Book Chat

January 2011

Whoo, the first month of 2011 is over!  Have to say, this has been quite a long month… for a while, those 4 day weeks were pretty nice.  But now the full-time weeks are back and I’m trying hard not to feel the winter blues.

Here’s what I read in January 2011:

Title Start Finish Thoughts Grade/
Format/
AR
Who’s Your City?,
by Richard Florida
1/3/11 Still reading
Meet the Austins,
by Madeleine L’Engle
1/8/11 1/10/11 Love L’Engle!  I’ve read Ring of Endless Light about the Austins, but never this one—the first in the series.  I just love how realistic yet homey the family is, like Little Women.  So easy to identify with the emotions and genuine characters, and wish they were your family too. A 

Library
Paperback
BL=5.3
pts=8.0
100%

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,
by Douglas Adams
1/10/11 1/11/11 Absurd and fun, great for two snow days at home!  Didn’t quite have a conclusive ending—guess I need to read the next one!  Love the mice—delightfully absurd! A 

Paperback

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (#2),
by Jeff Kinney
1/13/11 1/14/11 Too popular in the library to get the first one first.  I can see why the kids like it—every sentence is a joke with a cartoon for the punch line.  Some humor seems cruel though—at one point some students tease a smart kid with the initials P.U. until he stops raising his hand and becomes a C student; main character feels bad but is still proud he started it.  So, tease someone before they can tease you?  Let’s just change “tease” to “bully” and call it a day.  Not sure I can really find that amusing. B- 

Library
Paperback
BL=5.2
pts=3.0
100%

Fairest,
by Gail Carson Levine
1/15/11 1/17/11 Pretty good YA Fantasy—can’t quite match Ella Enchanted, but fun when the author makes connections between the two.  Follows the Snow White fairy tale.  GCL is good at creating fun communities and fairy gifts gone wrong. A
Paperback
BL=4.1
pts=8.0
100%
Knots in my Yo-Yo String: Autobiography of a Kid,
by Jerry Spinelli
1/18/11 1/25/11 Autobiography of the author who wrote Maniac Magee.  Pretty good, reminds me of the boy version of Beverly Cleary’s autobiography.  We got a class set in the library, but I’m not sure how good this would actually be for kids.  Ok but not riveting or hilarious or anything. B
Library
Paperback 

BL=6.0
pts=5
100%

Nature Girl,
by Carl Hiasaan
1/20/11 1/30/11 Very funny!  Absurd and hilarious.  I’ve never read any Hiasaan but I’ve seen his books—distinctive cover art.  Story is roundabout and will suddenly focus on an absurd detail, a la Vonnegut.  Definitely want to pick up another one for the commute. A
Audio
book
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (#4),
by Jeff Kinney
1/22/11 1/23/11 Reading these all out of order—this is #4, about summer.  I thought this one was funnier—I actually lol’d a few times.  Not as unkind this time, but also not so punch-liney.  Fun series. A-
Library
Paperback
BL=5.2
pts=3.0
100%
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (#1),
by Jeff Kinney
1/26/11 1/27/11 Finally—the 1st!  Pretty funny, this one.  Still nothing amazing, but not so mean-spirited as #2.  No character development or much plot, but cartoons are used effectively.  Very fascinating for students, obviously. B+
Library 

Paperback
BL=5.2
pts=3.0
100%

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict,
by Laurie Viera Rigler
1/29/11 Still Reading

Pretty good month for reading– started to tackle some of the books on my To-Read List, and I finally started reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  Can’t say I was terribly impressed, but the first was funny enough and I can certainly see why it is appealing to kids.  I think there’s much better and funnier YA literature out there, but this is what’s popular at the moment.  I’m trying to stay current!

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4 thoughts on “January 2011

  1. I’m curious about the last book on your list that you’re still reading…please let me know how you like it! Sounds like something I’d be interested in…my Complete Jane Austin collection is on the table by the couch just waiting to be read.

    Like

    1. It’s actually a sequel to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict which I LOVED and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to start this one. It’s a silly concept–in the first, a 21st-century woman wakes up and is in the 18th century, trying to figure out who she is. In this one, it’s the 18th-century woman waking up as the LA gal. But the author does really well not making it cheesy or overdone. They are both really fun, quick reads that satisfy the inner Austen fanatic!

      Like

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