[DWJ] all these new books

Elizabeth Parks henx19 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 8 16:54:28 EST 2006

I just wanted to pop in and say: I found DiCamillo's _The Journey of Edward
Tulane_ lovely, though I was put off at first by the whole sentient-toy
thing, as I generally hate that sort of thing.  But _Edward Tulane_ was
worth the getting in to, and I cried terribly at the end (in the middle of
Barnes and Noble, too.  But then I bought it, so it's okay.)

Just got _The Sharing Knife_ in through the library, so that's up next (wish
they had Smith's Inda, which I started in Barnes and Noble, found horribly
confusing, and want to try again at a more leisurely pace).  I sprung for
_Wintersmith_, because I really liked the Tiffany Aching books (especially
the first one), and found it to be awfully similar to the first two.  Like,
the exact same story, only with different events, which is kind of Terry
Pratchett's modus operendi.  While I enjoyed it, I had a stronger reaction
to the blurbs on the front than the book itself, which is to say that I
thought they were all depressingly idiotic and full of references that
didn't make any sense.  Tiffany is decidely NOT a cross between Lyra
Belaqua, Coraline, and Hermione Granger, in part because I like her much
better than Hermione Granger (who I must admit I liked a lot more before the
actress playing her became such a twit).  Nor did I think that Wintersmith
was particularly like "Celtic mythology infused with Buffy the Vampire
Slayer," though again these are things I like.  I felt like there were so
many tangentally related pop references on the book jacket that I got hugely
annoyed, and felt like either nobody had read the book, or that the
reviewers were drastically overconcerned with marketing and encouraging
children to read, and not enough with being truthful.

Also just finished reading Eleanor Herman's _Sex With Kings_, which is (very
pop) pop history but fairly enjoyable if you ignore a lot of assumptions she
makes and just read for the facts, and also if you can keep your Louis of
Frances straight.  The book I'm most loving right now, however, is Ann
Patchett's _The Magician's Assistant_, which I picked up after seeing _The
Prestige_ (which, I have to say, having read the book some time ago, was a
very good adaptation).  It's not a new story, but it's well told, and I look
forward to reading her other work.

I'm, sad to say, having a little trouble getting into the new Sorcery and
Cecelia book.  Possibly this is because I loved the original so much, and
read it so many times over the years, that nothing could compete, but I've
also found the beginning to be a bit slow because there are no real scenes
for the first thirty pages (this is my memory rather than me actually
counting, so don't take me too literally), and because I always get a bit
embarrassed when writers write overly precocious children.

On _Pinhoe_: I enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it greatly.  Was I ravished by it the
way I was by Hexwood?  no.  Do I love it like I love Deep Secret?  again,
no.  But it took me two or three readings to really love most of DWJ's
work--The Merlin Conspiracy, for example, I liked okay on the first read and
with each progressive read have enjoyed more and more.  I liked it better
than Conrad--I can tell you that much ;)


2006/11/8, Roslyn <rosgross at bigpond.net.au>:
> Amy wrote:
> << I listened to the audiobook of "I, Coriander," which was an absolutely
> fabulous production -- really exceptional. I have no idea if my
> reaction would be more lukewarm if I'd just read it in print (likeable
> voices in my ear that sound like they're talking to me tend to make me
> like books more than I might otherwise), but my reaction is
> wholeheartedly positive. I just loved it, or certainly loved listening
> to it. I sure wish I'd had it as a kid, too.
> I'm partway through the audiobook of "Endymion Spring" and am vastly
> unimpressed. Frankly, bored and impatient. It can't be the
> performance, though, since the guy reading it has a lovely voice and
> wonderful expression. I guess I just don't like the story. But it's
> early yet -- sometimes I change my mind. It took me a while to really
> get into Gruber's "The Witch's Boy" and DiCamillo's "Miraculous
> Journey of Edward Tulane," for example It was the same problem with
> both -- dislikeable main characters distanced by an omniscient
> narrator (I *don't* mean this was a problem with the books, which it
> wasn't -- only a problem with my liking the characters) -- but I was
> very, very sad when they were over because I had gotten so involved in
> the story and so attached to the characters by the end. And sometimes
> I end up eventually getting totally caught up in an exciting adventure
> story even if the book isn't technically very good. So I suppose that
> could still happen. >>
> I agree that it can be a bad idea to decide you don't like a book too
> early.
> There have been times I've started liking a book three-quarters of the way
> through. (But I guess then it would be questionable if you could say you
> really liked the book.) On the other hand, sometimes you just know a book
> isn't for you very quickly. Thanks for your opinion!
> Ros
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