desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
This is the final installment of 2016 Dead Tree Reading. I think for 2017 I am going to do it on a monthly basis, since I'm also participating in a reading challenge.

Pretty much everything in this one was a Christmas gift.

108. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling - This is the screenplay of course, but still enjoyable. I really liked the movie.

109. Modern Pioneering by Georgia Pellegrini - Combo of cookbook and reference book on how to do some pioneer/homesteady type stuff. We're looking forward to trying the watermelon keg they demonstrate this summer...

110. Balaboosta by Einat Admony - Cookbook that I've had on my Amazon WL for awhile - Middle Eastern/Israeli food. I enjoyed the recipes a little more than the author's "let me show you my life", but it was all pretty decent.

111. The Animals' Santa by Jan Brett - I bought a copy of this for my nephew, and couldn't resist one of my own. Arctic woodland animals get a visit from a Santa of their very own. Simple but pretty.

So, 111 dead tree books read for 2016.
desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
 This semester's contribution towards my MA in History was The Atlantic World.  Plenty of reading for it.  Only the books in bold are the ones that remain on my shelf.

Dead Tree 93-107 )

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
It's been awhile.  Unfortunately, I find it much harder to fit in actual books that aren't school related when class is in session.  It's just so much easier to carry my Kindle with me, read while doing chores, in bed, etc.
Dead Tree 70-92 )

I also read Haunted Highways (a collection of paranormal/legends) and a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys SuperMystery (80s/90s), Dangerous Games.  We're currently reading MORE Cherry Ames.

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
This one has been building up for awhile.  I had class reading, which sort of delayed my fun reading.

51. Ever After High: Next Top Villain by Suzanne Selfors - This is one of the "school stories" and deals with Lizzie Hearts and her roommate, Duchess Swann, and their classmates in General Villainy as they "compete" (some with more villainy than others) for the week's good grade.  Great look at Lizzie (my favorite) and Duchess.

52. Ever After High: Wonderlandiful World by Shannon Hale - The Jabberwocky is loose in Ever After.  Problems ensue, and get fixed.  This one was not as good as the other two in #8.

53. Ever After High: Fairy's Got Talent by Suzanne Selfors - This one deals with Faybelle Thorne (the daughter of the Evil Fairy from Sleeping Beauty, and one of the few villains who's really MEAN) competing for the role of Evil Fairy Queen in a play.  This one is pretty good, as well - some lessons get learned.

54. Sleepy Kittens - Board book from Despicable Me with some really cute (and sleepy but dont wanna sleep) kittens.

55. Thumbelina (Little Golden Book) - An older one, but nice art.  No shockers on the story.

56. Ever After High: Truth or Hair by Suzanne Selfors - This one deals with Rapunzel's daughters, who may have been keeping a few secrets.  Not a bad read.

57. Fabulous Five #9: The Boyfriend Dilemma by Betsy Haynes - some late 80s/early 90s middle school issues about boys and friends, and if the two can exist together.

58. Ever After High: Kiss and Spell by Suzanne Selfors - Another school story, this one featuring Ginger Breadhouse (daughter of the Candy Witch) and the son of the Frog Prince.  I liked this one a lot as well.

59. The Jet Sex by Victoria Vantoch - Decent read on stewardess history, but a lot of it was either covered in other books or not delved into, and I was expecting more emphasis and pictures on the pretty.

60. BSC Graphix: Mary Anne Saves the Day by Ann Martin/Reina Telgemeier - This is one of my early favorites in the Baby-Sitters Club series, and I love the colorized art.

61. Russia Against Napoleon by Dominic Lieven - 520-something pages on the title (all the campaigns, not just 1812).  This one was for my class and while good, it's very dense.  Lots of people pop up for a page, then go away.  But a good read.

62. Blundering to Glory by Owen Connelly - A shorter book on Napoleonic military campaigns that I enjoyed - good use of graphics in the chapters that they actually apply to.  It's pretty concise, but does assume you have some military history familiarity.  Also for class.

63. Collecting Series Girls Books by John Axe - I've had this one wishlisted for awhile, and while the pricing info isn't current, there's a TON of lovely pictures in the book that make it worthwhile.  Heavy emphasis on Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton.

64. Kay Tracey and the Mansion of Secrets by Frances K. Judd - One of those series books.  It's okay, but definitely B-rate compared to Nancy and Judy.

65. Nancy Drew #85 Secret of Shady Glen by Carolyn Keene - One of the more modern ones, has an interesting hidden passage deal.

