Log in

No account? Create an account

Books: July 2017 (13 books)

I'm thinking this is going to be my last book post, at least for a while. I've been posting every book I read on either LJ or DW since 2005, and I hate losing that continuity, but I just don't have time to do it anymore. I do hope to keep up with posting on Goodreads (much easier to do on the go), so if you use Goodreads and would still like to see what I think about books (or, obviously more importantly, what my daughter thinks about books), please connect with me over there!

When, by Victoria Laurie: Finished 7/3/17. Spotted this through an e-library recommendation, I think. A fun read with an interesting premise, though I both saw the ending coming and also shot a bunch of holes in the logic behind Maddie’s ability. Still fun to read.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women, by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo: Started on 3/12/17, finally finished on 7/7/17. My five-year-old daughter calls this "the lady book". We read one or two stories per night, and it took us four months to finish the book. I loved reading her these stories and seeing her get all indignant ("That's not true that girls can't do that! Why would her daddy say that?!") or all fierce ("That's right, Mrs. Hillary!"). I didn't chip in for the crowdfunding of this book (it was a little too pricey) but I have to say, it's a gorgeous book, hardback, with a red ribbon bookmark (that my daughter loves - nice detail), and both the stories and artwork are amazing.

The authors obviously had a difficult task in selecting women to profile, and there are some obvious omissions, but also a TON of women I'd never heard of, and they do a good job of highlighting women of all different races, from all different time periods and from all over the world, and with different interests: there are warriors and scientists and queens and writers and spies and athletes and dancers and politicians. They really cover the breadth of rebel women. My daughter particularly loved the modern-era profiles (she couldn't get over Malala Yousafzai actually getting shot during my daughter's lifetime for saying women should go to school).

Each woman the authors include obviously had a full and interesting life, which they needed to cover in just one page of rather large type - so in many cases, I was wondering why they chose this specific aspect of a life story to focus on, rather than other elements that seemed larger and more important. Some stories are just more successful as stories than others. But overall, the authors did a great job of distilling each person's whole LIFE down to a digestible "bedtime story" format, which serves the purpose of introducing the woman and giving the reader enough to get her interested. Older girls will find this a great resource to find interesting people they can research to learn more about.

My daughter loved the book and actually suggested taking it to school for show n' tell (and her teacher read one of the stories to the class). Anybody who did crowdfund this can be super-proud of bringing such a great book to the world. I already feel like we're going to start over and flip back to the beginning to read it through again.

Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig (Mercy Watson #5), by Kate DiCamillo: Finished this on or around 7/8/17. I wouldn’t say this was my daughter’s favorite Mercy Watson book, but the scene at the end where the Animal Control officer falls out of the tree did result in some giggling.

Catwings (Catwings, #1), by Ursula K. Le Guin: Finished on 7/9/17. I figured it was time to start my daughter on her own lifelong journey of Le Guin, so I got her Catwings for her fifth birthday. I had remembered enjoying it, but I had forgotten how simple and charming it is. We read it through twice in the first two days after her birthday. She was scared during the owl scenes and liked the part where the cats come to the children, which is as it should be. Just the thought of cats with soft furry wings! A win. It was perfect bedtime reading for us: short simple chapters, but with some new vocabulary and diction for her to absorb. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope, by Claire North: Finished 7/8/17. Not as good as North’s other book, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August; the ending of Hope left me a bit flat. But the conceit of this novel is unique, and it was definitely worth reading.

Stolen Magic (A Tale of Two Castles #2), by Gail Carson Levine: Finished 7/12/17. The only thing I didn’t like about this book is the fact that Levine wrapped it up so neatly, making it clear she wasn’t writing any more sequels.

What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty: Finished 7/13/17. A solid entry in the “amnesia” genre, and a surprisingly realistic one. Read more...Collapse ) Overall, worth reading.

The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi: Audiobook, finished 7/14/17. I had previously read Freya a version of Pinocchio, but that must have been a “children’s classic” or something because this one was the original and was definitely gorier. There were a lot of creepy bits, and she was still talking about how the cat’s paw got bitten off just a few days ago. I was a little worried about her hearing that, but she seemed fine and seemed to really like it.

