Thursday, April 7, 2016

What Are You Reading? March 2016 Edition

March total:40
Year to date: 74

Varjak Paw (Varjak Paw #1)     Said, S.F.
The Outlaw Varjak Paw Said, S.F.
The Screwtape Letters   Lewis, C.S.
Pride and Prejudice     Austen, Jane
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)    Rothfuss, Patrick

Long Walk to Freedom   Mandela, Nelson
Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air             Ross, Stewart

Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin   Siedell, Tim
Batman: Year One        Miller, Frank
Roller Girl         Jamieson, Victoria
All-New X-Men, Volume 1: Yesterday's X-Men  Bendis, Brian Michael
The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act   Gillen, Kieron
Batman: Earth One, Volume 1 Johns, Geoff
Doonesbury: The War Years: Peace Out, Dawg! &Got War?     Trudeau, G.B.
Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod  Kesinger, Brian

Picture Books
The Rocket Book           Newell, Peter
Gobolinks or Shadow Pictures for Young and Old           Stuart, Ruth McEnery
Oskar and the Eight Blessings Simon, Tanya
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras       Tonatiuh, Duncan
Wolf! Wolf!     Rocco, John
Tyrannosaurus Dad      Rosenberg, Liz
Moonpowder    Rocco, John
One Word from Sophia Averbeck, Jim
I Used to Be Afraid       Seeger, Laura Vaccaro
Orion and the Dark       Yarlett, Emma
Fu Finds The Way          Rocco, John
Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing           Prince, April Jones
Dear Yeti           Kwan, James
Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo         Joyce, William
Missing Treasure! (Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs)        Andreae, Giles
A Pirate's Night Before Christmas          Yates, Philip
Scribble      Freedman, Deborah
Serious Farm   Egan, Tim
The Boss Baby   Frazee, Marla
How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly? Jenkins, Steve
Sisters and Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World   Jenkins, Steve
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever      Frazee, Marla
Walk On!: A Guide for Babies of All Ages       Frazee, Marla
In My Tree       Gillingham, Sara
And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street Seuss, Dr.

Quick Takes

Until now, I'd never read anything by Jane Austen, in spite of having several firmly Janeite friends and family members.  But I occasionally try to increase my familiarity with the classics, and so I launched into "Pride and Prejudice" and now I understand exactly what everyone was so excited about.  This was one of the most bitingly funny books I've ever read.  No wonder she has a cult of personality.

On the picture book front, if you're not already acquainted with the work of Marla Frazee, do yourself a favor and hunt down some of her books.  Her illustrations have an eye for detail while remaining ethereal.  And she definitely understands the nuttiness of childhood.

Nelson Mandela is one of the few world leaders to have truly risen above partisanship and self-interest in defense of justice, and he's one of even fewer who have become legendary figures in their own lifetime rather than toiling in obscurity.  He was gifted by Providence with an iron determination, a brilliant legal mind, courage, patience and magnanimity.  So it strains the boundaries of credulity to discover that he's also a deeply self-aware and self-deprecating author.  "Long Walk to Freedom" is a powerful work that will make you want to learn everything about South African history.

"The Name of the Wind" launched the Kingkiller Chronicles, and brought fame to Patrick Rothfuss.  Its quickly become one of the most beloved works of epic fantasy for multitudes worldwide, and I felt it was several hundred pages too long.  Don't get me wrong-- Rothfuss definitely proves himself as a worldbuilder, but in terms of character development and narrative arc, "In the Name of the Wind" nearly bored me to tears.  I feel like it's what would happen if you crossed "The Lord of the Rings" with "Tuesdays with Morrie" (remind me someday that "Tuesdays in Mordor" is a parody worth writing someday).  Maybe the sequels will justify some of the hype for me.

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