I’m in a weird place with the seasonal reading list. My other school was on semesters, and the students just got back. That means it should be time for a winter interterm reading list, right? But the new school I’m working at is on the quarter system and it’s all wonky. The students are already back. This means I’m all fouled up.
So… I will post the interterm list and then another when the quarter ends, I guess? We’ll see. I like using this system because it’s so easy to figure out when I should post things. End of semester? Do a book list. Nice and simple. We’ll just have to make it work on the quarter system.
Here are the books I’ve read so far this December/January:
- Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish by Eloisa James – a little bit farciful for my tastes, but I felt a palpable relief at getting into James’ writing after having read such terrible Christmas books before this one. She knows what she’s doing, and she’s doing it the fun way.
- A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh – I actually liked this one quite a bit. The premise was original and the family was hilarious.
- Agathe von Trapp: Memories Before and After The Sound of Music by Agathe von Trapp – So fascinating. I love hearing about the lives of the von Trapps, and this one was from a very different perspective of the ones I’ve heard before. Agathe remembers much more about their early childhood and there are amazing pictures. Way worth it if you’re a Sound of Music fan.
- Daughter of Witches by Patricia C. Wrede – The character development was wishy-washy and it read like a D&D Campaign. Sometimes I don’t mind that with Wrede’s Lyra novels, but this time it bothered me a bit. I think I would have appreciated it more if the story line and characters were stronger. Still a solid book, though. She writes well.
- Much Ado About You by Eloisa James – Ah, and now we move onto romance novels with embarrassing names. Good book, though. Interesting premise, I loved the relationship between all the sisters, and I couldn’t at first tell who the hero would be. That’s a first for romance novels for me.
- Kiss Me Anabelle by Eloisa James – Continuation of the 1st book, and still almost as good as ever although it does feature a stopover in a hovel that I think could have been skipped. Even though Anabelle is the heroine, Imogen sort of steals the show for a while. I didn’t mind.
- The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James – Finally an Imogen novel, and it’s as amazing as you would think it would be. Also bonus points because you have no idea at first who she will get together with. She’s such a spitfire.
- Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James – I think that of the 4 Essex sisters, Josie is most like me. This book had lots of the fairy tale about it, too, so that was nice. I think this one might have been my favorite of the 4.
- Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay – I read Reay’s Dear Mr. Knightly last year and fell in love with her writing. This one is just as compelling as you watch Lizzy and Jane figure out their relationship, watch Lizzy fall back in love with cooking, and get to care about all the other patients at the clinic. It seemed more likely than Knightly, too.
- Faking It by Elisa Lorello – Even if the writing wasn’t overly telling and the premise silly, I would have been mad at this book. It commits the carnal romance novel sin of not getting the guy and the girl together at the end. She gets together with a different guy (who, while very nice, is NOT THE RIGHT GUY). No, just no.
- Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell – My new favorite author. (!!!) Vowell was the voice of The Incredibles’ Violet, and is obsessed with all things macabre American History. She’s hilarious, makes the greatest connections, and throws a ton of good history in for good measure. I’ll be reading everything she’s ever written, please.
- It’s Just a Jump to the Left by Libba Bray – I know it was a short story, but I’m not really sure what changed for the Leta between the first and the last except that she was left wholly alone at the end of it. Your understanding of her situation changed, but she didn’t. Still a good read, with Bray’s amazing writing to pull you right in.
- The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck – OH, so good. I am an Oregon Trail junkie, have played the game a bazillion times, am a bit familiar with the history of it all, and have fallen in love with this book. I desperately want to learn to drive a mule team and take them over the trail to Oregon. Please say I can? Also, this has spawned much other reading. I have Narcissa Whitman’s letters coming on Interlibrary Loan soon.