DNF: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Poirot and I have a hit-or-miss relationship– sometimes I think he’s charming, sometimes I think he’s uber annoying. My enjoyment of his books mostly depends on the phases of the moon and/or the stars in the sky lining up and/or whatever. Anyway, this time around I found him super annoying. Possibly because the narrator found him annoying, too, and so we both focused on Poirot’s worse habits as opposed to his good ones? And there Read More …

REVIEW: The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

I’d loved Lyndsay Faye’s previous book, Dust and Shadow, so I was pretty sure I’d love The Gods of Gotham, too. And hey, I did! I loved reading this book SO MUCH, y’all– it felt a bit like eating a really rich chocolate bonbon, you know? There’s so much to appreciate in it, but it’s best appreciated by eating it yourself. Anyway, here’s what I loved: The details of ye olde NYC were both terrifying Read More …

REVIEW: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

The problem with reading series out of order is that sometimes you like a later book more than an earlier book. And then it gets awkward! That’s what happened here, because I totally LOVED In a Glass Grimmly (so much so that I couldn’t even REVIEW IT) and I only liked A Tale Dark and Grimm. (Just fyi, though: The series isn’t a series as in “a continuous plot from one book to the next.” Read More …

REVIEW: Not Just a Witch by Eva Ibbotson

I love Eva Ibbotson’s books but the problem I have with them is they tend to blend together. Her children’s books tend to have the same themes of family, responsibility, and personal growth– which is great when you spread out reading her books, but bad when you read three or four close together. Then that all seem TOO similar, and each individual story isn’t as effective as it might have been otherwise. Not Just a Read More …

REVIEW: A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer

A Girl Named Disaster isn’t actually related in any way to my favorite Nancy Farmer book, The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, except that it takes place in roughly the same location. Girl is set WAY before Ear, though– back in the 1980s– and it’s about a person going from a tribal/rural living to an urban one (Ear is about the reverse). They make good companion books, and not just because of what I Read More …

REVIEW: Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson

On the Eva Ibbotson scale of cuteness, this is somewhere between Which Witch? and Journey to the River Sea. There are some really horrible adults, but there are also some really lovely ones. The kids go on a journey of self-discovery, but it’s mostly the kind that tells you that you CAN do useful things and you’re a good person, etc. And while most of the story is focused on the kids and their time Read More …

Juliette Gordon Low by Stacy A. Cordery

I wanted to read this because of Only Pack What You Can Carry— the author mentioned Juliette Gordon Low (most often called Daisy) as being a remarkably couragous person (who also travelled) and I love histories of clubs/societies/whatever, so it seemed like a good idea to get a biography of JGL so I could learn more. It covers almost all of JGL’s life, including her birth shortly before the American Civil War ’til somewhere around Read More …

River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay

This book is super long BUT once I actually started reading it, it flew by pretty quickly. It’s exciting, plot-wise, and it’s lovely, character and story-wise, and there’s some great stuff in it about the nature of stories and people and history. I love it when authors talk about that stuff, and about the impact of the past on the future (even the impact of the NON-past on the future, the way things could have Read More …

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

You know sometimes how you start reading a book like it’s no big deal, and then BAM! It turns amazing and wonderful and OMFG WOW and you have no idea how to process what just happened, let alone write a review for it? Yeah, that’s what happened with me and A Tale for the Time Being. I was first attracted to it because of the cover, only vaguely knowing what the story itself was about. Read More …

REVIEW: The House With a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs

Like Eva Ibbotson’s kids books, John Bellairs books harken back to a time when you could comfortably terrify kids and not get too worked up about it. In my review notes I said that JB is the “gothic Diana Wynne Jones,” and I stand by that. His books are atmospherically scary– maybe nothing PHYSICALLY scary happens, but they’re full of tension, gothic horror, and other fun stuff. (I think they’d make kick-ass movies, too!) The Read More …