66. Nancy Drew Files #94 Illusions of Evil by Carolyn Keene - Deals with an amusement park in trouble, a magician with a maybe-thing for Carson Drew, and the revelation that he makes cinnamon rolls.  A quick read, not bad.

67. Junior Girl Scout Handbook 1963 - Bought for my new experience as a Scout leader this year, interesting to see how much some things thave changed and how they have NOT.   Looking forward to working vintage GS experience in for our girls this year.

68. That Darn Cat - Tie-in to the 1965 movie, amusing.  It's written from the POV of the cat.

69.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Thorne and Jack Tiffany - I loved this.  Loved it.  It's got all kinds of good stuff in it, and definitely makes a great LAST book - especially if you were a little put off by the fanfic-like epilogue in Deathly Hallows.  It's got funny and sad and hard-hitting and AHA I see what you did there and just everything.  This is the way for it to go out.  And because it's in script format, I got the pleasure of once more hearing Maggie Smith and others in my head.

Cursed Child Spoilery Feels )

Adrianna and I also read Cherry Ames, Army Nurse.  Now I need a break from Cherry, so we're on to A Little Princess (with Tasha Tudor illustrations).

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
... with a special guest appearance by the To Be Read (TBR) pile!

The TBR pile for me is currently at 82.  (It's going to grow by a book Friday because there's a B&N coupon for this weekend.)  I'm back to trying to reduce it a little and not buy more.  Plus, I have reading for class - I'm trying the "textbook rental" from Amazon for one title.  The next JD Robb is due in September, and if I can't get the pile down a bit, I may declare a moratorium until Christmas.

Without further ado...

41. Bitter Remains by Diane Fanning - True crime, ex-wife killed by husband and/or new wife over custody (some debate), with some pretty bizarre issues.  I have liked other books by her more, including one set in San Antonio during a time period I lived there.  The book was okay, but there was just something about it that I didn't quite like.

42. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys by Peggy Herz - Quick little info book about the HB/ND show, and the stars.  I found it at a UBS, and it's basically just another piece in my "see all the Nancy Drew" collection.

43. I Am Otter by Sam Garton - Cute kids' board book about a mischievious otter that I could not resist.

44. The Trojan War by Barry Strauss - Decent recent book about the Trojan War - both the conflict of myth and the likely real-world events that it was based on.  It rounded up some of the newer scholarship on Troy, which was worth reading.  I also liked that he didn't play down the cool story of the Trojan War by explaining things.  It's not a long and involved book (200-300 pages) and has a good tone - not TOO scholarly, but plenty of sources provided if you want to dig down some more.

45. Izzie Lizzie Alligator by Tate/Melvin - Part of a kids' series about animals and ecologies and Helpful Humans.  Cute, even if it did make [ profile] desert_sdwndr eye-roll over the tree-hugger factor.

46. SW: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster - I felt like I was missing stuff in the movie.  This wasn't a bad novelization, but I still feel like I'm missing a bunch of stuff.  Probably because I'm not obsessive about Star Wars.

47. Ever After HIgh #1: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale - Because, unlike my parents, I actually check out the stuff A is reading and watching, I fell into the Ever After High gravity well.  It's a really good book and concept, although I'm totally for Raven Queen and not the "good" kids.  And now Im watching the show...

48. Ever After High #2: The Unfairest of Them All by Shannon Hale - Continuing the story from Book One, where Raven Queen puts the buzzkill on Legacy Day because she doesn't want to become evil and powerhungry like her mother, The Evil Queen.  I liked this one slightly better than #1.

49. Once Upon A Time: EAH Story Collection by Shannon Hale - So these little shorts take place before the numbered books.  They're all delightful.  I wish we'd had this when I was little.

50. Discovering Vintage Las Vegas by Paul Papa - A look at vintage/vintage-inspired places in Las Vegas.  It was an interesting read, although obviously I was familiar with a lot of them.

Also, in the MV Reading Program, we read Cherry Ames, Student Nurse and Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse.  We'll read Cherry Ames, Army Nurse, when she comes home, and then we're going to switch.  The MV is really enjoying them.

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
 I've been reading more on the Kindle lately, just easier to have it around.  There's a few fanfic projects on my plate, which also limits my dead tree reading.

