At the library in particular, I judge books by their covers.
I picked up Saving CeeCee Honeycut by Beth Hoffman because it had a hummingbird on the cover and kept it because something on the jacket suggested it was about Savannah, and it has been my Savannah summer. If the universe is signaling to me through my book choices, it is reminding me of the very fine line there is between quirky crazy and mentally ill and that the family members can be easily scarred by both. Despite that somber message, and a having a strong anti-discrimination pro-confident woman position, the book is mostly a light coming of age story of an adolescent girl escaping her parents and thriving among the rich women in Savannah. M, MiL, GK and many others would enjoy it, particularly if travelling to Savannah, but its no glorious caper of a Mary Kay Andrews chick book.
I picked up The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli because dancing pancakes fits in right there with magical food, a common motif among things I read, and I was feeling guilty that I had never noticed Eileen Spinelli as I was checking out Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli, her husband. I was in the children's and young adult (shelved together at the local library) novels looking in the S for Okay for Now when Spinelli jumped out at me. Jake and Lily was great. One thing that J. Spinelli does very well is recognize that we are all the bad guy in our youth and his very likable characters make some very unkind (if normal) friendship moves. Jake and Lily is no Stargirl, but it is pretty fabulous. The Dancing Pancake was in verse, of sorts, and also lots of fun. I would have no reason to compare it to Jake and Lily were Eileen and Jerry not married, so I am not going to do so now.
I picked up The Artisan's Wife by Judith Miller from the new books because I was going to mock it based on the silly cover. But from the cover I also learned that the heroine is abandoned in Weston, West Virginia. And since one fourth of my nuclear family was born in Weston, West Virginia (population 4,110), somehow the book was calling to me. The Artisan's Wife is historical Christian feminist romance of some sub-genre I have never before encountered. A very large portion of the book is devoted to work and the running of a tile works. Another large chunk takes place at the mental hospital (an imposing building in Weston, known now (for haunted house tours) and allegedly in the 1870s according to the book as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum) [message from universe about mental illness duly noted], and the last chunk is dealing with family and prayers. The book is good and the writing solid enough to stand up on its own merits, but as the romance is entirely without tension, I have no idea what this book would be or who would read it if it wasn't niche marketed. [Note: there are two copies of this book among the new books at our small local library. Either somebody is reading these books or some librarian thinks some readers are reading these books].
While looking for something else this morning, I ran back across Having It and Eating It by Sabine Durant, which I read sometime in the last year or two because Durant is now shelved where Katie Fforde used to be. It's one of the chick lit books focusing on the messiness of relationships (I'd probably place Wife-22, The After Wife, and Bridgett Jones in this category) and, while everything is neatly resolved, it left me feeling a bit deflated. I guess sometimes I do want plain happy marriages.
I would not have read Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers based on the cover because someone chose a really mundane quote for the back cover and Behind the Throne is described as beginning "an action-packed new series with a heroine as rebellious as HAN SOLO, as savvy as LEIA, and as skilled as REY." (emphasis not mine). However it is good, really good, and I have my next in the series pre-ordered from Amazon. Whether or not K.B.'s sister is a dear friend (and she is), I would be recommending Behind the Throne for anyone with a passing interest in action sci-fi (the Star Wars assessment is not that far off, but seems very unlikely to prompt me to read a book) or feminist dystopias.
What are you reading?
|Plant Images from Central Kansas, July 2016|
They are as unrelated to these books as Desmanthus is to H.Clinton