Books of July and August

   When looking over everything that I’ve been reading this year, I noticed that I have read a LOT of Mysteries. I didn’t realize that I read and enjoyed them that much. For some reason I thought that I read more historical fiction and fantasy. Who knew?
                                     July:
Quest of the Fair Unknown, by Gerald Morris: 4 stars
I know I have said before that I really enjoy Mr. Morris’ Squire Tales series, and that I haven’t read them in order. I really enjoyed this one, but knew all along that the Fair Unknown wasn’t Lancelot’s son, as he was not the greatest knight. In my opinion, at least, and also in my siblings. It was just as funny as the other books, and Arthur and Gwenivere are wonderful when the Fair Unknown comes to their court.
     Titan’s Curse, and Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan: 2.5 stars
These are just like the other two. Some parts made me laugh in my head, but they weren’t all that great. I suppose my expectations were just too high, after seeing all those other people raving over them.
     The Lioness and Her Knight, By Gerald Morris: 4.5 stars
This and The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf are my favorites in this series. It was hilarious. Morgana is wonderfully sarcastic and has a heart under her hard shell. Mother and Daughter are very much alike, and their knights put up with them perfectly.
     Jeeves and the Tie that Binds, and Bertie Wooster Sees it through, by P. G. Wodehouse: 3 stars
Both were hilarious, and caused me to shake with laughter. I am going to take a break from Wodehouse, however, as it does get slightly repetitive. But his writing style is extremely humorous.
   The Sweetness at The Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley : 4 stars
Flavia is a new favorite. When my library card lets me, I’m getting the next book. It’s an adult book, but the main character is eleven, and a wiz with poisons. She puts poison ivy in her oldest sister’s lipstick to get back at her for locking her up in a closet, and takes notes on how long it take to take effect. The attic is her lab, and her best friend, or the closest friend she has, is the Gardner.
     The Silent Boy, by Lois Lowry: 4 stars
This is a story told by an old woman of something that happened in her childhood. It was a very short, deep story. It makes you think about how we deem life. How we judge the quality of life in others.
     Deadman’s Folly, by Agatha Christie: 3 stars
Another mystery by Agatha Christie, with Hercule Poirot. It was a nice read. I was a trifle shocked by one character. She was the man’s mother, but she knew better than to do what she did.
                                   August:
   The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins: 4 stars
This was the third time I’ve read it. Listening to the audio counts as reading it. I loved it. The Reader did a good job and I cried when Rue died, like always. All three books were good, and thought provoking.
    The Great Tree of Avalon and the Child of the Dark Prophecy, by T. A. Barron : no stars
I did not enjoy this book. It’s about Merlin’s heir, I thought it would be more like the King Arthur stories, that Merlin would actually have a large role, but it’s not and he didn’t. Avalon is a tree, the countries are roots, and the trunk is like space? People in reviews said that it was like a work of J. R. R. Tolkien. It was not. It was almost boring, and there are two curse words. I kept reading, because I hoped that the story would start to liven up, but it didn’t, and I wasted my afternoon. I am not reading the other books.
    Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, by John Grisham: 4 stars
I really like this book. Mostly, because his parents were there. They were involved in his case. And I liked his uncle Ike. I like the characters that seem hard and callous, but are really soft.
    Theodore Boone: Abduction and Theodore Boone: Accused both get 3 stars, and weren’t as good as the first book. We get to see more of April, Theo best friend, and see and harassing Parrot and spitting Lama, but other than that, it was rather dull.
       I lived on Butterfly Hill, by Marjorie Agosin: 4 stars
I thought that this was a sweet story. Parts of it made me cry, always a good sign. There was a good deal of magic- telling the future- but I skimmed over that, as part of the culture. Eleven year old Celeste was forced to leave Chile during the political unrest, and her parents went into hiding. She was sent to Maine to live with her Aunt, until it was safe to come home. She has to learn a new langue, she make friends just to lose them, then gains new friends, and has to leave. She learns to keep a house, and takes her gift of words to change a country. Her love for others is touching. The Author had to leave Chile when she was a girl, for the same reasons as Celeste, so it was very interesting to see the resemblance of what was in her bio in the book, and the story.
      A Series of Unfortunate Events #12: The Penultimate Peril, by Lemony Snicket: 3 stars
I haven’t read this series in order. I didn’t feel as if I had to. I like Snicket’s humor in his narration of the story. It doesn’t break away your attention, or jar the story.
      The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt: 4.5 stars
Second time reading this. I love Holling Hoodhood being there for his sister, Mrs. Baker being there for him, and everything about the story. Hilarious reading, as is laughing out loud while reading, and feeling the urge to read to the people looking at you weirdly what you just read. Holling has to read Shakespeare, because he’s Presbyterian. He plays Ariel in a play, and later is chased by rats.
    Dear Hank Williams, by Kimberly Willis Holt: 3 stars
This was also a sweet, funny story. A lonely girl, her great aunt and Uncle, and teaching herself how to sing. It’s right after WW2, and hard feelings are mentioned. It’s about Tate getting over a very hard time in her life. I cried, even thoughI figured out about Frog before anybody else in our house did.

And now I only have September left. I am caught up! Joy! Also, I have read almost 80 books this year. My sister, Lydia, was gloating about having read more than me, until I pointed out I have more school work. Out of all of the kids in our house, you would think that I read the most.

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