The Last of August

I did not like The Last of August anywhere near as much as I liked A Study in Charlotte. It didn’t even feel like the normal book two set up for book three, well part of it did but not enough of it. I just didn’t like either Charlotte OR Jamie in this book and I definitely didn’t like them together. I preferred the brief bits with Jamie’s father and Charlotte’s uncle — maybe they need a series of their own, instead. I’m going to give the next book a chance but if I don’t love it and there’s a fourth, I’m not going to bother.

Same Beach, Next Year

I think Same Beach, Next Year was possibly my least favorite Dorothea Benton Frank novel. I didn’t like any of the characters, except the kids and the Greek relatives (these we don’t even meet until the end of the book.) Oh, I did like Ted and Clarabeth, too. A book about Ted, Clarabeth, and Cookie would have been better than one about Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl.

The Wrong Dead Guy

Speaking of coincidences (yesterday’s book post) I had just been thinking that I need to see how far behind I am on the Sandman Slim books when TW came home from the library with a book by Richard Kadrey. It wasn’t a Sandman Slim book – but still, what a coincidence! She also said that it didn’t seem to be part of another series or if it was maybe it was the first book.

TW read it first and chuckled her way through much of The Wrong Dead Guy. I took that as a good sign but when I started reading it, I thought for sure it was not the first book in a series but definitely part of a series. We were given an awful lot of backstory types of info but not enough backstory for a stand alone book full of weird random characters that have some connection that was murky, at best. I stopped reading and asked her if she was SURE it wasn’t part of a series. She said she didn’t think so and since I was enjoying it and feeling too lazy to look for myself, I just kept reading.

Almost half-way through the book, I couldn’t take it any more because this REALLY felt like a book in a series and I was beginning to get annoyed by that. Sure enough, it’s the sequel to The Everything Box, which I have not read. I was annoyed – I hate not reading the first book. But, I was so far into it by then that it didn’t make a lot of sense to stop reading it until I can get the first book, so I just carried on.

It was very amusing, as you’d expect if you have read Kadrey’s other books. I’m looking forward to backtracking and reading The Everything Box – that’s going to clear up a lot of questions for me, I’m sure. (I’m also never going to make the mistake of NOT checking on a book if it feels like part of a series again!)

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

It’s been awhile since we read a Lisa See novel and I’m glad TW mentioned Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. It was a good story, as See’s books generally are, and its take on overseas adoptions by white parents of Chinese children was a far cry from other books that include this topic.

No coincidence = no story — that’s the theme here, and it’s an interesting one. Very useful in making the coincidences seem less like coincidences that you’d never believe and more like a life of coincidences. I bought it (most of it, ok a lot of it and what I didn’t buy, I forgave because the writing and the characters were wonderful.)

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

The Inquistor’s Tale was on last year’s Cybils Shortlist in the audiobook category and I see why.

It was Canterbury Tale-like and there were some “ass” jokes, which kids would find very amusing. It was also a story with serious themes that were presented in some pretty kid-friendly ways without minimizing those serious issues. Well done.

The Gender Game

Almost a year ago (?) I spotted a couple of interesting books on the new arrivals shelf at the library but I quickly realized they were books two and three of a series and I hate starting a series on anything other than the first book. So, I wandered back to the shelves looking for the first book, only to discover a whole bunch of books in the series but not the first one. So I took a photo of one of the covers and went home to reserve the first book.

Time passed and I wasn’t really moving up on the reserve list. More time passed and I started moving slowly up the list. Finally, it was ready to pick up — except I was out of town and I couldn’t get to the library in time to pick it up, so it went back to the stacks and I lost my hold.

I re-did the hold and was careful to always pause my holds when I went out of town after that and FINALLY The Gender Game arrived last week! Woot!

I enjoyed it but good grief, why is it so hard to get this book from the library? Also, why didn’t I realize I could have just grabbed the Kindle version for free and moved on to the other books that are much easier to get at the library? (Not that TW would have read it, because she hates e-books but this is about me, not her.)

Anyway Matrus and Patrus – post-apocalyptic fiction. I’ll read the next book and see how it goes from there.

Alex, Approximately

I liked Alex, Approximately but the whole situation with Mink’s mom just made no sense. NONE. Absolutely zero. And, that kind of ruined it all for me at the end. OK maybe not ruined but it was annoying.

Reading this one made me really want to watch old movies all day. TW said that happened to her in the beginning but stopped (I guess once Mink and Alex started talking so much and I’m guessing she didn’t read the movie quotes at the top of each chapter? I don’t know) but it happened for me all of the way through the book. I’m planning a movie marathon weekend for March!

(Also, the hardcover version’s cover has nothing to do with the book and that bugged me, too. The paperback cover is better.)

Faith Volume 1: Hollywood and Vine

Woot, a graphic novel! Faith Volume 1: Hollywood and Vine is from last year’s Cybil shortlist and I finally managed to get it added to my library hold list. (Another reminder to myself to get more graphic novels on my hold list in 2018.)

Faith is not one of those thin, sleek, gorgeous super-heroes. She’s an average sized woman who writes blog posts for an online media company (sorry, Faith — blogging was better 5-10 years ago) as her day job.

I liked Faith but I didn’t love her. I feel like the writers are trying a little too hard to make her a “real” woman. I am going to grab volume 2 and see if they’ve settled into her character a little more because I’d really like to love her.

Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope

Nope, we didn’t march yesterday but I did stumble across the Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope book just sitting on the shelf at the library, so I checked it out and flipped through it last night.

It’s primarily photos from the last year’s Women’s March with the occasional quote from women sprinkled through.

I enjoyed looking back at last year’s signs while thinking about this year’s… same shit, different year. Keep resisting, keep fighting, keep marching.

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day

Tearjerker. And a fun, well-written tearjerker, at that. Ms. Bixby’s Day Off is exactly the kind of Cybil shortlist book that I love.

Have you ever had a teacher that you’d go out of your way to do something really special for — like create her “last day” dream? I’ve had teachers like that. I hope every kid who reads this book has had a teacher like that.