Monday, March 28, 2016

What I'm reading this week (3/28/16)

I'm taking my spring break read-cation this week, Monday through Wednesday. Temps are supposed to be in the 60s (that 7" of snow we got last week should be gone shortly), and I've finished all but one of the books on my March reading list, so I'm on to April a week early!

Last week, I finished:

Ella Minnow Pea is a fascinating novel. I highly recommend it, especially for getting out of a reading rut. You've likely read about the plot, but in short, the island nation founded by the man who created the sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." which uses each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. When the letters fall one by one they are banned from use--and those who slip up are banished from the island. It's an epistolary (written all in letters) novel and the letters get more and more creative as the letters go away. You've really got to try it, I think. It's sort of genius. I do have qualms about its deeper meanings, though.

This Strange Wilderness was a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist, and I'd wanted to read at least one ALA award book besides the picture books this year. And since I've always had a thing for birds, I chose this one. It's about the life and artwork of John James Audubon, and it was fabulous. I'm unsure exactly what makes it YA instead of adult other than perhaps length (it was only about 90 pages) and the explanation of some terms that actually seemed juvenile and random. I learned just enough about Audubon to be interested and not enough to get bored. I highly recommend it. If for the fabulous artwork alone.

Lastly, I finished my re-read of The Duggars: 20 and Counting! There isn't much to say, really. You either love the family or you don't. I was in the mood for something simple and uplifting and this fit the bill.

Last week, I began:

It's time to finish my Jane Austen list, and Emma is the last novel to read. This is a long one, and I've had a hard time getting into it. Not only are you not supposed to really like Emma, Austen's writing always seems a little laborious at the beginning. After awhile I'll get into the writing and it will pick up, I think.

I continue with:

Oh how I adore Appleblossom the Possum. The writing is witty and fresh. I can't recommend it enough.

And I'm thoroughly enjoying my re-read (listen) of The Latehomecomer. It's an important book, especially for my area of the country which is rich in Hmong heritage. But it's also important in what it does to explain the immigrant child's life in America.
I'm sure I'll begin one or two more this week to switch off with Emma, but you'll have to wait for my April Reading List post later this week to see what it/they might be!


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