 35. Ruth Fielding in Motion Picture (1916) - This isn't technically a new read.  I was introduced to the Ruth Fielding series with the whole pre-1924 stuff is FREE deal on Kindle, and kept reading them even after we got to where I had to pay for the copies.  I found this one in great condition at a UBS in town for only nine dollars, so I had to grab it.

 36-37. Faith at Work for Peggy and Peggy: Prayer Answered by Dorothy Martin.  So these round up the Peggy series.  Overall it wasn't bad - to be honest, it was better writing than some of the Christian stuff they're putting out today.  The Prayer Answered book is told from her mother's POV, which I found to be interesting.

 38. Ever After High: A Semi-Charming Kind of Life by Suzanne Sellors.  I bought this for the MV, but she's been taking forever to get around to it.  I borrowed it to read on the plane, and really enjoyed it.  I'm sort of getting sucked into Ever After High (she's also a devoted Monster High fan), and this was enjoyable.  I'm also enjoying the word-play in the titles.  This one has Darling Charming (daughter of Cinderella and Prince Charming) chafing under expectations, and features her brothers Dexter and Daring as well.

 39. Listen, Liberal by Thomas Franks.  This is a look at how the Democratic party base has shifted from unions/working-class people to technocrats and professionals.  It was a decent read, and touches on a few of the issues currently making me unhappy with my party.  I'd recommend it if you're into political things.

 40. To Marry an English Lord by McColl and Wallace.  This is a little less scholarly than I was expecting (looking back, I'm not entirely sure why I was expecting that), and is definitely part of cashing in on the Downton Abbey craze.  I found it to be an enjoyable read, even if it did stay very shallow and jump around a lot.  There's a ton of illustrations and "fact boxes" - I would definitely NOT recommend this as a Kindle title, because I think it would be a nightmare.

 The MV and I also read The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport (1950/1960s version), which she enjoyed.

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
 Not a very exciting update this time around.

 25 - 29. Mystery Solved for Peggy, Hopes Fulfilled for Peggy, Heart's Surrender for Peggy, Wider Horizons for Peggy, and Chapter Closed for Peggy, all by Dorothy Martin.  I've been working through this series from the Moody Press (there was a brief pause because I lost my first copy of Mystery Solved), and it's not horrible.  It's less vapid than some of the teen stuff being done today for the Christian market, once you get past the emphasis on being saved the "right" way and shock when characters turn out to be a Christian.

 30. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.  I've read this one before, of course, but had to buy another copy to read to the MV (she really enjoyed it).  She was as hooked by the following passage as I was, all those years ago: "Who were these people, these specially selected tenants? They were mothers and fathers and children. A dressmaker, a secretary, an inventor, a doctor, a judge. And, oh yes, one was a bookie, one was a burglar, one was a bomber, and one was a mistake. Barney Northrup had rented the apartment one of the problems to the wrong person."  Good time reading it.

31. The Ghosts of Departure Point by Eve Bunting.  I found this one at the UBS in town, and found it pretty entertaining.  Ghosts working for redemption, and a twist ending.  Solid 80's teen work.

32. The Girl Death Left Behind by Lurlene McDaniel.  So if you were reading in the 80s, or had a kid reading in the 80s, you know Lurlene McDaniel is pretty synonymous with death, grief, and depression - and eventually working past it.  One thing I enjoyed about her books was that they were realistic about the fact that dealing with these issues takes TIME, and generally involves some setbacks and acting out.  This one involves a teen whose entire family is killed in an accident (she is not in the car because she was sick), and gets her whole life turned upside down by well-meaning relatives.

33. Baby-Sitters' Club Little Sister Super Special #1 by Ann M. Martin.  We were at a Girl Scouts meeting when they found a whole, new stash of these in the building we're using now, so I brought one home.  I generally was not a fan of the Little Sister series, because I was older than the demographic, and I find Karen to be annoying.  However, this one is actually pretty good,  and deals with learning about the different winter holidays.

34. Fabulous Five #1 Seventh Grade Rumors by Betsy Haynes.  Another UBS find.  Another one of the preteen friend series that was popular in my childhood, although apparently another one I missed.  It was entertaining enough that I found the second one on PBS.

We're going to be flying to Las Vegas this week, and I have some actual adult reading materials coming along for the ride.

Reading with MV: The Incredible Journey (much enjoyed by us, and I think by the Siamese, especially with frequent mentions of "the cat") and the Westing Game.
desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
 So this post's theme is pretty much "vintage teen stuff" because I love it.  (I scored on a visit to a used book store this weekend, so there will be more coming...)

