It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? Jan 11, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at BookDate, and was adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. This weekly roundup is a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list. I’m going to be joining both groups this week, because I’ve got both kids and adult books represented in the done-and-dusted pile.

 

Title: Imaginary Fred
Author: Eoin Colfer / Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Picture book

My Two CentsTalk about a kids’ lit dream team – the creative talents behind Artemis Fowl and Lost and Found have joined forces to create a sweet, sophisticated story of growing up and growing apart. Fred is an imaginary friend, happy to be a supportive friend to lonely children when needed, but dreaming of a forever friend of his own. You see, when children no longer need an imaginary friend, Fred simply vanishes away. Fred seems to have found his perfect friend in a lonely boy name Sam, but will this friendship eventually vanish like all before it? This is an endearing story of friendship, one that had me thrusting my copy of the book into the hands of every coworker I could find. And the illustrations! Predominantly black and white, but highly detailed, with humorous little additions that build on the text and capture its whimsical spirit. This excerpt from the text pretty much sums up the spirit of this lovely story:

Eventually they concluded that friendship is friendship. Imaginary or not, the same laws apply.

Title: Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree
Author/Illustrator: Naoko Stoop
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2014
Genre/Format: Picture book

Red Knit Cap Girl and her woodland friends create their own Little Free Library in hollow trunk of an old tree. This is a sweet, simple story of team work, community and sharing, as each of the animals contribute to the creation of the library in their own way. Perhaps because I’m a librarian I’m a bit biased, but I can’t help loving any book that celebrates libraries, particularly ones as adorably illustrated as this.  The library that Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends creates is really more of a Little Free Library than a Public Library, because although both allow anyone to borrow books, this library is built by the community from the ground up, with the patrons themselves developing the collection. Either way, it’s a lovely story about a community coming together to create something for everyone to enjoy.

Title: The Day of the Triffids
Author: John Wyndham
Publisher: Modern Library; Reprint edition
Publication Date: 2013 (Reprint) 1951 (Original)
Genre/Format: Novel

My Two Cents: I picked this slim volume up on a whim at the library, just looking for something to read on the train home, and became so engrossed in the story that I nearly missed my station. A truly terrible catastrophe has befallen society, and our hero, a young man named Bill, must struggle to survive in a world that has literally been dismantled overnight. This a very British dystopian novel, and certainly a product of its time, but it’s still a thoughtful, fast-paced, gripping story, with some highly memorable scenes and fascinating (if somewhat dated) dialogue. Highly enjoyable

The Taming of the Queen

Title: The Taming of the Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Historical Fiction / Novel

My Two Cents: Meh. This account of Henry VIII’s sixth and last wife, Kateryn Parr, is surprisingly boring, and not Gregory’s finest work. Page after page is dedicated to theological debates between traditionalists and reformists in the wake of Henry’s split from the Catholic Church which are unfortunately as dull as dishwater, and the audience is repeatedly beaten over the head with the fact that KATERYN. MISSES. HER. LOVER’S. BODY. The reader is meant to sympathize with Parr, who is married against her will to the aged, disease-riddled king, but since Parr rarely mentions anything about her lover Thomas Seymour beyond his sexual prowess and physical attributes, and the relationship is barely developed, there’s little reason to root for a reunion of the separated couple. This is all a bit of a shame really, because Parr is one of Henry’s least famous, yet perhaps most accomplished, wives, whose story is rarely told.

So there you have it, a few titles I’ve been reading this week? What have you been reading?

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22 thoughts on “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? Jan 11, 2016

  1. What a variety of books you’ve provided. Have read Wyndham’s book – many years ago and enjoyed it then. Gregory I don’t read much of. The children’s books look delightful – will have to read them.
    Thanks for stopping by. Lovely to meet another Cdn. – have been to Vancouver but live in Cambridge, ON. (with snow today and all week it looks like.)

    Like

    • I hope you do, it’s a fun, quirky little book. Red Knit Cap Girl is kind of a strange little series, but I liked this one in particular because it was all about libraries, and building your own little community library. And the illustrations are so sweet.

      Like

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