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Library Chicken Update CABIN-EXTRAVAGANZA 2017: THE AFTERMATH

Reading ListSuzanne RezelmanComment
Welcome to the weekly round-up of what the BookNerd is reading and how many points I scored (or lost) in Library Chicken. To recap, you get a point for returning a library book that you’ve read, you lose a point for returning a book unread, and while returning a book past the due date is technically legal, you do lose half a point. If you want to play along, leave your score in the comments!

Welcome to the weekly round-up of what the BookNerd is reading and how many points I scored (or lost) in Library Chicken. To recap, you get a point for returning a library book that you’ve read, you lose a point for returning a book unread, and while returning a book past the due date is technically legal, you do lose half a point. If you want to play along, leave your score in the comments!

CABIN-EXTRAVANGANZA, THE AFTERMATH: There’s always a bit of a dip in my Library Chicken score the week after the cabin. After all, once I’m back home I have to (1) return all those library books that I checked out for the cabin (which may take several trips), (2) catch up on TiVo (new episodes of The Great British Baking Show, So You Think You Can Dance, AND Grantchester on Masterpiece!), and finally (3) stare vaguely in the direction of the bags that need to be unpacked and laundry that needs to be done before deciding that “Nah, it can wait 'til next week,” (even though next week is the last week before school starts for the non-homeschoolers in the family, meaning that I’ll be frantically running around getting ready for orientation and there’s no way any laundry will get done). As you can see, with that whirlwind of activity there’s hardly any time at all for reading.

 

Frederick Douglass by William S. McFeely

I brought several big important biographies to the cabin but didn’t really get around to them. Fortunately, I was able to get to this one before it was due back. A thorough and very readable history of an important American life.
(LC Score: +1)

 

Passion and Affect by Laurie Colwin

Several years ago I zipped through all of Colwin’s novels, but I haven’t gotten to her short stories before now. I found this collection a bit disappointing—the stories were okay, if faintly depressing and not very memorable—until I read the two linked stories (“The Girl with the Harlequin Glasses” and “Passion and Affect”) about cousins Guido and Vincent and the women they love. Those two stories were fresh and funny and sweet and worth the price of admission all on their own.
(LC Score: 0, off my own shelves)

 

High Rising by Angela Thirkell

It’s been about three years since my last reread of Angela Thirkell’s Barsetshire series, which means that I’m overdue. (Also, I sometimes need a break from big important Frederick Douglass biographies.) Angela Thirkell wrote 29 books set in Anthony Trollope’s fictional Barsetshire, publishing roughly one a year throughout the 1930s and beyond, taking her characters through WWII and (just barely) into the 1960s. I’ll confess that I haven’t read all 29, but I have a healthy selection on my bookshelves and I turn to them when I am in need of charming delightfulness. Unfortunately, that occasionally comes along with the occasional hint of anti-Semitism (sadly not shocking in a British novel of the 1930s). This first book introduces us to popular author Laura Morland, her precocious young son, Tony, and their old friend George Knox, who in a display of poor judgement has taken on a pushy, bad-tempered, husband-hunting secretary, leaving Laura and co. to set things right.
(LC Score: 0. off my own shelves)

 

Bone Vol. 2: The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smith

This Week in Comics: As I’ve mentioned before, the Bone series by Jeff Smith has been acclaimed by critics and loved by various children in my own household, but I think I have to reluctantly admit that it’s not for me. There’s a lot here that is clever and charming, but the overall combination of silliness and seriousness doesn’t gel for me the way it seems to for others. That said, I’d still recommend it without hesitation for young readers interested in graphic novels.
(LC Score: +1)

 

Up From History: The Life of Booker T. Washington by Robert J. Norrell
Yep, this is one of those big important bios I didn’t get to in time. RETURNED UNREAD.
(LC Score: -1)

 

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott
And here’s more interesting history that was due back at the library. RETURNED UNREAD.
(LC Score: -1)

 

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
So I was excited to see that my library had this new (2009) translation, complete and unabridged in English for the very first time! But I didn’t realize that it was over 700 pages! And when I tried the first couple of chapters I only understood about 50 percent of what she was saying! I think I’ll have to clear my calendar before my next attempt at this one, and maybe do some background reading about de Beauvoir for context, because I was very seriously lost. RETURNED UNREAD.
(LC Score: -1)

 

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
Smith is an original and compelling YA writer and I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, but I guess it’ll have to wait a little bit longer. RETURNED UNREAD.
(LC Score: -1)

 

Library Chicken Score for 8/1/17: -2
Running Score: 80

 

On the to-read/still-reading stack for next week:

Mother and Son by Ivy Compton-Burnett (the queen of acerbic dialogue)

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente (author of my new all-time favorite fantasy series

Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey (I’ve been aware of this title for forever but I don’t actually have any idea what it’s about)

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (Sherlock fanfic by the author of Magpie Murders)