Sunday, May 05, 2019

remaining Ms

The midwife apprentice by Karen Cushman.  Definitely a piece of children's literature, but one of honesty and reality.  This book was above many in its ability to *gasp* create complete sentences and use decent vocabulary.  As far as my knowledge goes, there was nothing in here contrary to historical fact.
I would say this book would probably be appropriate for most 9- or 10-year-olds, possibly the "mature" 8-year-old; just an uneducated guess.

A midwife's tale: The life and times of Martha Ballard, based on her diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.  I didn't finish this book, shame on me.  It had a lot of good information and it was well-organized: both excellent qualities.  But it was boring.

Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer.  I've read several books by this author and they are all very similar in many ways, which is often a problem for authors who write multiple books.  This author isn't trying to make them all different and failing, however.  Even though many of the elements are similar, he handles such big questions that the setting doesn't seem as important.  Also, he seems to always do both sides of a question-- each in their own book.  Its very interesting when taken as a whole, and each book is also excellent by itself.

Mirabilis by Susan Cokal.  This story is built on a few lost historical bits.  Although it portrayed a town in the 1300s, it wasn't so different from how people are now.  By design?
The story addresses so many different elements.  The plot might turn readers off, but it was a very good book.  It touches on jealousy, love, power, holiness, fads, and sexuality.

Monstrous regiment by Terry Pratchett.  This book isn't exactly in the top 5, but it was enjoyable.  It drew slightly on pre-established characters from Ankh-Morpork (mostly Watch personnel) but mostly relied on new characters.
The commentary on what women face in many new fields is good.

A monstrous regiment of women by Laurie R. King.  This is the second book in its series.  It did not live up to the expectations I had following its predecessor.  Holmes fell even farther towards the ranks of regular humanity, away from the demigod of Doyle.  That's a mistake.
Although the books are certainly enjoyabe, they aren't quite the mental exercise for the reader that the original series was.

The moon by whale light by Diane Ackerman.  Lent to me by a friend, this isn't something I would have picked up for myself.  This author incuded four stories of her little adventures: bats, whales, crocs, and penguins.  There were tons of interesting facts, stuff I'd never heard before and that was cool.
The author's style, however, left much to be desired.  To begin, it wasn't the most intellectual writing.  Second, her descriptions were overdone and often predictabe, especially when concerning people.  It was like, "John, who had black hair, [some other physical features], and [clothes]..."  I felt like the book maybe should have been aimed lower.  Not exactly riveting.

The moor by Laurie R. King.  This book was somewhat, in general, less than the previous books.   That may have been influenced by the setting, which was almost exclusively wet and dark.  It's more likely because the plot itself was slow.

Morgan's run by Colleen McCullough.  I liked this one rather better than what I read by this author last (The touch).  It shared the other book's good points, namely, and easy yet intelligent writing style and an attention to detail that is so closely matched to what I prefer.  The improvement was that the characters were more rea, more believable.
The one down point was that the author did a poor job, I felt, of reflecting the passage of time.  The characters grew and events in their lives were relayed, but not enough to account for the passing of years.

Mother tongue by Demetria Martinez.  This novel was supposed to give a personal account of the revolution in San Salvaore, complete with the rough-draft feel of a personal journal.  I had a difficult time working through it, as the entries are not in any real semblance of order, nor are even all from the same character.
What I loved about the book was that it included poems the main character felt relevant, recipes she learned at that time, letters from friends, and newspaper clippings.  It was not just her story, it was the story of many

Mrs. Frisby and rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien.  This book was surprisingly good.  The story was mysterious and exciting.  The language was clear and expressive, simple and direct yet covering everything.  I thought it was great.  I had a blast reading it.

Much ado about nothing by William Shakespeare.  While similar to The taming in the Beatrice-Benedick plot line, there is a subtelty that adds to the quality.  Claudio reminds me of Proteus from Two gents, especially in the party scene when he goes so quickly back and forth to believing different things.  Don John was a very good villian.
Alogether, this is the funniest play I've read.  The taming was good, but the plot in this is more realistic and answers itself (as to how these things happened.  In the other, the women all just changed with no explanation.)

The mysteries by Lisa Tuttle.  The thing that really stood out for me about this book was the voice, and specifically, how it was all wrong.  The main character seemed well-developed, but had one major flaw: it was supposed to be a male.  The female author was unable to project a masculine voice.  That made the reading difficult.
Also, the idea was not really one-of-a-king, and it did not have enough original detail to make it stand out.

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