Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It isn't 80 degrees today.

Making Money, by Terry Pratchett.    I really do think I missed this title before.  I didn't remember it at all, and I have no notes on it, so this adds to my justification for reading the whole series (mostly) in order.
I was at lunch the other day, reading Unseen Academicals, and the server was very excited, as he had not yet read that title, and I mentioned how I am just finishing reading the whole series, and it blew his mind.  If he wasn't used to seeing me come in with my husband, he probably would have asked me out based on my awesome geek-ness.

Nation and The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett; read by Stephen Briggs.    I downloaded Nation from Overdrive, our e-audio supplier.  I thought, listening, that Stephen Briggs was Stephen Fry, who I really love.  Turns out they aren't the same person, but that factoid did not diminish my listening pleasure.  This is a great choice to be made into an audiobook.
What did diminish my listening pleasure were two technical difficulties: one, my crappy mp3 player decided not to play some of the later tracks in the correct order, even though they are in correct order in the folder.  I was listening, thinking, huh, I don't quite remember that.  And two, the creators of this audiobook made all the tracks over an hour long.  It makes it very difficult to stop listening, because it's terribly hard to find the right place to start up again, especially since the track breaks are not at chapter breaks.

Before I started listening to Nation, I had heard from somewhere-- where exactly, I can't remember-- that The Wee Free Men audio was very good, so I asked our A.V. Dept. to purchase it, which they did, and it likewise fantastic.  I do hope he intends to read at least the other two (soon to be three (!!!)) in this subset.  I normally don't like audiofiction, but these titles were really easy to follow, and the reader is really good.
The tracks were much shorter, and I wrestled my mp3 player into submission, so my experience with this book was much better.  I had ripped it from the CDs and put it on my player to listen to on the plane several weeks ago, but it turned out I couldn't hear it over the engine noise on the plane, and couldn't focus over the hubbub in the airports on my layovers. 

First Comes Marriage, by Mary Balogh.    This is a pretty well-loved romance author, at least at my library.  I recently ordered the fourth book in the series that starts with this title, and I thought it looked interesting, so I pulled the first.  This was not so bad.  The plot, while highly unlikely, made sense.  The language, while stilted, wasn't horrendous.  The main character likes it awfully rough: the "good bits" had me making a rather unpleasant grimace and skipping over a fair bit of the encounter.

I had some moderate hopes for this series, but the second title in the series is Then Comes Seduction and I just cannot bring myself to a) even pick up a book with a title like that, or b) be seen carrying that around the library and reading it in the staff room.  Well, maybe I'll just make sure to read them at home, lounging in the sun.  I am quickly running out of Pratchett, but it's still summer, so I am opposed to books that will make me think too much.

Zachary's New Home: A Story for Foster and Adopted Children, by Geraldine M. Blomquist and Paul B. Blomquist; illustrated by Margo Lemieux.  This picture book, while addressing a serious issue and handling it very well, isn't really appropriate for readers less than age five or six: there is a *ton* of text on each page, and the book is over 30 pages long.  Around page 19 I thought, oh, that's a nice story.  Around page 23 I thought, wow, this is a really long book.
I think it was a really good choice to use animals as the characters.  The illustrations are just black and white sketches, but I think that helps put the focus on the text.
Although this is an older book, it's certainly one to consider for younger grades.

A Forever Family, by Roslyn Banish, with Jennifer Jordan-Wong.  Jennifer is the focus of this book; she is a newly-adopted second grader and this book touches on meeting new family members, the foster and adoption process, and other feelings and events from the child's point of view.
This is also an older book (1992), but it also does a good job.  It would be really great if they could (re)make a new edition-- the photos are black and white.  Children probably won't notice how dated the styles are, and some of the technology (Jennifer is listening to a gigantic cassette player in one shot).
This book is even longer than the previous one-- nearly 45 pages-- but the pages aren't as text-heavy, so it is suitable for a bit of a range of readers.

Roar Like a Lion!, by Tiphannie Beeke.  I really loved the illustrations in here, but the book doesn't have much content.  Not that all books for preschoolers need to have a big lesson or philosophical statement, but this was a pretty short book without much in the way of plot.  Even kiddies need something to follow.

The Sleeping Beauty, by Mercedes Lackey.  I usually like this author's non-series work (this is technically part of a series, since all the books take place in the same world, but they always have different characters), so I was excited when this came in.  I enjoyed the first little bit, but decided not to lug a big hardcover book in my carry-on a few weeks ago, and when I got home from vacation, it promptly wound up at the bottom of a pile.  I was finally looking at my library account the other day, and saw, not only that it was horrendously overdue, but that there are several other people waiting to check it out.  Sorry, patrons!  So that is why I am turning it back in after reading on 39 pages, but I do fully intend to check it out again and actually read it.

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