Monday, March 29, 2010

Catching Up

I finally finished the Chronicles of Prydain, and am just as blown away. I'll try and pull together some more coherent thoughts, but right now I'm left with "Wow."

I also finished Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, and I have to say, the man has a knack for kids books that are great for kids and adults alike.

Friends at the elementary school where I read to kids suggested that I give Margaret Peterson Haddix a try, so I picked up Double Identity, which is about a teen suddenly taken to live with an aunt she never knew about where she discovers that she had an older sister that died. As she digs into the story, some surprising revelations come to light. It was quite good--I'll be looking for more by Haddix.

Because I really do sometimes read adult books, and because I loved A Voyage Long and Strange, I picked up Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic. I know that many have found it funny, and Horwitz really does have an excellent sense of humor, but I found it more depressing than anything else.

This feeling was only reinforced when I followed up with Mildred Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. It's a great book, but a very sad one about a black family during the Depression whose three kids learn exactly what it means to be black in the South at that time.

I also gave Donald E. Pease's mini-biography Theodore SUESS Geisel a try. It was all right, but I prefer the more fleshed-out Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel by Judith and Neil Morgan. Pease is an academic, and his discussions of the Seuss books in lit-crit terms literally sucks the magic right out of them.

I'm currently reading Stephen G. Bloom's Tears of Mermaids: The Secret Story of Pearls and enjoying it, and after that I have Kelly Link's Pretty Monsters, Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, David Carkeet's From Away, and Lisa Grunwald's The Irresitible Henry House to look forward to.

Those of you who are following the saga can find Mark Finn's and my discussion of last week's Lost episode "Ab Aeterno" here on

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