Annihilation (Southern Reach #1), by Jeff VanderMeer: Finished on 7/17/17. I can honestly say I’ve never read anything quite like it, and that goes for the whole trilogy. It’s kind of what the TV show LOST should have been if the writers had plotted it out correctly. It makes thistles both captivating and sort of horrifying. Highly recommended.

The People We Hate at the Wedding, by Grant Ginder: Finished 7/18/17. Fun and somewhat silly.

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying, by Nina Riggs: Finished 7/24/17. I’m so struck by Nina’s grace in living with her diagnosis - in writing this book, in living the last years of her life - and how she shared that grace with everyone around her.

Saga, Vol. 7 (Saga #7), by Brian K. Vaughan: Received this as a birthday gift and read it right away (on 7/27/17). Many sads in this one!

Unfinished: Nevertheless: A Memoir, by Alec Baldwin: Gave up on this in late July. I waited so long to check out the eBook from the library, but it was just not very interesting. I made it up to Baldwin’s early 20s and the beginnings of his acting career. I’m sure it would be good for someone who’s really into film history or Baldwin himself, but just for a casual fan of both, the writing isn’t compelling enough to carry it.


Books: June 2017 (11 books)

Pippi in the South Seas (Pippi #3), by Astrid Lindgren: Finished 6/3/17. Found this on my shelf and read chapters at bedtime with Freya. She really loved it, especially the monkey and the parts where Pippi is exceptionally silly. This time around I was struck by the ending of the book - the last two pages are just completely lovely writing, an absolute gift from Lindgren - and I never noticed before. Glad to have read this with my girl.

Freya (Freya #1), by Matthew Laurence: Finished 6/5/17. I’m already a fan of mythologically based YA fiction, but with that title character? Of course I had to pick this up. :) The whole “gods are still alive” thing has been done a lot, and Lawrence does base his plot on the idea that these gods need worship for strength (which has been done by greats like Gaiman and Pratchett), but I did think there was some fun and interesting stuff here. The mental institution and the Disney tie-in were really smart. Is Lawrence trying to take advantage of the cultural wave going on with American Gods? Probably (although this is certainly closer to the Rick Riordan end of the mythological spectrum). Is it still a fun read? Yeah.

Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe, by Thomas Cahill: Finished 6/6/17. I was working on this for several months on and off. A fun look at the Middle Ages, and I learned a lot about several different areas (such as religious and scientific thought and art). I didn’t really understand why the last chapter or two digressed into the 20th century Catholic child abuse scandal, though; the book title really didn’t suggest to me that that’s where we were heading. Overall worth reading, a good challenge for myself, and I’d read something else by this author, as he made the historical info relatable and had some funny lines, but this has to lose a star on that ending.

Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine: Finished 6/9/17. Binge-read this very quickly late at night. Not my favorite by this author, but definitely worth reading.

Overwhelmed, by Brigid Schulte: Finished 6/12/17. Full title: Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. Five stars. If I could give this book six stars, I would. It feels like a game changer to me. Brigid Schulte digs into not only the problems inherent in our current system of busyness, but examines how we got here, looking at how these ideals around workers and mothers and fathers grew in our society and set us up to fail no matter what we do. And knowing this stuff, I feel, gives me power to change how I react. I will probably read this book again before the end of the year. I highly recommend this book to people who are parents, people who work, people who feel too busy, and pretty much just people.

Ever, by Gail Carson Levine: Finished 6/14/17. A quick and easy read. I enjoyed the setting in an ancient culture you don’t see in fiction too often; on the supernatural end, I particularly liked the bird people in the underworld, and the god wrapped in linen). The plot felt a little contrived and, once set in motion, pretty predictable (it’s not as if the lovers aren’t going to find a way to be together), but even so, it was sweet and fun to read.

A Tale of Two Castles, by Gail Carson Levine: Finished 6/16/17. Really enjoyed this. The dragon and the ogre really did it for me.

The Four Hoods and Great Dog, by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer: Finished 6/22/17. I read this many, many times as a child, but just recently read it aloud to my daughter. She loved Great Dog and laughed a lot at Foudini.

