Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Book 632: Tenth of December

Tenth of December, by George Saunders, Random House, 2013.

George Saunders is a master of the modern short story.  Alas, he may be too good.  These stories were a little too brutal, too honest for me to enjoy them too much.  These days, I read to escape.  These stories, although fiction, will not allow you to escape, but rather will force you to confront.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Book 631: How to Write Poetry

How to Write Poetry, by Nancy Bogen, Prentice Hall Press, 1991.

The first few chapters were not especially helpful, but once you reach the examples of the styles of poetry, this book does become more useful.  In fact, this book could form an excellent class on how to READ poetry.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Book 630: The Forsyte Saga

The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy, original publication 1920, this edition Scribner's 2002.

This story collection includes the Forsyte trilogy, plus the two intermission short stories.  The short stories should not be overlooked, especially the first one.

I remember reading this book about ten years ago and feeling almost sympathetic for Soames by the conclusion.  That still happened when I read it again this month.  Fleur, however, seems far more tragic at the conclusion of the book this time.  Either I'm turning romantic, or I can see how Fleur's marriage will end up.  It's probably the latter.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Book 629: Sir Cumference and the First Round Table

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table, written by Cindy Neuschwander, illustrated by Wayne Geehan, Charlesbridge, 1997.

I remember first discovering this books over ten years ago when I was working as a children's librarian.  At the time, I thought they were clever and were a fun way to introduce elementary school children to mathematical terms and ideas.  I still think all that.  The story isn't exactly brilliant, but it isn't bad, either.  And I do wish the book had taken the idea a little further to incorporate actual math, such as finding the circumference and the area of the circle.  But overall, this book still holds up quite well.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Book 628: The Same Sky

The Same Sky, by Amanda Eyre Ward, Random House, 2015.

This book does not have the tightest writing or the best character development.  Flipping between two people and their points of view caused me to lose interest in the book for a while.  BUT, the topic is timely and heartbreaking.  The contrast between the undocumented child coming to the US from Honduras, not for a better life or the "American dream", but for a life or at least a chance at life, and the averagely-successful American woman who longed for a child was staggering and eye-opening. 

This book was so well-researched that the descriptions became vivid and painful.  And the quote at the end:  "These children have the spiritual capital that Americans need" made me see my own life a little more clearly.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Book 627: The Cocktail Party

The Cocktail Party, by T. S. Eliot, Harcourt, Brace, 1949.

This is one of the books (plays) where you are laughing at the foibles of everyday, although rather privileged, people living everyday, although rather privileged, lives.  Then the story turns rather mysterious and sinister, only to end up with a 'what-just-happened' moment.  Altogether, the book/play was jarring and thought-provoking.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Book 626: Martha Speaks, Sniffing for Clues Collection

Martha Speaks, Sniffing for Clues Collection, based on characters created by Susan Meddaugh, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.

This was a fun three-in-one collection of Martha mysteries.  The stories were based on the television show (which was based on the original picture book), but they still worked surprisingly well.