The Book Jumper

Well, The Book Jumper was a disappointment.

I’m a fan of book jumping stories, I LOVE THURSDAY NEXT, but this one was a mess from beginning to end. The plot was a muddle. The characters were pretty unlikable (except the real book characters.) The whole thing was just a let down, from start to finish. I had such high hopes — and maybe that was the problem?

Whatever.

Two Non-Fiction

I picked up P.S. You’re Invited because why not? I’ve read the blog a few times and I’m always looking for fun DIY books. This wasn’t fun. At least not for me. It was just boring.

What wasn’t boring was 100 Weekend Projects Anyone Can Do. I’m not sure anyone can do them but I sure would like someone to do a bunch of them around here.

The Whole Town’s Talking

I generally like Fannie Flagg. I also liked the other Elmwood Heights books so I thought I’d be perfectly happy reading The Whole Town’s Talking. Turns out, not so much.

I hated the style of the book. I hated that we didn’t get more of the early settlers and their early lives and instead got… what we got. (No, I won’t spoil it for you in case you don’t take my advice and decide to read it.) I absolutely hated the ending (and the only reason I kept reading it was to see what happened to the folks up on the hill. Ugh.)

I also found the conservative messaging to be more than I could stomach — at the end it got to be a lot MUCH.

Don’t waste your time on this one.

2 Cybils Non-Fiction

There was a time when I never quit a Cybils book but this year, I’ve quit two. The most recent, Symphony for the City of the Dead was… I just couldn’t read it. I tried, I really did. TW read the whole thing, and I give her props for that. I cannot imagine any kid reading this who didn’t have to. (Unless he/she had some great fondness for Russian history or Shostakovich, I guess.) Ugh.

Thankfully, Bayard Rustin: Invisible Activist was better. In fact, it was excellent. Everyone should read this one.

Three Graphic Novels

Let’s see… which graphic novels (all Cybils shortlisters) did I read? Oh yea…

Courtney Crumrin: Volume 7 … hated it. Didn’t finish it. At first, I thought it was because I’m way behind on this series, (I think the last one I read was 4), but based on the reviews — a whole lot of series fans just didn’t like this one. I’m glad it wasn’t just me.

Next, Dragons Beware!. I love Claudette and her friends. Absolutely love them.

Last, but not least, Baba Yaga’s Assistant was really good. I didn’t expect much from it, I’m not a very big Baba Yaga fan, so this really exceeded expectations.

The Photographer’s Wife

I should have quit The Photographer’s Wife. I didn’t care about a single one of the characters. It moved so darn slowly that I just couldn’t stick with it for more than a chapter at a time. Ho hum.

Eat the Year

Besides being a book written by a blogger, Eat the Year, is a book about weird food holidays. I’m a sucker for weird food holidays. So obviously, I had to pick up this book.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the first few pages. This was not the book I wanted it to be.

As someone who spent years talking to people about food holidays, on message boards, I was hoping for so much more than this. I told TW that this is the book that she and I should have written together… we could have nailed this topic, darn it.

Four Graphic Novels

I’m only about a month late but I’ve started the whole Cybils shortlist thing and am slowly making a dent in the list. Graphic novels were a good way to dive in.

El Deafo was excellent. Really. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it — so much hype around it! But, it was well deserved hype.

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Good Boy, sigh. I just don’t like Bad Machinery. I don’t get why everyone else does. This one was better than the last one I read (or tried to read) but I had to force myself to get through this one, too. If it makes the Cybils next year, I’m just not going to read it. Blah.

Gaijin: American Prisoner of War — I liked it. The art was excellent.

Bird & Squirrel on Ice was super cute. I particularly like Sakari and her role in the story.

Conjured

Gah. If Conjured had not been on the Cybils shortlist, I never would have finished it. I hated this darn book.

The idea of it was good. The ending of it was good. The first half (if not more) was so damn slow and repetitive that I was cursing it pretty much nonstop.

Eve is in a witness protection program. She has memory loss. A lot of memory loss. The agents guarding her want her to tell them… something… what, nobody knows because the author doesn’t tell us and Eve has memory loss. Eve can do magic and when she does, she blacks out. When she wakes up, days (weeks? months?) have passed and she’s apparently been awake and interacting with society but she can’t remember anything that’s happened at all.

Rinse and repeat. Over and over and over for a good 1/2 of the book. That’s pretty much all that happens. And it’s annoying. By the time the story started moving, I was so disgusted that I barely wanted to finish. But I did. It was hard but I did it.

I hate books like this. Move a little more quickly or give us some reason to keep reading the slow mess at the beginning. Do not make a book for kids a struggle to read. Stupid.

All About Homesteading

I’m playing catch up with the non-fictions now. Homesteading. A lot of books about homesteading. Some were good. Some weren’t. Let’s start with the one I didn’t finish.

Rural Renaissance — dry as I don’t even know. I won’t say burnt toast because I effing like burnt toast, (I know. I’m weird. Blame my mother.) I couldn’t finish it. There are not enough reading hours in one lifetime for me to have wanted to finish it. TW tried to warn me, she didn’t finish it either, but I didn’t listen. I should have listened. I wasted half an evening on that.

The Practical Homestead — Hoo boy. This book could scare you off the idea of homesteading, lol. So much to think about. And it’s all very serious. And they do warn you off of trying x,y & z quite a lot. At first glance, the layouts for various farm sizes seem cool but then you realize it’s really not what you personally are interested in. Unless you win the lottery or come into some inheritance because no, all we really want is a kitchen garden, some fruit trees, some chickens and a big ass yard for the damn dogs. Cool book. I might read it again in a couple of years. Seriously.

The Weekend Homesteader was interesting. I liked the way it was laid out — a few assignments each month. Cool way to start slow and keep encouraging people to make small changes and take on small projects.

Back to Basics: Traditional Kitchen Wisdom was a pretty cool book. I skimmed a lot because I don’t particularly need to digest all of that kitchen wisdom at once. It’s a good book to just have on the shelf.

I believe this is the last of the homesteading books. I hope. I kind of also hope I don’t read anymore of these for at least a year. I’m homesteaded out.