The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1), by John Scalzi: Finished 6/24/17. I wanted to read some Scalzi and so checked this out as an eBook from the library. I was so sad when I got to the end and found out it’s his latest book and the first of a series! Now I have to wait for the end! Which speaks well of the book, because the situation is interesting and the characters are compelling. The primary players are excellent - I particularly like the Empress, and Kiva may be the most entertainingly foul-mouthed character I’ve ever encountered - but even the minor characters are memorable and interesting. Highly recommended, darn it.

The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict: Finished 6/27/17. I picked this up because it was the “Big Read” in Philly and so there were unlimited e-copies available. At first I enjoyed it, but ultimately this book made me really angry. Benedict created a compelling character, but all along I was wondering how much of this story was really true. Was Albert Einstein really as awful as she paints him? And in the author’s note at the end, she doesn’t really address that, stating that the novel was her way of exploring the “what-ifs” of Mileva’s life. I really wanted more answers than that, which I suppose the world of physics has been feeling for a few decades, but still, as a novel it left me wanting more and feeling pretty angry.

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (Tales from Deckawoo Drive #1), by Kate DiCamillo: Finished 6/29/17. Read this to my little one at bedtime (twice). I kept getting preoccupied by where he’s going to keep this horse and whether he can afford to feed it, but if you stop being a grownup for a few minutes it’s a really enjoyable little read, especially for fans of hot toast with a great deal of butter. My daughter liked it a lot and definitely worried about the horse during the storm scene.

books: May 2017 (9 books)

Yes, Chef, by Marcus Samuelsson: Finished 5/7/17. I enjoy Samuelsson on TV and was curious about his story, so I thought I'd check out the book, and it was light and fun. Not a great work of literature, but enjoyable, especially if you like fine cuisine, cooking, or TV chefs.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, by Phaedra Patrick: Finished 5/8/17. A really fun, fast read in a subgenre I love that I’m calling “charming geriatric adventurers.” I loved all the places this charm bracelet led Arthur, and I particularly loved the ending. Highly recommended if you also enjoy stories about old people who thought their lives were over rediscovering themselves and the world.

A Bear Called Paddington (Paddington #1), by Michael Bond: Finished on 5/8/17. My daughter really enjoyed this book. We would read a chapter each day at bedtime, and it's really funny. She would laugh and laugh! Then it would be time to turn out the light, and she'd be all jazzed up. Oh well. This is definitely an older book but it held up pretty well against modern standards; the downside was that no one says things like "darkest Peru" anymore and there were a few lines that were a little colonialist, but we talked about it. Overall: bear! adventures! messes!

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Read on 5/9/17. Suggestions for how to raise your child as a feminist, written as a letter to a friend of Adichie's who had asked her advice. A quick and worthwhile read.

We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Read on 5/9/17. Short and well worth reading. (Weirdly, both of these came available through the library on the same day, so I read them both together. They were fast.)

The BFG, by Roald Dahl: Finished 5/19/17. This was a pleasure. Freya enjoyed this a lot, particularly the whizpoppers, and the other giants were just the right level of scary. (We watched the movie a week or two later, which she also loved, and I was delighted to find it a really excellent adaptation with a perfect BFG and less gory than the book!)

Replay, by Ken Grimwood: Finished on 5/16/17. A really good entry in the “Groundhog Day” genre (i.e., a protagonist living his life over and over again). Not as good as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, but pretty close. I really enjoyed the structure of this one, as well as the ending, which felt unexpectedly fresh to me.

Grindhopping: Building a Rewarding Career Without Paying Your Dues, by Laura Vanderkam: Finished 5/22/17. This book is aimed at a younger demographic than I am at this point: Vanderkam is writing to inspire twentysomethings to pursue their dreams rather than investing years in an unfulfilling career, while I’m more at the “years of investment” stage and looking to get out of the career grind. But Vanderkam still had some decent advice, and the book felt inspirational; it helped me feel like I could just maybe make it work. One criticism is that, having been written in 2006, a lot of the content feels a bit dated; I’d love to see Vanderkam do a revision. Still glad I read it, and I’ll likely come back to it.

Windthrow, by K.A. Hays: Poetry. Finished 5/23/17.

[theatre] Hamilton in NYC (!!!), Sat. 5/20/17

You guys, we saw Hamilton. On Broadway. Eeee! And it completely lived up to the hype.

