A Bibliophile’s Pile (13): πŸ˜³

A Bibliophile’s Pile (as in TBR pile) is a new feature for 2017. It’s going to be very similar to my Mini Review posts, but instead of theming each post, I’m just going to list what I’ve read in the past week. Easy peasy.

Read

History Year by Year: The History of the World from Stone Age to the Digital WorldHistory Year by Year: The History of the World from Stone Age to the Digital World by Peter Chrisp (physical / own / with kids)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This has been my children’s history textbook for over 2 years now. It’s made a great guideline to follow, while adding in other non-fiction and historical fiction books. The text is geared for older children (probably 12+), so I wouldn’t recommend just giving it to a younger child to read alone.

The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5)The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket (audiobook / library / re-read / with kids)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cakesniffing orphans in the orphan shack! LOL, this is probably the funniest of the series so far! I almost spit my drink out when Sunny shouted “Merd!” which the narrator (Snicket, himself) pronounced “Merde”. I love the addition of Duncan and Isadora (haha, great names!), the Quagmire triplets (yes, there are only two of them).

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (eBook and audiobook / library / re-read)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m struggling with rating this one. On a sentimental level, I want to give it ALL the stars, but it isn’t actually as good as the first two books. It’s disjointed, it drags in some places, and has a frenetic pace in others. Then I wonder, was this a conscious decision on Collins’ part? After all, this series is told in first person, so maybe the storytelling devolving into controlled chaos makes sense . . . after all, Katniss is broken ten times over at this point, and it just doesn’t stop.
I know the epilogue is controversial, but I love it! So, in the end, 5 stars, once again.

The Japanese Tsunami, 2011 (I Survived, #8)The Japanese Tsunami, 2011 by Lauren Tarshis (audiobook / library / with kids)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tarshis says at the end that she was never able to truly imagine the experience of the tsunami, and I think that shows in the text. As horrific as the earthquake and tsunami were, this book just wasn’t as exciting and scary as most I Survived books.

Mrs Palfrey at the ClaremontMrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor (physical / own)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short novel is a sweet character study of Laura Palfrey. It’s quietly sad and gently funny.

 

Crime and Poetry (Magical Bookshop, #1)Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower (audiobook / library)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The mystery was rather convoluted and yet easy to solve, but the characters were great! Violet is less dim than many Cozy heroines, her grandmother Daisy is a hoot, and there’s a hot police chief. I’m going to like this series.

Library of Luminaries: Jane Austen: An Illustrated BiographyLibrary of Luminaries: Jane Austen: An Illustrated Biography by Zena Alkayat (eBook / own)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My Bookstagram friend @bibliophilebakes brought this book to my attention. In looking for a cheap copy, I found that iBooks was selling it for $1.99! It’s a sweet, child friendly biography of Jane Austen, with lovely watercolor illustrations.

Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He's the FavoriteMr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite by Stacy McAnulty (physical / library / with kids)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My daughter likes anything with a cat, and I like when she wants to read to me. πŸ™‚ The story is cute enough, and the illustrations are fun.

Night of the Ninth Dragon (Magic Tree House #55)Night of the Ninth Dragon by Mary Pope Osborne (eBook / library / with kids)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s always fun to visit with Jack and Annie! This series has been a huge part of my kids’ childhood, and I’m glad they’re still young enough to enjoy the new books. It won’t last much longer.

Library of Luminaries: Coco Chanel: An Illustrated BiographyLibrary of Luminaries: Coco Chanel: An Illustrated Biography by Zena Alkayat (eBook / library)
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I borrowed this as an eBook from my library. There were several issues with the format (it only worked on my computer, not on my iPhone or iPad, and the text seemed squished, making it hard to read).
I’m extremely unclear on who the target audience is here. The gorgeous watercolor illustrations and short format (and Goodreads’ genre tags) indicate that this is intended for children. Yet, most of the text concerns not Chanel’s decades of hard work, but her MANY affairs and her drug addiction.

The CircleThe Circle by Dave Eggers (physical (eBook) / own (library))
My rating: 2.5Β of 5 stars

The Circle is extremely readable – I read all 500 pages in about 4 days (it probably would’ve been faster, but I was battling a migraine for part of the time). It reminds me, a bit, of a Michael Crichton novel. However, it’s not actually very *good*. The characters are completely one dimensional, the plot drags on and on, the twists aren’t surprising, and Eggers beats his readers over the head with clumsy “metaphors”. I’m guessing this will be a rare instance where the film will be better than the book.

Challenges

GOODREADS

92 of 260

AGATHA CHRISTIE READ ALONGS

None

CLASSICS CHALLENGE

None

BACKLIST READER CHALLENGE 2017

Β Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
The Circle by Dave Eggers

CRUISIN’ THRU THE COZIES 2017

None

POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2017

A book with a title that’s a character’s name – Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017 – The Circle by Dave Eggers

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