Jan. 20th, 2016

maribou: (book)
The Point of Vanishing, by Howard Axelrod
A haunting and lyrical book about coming of age as a hermit in Vermont after a college basketball accident that left the author blind in one eye. Very internal, but worth it.
(441)

P. Zonka Lays an Egg, by Julie Paschkis
Such an incredibly vibrant picture book about a very special chicken. Turned out to be an Easter book. Good times.
(442)

Tangled Threads, by Jennifer Estep
Glad to be back into this series. For all its flawed popcorn aspects, it also has some very strong themes of family and loyalty. I like those parts a lot.
(443)

The Weapon of a Jedi, by Jason Fry
Luke Skywalker adventuring on a planet, in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Pretty predictable and workaday, but still fun. Gave it to my nephew, who was thrilled.
(444, O79)

Madeline's Christmas, by Ludwig Bemelmans (reread)
I loved the Madeline books when I was a kid, so I thought I would reread this one. It was more chaotic and less appealing than I remembered... still good though.
(445)

Only Child, edited by Deborah Siegel and Daphne Uviller
A wide assortment of well-written essays on the topic of being an only child. Good range of subjects and tones. As the oldest of four siblings, I've always had a fascination with what being an only child is like.
(446)

Emily's Balloon, by Komako Sakai
Sweet, wistful (albeit with a happy ending). The titular kid has a different name than in the Japanese version, which I thought was a puzzling translation choice.
(447)

Yak and Gnu, by Juliette MacIver
SO fun. Quite nonsensical story about a yak and a gnu boating around and meeting up with various other animals. What made it remarkable was the perfect rhyme and meter - playful, predictable, and exciting. Like Edward Lear. Brilliant!
(448)
maribou: (book)
The Little Reindeer, by Michael Foreman
I didn't have any particular expectations for this book, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was adorable. And, if such a thing can be said of a picture book about one of Santa's reindeer, realistic :D.
(449)

The Question of the Missing Head, by E. J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen
Loved this mystery whose detective runs his own business called Questions Answered. Also he has Asperger's. Also the two authors are actually the same guy. The romantic subplot was a bit awkward, but so far it is endearingly rather than gratingly awkward. Super looking forward to the next in the series, which is currently languishing on my bedroom floor. (To write book commentary, or to read books - reading books usually wins... which is how I got this far behind in the first place!)
(450)

Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned from a Little Golden Book, by Diane Muldrow
Man, the pictures were cool (from the LGB archives) but the text was saccharine and dull as ... as.. as... a very saccharine and dull thing! I was bummed.
(451)

Living with Ghosts, by Kari Sperring
I had put this on my must-read list based on a recommendation a few years ago, but had completely forgotten what it was about. So I was expecting contemporary urban fantasy, but instead I got dark secondary world fantasy set in a faux-Paris of the faux-Renaissance. Luckily there was nothing at all faux about the story, especially the characterizations. Well worth the read!
(452)

Jane on Her Own, by Ursula K. Le Guin
I thought I had read all these! But I had not. This was a Christmas gift, and I loved it. Just enough whimsy, just enough adventure, and a happy ending. What more does one need from a middle grade illustrated chapter book? Oh, right, it could be written by Le Guin so every word is the exact right word! That was nice too.
(453, O80)

Lion and Bird, by Marianne Dubuc
More sweet and less busy than her other book that I've read, which sadly made me like it less (the other one had the Richard Scarry thing going on). C'est la vie.
(454)

Eloise at Christmastime, by Kay Thompson
Oh man. I had never read an Eloise book (or at least not since I was very very young, because I don't remember them at all) and I had underestimated how chaotic and playful they are. Or at least how chaotic and playful this one was! Really deserves its classic status, and I will be investigating to see if the others are equally delightful.
(455)

The Old Man and the Cat, by Nils Uddenberg
A funny and heartfelt little story about coming back to being a cat person late in life. The people and the cat are all charming. The illustrations (also by the author) show all the love and emotion the cat has, that the author doubts she has in the text, so they're a good complement.
(456)

Fixing Up the Farmhouse, by Dianne Hicks Morrow
I absolutely loved this memoir-in-essays-and-a-few-poems about an old country house and the people who've lived in it over the last 40 years - but since I had more than a few playdates in said house, I may be biased. (But even if I wasn't biased, I'd probably love it, she said stubbornly.)
(457, O81)

Manners and Mutiny, by Gail Carriger
On the one hand, I DEVOURED this book, giggling, gasping, and smirking as appropriate. On the other hand, my coworker said, "So what did you think of it as an ending for the series?" and I said, "WHAT? It's THE ENDING OF THE SERIES?!?!?!?!" So, you know. NOFAIRWANTMORE. (And also, maybe it didn't have the right ending tone? But maybe I was just in denial.) I'm really hoping for a sequel series at some point. Or at least for the characters to recur.
(458)
maribou: (book)
The Umbrella, by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert
The dog protagonist of this picture book was extremely winsome. The rest of it was pretty but ultimately forgettable.
(460)

A Letter for Leo, by Sergio Ruzzier
Ruzzier's first book and it kinda shows. The text and plot don't meet the high standard set by the illustrations.
(461)

The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood
A novel in chunks (originally serialized) that covers some very very dark stuff. Pretty much any button you might have around sexual betrayal (including child abuse) WILL be pushed. That said, as hard as it was to read, I also had trouble putting it down. Atwood's still got it.
(462)

How to Swallow a Pig, by Steve Jenkins
Neat info, excellent illustrations. It was a lot more factual and less playful than I'd been hoping for based on the title, though.
(463)

Book, by David W. Miles, illustrated by Natalie Hoopes
I swooned over the illustrations from the beginning and was hopeful about the story. Then he started in with the litany of "praises" of books that are really bitching about e-readers and other devices, and I was tempted to throw the book across the room. So tired of those. But the illustrations stayed just as amazing all the way through. I hope Hoopes finds lots more illustrating work.
(464)

Out on the Wire, by Jessica Abel
This was wicked! Graphic non-fiction book about how public radio (mostly) podcasters put together their stories, with info about the technical aspects but focusing on the story aspects. Easy to read, engaging, and full of points. Also sometimes funny or touching. Also also I found like 3 new podcasts to listen to.
(465)

And that is my last book of 2015! Phew. Stay tuned for more this week, as I get caught up on the nearly 50 books I've already read in 2016 :D.

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