The occasion was F's 40th birthday, for which we'd planned a grownup weekend in NYC with another couple, F's best friend Mike (also celebrating his 40th) and wife Sarah. F and I went up on Friday afternoon, and Mike and Sarah joined us on Saturday morning. We knew we'd do a show on Saturday night, but Mike really, really wanted to see Hamilton. We eventually agreed that if he could get tickets for $300 each, we'd be in. So Friday night, F and I are drunk on bacon (for serious) and exploring Central Park when we start getting texts from Mike, who has found tickets. I'm not sure how he pulled it off, but he'd been looking online for weeks, and Sarah's dad had offered them some cash as a birthday gift toward getting theater tickets, and I believe the tickets were close enough to our $300 cap that Mike and Sarah just kicked in a little extra. So, yes, tickets were acquired the night before the show.

I needed to spend the first five minutes of the show suspending my disbelief that it would make sense to rap about a guy born in the 1700s who was best known for the US Treasury. Once I got past that, before the end of the first song, I was hooked. It was amazing. Surprisingly, the first half with the Revolutionary War was the uplifting part; I cried twice in the second half. I cried twice during a rap show about Alexander Hamilton. It was just so good. So many nuances and layers. Such amazing performances. I loved it so much.

Afterward, we adjourned to Lillie's Victorian Establishment for drinks and to decompress and talk about the show. We left there after 1, I think, and stopped for a slice of pizza on the way back to the hotel, which was an amazing idea. Got to bed around 2. Awesome night.
This was a truly enjoyable opera. Lots of slapstick and fun, lots of innuendo, beautiful sets. Really well done. My only issue with it was the length: Mom and I usually try to catch the train in the 5:00 hour (it's something like the 12s for me and the 20s for her), but we stayed an extra hour in hopes of seeing the whole opera, and it still wasn't over when we left at 5:45 (because we could not stay another hour downtown). But overall, laugh-out-loud funny. The scene with the guy under the bed, and the scene with the cabinet, were both just spot on.


books: April 2017 (7 books)

The Doll's House (The Sandman #2), by Neil Gaiman: Originally read in November 2005, reread 4/3/17. I didn't remember much of this. The serial killer convention was a little much for me these days, but I did enjoy the reread.

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell: Finished 4/6/17. I started this as an audiobook on a day when I had a long drive to make by myself in the car (a thing that never happens anymore). Cath did get on my nerves, and I had some trouble understanding why these interesting people wanted to hang out with her. But the Simon Snow stuff was fun.

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening, by Marjorie M. Liu: Finished 4/12/17. Wow. The art is amazing, and the story is unique, with so many interesting plot threads and so much rich history. All the gory death and torture was pretty disturbing for me, but I will definitely read the next one.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1), by J.K. Rowling: Finished 4/16/17. My fourth reread, and OK, fine, I read this aloud to my four year old. I figured I'd read until it got too scary, but even toward the end she was hanging in okay, so I kept going. A LOT of it was over her head, but she seemed to really enjoy it, and the big bad reveal at the end was a total surprise to her. It was really a pleasure to read it with her, and I'm looking forward to doing it again in a few years.

I Liked My Life, by Abby Fabiaschi: Finished 4/20/17. Really, really enjoyed this, even if I was anticipating the twist at the end. A quick and engaging read, in one of my favorite niche genres, “ghost love stories”.

The Lost Princess of Oz (Oz, #11), by L. Frank Baum: Finished 4/30/17. Read this aloud with my daughter at bedtime. She enjoyed the mystery of it a lot and laughed pretty much every time I said "Cayke the Cookie Cook".

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin: First read in maybe 2002, reread 4/30/17. I was surprised how much I didn't remember: all the folk tales and anthropological bits, much of political machinations. I had remembered the book as being primarily (and endlessly) traveling over the ice, but that's really not even a third of the text (according to my friend Warren, who read it on an eReader and took note). My sci-fi book club read this on my suggestion, and it was the book that led to the most and deepest book-related conversation, so I was pretty proud.

Also, the copy my husband got out of the library had an interesting essay by Le Guin included at the end, about how she would have done things differently if she'd written the book later, and some alternate versions of chapters where she actually plays with the pronouns. This really added to my understanding and appreciation.

