Monday, November 25, 2013

Books Read in 2013, Part 3

The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey
Loved this book for the mythology of it. Based on the Russian fairy tale of the same name.
Goodreads review

Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, Wendy Lower
This was an amazing book. It should be required reading. Obviously, I went on a WW2/Nazi Germany binge (See below).
Some thoughts on my Goodreads page

Night, Elie Weisel
Beautifully written and essential reading.

A Woman in Berlin, Anonymous
I read this for the first time in 2007 and vowed I would never read it again. Very tough subjects. The author of it was revealed in 2005. It's thought to have been Marta Hiller. She lived to be 90 years old.

Anne Sexton, Collected Poems
First part is the best and the rest gets a little messy, but this is a book I come back to again and again.

Sylvia Plath, Collected Poems
Another I continually come back to.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Home Holidays, Ree Drummond
I expected more from this book. More recipes. Heavy on commentary and stories as well as family pictures. That did not endear me to this book. Light on the recipes. I know she's supposed to be a big deal, but I am not impressed with this particular book.

Tenth of December, George Saunders
This blew my mind. I felt like a fever reading this. The writing style is fast and urgent, thus the fever reference. Some favorites: "Victory Lap", "Escape from Spiderhead" (by far my favorite. Totally plausible and very 1984-ish and Fahrenheit 451 in terms of futuristic realms coming to pass technologically.), "The Semplica Diaries", "My Chivalric Fiasco".

Diary of a Wimpy Kid---the whole series
Essential, popular YA.

Margot, Jillian Cantor
I can see this becoming a movie. Interesting concept: What if Anne Frank's sister had escaped Auschwitz lived? Enjoyed it.

The Book Thief, Markus Zuzak

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie
Finally read this. I wanted to see what the deal was. It's a frequently challenged book and has been on the Banned Book list numerous times. I think some parents are over reacting on this. He wrote a really great article in the Wall Street Journal in 2011.  From the WSJ article: "No, they are simply trying to protect their privileged notions of what literature is and should be. They are trying to protect privileged children. Or the seemingly privileged." That is it right there. This book was banned for masturbation (mentioned in one paragraph, if I remember right) and treatment of Native Americans on the reservation, and all that entails. When you ban a book, the kids will want to read that book even more. Also, a lot of what happens in YA that parents deem "unacceptable" are things kids are already doing. AND-kids are facing much more serious issues that pale in comparison to *this* issue, but nobody is complaining about that. Mostly. Alexie touched on this as well in the WSJ article. The media bombards kids with all sorts of inappropriate crap; things that seem innocuous. There is so much more important issues to worry about than a mention of masturbation in a YA book.

The Olympians series, George O'Connor
Athena, Poseidon, Hera and Athena

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Check out previous lists! Hopefully, you'll get inspired to read a few!

Books I Read 2011
Books I Read in 2010
Books I read 2006-9/2012

Also, I cataloged my entire library in 2006. Take a look for more recommendations:

My Own Library, part 1
My Own Library, Part 2
My Own Library, Part 3
My Own Library, Part 4
My Own Library, Part 5

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