This is a Good Book To Take Back to School Thursday

Children are back in school and reading.  You should, too.  

46 thoughts on “This is a Good Book To Take Back to School Thursday

  1. Our school year starts in mid- January and ends in early in December.

    I absolutely loved Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright. Lovely escapist shifter romance with shades of Nalini Singh and Shelly Laurenston. Interesting marriage-of-convenience trope with TWO antagonist storylines that I felt were resolved well. I was so happy that I had something to write about for Thursday.

    Btw. Please send FGBVs and all light that you can. I’m in dire need. Twitter: @sarahv2k if you need the deets.

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    1. That sounds like an excellent recommendation, thank you.
      What are FGBVs? Google tells me it’s fasting gall bladder syndrome, but I’m guessing not. Hope that was worth a half-smile (and some light) though.

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  2. Sure Thing, you’re in my thoughts!

    I’m in a holding pattern with a few books that may be rec worthy, but I’m waiting to read further and see how they turn out before I commit to a rec.

    But I’m reading “The Last Unicorn” to the 8 year old (he loves unicorns) and we’re both really enjoying it. I read it for the first time only about ten years ago and it amazes me how much I had forgotten.

    It’s very beautifully written but also quirky and I was worried it wouldn’t appeal to the 8 year old, but we’re about half way through and now I feel like he’s really “in.” He was snuggled up in his blanket last night with this wide eyed look of joy in his face and I wanted to stop and take a picture but then I would have had to stop reading 😉

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  3. The air quality in L.A. was disgusting for the past week, so I stayed in and read a ton of books. The most memorable was P.S. From Paris, by Mark Levy. It’s a contemporary romance about an English actress hiding out in Paris and an American author lying to himself. I found it an easy read, with some humorous insights into being a writer, plus there was a thread of mystery, which I always find appealing.

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  4. Last night on BBC World there was a bit on one of the Edinburgh Fringe acts, Joseph Morpugo. I can’t find it on youtube or BBC, but the gist of the snippet they showed was about story structure.

    He identified that stories have a beginning, middle and end, and he was starting at the beginning. But he’d be using flashbacks, so that meant he was really starting in the middle. It went on from there, but the references to flashbacks messing with story structure gave me a giggle.

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  5. I can’t recommend the last book I read but am very happy to have found a copy of Under the Lilacs by Louisa Mae Alcott at a thrift store yesterday. It seems to be from the 1940’s going by the frontpiece copyright. It’s fun to read less known works by famous authors.

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    1. 1878. I read it when I was kid, after I worked my way through Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys, and Rose in Bloom. I remember liking it then, but that was awhile ago.

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      1. I meant my edition has a frontpiece from the 40’s but little other info.
        It makes me appreciate the Library of Congress catalogue information now.

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        1. My great aunt’s farmhouse had little drawers on either side of the fireplace. The top ones contained Beatrix Potter books, the middle ones Louisa May Alcott books, and the bottom ones had tin toys. I read all the books there.

          Back in 2010 I gave students choices of 19th century books to read on their own. The kids hadn’t read Little Women before, and the girl who chose it absolutely loved it (she’s from a family of four girls). I was surprised because I thought it would be too dated for a feminist jock whose favorite exclamation was “Woohoo!”

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  6. Getting over the flu, and re-reading a kid’s book I really love — The Pinhoe Egg, which was one of the last few books published by Diana Wynne Jones before her death from cancer. It impresses me more every time I read it — she was at the top of her game. She controls two protagonists, two POVs alternating through the book, and explanatory references to a previous short story as well as the two full prequels to this book, with a minimum of words or contriving.

    I’m a lover of wordy, complicated books and series, but this book is sweet and all done with a light touch. There’s a marvelously mischievous horse in the book, a baby magical creature, and just a wonderful sense of English village life as all the magic unfolds. I just wish I could read it again for the first time.

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  7. Just finished reading The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue. I sat down with it yesterday after supper and read straight through until nearly midnight to finish. It is spellbinding and gripping and heart-wrenching and very well written.

    1850s Ireland. An English nurse is hired to observe a “fasting girl” who is, perhaps, a living miracle, going without food for months on end. Or perhaps she’s the pawn of some very sinister and manipulative adults.

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  8. I just finished Wonder byR.J. Palacio
    MG book for all ages. Wonderful. The movie comes out in November with Julia Roberts as the mother. Read the book first. I don’t know whether the movie will get it right.

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  9. I was lucky enough to get Andy Weir’s new book “Artemis” in an ARC. I was deliriously happy about this since I *loved* “The Martian” and “Artemis” doesn’t come out until November. Unfortunately, the ARC is digital, and I hate electronic reading. Hate isn’t a strong enough word. LOATHE. I LOATHE reading ebooks. I’ve read 5 other books and only gotten through three chapters of Artemis. By the time I finish the ebook, I’ll be able to buy the actual book. *sigh*

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  10. We were in the library, and my six-year-old daughter pointed at a graphic novel. “That’s by the same person who wrote _Meanwhile_!”
    “Jason Shiga? Okay.” I picked up the book. “Uh, the guy is covered in blood, and it’s called _Demon_. I don’t think–”
    “I want it!”
    “Okay.”
    She read it in the car on the way home. “How is it?” I asked.
    “Good.”
    My 11 y.o. picked it up at home. “How is it?” I asked.
    “Good.”
    I finally read it at the end of the week, and I had to laugh because I could not have picked out a more inappropriate book for little kids. The most extreme violence anyone could imagine, a bit of sex, demons, a secret intelligence service, and some math I couldn’t follow (“Inverse cube theory!” one of them yells in a death battle while falling out of a skyscraper).
    Can’t say it’s a back to school book. It’s a good book, though, and probably the opposite of whatever you’re reading.

