Read in September 2010

Mrs. Mike, by Benedict Freeman
An old novel (fifties) in an even older setting (Canada in the early 1900s). It's difficult for me to describe the tone, but the differentness of the style and mood are definitely a fifties thing. I started it looking for a cozy bedtime read with some vintage charm. Somehow it does manage to provide that despite(/but there's) a lot of pioneer-type tragedy in the life of the main character, a Mountie wife. (Only realistic given the harshness of the setting, I suppose.)

Calamity Jack, by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale
Graphic novel! By one of my favorite fantasy writers ever! And her husband! Aaand an unrelated illustrator man. Cool. The plot was a titch predictable, but the aesthetic was so awesome, and it really was fun to read.

Lord Sunday, by Garth Nix
Crazy ending. Craaazy ending. (I love Elephant so much.)

The City in Which I Love You, by Li-Young Lee
Poetry. I really liked one of his later books, but this one was just not accessible to me.

The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate, by John H. Walton
Mind-blowing application of the historico-cultural hermeneutic. If you are interested in the Genesis creation account or the creation/evolution debate, you must must must read this interpretation. (We read this for my physical anthropology class.)

The Grey King, by Susan Cooper
I've already told you how much I love this series, the The  Dark is Rising sequence. Strangely, most of my bookish kindred spirits who have tried this series have given up partway through the first book. But I just adore it. The grounding in Celtic mythology, the seamless blending of the magical elements into our own world and time, the austere, almost anti-popular style...I wish I could explain it better. Anyway, I did deeply enjoy reading this one.


Sarah Louise 10/14/2010 9:06 AM  

i probably should give the dark is rising series another try...

Holly 10/14/2010 9:07 AM  

Sarah Louise - Gah, see! Another! It's so strange...

Gretchen 10/14/2010 9:19 AM  

Really? People don't like The Dark is Rising series? It is one of my all-time favorites. Those books are just SO GOOD.

Holly 10/14/2010 9:39 AM  

Gretchen - Ahhh thank you; that made me so happy. So glad you've had the pleasure.

typewriter heather 10/14/2010 11:41 AM  

For me, Lord Sunday had the best ending ever. And I love the Dark is Rising series too.

Shanalyse 10/14/2010 11:41 AM  

I thinks I finally made it all the way through Cooper's books. Never got into them though. ::shrug::

Nix is good. Very weird, but very good.

Jenica 10/14/2010 12:50 PM  

I like mythology/magic-historical-fiction, so I'll have to read the Dark Rising series. I can be fairly patient with books, too, so maybe that will help?
And now I'm curious what Canada was like in the 1900s. Since I've lived there, I feel like I ought to have SOME idea...but I don't...:(

Holly 10/14/2010 7:43 PM  

typewriter heather - I can't remember anymore what kind of ending I expected, but something more...expectable...would definitely not have been as good.

Shanalyse - see? haha. I think the Keys to the Kingdom series is particularly inventive...

Jenica - it's not historical, actually, it's a contemporary setting (though they were written in the seventies). you MUST tell me when you've read your first. the part of Canada they were in was the "trackless northern wilds/wastes" part where there'd be only one other white woman within 200 miles...I'm not sure if it was far enough from civilization as to still be wild.

Sal 10/14/2010 7:59 PM  

I love The Dark is Rising sequence too. I read them all as a pre-teen and again in my twenties. I must be due to read through them all again - yay! Did you ever attempt to watch the film (The Seeker, 2007)? I didn't - couldn't bear to have a favourite ruined. Would love to know if anyone who loved the books has seen it and what it was like.

Gretchen 10/14/2010 8:49 PM  

Oh, I also wanted to mention that Mrs. Mike is one of my mom's favorite books and she made me read it when I was 15. It's kind of a downer, but still a good read.

spider 10/14/2010 9:46 PM  

I loved the Dark is Rising series too!

And I actually did watch the movie. It was a decent movie, but only if you can completely separate it from the book in your mind, you know? If you watch it expecting a good interpretation of the book, you'll be disappointed, but if you go into it with an open mind, it's not bad.

Edge 10/15/2010 9:26 AM  

Eeeeee Calamity Jack :D

Holly 10/15/2010 11:04 AM  

Sal - oh, beautiful! :D I need to reread the title book in December. no, I didn't see the movie -- heard it was more of an "inspired by" deal.

Gretchen - yeah, haha, definitely verging on downer.

spider - yeah? I'm not good at the separating thing, so I'm not going to trouble myself wondering if I'd enjoy it. :)

Edge - yesss! I'm kinda out of the Shannon Hale loop so I never bought it, but I certainly recognized it when I saw it at the library!

Anonymous 10/16/2010 2:21 PM  

The historico-cultural hermeneutic? Golly, what's that?

Holly 10/16/2010 9:55 PM  

Anon/Nikki - I lol.

To anyone else who might actually be wondering and not know -
THE HISTORICO-CULTURAL HERMENEUTIC is the idea that to interpret the Bible, we must understand what the text meant to the original audience before we can understand what it means to us. That means studying all pertinent facets of the original historical/cultural context.

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