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New year, new booklist: January, 2013

And here I was thinking that spending a week in New York would cut down on my reading time! I'd forgotten how much free time air travel leaves one.

1. Time and Again, Jack Finney

Trip prep! And it paid off, as I got to see No. 19 Gramercy Park with my very own eyes.

2. The Ordinary Princess, M. M. Kaye

Read this on the plane - I took books I thought I'd only want to read once, so I could discard them as I finished them. Well, I badly misjudged this. To whomever told me about it (mainemilyhoon?) THANK YOU. What a thoroughly delightful story. I always love the unexpected princess ones. :)

3. Catla & the Vikings, Mary Elizabeth Nelson

Another on the plane; very meh YA historical fiction.

4. Many Moons, James Thurber
5. My Father's Dragon
6. Elmer & the Dragon
7. The Dragons of Blueland, Ruth Gannett

Here is where jkgeroo proves what good taste she has in children's lit. I nicked all these from her bookshelves and they were all equally wonderful. The first one is clever and lovely, and the other three are rollicking adventures.

8. Blotto, Twinks, and the Dead Dowager Duchess, Simon Brett

Finished this on the way home; it's a bad imitation of Wodehouse, and I can only believe that readers who like Simon Brett are just sadly unaware that Wodehouse exists. They should be informed immediately. And someone should inform Brett that throwing around a lot of made-up words doesn't make one clever.

9. Let Me Be A Woman, Elisabeth Elliott

I'm conflicted on this one; I grew up thinking Elisabeth Elliott could do no wrong, and she is indeed an admirable woman. But then she says things like "A woman I know says, 'I am your wife, but you are my life.' A woman is never a man's life in the same sense that a man is a woman's life..." and something inside me just cringes.

10. The Diary of an Irish Countryman, Tomas de Bhaldraithe, (Translated from the Irish)

A really unique look at Ireland during the Troubles and how the Irish regarded the English (hint: not well) - it's nice to get a different view. I wish more things had been explained (did he marry the woman or not??) but it IS a personal diary, with all the foibles that entails.

11. Love, Loss, and What I Wore, Ilene Beckerman

Short and spare, but a lovely way to describe a life. The illustrations are perfect!

12. Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, Phillip Pullman

Though I love Pullman's writing, I was skeptical about this, because ... well, it's 'just' fairy tales, right? Well, let's just say I didn't realize just how many fairy tales I totally missed out on as a kid, and how many others I knew only in part. Still, the best part is Pullman's editorial comments at the end of each story, and I wish they'd been longer.

13. Double Cross, Ben Macintyre

Basically, it is amazing that WWII turned out the way it did, and the British deception campaign is astoundingly ... astounding.

14. Heads in Beds, Jacob Tomsky

This is supposed to be the Kitchen Confidential of the hospitality industry, but where Anthony Bourdain's foul mouth is always tempered with a genuine love for cooking, Tomsky seems to have a dysfunctional relationship with his career, to say the least. His disdain and bitterness leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes it much harder for me to overlook the crassness with which he tells his stories.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2013 12:30 am (UTC)
I've been feeling that same sort of thing about e.e. in recent years. It's weird because i, too, grew up thinking of her as an amazing, godly woman whose writing was always excellent. To be having misgivings about her works was surprising, but there are things i simply cannot agree with.
Feb. 4th, 2013 03:21 am (UTC)
My father first read "The Ordinary Princess" to us when we were on a vacation in France back when I was 6'ish. It hadn't been translated to Danish yet (my mum has since done so, but it still hasn't been published, unfortunately), so he'd translate on the fly while reading aloud. One of my favourite memories from that trip. Such a terrific book :)
Feb. 4th, 2013 11:09 am (UTC)
I always felt preached at by EE. I think because the principles of delayed gratification were not taught in my home there was total disconnect between the "of course I'll be a virgin when i'm married" head knowledge of someone who has no clue about how much hormones can mess with your common sense.

Sorry if this sounds ranty, but it kinda is. I don't really blame my parents for my bad choices but I think they could have done much in helping me make much better ones.</p>

ANYWAY... I read LMBAW fresh out of the mennoworld and thought it was the most amazing book ever. I haven't read it again since.

Feb. 4th, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC)
My opinion of EE has changed a little over time, as well. Sometimes I reflect on her choices and the way things played out for her with her first husband and I'm not so sure I agree with all of it. For instance, I believe her first husband required that she learn the language (of whatever people they were missionaries for) before he would marry her. It just seems weird to set up hoops for her to jump through when already things had been delayed for many years.
Feb. 4th, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
I LOVE The Ordinary Princess!!! I didn't know anyone else had read it. I own it and look forward to reading it to Lena someday.

I got disillusioned with Elisabeth Elliot when I read her book about her courtship with Jim Elliot (can't remember the title, argh). There were soooo many unhealthy things about it. I was kind of shocked.
Feb. 11th, 2013 10:36 am (UTC)
I know I read *something* about their life (I remember how they waited and waited and waited and he's all like "I love you but I think I should go be a missionary and not get married") but it had to have been a really long time ago. Like, I was ten, maybe? I'm sure I glossed over much of what I'd find disturbing now. It makes me morbidly curious to read it again...
Feb. 5th, 2013 12:58 pm (UTC)
1. I love The Ordinary Princess beyond words.

2. Eeeep, that E.E. quote gives me the shivers. Definitely not where I am now, though at once point I think I liked her.

3. The Double Cross system fills me with amazement and wonder.
Feb. 5th, 2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
"A woman I know says, 'I am your wife, but you are my life.' A woman is never a man's life in the same sense that a man is a woman's life..."

I am pretty sure that is not even biblical! Plus, what does that say about women who are called to be single? Or women who are called to have a husband but also to do some kind of important ministry? Or even important non-ministry stuff? That does not sound healthy at all.

I believe some women are called to really support their husbands in a very, very focused way. Like, that is their actual calling in life. But I think it's unhealthy when those women try to tell the rest of us that that's also our calling.
Feb. 6th, 2013 01:49 pm (UTC)
Which backs up my basic fall-back Theory of Life, which is: do what is best for you and your family, and don't tell anyone else what they should do. =P
Feb. 6th, 2013 07:31 pm (UTC)
Wait, are you serious? Because that is also my Theory of Life, on which I expound to Philip at least once a week.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )