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danae

danae

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The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 1: Family Letters, 1905-1931
Walter Hooper, C.S. Lewis
Lucy and Danae: Something Silly This Way Comes - Wiley Miller

My mom came across this book somewhere and bought it because it has my name on it. :) It has a character who shares my name, my favorite animal as a sidekick and according to Wikipedia, this comic strip began six days after I was born. Quelle coïncidence !

Anyway, it's not my favorite comic strip in the world, but it was fun and enjoyable and I'm glad I have it. :)

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story - Diane Ackerman

Ugghhh. This book.

So, the premise is amazing, right? This couple saved the lives of over three hundred people during the Holocaust! But you'd never know it, reading this book.

This story that is so amazing is buried deep under a mountain of details. If you ever get your hands on a time machine and you would like a map for when you vacation in this area/time of Poland, the first chapter will let you know where everything in that town is. Extensive researching is great for writing a historical novel to get the feel of it just right. But you should not put all of that research into the book. I really could not care less exactly what type of beetles some random guy had in his collection. That's not why I'm reading this book.

It's offensive, really. This story is so fascinating and inspirational and so important to tell, but it's so bogged down by irrelevant details that I was intensely bored throughout the entire book and I only remember them helping even a handful of people. The book really doesn't do the story justice.

Furthermore, Antonia herself is a zookeeper, so calling her "the zookeeper's wife" is kind of insulting.

I'm hoping the movie is better.

SPOILER ALERT!
Small Victories: The Real World of a Teacher, Her Students, and Their High School - Samuel G. Freedman

I can't think of much to say about this one. Parts of it were very interesting and other parts were boring. The teacher quits in the end, so it's not exactly encouraging, but that's not the author's fault.

The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War, #3) - Philippa Gregory

Again, it's been a while since I read this one, so I won't have much to say about it. I'm working on catching up, I promise!

 

I almost backed out of reading this one even after I had picked it up from the library. The description makes it sound like there's a lot of witchcraft in the book and that just doesn't interest me. However, it's really not that much. The main character has some uncanny abilities, but she's determined to hide her skills to avoid getting dead. There was never so much that I considered putting the book down. I'm glad that I decided to give it a chance, because I enjoyed it. I liked reading about the romance between Jacquetta and Richard, the family they built together (seriously, they bred like rabbits), and her attempt to balance her responsibilities to her monarchs and her responsibilities to her children.

 

Speaking of her army of children, she once says "My favorite of them all is Elizabeth's brother: Anthony." and that struck me as odd. Why refer to your child (especially your favorite child) as the sibling as another of your children instead of just as your child? It seemed like Gregory was just trying to be more creative than saying "my son", but it was just weird.

 

Yeah, that's about all I've got. I enjoyed The Lady of the Rivers and I'm looking forward to continuing along this timeline of books!

SPOILER ALERT!
Le Petit Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

J'ai lu ce livre trois fois et je ne l'aime toujours pas. Je pense que je devrais l'aimer, mais le petit prince se tue à la fin ! Je ne l'aime pas. Peut-être plus tard.

--------------------------------------------

I have read this book three times and I still do not like it. I think I should like it, but the little prince kills himself in the end! I don't like it. Maybe later.

SPOILER ALERT!
The Crown (The Selection) - Kiera Cass

This is my least favorite cover of the series because the model's head/neck positioning looks so awkward...

 

Anyway, I was generally happy with the conclusion to the series. I wish Lucy and Aspen had adopted. I guess I can still imagine that they do after the book ends.

 

I remember that in the first book, it's stated that a crown prince/princess is supposed to step up when the monarch feels he/she is ready and not necessarily when that monarch dies, so it was interesting to me that that happens in this book. I hadn't expected it, but it's happier than losing a parent in order to ascend the throne.

 

I also like that she demanded respect from her councilors, though I think anyone with that kind of power should purposely keep people in that position who have very different beliefs, so that he/she doesn't end up surrounding themselves with "yes men" and instead get a variety of ideas and opinions. But respect is vital.

 

Eadlyn has definitely inherited her mother's ability to leap to illogical conclusions in a single bound. She's gently rejected by one suitor and immediately comes to the conclusion that she is unlovable. Girl, chill.

 

I loved Eikko the most, so I'm really happy that he won (and that they had the blessing of Henri because he was such a sweetie). I particularly loved that he was allowed to show emotion and it wasn't used to emasculate him. Boys have feelings too!

 

I'm sad to see the series end, but glad it didn't disappoint. :)

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol I: The Pox Party - M.T. Anderson

Intriguing idea; poor execution. I was SO BORED.

 

There's even a section toward the end made up entirely of letters to and from random characters no one cares about that only occasionally mention any characters we know. WHY???

 

I will not be continuing this series.

Inkdeath  - Anthea Bell, Cornelia Funke

This series always makes me want to read. Which is convenient since I'm already reading... But it makes me want to keep reading forever. If you're having a reading slump, these books will probably help you out.

I also love the variety of well-rounded characters. Violante might actually be my favorite character, though she's not the conventional "good guy".

I did think it was tiring that Dustfinger died and was revived for the second time in this trilogy. That's a bit much.

(show spoiler)


I don't know. I waited too long to write this review. But I really enjoy this series and I definitely recommend them to fantasy fans and book fans in general.

SPOILER ALERT!
The Heir - Kiera Cass

First of all, this is my favorite of all the Selection covers. IT'S SO PRETTY.

So, just like with the first three books, I had heard that the protagonist was annoying, but I didn't think she was.

I did think it was weird that she kept saying "I am the most powerful person in the world." Like, what about your dad? The king? Remember him? Idk.

I can see how some readers might think her mistakes are annoying, but I kind of liked them. Like, she thinks she's following in her father's footsteps, but she doesn't realize how her people are going to interpret her actions. She's lacking an ability to empathize with others and she doesn't know it. That's a realistic flaw and one that I would enjoy seeing her overcome.

It was interesting to see where some of the characters from the original trilogy ended up. Although, I hated that America's sister died.

This selection seems much more like a game show to me than the first one did. Maybe that's because we're in the mind of the star of the show, where there's more acting going on, versus the minds of the competitors, who aren't used to being on camera.

As for whom she's going to end up with (because, come on, of course she's not going to follow through on her plan to remain single), I would bet it's either going to be Kile or Erik because Kile is one she's against from the start and Erik isn't supposed to be a contender (but he totally is). Granted, I'm writing this review after reading the fifth book. It's possible I wasn't quite so confident when I read this book.

The Midwife of Venice - Roberta Rich

I enjoyed this book. I thought it was well-written and engaging.

 

At times, I was anxious to get through Isaac's chapters because I was less interested in his story than his wife's. But it wasn't too bad.

 

The idea of "birthing spoons" did seem a little far-fetched to me. I would think it would do damage to the babies. Then again, I'm no midwife. What do I know?

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare

I wasn't a fan of this one. I was bored most of the time. It isn't really my thing.

And I definitely didn't like being told that Clary and Jace were siblings after they had made out. And apparently (SERIES SPOILERS) they decide that they're okay with that in the next book?? Ew. Ew ew ew. But then it's all "okay" because in the third book they find out they aren't siblings after all. It's too late at that point; you've ruined that relationship for me. (END SERIES SPOILERS)

(show spoiler)

 

Not that it matters anyway because I won't be continuing with this series. Moving on!

The Smile - Donna Jo Napoli

Donna Jo Napoli is the author of one of my favorite books (Zel), but generally, I think her books are just "okay". I did, however, enjoy The Smile. Unfortunately, I don't have that much to say about it because it's been a while since I read it... But here's what I do have:

There are a couple of deaths of Elisabetta's loved ones and they are quite abrupt and jarring. That seems appropriate, though, given the nature of those deaths. It's realistic. You can't always see death coming.

I will also say that I totally called her marriage to her brother-in-law. I'm glad that she was able to be content despite not being able to marry Giuliano.

(show spoiler)


Overall, I enjoyed reading about the life that Napoli gave this unknown woman. It was engaging and interesting.

 

Matilda - Quentin Blake, Roald Dahl

In some ways, this is a tough book to read as an adult. Matilda herself is so sweet and smart and lovable. It's so frustrating that her family is horrible and her principal is cruel. Then you're so relieved that she finds someone to appreciate her in her teacher, Miss Honey. But it definitely makes you think about the ways a child's home life affects her education. Matilda is able to overcome it, but how many children never get that opportunity?

 

At first glance, it's a heartwarming and magical book and after some thought, it makes you want to do something to help kids in this situation.

Among Schoolchildren - Tracy Kidder

Another good teaching book. I like that it shows that even a great teacher can't reach every student.

 

It's been a while since I read it, so I don't have anything else to say. I did enjoy it, though; I can tell you that.

SPOILER ALERT!
The One  - Kiera Cass

It's been so long since I've read this, that I don't have a lot to say about it (sorry).

 

I can say that a heck of a lot of people died while I was waiting for my mom at the chiropractor. And it was my birthday. I mean, geez. Right when I started reading, they started dropping like flies. It was ridiculous.

 

And it kind of annoyed me that Cass didn't tell us whether Kriss survived or not until she appeared at the wedding.

 

Also, I just wanna say that I called the deaths of both America and Maxon's fathers. I'm really sad that Amberly died and that she'll never get to embrace America as a daughter. </3

 

This is kind of random, but there were a couple of times when Cass said something like "She held her back", which I read as physically restraining someone, but was meant to mean returning a hug. I don't know if that misunderstanding was my fault or hers...

 

Anyway, I'm super happy that America and Maxon ended up together and I am (was) excited to continue the series!

Prospero's Children  - Jan Siegel

It wasn't bad, just not really my thing, I guess. I was bored most of the time.