Friday, December 01, 2017

November Retrospective

1) Belle Boyd Secret Agent by Jeannette C. Nolan - This is one my Uncle Ross sent me. Uncle Ross is quite the Southern historian. I asked him about some of the books I have read in recent years- whether they were more or less historically accurate and he wasn't familiar with several of them, but he followed up by sending this one which he said was historically accurate. The tone of the Civil War books I have read have all been the same and I don't really enjoy them. Obviously, it was war and a dark time for all involved, but it's hard to have all of that hovering around me. I don't really leave a book behind when I close it. So anyway, all that to say, I don't think I'll be reading anything else about the Civil War where I have to drag around the heaviness and hopelessness with me. It also didn't seem like Belle Boyd was really able to do that much- she was usually caught and most of her time was spent in jail. This book is so old, there's no readily available picture online. I could take a picture of my copy and upload it, but it's December - ain't nobody got time for that.

2) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - This one had so much awful language in the first chapter that I almost didn't stay with it. But most of the language was just in that first chapter and the kids using it were only peripheral characters. I still can't say I'd recommend this book. It had a lot of hard things in it. It's basically a really intense teen love story. But overall I liked it.

3) Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander - This was my favorite Tamera Alexander book so far. Either it had the least amount of cheese in it, or I am just getting used to it, or it was more forgivable at Christmas with the many cheesy movies I've been watching. I read it just this last week after Thanksgiving and I really didn't want it to end! It's set at a plantation in my hometown of Franklin, Tennessee that I didn't even know existed. I missed second through seventh grade in Franklin, living in St. Petersburg, Florida and Macon, Georgia, and those are the field trip years, so maybe that's why. However, I had definitely heard of the family associated with the plantation. Anyway, this was another that I really liked!

4) The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger - These next two I read to see if they would be appropriate for my nephew for Christmas. I ended up passing them along to August and Elspeth to read as well. They are not very much about Star Wars, just about kids in middle school. There were a few bad reviews on Amazon about how mean some of the kids were. There is one kid who is really mean, but he is very clearly the mean kid. The follow up book makes this even more explicit. He's a jerk and there is a little bit of ambivalence on behalf of some of the other kids because they don't want to become a target too. There's also the really weird kid who makes himself even more of a target who ends up being a favorite with most of the kids. The follow up book makes that more explicit as well. So I got my nephew the first two because I felt like the second one really finished out the story well. Although, there are four more books in the series! I guess there's more to the story!

5) Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger -

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