June Books

1. Broken Wing–welp, i can’t find this on amazon, so i have no idea who wrote it. i liked it ok though, i think.
2. Schooled, Gordon Korman- terrific YA novel;  made the case against context free homeschooling/isolationism; middle schoolers can suck
3. Bad Little Falls, Doiron–compelling mystery.
4. Butchers Hill –Lippman-re-read that I loved
5. Curse of the Spellmans, Lutz–ditto for this
6. Secret Asset , Stella Rimington–not as good as I thought it would be
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–obvs a reread.
8. Talking to the dead, Bingham–I liked this a lot. Nice protag.
9. The day is dark–yet another dark mystery in a cold climate. it was fine.
10. The fault in our stars, john green–wonderful (reread, i did a lot of rereads this month!) i wrote about it here: https://booksarepretty.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/the-fault-in-our-stars/
11. A week in winter, Binchy–her last book.  wonderful and didnt want to leave
12. Here if you need me, braestrup–a lovely, lovely memoir of a UU chaplain for Maine wardens.reread but not for years.
13. Fearless fourteen, Evanovich–reread I think, i needed something after i finished my book and the kid i nanny was still asleep.
14. Racketeer, grisham–compelling enough.
15. Life after life, Atkinson. really fantastic exploration of how  small choices and happenstance add up. i want to write more about this and maybe i will soon!
16. The innocence game, harvey–ok. not great.
17. If you were here, alafair burke–i really like her a lot. this was super compelling, another word i am using too much.
18. Bad monkey, hiassen–not his best but it’s hiassen so obviously it was fun.
19. Shadow tracer, meg gardiner—ever since i read stephen king hyping her years ago i have been addicted. i don’t like her standalones as much as the evan or jo series but i quite liked it despite that. also it was the second cult book i read in as many days. cults, man. always interesting.
20. The woman upstairs, Claire Messud–i really liked this. i know messud gets grief for having an unlikable narrator-but actually, i didn’t find her that unlikable.
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What I Read in March

1. Dramarama, E. Lockhart–I picked this up thinking I might use it in the sample curriculum I was writing but decided to use just 2 YA novels instead of 4. Still, I really enjoyed it. it’s about this girl who goes away to theater camp with her flamboyant best friend who has to keep his queerness hidden in their Ohio school. Especially awesome for teenage theater geeks.

2.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie–I did use this for the sample unit. It’s just utterly fantastic. Very funny, but also bracingly honest. 

3. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, emily danforth–a favorite YA novel of mine, also for the sample unit. I wrote about this in great detail on the blog previously. It’s amazing.

4. All of a Kind Family–ok, so I wanted some nostalgia and I found this at the library book sale. I love this book. I remember reading it so clearly as a kid. you guys remember it too right? that sweet potato at the market! the library lady! the paper dolls! eating crackers and chocolate babies in bed! sukkot! the button game! Charlie and the library lady getting it on! the beach! 

right, so. 

5. Running Blind, Lee Child–eh. he writes thrillers that take almost no time to get through and this is one of my favorites because it actually involves Reacher having friends, which is, you know, nice.

6. The Death and Life of Great American School System, Diane Ravitch–a really amazing exploration of how the nice sounding buzzwords “choice” and “accountability” are destroying our schools. Will post my annotation soon.

7. Lost in School, Ross Greene–I’ve read one of his previous books and really liked the different paradigm he presents for dealing with difficult kids. This basically takes that paradigm and applies it to schools. A good read. 

8. Shut your eyes tight, Verdon–a mystery that I enjoyed while reading and have since forgotten all about. Which is fine.

9. The Nightmare, Keplar–yet another Scandinavian mystery, this one written by a husband and wife team. the writing is…not great, though some of that might be translation, but I enjoyed the plot and it’s a quick read.

10. Outrage, indridason–one of my favorites of the Scandinavians

11. The Theban Mysteries, Amanda Cross–I don’t know that you could even exactly call what Cross does mystery writing since her mysteries are such low stakes-but I LOVE hanging out with Kate Fansler.

12. Trust me, Jeff Abbott–eh. an ok thriller, i guess, concept way better than execution. 

13. The Stranger, Camila Lackberg–I really love her. And I really liked this book. 

14. Next of Kin, Roger Fouts–a  longtime favorite that I re-read for a book annotation. If you like chimps, language acquisition, animal rights, sign language, or a story about a chimp that reads Playboy, mixes herself gins and tonics, and masturbates with a vacuum cleaner, go pick it up.

15. What’s the Matter with White People, Joan Walsh–the Salon writer presents an interesting argument about the two competing narratives for the vanishing middle class. She has some really fascinating ideas about how Democrats have screwed themselves, despite being much better for the country than the GOP. It’s a political memoir, too, which I enjoyed. 

15/16. Quentins/Nights of Rain and Stars, both Maeve Binchy–just lovely, quiet, cozy novels. 

17. On Detective Fiction, P.D. James–insights from a master.

18. A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver–god, I love her poetry so so much. one thing i noticed, in addition to all of the trademark nature imagery, is what a great sense of humor she has. there’s one poem where she presents two contradictory ideas and then ends with “are you following me?” hehe.