Another great month of reading. There are a couple pretty dense non-fiction books on the list this month, one of which was really hard to get through. Consequently there's a lot of juvenile fiction mixed in. I needed something to break up the difficult reading. Conveniently, I had a lot of assigned reading from Ellie this month, lots of Battle Books to finish, and actually she has several books on my list for next month as well. I have to say I really don't mind though. I really enjoy 1) knowing what she is reading and 2) discussing the books with her. Such a fun stage to be in!
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry - by Fredrik Backman - non-fiction - 4 stars - This book took a while to get into. I'd say for the first quarter of it, I was kind of debating whether or not I should see it through. It builds slowly, but in the end, I really did want to find out what happened next, learn the stories about all the people in this little girls' life. I founds it kind of murky reading, I like a faster pace and it was often laborious for me to read which might have been why I had a hard time getting into it, but the story itself is compelling and I was glad I finished it.
I.Q. Book Two, The White House - by Roland Smith - juvenile fiction - 5 stars - Had to read more after the first one. The benefit of these books is they are fast. You can easily read through in a couple days and there are lots of great twists and turns. Clearly, I 'm a fan as I managed to polish off several of these books this month.
The Batboy - by Mike Lupica - juvenile fiction - 4 stars - I am not a fan of baseball, but this was another of Ellie's 'Battle Books.' The first several chapters were a slog for me simply because there was a lot of baseball stuff in there and I don't care about baseball details/stats/etc. But once we got beyond that to the actual story it was really good. If you have a boy who likes baseball, this is a great one.
I, Q. Book Three, Kitty Hawk - by Roland Smith - juvenile fiction - 5 stars - Still a great series. There were some things at the end that had me raising my eyebrows, but I'm willing to suspend my disbelief a bit for a good story.
The Sea of Trolls - by Nancy Farmer - juvenile fiction - 5 stars - Another of Ellie's Battle Books. Such a good story! It's a great blend of mythology and history, and history that I'm not all that familiar with (Anglo-Saxons and Norsemen/Vikings) so I learned some things too. And I was excited to see that it's actually the first in a series of books. Ellie and I have plans to read the rest soon!
The Pentagon's Brain - by Annie Jacobsen - non-fiction - 2 stars - Based on where I work I thought I should get around to reading this. It was a huge disappointment. It was just really boring, which is sad because the topic is pretty fascinating, but I think in an attempt to be very factual and definitive, it ended up being really dry. I learned some things here and there, but it was just so hard to get through. This one took me a while to read through, and I was often reading another book at the same time just to break it up.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - by Rachel Joyce - fiction - 5 stars - I really loved this one. It's not a long read, it's about a man who receives a letter from an old friend who is dying and decides he needs to go see her, and that he's going to walk there, a very long walk. Along the way he meets interesting people, but also works through his memories and deals with a lot of his baggage. It's a great story about healing and hope.
Dead Wake - by Erik Larsen - non-fiction - 4 stars - A really good non-fiction read. I've of course heard about the sinking of the Lusitania, but this provided a lot of background information that was fascinating. Things like how small delays resulted in the perfect timing for the sinking. They had to wait in NYC to take on passengers from another ship that had been commandeered by the British for war use, and if they hadn't done that, the timing would never have synched up with the submarine. Also, how the British were actually intercepting and reading German transmissions, but weren't acting on all the intel because they didn't want to give away that they were intercepting transmissions. There were also great stories about the people on the ship. It was a little slow, but I found it extremely informative and interesting.
I, Q. Book Five, The Windy City - by Roland Smith - juvenile fiction - 5 stars - And another. I went to order the next one from the local library only to find out that somehow they did not own the next (and final) book. So I submitted a request that they purchase it and they are going to. Hooray! My tax dollars at work! I'll definitely be finishing this series up next month.
The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour - by Michael D. Beil - juvenile fiction - 4 stars - Another of Ellie's Battle Books. It was a really cute book and fun mystery to read. Definitely a lower level than the I, Q books, but a good (turns out this is a) series for kids in the 4th-5th grade range. I can definitely see Ellie borrowing more of these.