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    1. I watched all the Connery and Moore James Bonds at the ages of 5-6. I believe it’s one of the reasons I’m very cool in most crises. After typing most of the example story, I realised I had to delete it. It involves work and is unusual enough to be picked up as originating at my work.

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      1. I read all the Alastair McLeans I could find at the same age. I come from a family that’s better in a crisis than in regular life so I don’t know if I can blame him or if I was attracted to him because I thought that was how you were supposed to handle things.

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      2. Ooh Bridget. I remember reading Jack Higgins but I’m not sure about Alexander Mcleans. I know I read Ian Fleming at around ages 12 to 17 depending on whether I remembered to look or order from other libraries. I also really Charteris’ Saint book but found them wanting, even at that age!

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    2. LOL, good for you for letting her go for it! My mom also let me read the most inappropriate books (I think I read Sybil, the book about the abused girl with multiple personalities, before I was a teenager), but I turned out OK. (Twitch, twitch.)

      No, seriously. My mom and dad always supported my reading choices, even if it was “under my reading level” (had a tiff with the school librarian when I suddenly discovered the joys of picture books in fifth grade) or way above. And as a kid, I was self-protecting — anything too sexy or violent just went over my head. The only restriction I remember is that I had to buy comics, cartoon books and parodies with my own money.

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  11. Finished Just One Damned Thing After Another which I grabbed after someone recommended it here. Thoroughly enjoyable. Have started the second book in the series.

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  12. Someone here recommended The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James which I quite enjoyed. I will be ordering more of her books from the library.

    I also liked 90% of The Changeling by Victor LaValle but it seemed that the end was a little rushed and the big bad was kind of meh.

    I listened to The Fate of Mercy Alban and enjoyed it a lot. It’s by Wendy Webb and I’m listening to The Vanishing by her also. I love gothics. Well, I will be on Saturday when I’m done listening to Glass Houses by Louise Penny (which is also good and I have 3 hours to go, good thing I have a long drive on Saturday!!)

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  13. Grace Ingram’s Red Adam’s Lady. This has been reissued and is one of those books which should be a lot better known then it is. An excellent rendition of 12th century England. But even better is the romance. I have the original paperback and have reread it until it is falling apart.

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    1. Wow. I read that years ago and I still remember scenes from it. Not the whole plot, but there are scenes that really stuck with me.

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      1. Sounds right up my alley! Thank you. I just ordered a copy from AbeBooks. (I don’t want to wait until March 2018 when the next edition is coming out.)

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    2. Just in case anyone doesn’t know, Grace Ingram wrote another book under that name, GILDED SPURS, and under the name Doris Sutcliff Adams, others: DESERT LEOPARD, POWER OF DARKNESS, THE PRICE OF BLOOD, and NO MAN’S SON. I had a search out for years at Abebooks on DESERT LEOPARD, and the copy that finally turned up was apparently the discarded publisher’s copy. They’re all decent reads, though I especially appreciated the craftsmanship that went into NO MAN’S SON.

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  14. The Shape of Water, author Andrea Camilleri, translated by Stephen Sartarelli. This is *not* the book behind the new movie, but a police procedural first published in 1994, what the cover calls “the first Inspector Montelbano mystery.” Set in small-town Sicily, eating and drinking preoccupy our detective, which explains why I learned of the book from the wine critic of the NY Times. Decadent, dark goings-on are traced by Montelbano until the baddies come to a bad end. The tone is cynical and world-weary, with appreciative pauses for life’s comedy. Delicious in its own way. Don’t miss the author photo, an embodiment of the book’s voice.

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  15. I’ve been re-reading the Sayers’ Wimsey books, and I have to say, I’m skimming A LOT. I read the first two, and Strong Poison and Murder Must Advertise, and I think I’m going to skip ahead to Gaudy Night. I devoured all the Wimseys when I was younger, but they don’t hold up as well now. Or maybe I don’t hold up as well reading a lot of explanation; maybe it’s me.

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    1. I’m re-reading and got stuck on Gaudy Night. I was ridiculously in love with that book when I was a kid but maybe the relationship doesn’t work for me anymore. The whole bit about failing to revisit your past makes a lot more sense now though.

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  16. I don’t think its you. I reread one about two months ago and was amazed at how many paragraphs, I skipped. It did not hurt the story line at all. Sometimes I just went from one conversation to the next and left out back-ground information and explainations and deep thoughts. Of course, having read it before, it was easy to do.

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      1. For me, it’s that the ones that are just Peter are fine, especially 9 Tailors. But when Harriet comes on the scene, Peter continues to have the moments of epiphany that solve the mystery — or, he just sees the solution while Harriet tries to figure it out. It has taken years for me to realize that that bothers me.

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        1. I just reread a book that I didn’t like by an author I do like a lot. I couldn’t remember why I didn’t like it–it has a lot of fun elements–but put a space of twenty years between readings and it was pretty clear. The book actually made me angry, which is dumb, but I trusted this author and he wrote this family dynamic that turned my stomach and made me dislike the hero intensely. He also cheated with first person PoV but I could get over that. The dealbreakers are the ones that destroy my faith in the protagonists and through them, the writer. You look at the character and think, “The author admires this person?”

          Of course, there are people who don’t like my books for the same reason, but at least now I understand why.

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  17. I read a good self-help book, but only did about half of the exercises so far. (-: Had to skip ahead to see how it ends. I’ll go back and do the work later.

    “Designing Your Life” by Burnett and Evans. I suspect I heard about this on a Good Book Thursday or maybe from another internet group talking about books. Warm and fuzzy story, and it might actually be useful if one does the work (-:.

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