18. Polly Perry, TV Cook by Ethel M. Bangert (1959) - This is another of the ones I looked up after reading Pink Think.  It was pretty good, and I liked that the main character not only had a personality, but actually learned from events in the story, after quite a few falls.

19 & 20. Hostess in the Sky and Senior Hostess by Margaret Hill (1955 and 1958) - These two books complete the trilogy about Beth Dean, stewardess (or as her airline prefers, "hostess") from DTR 2016 #4.  They were both pretty good, with learning from mistakes, some entertaining situations, and a hint of romance to end the trilogy.  These are different from the Vicky Barr novels, in which Vicky's career is more of a vehicle for her to solve a mystery.  Instead, these books are about being an air hostess - Beth is the type of person who gets very interested in people's problems and trying to help them.  There are plenty of interesting moments, including when a passenger dies on the flight and the hostesses have to keep everyone else from panicking.  The third book, Senior Hostess, has a fun setup, when Beth (previously the junior hostess who had a bit of a knack for getting in trouble) gets assigned to be senior hostess to a junior hostess who also has a knack for trouble.

21. Judy Bolton #34 The Puzzle in the Pond by Margaret Sutton - I treated myself to this after taxes, and it was an enjoyable read, tieing back to the beginning of the series and showing Judy following her detective instincts and helping people.  The later books in the series after Peter joins the FBI are kind of hit or miss for me, but this one was good.  It's an Applewood trade reissue in the blue cover, very nice presentation.

22 - 24.  A New Life for Peggy, Open Doors for Peggy, and More Answers for Peggy by Dorothy Martin - These three books are part of a teen series published by Moody Press in the 1960s, and my interest was sparked after a discussion on a board I frequent.  They're published by Moody Press, which apparently lived in a world where almost no one is a REAL Christian, almost no one is REALLY saved, and there's a bunch of worldly people who just go to church.  (So far, no characters have been identified as Catholic or Jewish.)

One of the books actually has this line - "What's a Christian?" Sally asked.  "Is that like your nationality"  

The main character is actually pretty realistic - a teenager trying to deal with difficult family situations and just being a teen - but the preachy factor is a bit much.  However, I was able to score most of the series off Paperback Swap, so I'll be working through them.

Also, the MV and I read Are You There God?  It's Me, Margaret, and apparently not a moment too soon.

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
 I should note that I intended to do an entry last week, but did not get to it.  So here we go.

 11. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold.  I already gushed about it here.

 12. Brotherhood in Death by J.D. Robb.  Another pretty solid entry in the series - not one of her greatest, but a satisfying read.  I feel as if Eve jumped a little too quick to the right (but not obvious IMO) conclusion, but it was good.  I remain appreciative of her skill at handling a large cast.

 13. Pink Think by Lynn Peril.  A run-down of some of the lessons about masculinity and femininity as taught in the 1950s.  Mostly, it made me glad that I wasn't born in that era, and gave me some period literature to look at.

 14. Goal in the Sky by Margaret Hill (1953).  One of the "career girl" books of the period, this one features Beth Dean, who wants to become an airline hostess.  It's the first of three - already ordered the other two.  This copy is a good one, and has a nice color frontispiece.  One of the titles found in Pink Think.

 15 & 16. I Want to be a Pilot / I Want to be an Airplane Hostess by Carla Greene (1957/1960).  These were also inspired by Pink Think, but are aimed at reminding kids of their gender-appropriate careers.

 17. Fast Food Maniac by Jon Hein.  A rundown of various fast-food restaurants around the nation (national and regional chains) with some ranking by the author.  Interesting and quick read.

 Also read the first Trixie Belden book, The Mystery of the Mansion, with the MV.  She enjoyed it (more than I did) and is moving onto the second book on her own time.

desertvixen: (Admiral Vorkosigan - See That)
 I thought this one rather deserved its own entry.  I got it on Tuesday, and although the beginning went a little slowly, around about the middle I hit the "just keep reading" stage.

 Unspoilered review: I really enjoyed it.  Although I loved the step back in time that was Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (letting us say something of a proper, happy goodbye to characters we have loved), I loved this one as well - letting us see not the immediate aftermath of Aral's death, but letting us see people after they have had time to adjust to his death.  I liked where she took it, and I like how the story is left open for more.