Genly isn't a particularly accessible character, and we know so little of his life before he came to Gethen (like, for example, why he would choose to give up everyone he'd ever known). But even without that backstory, by the end we see Genly opened. It's a sad book. I had forgotten the ending.

books: March 2017 (5 books)

The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell: Finished on 3/5/17. I loved this book. It's been six weeks since I finished it and I'm still thinking about it.

Serafina and the Black Cloak (Serafina #1), by Robert Beatty: Read 3/11/17 - 3/12/17. I really enjoyed this odd little book. The Biltmore estate was nicely evoked, Serafina was a compelling character, and the big reveal about her identity was refreshingly different. Glad to see this is the start of a series.

Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein: Finished 3/16/17. Yes, it was the first time I’d ever read it, and I only read it now because my book club insisted. I know, I know, what business do I have being a massive SF fan and only now getting around to Heinlein? Well, I hated it. I can see why it was so revolutionary and I found many of the ideas interesting, but man does the rampant sexism make it feel dated. (My book club buddy who was most interested in reading this couldn’t even finish it.) Many of the women were interesting characters, but the men were always primary - and discussed why it was good and right that they be the primary actors. Plus the treatment of the one character of color, the Muslim doctor, and the fact that he was the only character with a nickname (“Stinky”)? And the obvious discomfort with homosexuality, despite the sexual openness that characterizes the book. I can’t help wondering about (and actually hoping someone may write) what would have happened if “Valentine M. Smith” had been born a girl and how that could have totally changed the book’s dynamic.

I’m glad I read it, because I should educate myself about my genre, but reading it rarely felt like more than educating myself about SF history; it rarely sucked me in as a book should. I can appreciate that the ideas in this book may well have contributed to the social evolution that now makes it seem so old fashioned, but that doesn’t mean it’s still readable. Pass me the LeGuin, please.

The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (The Sandman #1), by Neil Gaiman: First read in November 2005, reread 3/20/17. The first time around, I read the whole series so fast I didn’t have a sense of what happened in each volume, and I think I missed a lot. I really enjoyed the reread even though the gory bits seemed much gorier and darker to me now - more than 10 years later! Really enjoyed revisiting the beginning of Dream’s story (or, the story as Gaiman tells it, since obviously Dream’s story has no beginning or end...).

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Finished 3/26/17. Amazing, amazing book, truly was one of the best things I've read in a very, very long time. So smart, and the narrator's perspective on America as an American African (not an African American, and therefore as an outside observer of race in this country) was new to me. I feel like I learned a lot and also have a lot to think about. The ending for me (i.e., the resolution of the love story) didn't feel as earned as the rest of the book; it felt more like the character made certain decisions because the reader had come to expect it, not because we saw that character evolve into those decisions. But it's small quibble in a book that I think is likely to be generation-defining. And to be honest I still liked the optimism of the ending, and felt glad that it could still be optimistic.

Reading with my daughter: February/March (15 books)

Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House, #29): Finished on 3/3/17. Was desperate for a book to read with my daughter and found this one as an eBook through the library, so we read it on my tablet, which she liked. In this one, all the joy and laughter has been magically sucked out of Camelot, and Jack and Annie have to go on a quest to find it, on the way rescuing Arthur's three bravest knights from certain death. Freya liked the part with the dragons.

Carnival at Candlelight (Magic Tree House, #33): Finished 2/19/17. I was psyched about this one because, first, they go to Venice, and secondly this is the first in a four-book run of which we’d already read all the others several times, and I had been wondering and wondering what happened in the first one. (Freya had no such issue and enjoyed this one because there was a flying lion and because Jack wore a silly costume.)

A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time (Magic Tree House, #44): Finished this for the second time on 3/18; I think we listened to it at least four times total. Freya now asked many questions about Charles Dickens, but she didn’t seem confused at all by the scene with the chimney sweeps (and she hasn’t seen Mary Poppins), so I’m wondering how much she missed here.

Dogs in the Dead of Night (Magic Tree House, #46)
Abe Lincoln at Last! (Magic Tree House, #47): Listened to these two in the car back in February. The Frey really enjoyed the antics of the silly dog, and hearing Jack and Annie transform into dogs, but we talked about Abraham Lincoln for DAYS. We also, coincidentally, listened to it right around Presidents Day. She was extremely interested in him as a president, in the fact that he died, in the fact that he had two young sons one of whom also died.

