This month has gone by really quickly. We are slowly settling into the groove of school, and Elliot’s scholarship and college admissions essays, which are kicking my butt. Saturday was gorgeous and I was stuck inside all day saying things like, “Why don’t you mention the time…?” and “You use too many commas.” Let me stress–he writes them himself. I just suggest things and encourage him to meet deadlines. It takes time.

I HAVE READ:

The Red Door: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Ian Rutledge Mysteries): You guys know I like Charles Todd, but sometimes I like them in spite of their plots, not because of them. I feel that sometimes they are so determined that no reader will say “I knew who dunnit by page 50” that they put in these ridiculous plot twists right at the end that don’t even make sense. This is the 2nd book of theirs I’ve read (out of 6 total) where they did this, so I’m certainly not giving up on them. Actually, it is kinda the 3rd book, but the 3rd was done a bit more gracefully. Anyway. I still am BFFs with Bess and I will continue to read them, but I hope they stop doing this. Seriously, Charles, it’s not the end of the world if someone figures it out. When the book’s well written, no one really cares.

Bilingual is Better: Two Latina moms share their own stories as well as the reasons why raising bilingual and bicultural kids give them such huge advantages. They didn’t have to sell me! They did, however, make me feel lame for how bad we are at practicing our French round here. I did put my phone in French though. That ought to count! Quick–what’s “annuler” again? Enter to win a copy for yourself here.

The Harbormaster’s Daughter: What I liked about this book was that it looks at the aftereffects of murder. Vita’s mother was killed when she was 3. Vita is the product of two sides of the small Cape Cod community Oyster Creek–her father is the assistant harbormaster and her mother was a “washashore,” part of the new artistic side of things. Vita is painfully shy and self-aware, and the author does a tremendous job at portraying it. It’s a beautifully-written novel.

The Code of the Woosters

Service With a Smile

Galahad at Blandings Ok, so I’ve been on a bit of a Wodehouse kick. I don’t know what it is–my brain has felt incapable of anything very in depth, and I’ve really enjoyed them. I even wrote a post about it here.

Reading:

The Garden of Evening Mists. This is a gorgeous book. Set in Malaysia in the years after WW2, the main character was a “guest of the emperor”–that is, in a Japanese concentration camp, where her sister died. However, she works as an apprentice for a Japanese gardener because she wants to build a garden in her sister’s memory. One of those heavy but beautiful books that stay with you and that often end up on those “100 Books You Should Have Read by Now, You Loser” lists. Read it now and feel smug later when others are raving about it.

The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us: Interesting book on the effect our siblings have on us life-long. It’s taking me a while because I leave it in the car and read it when waiting for children to emerge from various activities. Then when they get in, I read them bits of it. Elliot might read it next, or at least pretend to in order to impress his psychology teacher.

Zeitoun: The story of a Syrian-American family affected by Katrina. I looked ahead to make sure they live. (Oh right, like you don’t do that sometimes. I just look for the name, I don’t actually READ the end. You? True confessions time!) So far it’s really good. Today is the day to discuss it in my online book group, but I’m only about 50 pages in. Sigh. I just won’t read what anyone else says.

Walk with Me: Pilgrim’s Progress for Married Couples: This is a retelling of Pilgrim’s Progress for married couples. It’s well done and I’m really enjoying it.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide: I’m still slowly working my way through this one. I took a break to read Wodehouse. It’s not a light book, but I do think it’s an important one. Read it if you haven’t yet.

To Read:

The Round House: Still haven’t gotten to this. The latest by Louise Erdrich.

Forgotten This woman goes on a month-long vacation to some vague location on the vast continent of Africa (pet peeve of mine. It’s not a homogenous place, people!) and gets sick and ends up trapped in a remote village. She finally gets home only to find out that everyone thought she’d died and things have moved on without her. It’s a good premise–I’ll let you know how the author does with it.

The Witch of Babylon: an art history mystery/thriller. In other words, should be nice and distracting. Set partly in Iraq. You know what a sucker I am for books about the Arab world, but I hope it’s good. It looks like it might be. I’ll let you know. I’ll be reviewing this one on Oct. 17th and there will be a chance to win a free copy. (At 5 Minutes for Books)

Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris Ok so this is a middle-reader but it looks good. Mira’s mother has disappeared and the family think they’ve been abandoned, until they realize they are looking for her in the wrong century! Yes, she’s somehow been whisked back in time to Paris in the late 19th-century, a time of not only great artistic achievement (Degas, Monet, etc) but also the infamous Dreyfus affair, which showcased the antisemitism in French society of the time. An interesting combination for a book geared at tweens, non? Look for my review and giveaway on Oct. 20th, also at 5 Minutes for Books.

I’m sure there’s more–I got 2 more books in the mail yesterday, and I didn’t even mention a book I read called Murder Most Austen that I didn’t really like much, although you might if you like that sort of thing. But I need to get going. So tell me, what have you been reading? Anything good?

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