sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 7, 2006

into the stacks 8
posted by soe 2:01 am

I am late, late, late in posting about September reads. And really I have no excuses. Just laziness. And the fact that I can’t read, knit, watch baseball, and type simultaneously…

The Horse and His Boy, by C.S. Lewis

From the book jacket: “How a talking horse and a boy prince saved Narnia from invasion”

Why this book? The next book in the Narnia series.

My take: It becomes harder and harder to ignore Lewis’ biases as the books go on. In this one, he doesn’t like people of Middle Eastern descent. There’s a reason why the first one is so well known and the rest aren’t read as frequently. And I can see why I lost interest in them before this point when I was growing up.

Putting that aside for the moment, however, it was a stronger story than The Silver Chair, which preceded it in the series.

Pages: 217

* * *

The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan

From the book jacket: “Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school . . . again. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he’s not even sure he believes it himself. Until the Minotaur chases him to summer camp….”

Why this book? I’d read great things about it all over the place, but particularly and repeatedly from Camille at Book Moot.

My take: Percy Jackson is a compelling Everyboy kind of character. He’s always in trouble. He and his step-father don’t get along. He doesn’t get good grades. He suffers from ADD. And then, after surviving a couple of harrowing attacks, he finds out (as every child hopes to one day) that he is more extraordinary than he ever could have hoped. And his real adventures begin.

Compelling, exciting, and both character- and plot-driven — exactly what a young adult novel should be. Exactly what any novel should be. I couldn’t put it down and can’t wait to read the next one. It deserved every bit of praise it received — and then some. Definitely a top-10 book for the year.

Pages: 377

* * *

The Magicians of Caprona, by Diana Wynne Jones

From the book jacket: “Tonino Montana often wished he had been born with an instinct for magic like his brother Paolo. Paolo had no trouble learning spells, or ordinary lessons for that matter, but Tonino was dismally slow at both…. Not that his family minded in the leeast; they had too many other worries anyway, because lately none of their spells seemed to have the old power. Something — or someone — was definitely sapping the strength of even the mighty charms set to defend the city, and if they gave, there would almost certainly be war.”

Why this book? Jenn suggested I might like the earlier books in this series. Since the library didn’t have them, I chose this one instead.

My take: How do the apparently non-magical function in a magical world? The answer would seem to be through strength of character and observances, although it’s never as simple as that, of course.

The book features warring magical clans, communicative cats, and an overabundance of Punch and Judy. If any of that sounds interesting, I’d recommend the book. And I was sufficiently intrigued by the wizard Chrestomanci, that I will seek out the other books featuring him that Jenn recomended.

Pages: 269

* * *

Knitting Rules! The Yarn Harlot’s Bag of Knitting Tricks, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

From the book jacket: “The Yarn Harlot spills her bag of knitting tricks. Essential survival skills, insider secrets, and undercover revelations for yarn enthusiasts of all levels and persuasions…”

Why this book? I read Stephanie’s blog every day and heartily enjoy her trials and tribulations in the knitting universe. I saw her last month and picked up a copy of the book for her to sign for me.

My take: Her book is just like her blog — witty, entertaining, and real. She relates funny stories, offers up basic “recipes” for how to create scarves, hats, shawls, and socks, and provides incentive for taking on that next scary project. And she makes you laugh while you’re reading, which is key.

Pages: 224

Total pages for the month of September: 1087

Category: books. There is/are 1 Comment.

I have The Lightning Thief on request from my library! I am anxiously awaiting it…but apparently so is everyone else so it may be awhile!

Comment by Jenn 10.07.06 @ 8:19 am