Balto of the Blue Dawn (Magic Tree House, #54): Finished 2/24/17
Night of the Ninth Dragon (Magic Tree House, #55): Finished 2/26/17. Listened to these two in the car, both at home and on the go in Orlando, FL. The dog sled one was popular because Jack and Annie got a puppy out of it, but the Camelot one was listened to over and over again. Just something about it captured her imagination. She loves the Camelot books particularly, I think. In unrelated news, if I have to listen one more time to the scene where Annie keeps saying "Bad DISEASE!" over and over, I may throw the CD out the window. One scene that comes across a lot better on paper than in audio, though I do appreciate Annie's cleverness with the yellow highlighter.

Sleepover Sleuths (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #1), by Carolyn Keene: Finished on 2/23/17. Freya got this free. It’s a cute concept to reinvent Nancy Drew for modern kids, but it’s way too girly, and it doesn’t read well aloud. I want to discourage further volumes in this series until my daughter can read them to herself.

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury (Ricky Ricotta, #2) (finished 2/16/17)
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha Monkeys from Mars (Ricky Ricotta, #4)
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Jurassic Jackrabbits from Jupiter (Ricky Ricotta, #5)
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. The Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn (Ricky Ricotta, #6)
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus (Ricky Ricotta, #7)
by Dav Pilkey, Martin Ontiveros (Illustrations)
Freya is loving these formulaic graphic novels about a young mouse, his giant robot best friend, and the evil aliens they must defeat. The exact same thing happens in each volume, but that totally doesn’t matter. One thing we both really enjoyed, though, has been cousin Lucy’s character development over the series, as well as that of the Jurassic Jackrabbits, first introduced as bad guy minions in the Jupiter book and who later become small and cute and Lucy’s pets. I was totally delighted to find them coming back again to help Ricky and Lucy save the day. I also love how Lucy steals every scene she’s in. Neither of us particularly loves the flip animation action section in each book, though.

Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business (Junie B. Jones #2), by Barbara Park: Finished 3/12/17. Freya’s class has been reading Junie B. at school and she loves her, so we got this one from the library to read at home (as well as an audio collection to listen to in the car, but this is the only one I’ve personally read all the way through). I find Junie to be pretty awful, honestly, and when we’ve been reading or listening to a lot of Junie B., we start getting behavior issues and have to remind her that if Junie gets in trouble when she does these things, Freya will also get in trouble. But in this book I was pretty entertained by the “little monkey” misunderstanding.

The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dalgliesh: Finished 3/25/17. Found this in our basement (it must have been a hand-me-down from a relative) and it was the right level of chapter book for bedtime reading so I brought it up. It was named a Newbery Honor Book in 1955, and on the whole it holds up okay in terms of story, plot, and readability, although the depictions of Native peoples were overly simplistic and caricatured. I’m willing to grant the book some slack in that Sarah’s perspective, as a child in 1707, is going to be biased against the Native people she meets, and the whole book is basically about how she overcomes her fears and discovers their kindness and humanity, but I just think Dalgliesh could have gone further in making the family Sarah meets into actual characters rather than pleasant brown cutouts who accept these White settlers without question. My daughter really liked the wilderness and Sarah’s bravery, though. We may be ready to dig into some Laura Ingalls.

first post from Dreamwidth

So I just imported my journal over to Dreamwidth. Seemed a prudent thing to do based on the info Mink shared. If you're over here on Dreamwidth, friend me or circle me or whatever it is you do on Dreamwidth. I figure I'll cross-post for a while in case the LJ Admin thing isn't as dire as it seems, but at least my bases are covered now.

Oh, I'm supercheesegirl on Dreamwidth as well.
Full title: The Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Unearthing the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country. Finished on 2/24/17, after starting it in December 2016 and not being able to finish it before my ebook expired and auto-returned itself to the library. I had to put myself on the waiting list to check the ebook out again, but once I got it, I finished it quickly. This actually reminded me a lot of Bringing Up Bébé, by Pamela Druckerman - both memoirs of English speaking white women trying to figure out a new life somewhere in continental Europe, I guess, both of whom end up extolling the virtues of their newly adopted cultures. Russell seems to be staying in Denmark, much like Druckerman in France, and the rest of us can try to incorporate their wisdom into our lives back at home.