July Round-Up

I read 14 books in July, all fiction. I’m really going to have to work on my “read more non-fiction” goal.

Foiled by Jane Yolen. Jane Yolen has written a lot of children’s and YA books, and now she has ventured into the realm of graphic novels. This one involves a high school fencer, and was quite enjoyable.

Kit Feeny: On the Move by Michael Townsend. This is a new (to me at least) graphic novel series for kids. In size and style it reminds me of the Babymouse series, although I think it will appeal to boys much more than Babymouse does.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. The final book in Larsson’s series. Much anticipated and throughly enjoyed. I’ve seen the first two (Swedish) movies now as well and they are quite well done.

Black is for Beginnings by Laurie Faria Stolarz. This is part of a whole YA series, and what is interesting me is that the first four books were regular novels and then with book five, there was a switch to a graphic novel format. Not my favorite, but then I don’t think I was quite the target audience.

Styx and Stones by Carola Dunn. Daisy Dalrymple takes on a village poison pen. Amusing as always.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. I loved this book, which tells of a romance between a widowed army major and a (also widowed) village shopkeeper (who happens to be Pakistani). Highly recommended.

The Good Son by Michael Gruber. I picked this up after NPR recommended it as a summer read. (And I just saw that Nancy Pearl also recommended it yesterday). It’s a thriller set mostly and Pakistan. It was indeed a good read, and will make a good movie one of these days. Lots of action.

Rattle His Bones by Carola Dunn. Another Daisy Dalrymple – this time she’s solving a mystery in a Natural History museum.

Leaving the Bellweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti. This book had shown up on my Amazon recommended list after I rated The Willoughbys so highly, so I was very eager to read. So eager that I bought it, since it never showed up at DCPL. I was quite disappointed. While I’m sure kids would find it amusing, it wasn’t anywhere near as *smart* as The Willoughbys. Read that book instead!

Kit Feeny: The Ugly Necklace by Michael Townsend. The second Kit Feeny book. There are only two out so far, but I bet it will become a popular series. It’s well done. Good for new independent readers.

The Saint of Incipient Insanities by Elif Shafak. This was a book club selection. I’m so lucky to have such a great book club. Elif Shafak is a Turkish writer, and this was the first book she wrote in English. The only other Turkish writer I’ve read is Orhan Pamuk, and I enjoyed this book much more. It lead to an interesting discussion on being a “foreigner” in another culture and on mental illness. I’m interested in reading another book by her – maybe Bastard of Istanbul.

Prime Baby by Gene Luen Yang. Yang is such an interesting graphic novelist to me. I don’t really get how his brain works, but I do usually enjoy his works. In this one an elementary school aged boy becomes convinced that his sister is an alien, with interesting results.

The Devil Amongst the Lawyers by Sharyn McCrumb. Sharyn McCrumb is one of my favorite authors, and this is her latest book in the Ballad series. The books are all mysteries, set in the Appalachian Mountain of Virginia/Tennessee, and they are beautifully written. I don’t think this was her strongest one, but it was still quite good. If you’ve never read her before, I recommend starting with the first book in the series, If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O.

Faithful Place by Tana French. Tana French is an excellent mystery writer and if you like mysteries, you should definitely be reading hers. This is her third book and I find her writing less formulaic than other mystery writers. Of the three, this was my least favorite, but I would still rate it pretty highly. Recommended.

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July Round-Up

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