I'm seeing some negative reviews on Amazon, wherein people didn't feel like it was really a Vorkosigan Saga novel, because it's not Miles and action focused (I will concede, there are some parts where the Betan conversations got a little rambly) but it seems like some of them have forgotten that while TWA might have been the first book published, chronologically, the Saga starts with Shards/Barryar - and with Cordelia and Aral.  I will plead to not being a Miles fan - I'm not big on him, but I do love all the people that hang out with him.

Giggles at the review that claims LMB made Aral "bisexual" out of the blue because it's IN THE FIRST/SECOND BOOKS.

Spoilered review:
Here be Spoilers )

All in all, I enjoyed it. 
desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
 Not as many titles for this entry, as I either a) read more Kindle titles and b) discarded a few titles that were not good.

8.  Taking Off (Maryellen) by Valerie Tripp: This is the second of the books for the new American Girl historical doll, Maryellen Larkin, a girl from the 1950s who lives in Florida, and she's pretty likable.  I dont like that AG has started doing less books (although longer) for the dolls, but this one was very readable.  Maryellen has had polio (and recovered), so she does a fundraiser for the March of Dimes at her birthday party, and the book is set during the time period when Salk's vaccine was announced.  She has a case of wanting to "stand out" and be famous, but she learns the usual lessons, without too much pain.  It also features a family trip to Yellowstone.

9. I See Kitty by Yasmine Surovec: This is definitely a little kids book, with fanciful pictures of a little girl who wants a cat seeing Kitty everywhere (in the clouds, in a woman's bouffant hairdo) - very cute.  And it has a happy ending.

10. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - I have obviously read this one, but I was reading it aloud to the MiniVixen.  A good time was had by everyone involved, although I'm still not capable of reading the part of the book where Charlotte dies without crying (it's that and the Velveteen Rabbit).  I find my feelings about the book are summed up by this quote: "Well", said Mrs. Zuckerman, "it seems to me you're a little off. It seems to me we have no ordinary spider.”

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
So I've decided to encourage posting by taking a page from several others on here and focusing on my reading.

I track "dead tree" reading and Kindle reading separately because of how I log them (books get updated about every 2 weeks, depending on how much I've read; Kindle books get added to the collection less frequently because I have a printout where I track them).

These may not all have been read since January 1, but they're what I've read since the last time I updated the catalog.

1. Blood on the Snow by Tom Henderson - Pretty decent true crime title  (working mother killed by her stay-at-home husband, who isn't too bright).  The author's style is pretty readable, and while the book gets gory at times, there are no gory pics.

2. Let's Kill Mom by Donna Fiedler - This was a less decent true crime title (I didn't like the insinuation that playing D&D, wearing goth clothes/listening to goth music, being "emo", cutting, and writing vivid fantasy stories were on the same level as teenagers having threesomes, and a pair of siblings killing their parents with help from sister's boyfriend) but readable.  Part of it is told from the victim's mother/their grandmother's POV.  If you like true crime, you may find it enjoyable.

3. How to Retire with Enough Money by Teresa Ghillarducci - This was a good book about retirement (I'm not precisely in her audience as I do have a pension, but still some interesting points and advice) that's also short (116 pages) and very readable.  The author does not engage in shaming people, nor does she pretend that the people who don't have enough money saved are the only ones responsible for the situation.

4. Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue by Victoria Thompson - Part of the "Gaslight Mystery" series focusing on Sarah Brandt, a NYC midwife and Frank Malloy, a NYC detective in turn of the century NYC.  The series used to run on a bunch of UST until a book or so ago, when she kind of pulled a deus ex machina to end the UST - still trying to decide how I feel about that.  This one is a gap/filler book for the Christmas season with a bunch of the side characters, and it's very charming.  I heartily enjoyed it - it's fluffy but not too fluffy, and it fits with the series.

5. Olives, Lemons, and Za'atar by Rawia Bishara - Beautifully photographed and designed Middle Eastern cookbook.  The recipes don't seem all that special (although I want to make the Arabic bread recipe she has in here) but the book is gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.  This is one I would definitely recommend in HC or maybe a color e-reader.  Focus is on Lebanese cooking/culture.

6. Lego: Awesome Ideas - We got this from Santa since all 3 of us love the Legos.  It's got some good ideas and decent explanations for how to build things.  The pictures/dialogue bubbles are pretty funny as well.

7. Hell's Kitchen Cookbook - So Paul and I are huge fans of the show, and this is the book we've been waiting for - recipes from the show.  I don't know how many of these we will actually make, but there's a bone-in chicken breast roasted with lemon and thyme that looks nommilicious.  The book is fun to read and nice to look at.



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