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June book list

1. Popular: vintage wisdom for the modern geek, Maya Van Wagenen

What makes someone popular? 15-year-old Maya found a 1950s guide to popularity full of helpful hints like "have good hair" and "stand up straight" and "wear twinsets and pearls" and decided to follow its advice and see if, indeed, it increased her popularity. For a writers so young, she has a very engaging, honest voice and a lot of insight about herself and the world.

2. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett

Man, you guys. I'm just not as into Prachett's later books, and that makes me sad. I had to really force myself into this one, although once I got about halfway through it started picking up. I can't really put my finger on what's changed in his writing, except to say that he's getting more like 'normal' writers and less like the awesome, oddball Pratchett that I love.

His books even have chapters now. :(

(Disclaimer: I understand that it's amazing that he's even still writing, given his Alzheimers diagnosis, and I'm so glad he is.)

3. The Boy Kings, Katherine Losse

I'm not sure if this counts as a proper exposé of Facebook, but it certainly provides an interesting and disturbing look at the early days of the site.

4. Lost American, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, ed. C. M. Greiff

Photos and information on more lost architecture. We weeps, precious, for what has been destroyed (sometimes by natural causes, more often deliberately).

5. Swept Off Her Feet, Hester Browne

Sometimes a girl needs a good, fluffy, funny romantic book featuring a castle and a handsome Scotsman. This would be one such book. Also: brings back fond memories of reeling!

6. Gulp, Mary Roach

I have been regaling anyone who would listen (mostly my coworkers; bless 'em) with interesting facts and stories from this book about the science of the digestive system, from mouth to - well, the other end. I love Mary Roach's science writing and I love how she doesn't shy away from (and it would not be a stretch to say actively embraces) the grosser aspects that others prefer to gloss over.

Am secretly convinced that Ms. Roach is actually a ten year old boy.

7. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E. L. Konigsburg

Well, the good news is that I finally read this book for the first time before I turned 30. Bad news is that ya'll must not love me, because how did you people let me get away with waiting this long?! It's New York! The Met! Precocious children! An art mystery!

8. Raw Art Journaling, Quinn McDonald

Some good ideas for handwritten/drawn/created journaling (including some altered-book-esque ideas) but most of all, great encouragement for those *cough* perfectionists among us who avoid art because we can't Do Art Perfectly.

9. Written in my Own Heart's Blood, Diana Gabaldon

Oh, Gabaldon. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. Am I now already anxiously awaiting the next book? Pfft ... you shouldn't even have to ask.

(Nutshell version for anyone who hasn't read the Outlander books - WWII era nurse accidentally time travels to 17th c. Scotland, meets handsome young Scotsman, DRAMA HAPPENS and the cast of characters quickly multiplies. Finally, in this the 8th book in the series, we get a proper family tree included. Also, it's chock full of well-researched medical and historical details.)

10. [Redacted], by [Redacted]

I hope you're imagining all sorts of elaborate reasons why I cannot tell you the title of this book, the author, or what it's about. But loose lips sink ships, and my lips are sealed.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2014 01:30 am (UTC)
I wasn't thrilled with MOBY. 3 out of 5, which for me is just "like". Possibly because I read the best bits out of order beforehand on FB Daily Lines?


I get that Jamie can't stand that thought of Clare and John together. I get that he can't handle the other part of John's confession. But can he not for one moment sit back and imagine what might have happened to Clare without his help? I am a HUGE LJG fan, in case you didn't know.

And then that whole fight sets off so many unfortunate things, which of course mostly get sorted fine. But Jamie is still so cold when he sees John again. Makes me sad.

I did love the scene between Jamie and William. I mean, I was disappointed that Jamie came off with too much of the blame, but what could he have said? "Your mother practically raped me by coercing me into sexual relations until I practically raped her by not stopping at the very last minute."

Yes, what he did say was much better. Methinks we havena seen the last of wee William. The storyline with Jane was really good, too. I'm glad there wasn't a happy ever after for them, though. Too contrived in a book full of contrivance.

LOVED the last scene.

Well, if you want to talk about it more or elsewhere, I'd be happy to.

I am so glad you liked "Basil E" as we call it. I read it in 4th grade and it was so important to me. It rather hurt my feelings that you gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, but you obviously liked it more than 3 stars means to me, so I'll have to content myself with that.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 11:32 am (UTC)
I SQUEE'D at the last scene, because I liked the books best when everyone was more-or-less happily living on the Ridge and Jamie was being all laird-like, and I'm just so HAPPY they're going to all be together again, at least for a bit. But so many questions!

haha, yes, my one main complaint is how much the books rely on coincidence and a very few people in a very large world constantly running into each other ... but I also don't know how else she could have written it, so I'm inclined to forgive.

I like Lord John too. :) And I liked how the book continued to deal with the aftermath of Claire's rape - I was afraid it would just kind of all go away, Claire's strong and logical, she just wouldn't think about it anymore ... and that's NOT how trauma works.

Don't be offended by my 3 stars to Basil E. :) My use of the star rating system is VERY subjective and the only ones that mean definite things are 1-star, which is SO HORRIBLE I COULDN'T STAND IT and 5-star, which is THE MOST AMAZING BOOK IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. 4-star usually means "I loved this and could barely stand to put it down" and 3-star means something like "I REALLY liked this but not as all-consumingly as 4 or 5 stars." 2-stars is more like, meh, it was okay.
Jul. 4th, 2014 12:17 pm (UTC)
I was really hoping the actual title was "[Redacted] by [Redacted]" and that it was some Cold War spy thriller or something. Haha!
Jul. 4th, 2014 02:45 pm (UTC)
Sorry to dash your hopes! That would make a pretty smashing title for a spy novel ...
Jul. 5th, 2014 09:09 am (UTC)
You realise, of course, that the last one on the list has me spinning my mental wheels at 876 mph. ALL KINDS OF SUSPICIONS.

Jul. 6th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
Suspicion away. I SHAN'T REVEAL ANYTHING. *zips lips, throws away the key.)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )