Read in August

1. The Winter's Tale, by William Shakespeare
Odd, odd story. I hate to say it, but a bit too odd for me. I just don't know what to make of it. Obviously it's Shakespeare, but would I recommend it? Probably not. To be fair, it's supposedly one of the worst of his plays to read, as opposed to seeing performed.

2. Dreamland, by Sarah Dessen
It's what I expected from a Sarah Dessen: emotional, not amazing, but certainly well written and engaging. A good pick for contemporary realistic YA.

3. Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), by Justina Chen Headley
I had the feeling this was supposed to be thought-provoking, but it wasn't for me. Asian-American issue books in general don't interest me that much because the Asian-adolescent-as-minority model is so far from my reality: all my life except college, I've been in an environment where Asians constitute a majority. Patty's voice bugged me a little, too, constantly making witty puns. That said, it was still an entertaining book that felt pretty real.

4. Forest Born, by Shannon Hale
Oh! So wonderful, even better than I expected. And I expected a lot. The fourth in the beautiful Bayern series (YA fantasy). I liked it almost as much as the first in the series, The Goose Girl, which I love with all my heart. It has all the depth and adventure and gracefulness of prose that is Shannon at her best.

5. Token, by Alisa Kwitney
Graphic novel about a Jewish teenager growing up in Florida in the 1980s. A little family drama, a little boy drama. Mostly I like the main character's quirks. Not bad.

6. Women, by Annie Leibovitz
Photo book. Remarkable portraits of a remarkable array of women. I love portraits, period, but she also has a wonderful eye. Her subjects run the gamut from female miners to Manhattan socialites to anonymous teenage girls to Vegas showgirls, who are photographed in ordinary dress with their children as well as in costume.

7. Violet in Private, by Melissa Walker
Really just a resolution for the series, but it does the job pretty nicely. Grievance: what's with the stereotypical squealing, fashion-obsessed gay suitemate?

8. Der Ritt nach Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
The German translation of The Horse and His Boy. Eh, it was okay. The plot doesn't really do it for me.

9. Big Fat Manifesto, by Susan Vaught
Points to the author for writing a YA "issue book" without letting her characters become subordinate to a message. It's realistic and layered and thought-provoking.

10. Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare
Really delightful comedy. If you like witty back-and-forth à la Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, you will definitely enjoy this.


Sonia. 9/08/2009 7:44 AM  

I have many a good book to read but i'ma gonna add #2 and #4 to my list!

Joined too, thanks for the links!

Erin 9/08/2009 9:52 AM  

Want #6.

Okie 9/08/2009 3:52 PM  

Of the list, I've only read the Shakespeare.

I definitely agree that Winter's Tale is a bit out there. It's got some interesting themes and some fun moments. Like many/most plays, it's better seen than read, but even then, it's a tough one.

Much Ado is a perennial fave and always worth reading. Again, more fun to see performed so you can get the true flavor of the back and forth.

I plan to go through the whole Narnia series over the next year (not in German though). I've heard mixed reviews on Horse and His Boy, so I'm not sure yet what to expect.

Priya 9/08/2009 4:43 PM  

Ahhhh, why does everyone get to read Forest Born ahead of time except for me???

Nikki 9/08/2009 7:19 PM  

The world must be peopled!

Noel De Vries 9/08/2009 8:24 PM  

I'd never bothered about The Winter's Tale, but then I saw the RSC's version, and promptly died and went to heaven. Netflix it. Seriously. :)

Beth Kephart 9/09/2009 3:42 AM  

Six would be on my list, too.

But what is most extraordinary is your reading range. You are a renaissance woman.

Maya Ganesan 9/09/2009 6:34 PM  

I so want #4. So want it.

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