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Wednesday Book Round-up: What’s on My Nightstand — “My Not So Perfect Life,” by Sophie Kinsella; “All My Puny Sorrows,” by Miriam Toews; “The Robber Bride,” by Margaret Atwood; and “Pine Island Paradox,” by Kathleen Dean Moore

August 23rd, 2017

Well, there’s this one. Because I really like Sophie Kinsella.

“My Not So Perfect Life” This book is beautiful, it’s really one of Kinsella’s best. Our heroine, Katie Brenner, truly has the Boss from Hell, one Demeter Farlowe. Is she for real? Meanwhile, her dad and stepmom, always pursuing ways to save the family farm, consider open up their property for glamping. Yurts, homemade jam, tours and campfires. It’s just crazy enough that it might work. Great characters, lively writing, and a plot that holds the reader’s attention from start to finish.

“All My Puny Sorrows” Miriam Toews is a pretty great writer.

Atwood, always. “The Robber Bride.” Excellent beginning, hits the ground running. But she always does.

And… looking forward to starting this one:

“The Pine Island Paradox: Making Connections in a Disconnected World (The World As Home)” by Kathleen Dean Moore
I’ve heard it’s good.

Bon appetit, babies!


Wednesday Book Review, just for the kids: “The Losers Club,” by Andrew Clements; Disney’s “Before Ever After (Tangled the Series)”

August 2nd, 2017

“The Losers Club,” by Andrew Clements (Random House, 2017, $16.99, 231 pages.) The latest by Andrew Clements is my favorite yet of all of his books. OK, I haven’t read *every single one* of his novels, but I’ve read most. He’s a gifted writer, funny and smart, and he artfully captures the pain and joy of going to school.

Everything about this book rings true: Kids thinking of themselves as losers because they’d rather read than play kickball; kids still, to this day, having the insult “bookworm” thrown at them; kids trying, and failing, and trying again to express themselves. Alec, the Bookworm, had a friend, Kent, who is now Star of Kickball and Everything Else Athletic. They like the same girl, Nina, because of course they do. Alec’s revenge? He starts the Losers Club, which is a book club, of sorts, in aftercare at his school. Because if you’re in aftercare? You have to join a “club,” and he’s not interested in chess, origami, or kickball.

Here is the dilemma: Alec doesn’t want anyone to talk about books, in book club. Or discuss books. So no, it’s not actually a book club, after all. And he’s getting grief from people about the name. Alec just wants to read without being bothered, is that too much to ask? It’s a great book, and will rival Clement’s classic, “Frindle.”

“Before Ever After, Disney Tangled Series” (Random House, $9.99, 134 pages) Let me say, first of all, that I love books with lil badass heroines, and they’re *not* looking for Prince Charming to come rescue them (while at the same time, they’re the ones doing all the work? “Rapunzel/Rapunzel/let down your hair!” etc.). But those books? (Upspeak? Princess upspeak?) Can tend to be? A little preachy?

So imagine my delight to find Disney’s Tangled series. This latest edition is sly, sassy and oh-so-funny.

“They planned to get married… eventually. But marriage, family, and ruling Corona would all come later.”

First, our heroine, Rapunzel, and her beau/rival/buddy, Eugene, are going to race their horses.

Go, go, go!

When Rapunzel is in her official capacity, she usually blows it. “Uh, perhaps you should refrain from the bear hugs, sweetheart,” her father suggests.

Fun read, and the 3rd and 4th graders are going to love it. And I bet they’re already watching the series on the Disney channel.

Bon appetit, babies.