenge
Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman - Bluestem/Caudill Challenge
Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai - Caudill Challenge
Last in a Long Line of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre - Caudill Challenge (Not Pictured)
Parenting Beyond Belief edited by Dale McGowan
Once Upon a Summer Day by Dennis McKiernan

This is a bit ambitious. Absolutely, positively, I want to read the Oz book, Parenting book, and the Summer Day book this month. I also want to read Last in a Long Line of Rebels since I was supposed to read it last month. Book Scavenger counts as both a bluestem and a caudill which helps things immensely. Listen, Slowly is in verse which means it'll go fairly quickly as well. (Listen, Slowly is not in verse. I assumed it was in verse because the author's last book was in verse.) While I'd LOVE to finish Old Curiosity Shop this month, I'm not too worried about it because I'll be reading an Austen book to finish the challenge up in December. That'll take maybe a week, so if Dickens goes long, I can take the time. I'm currently working through Last in a Long Line of Rebels. Once I finish that, I think I'm going to go back to my pattern of Adult Books during the week and Kid Books during the weekend so that if I get stuck on something, I don't waste my time not reading. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Rinkitink in Oz by L Frank Baum

Title: Rinkitink in Oz
Author: L Frank Baum
Pages: 318
Finished: November 1, 2018

First Sentence: If you have a map of the Land of Oz handy, you will find that the great Nonestic Ocean washes the shores of the Kingdom of Rinkitink, between which and the Land of Oz lies a strip of the country of the Nome King and a Sandy Desert.

Summary: King Rinkitink decides to visit the peaceful island of Pingaree at about the worst time possible. While there, warriors from the islands of Regos and Coregos pillage the Island and kidnap everyone there except King Rinkitink and the Prince Inga. Along with the goat Bilbil and the help of some magic pearls, the trio travel to the Islands of Regos and Coregos to rescue everyone.

Thoughts: Funny little book. No one reaches Oz until the last two chapters, and Rinkitink is more of a secondary character.

I don't remember this one. I know I read it, because I read all these books, but most of these ones in the middle are very forgettable. And yet, I like these latter ones so much more than the Oz specific books. This book in particular was a reworking of a separate fantasy book Baum had written. However, as is usual for him, the Oz books were the ones people wanted, so he turned it into an Oz book.

Kaliko was different than he was last time we met him, but then I suppose since he was supposed to be Roquat or Ruggedo or whomever, that's to be excused. Read for my Wizard of Oz challenge.