It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/3/14

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

hanselandgretelMy All Hallow’s Read present to my daughter and to myself was Neil Gaiman’s retelling of Hansel & Gretel, just published on October 28th. Gaiman tells this familiar story so well, and when I read it I can hear him saying the words inside my head. The accompanying illustrations by Lorenzo Mattotti are swirly and dark and make the reader feel like an eavesdropper on the events. The back of the book includes a history of the fairy tale, including some alternate scenes and details.

Here is my favorite couple of lines: “They slept as deeply and soundly as if their food had been drugged. And it had.” So matter-of-fact and chilling, all at once.

peculiarsMaureen Doyle McQuerry’s The Peculiars was my Random Read for October, and I finished it on November 1st, so I am doing much better than the last few months. It also counts for Gathering Books’ CORL 2014.

This steampunk novel features Lena Mattacascar, a young woman with unusually long hands and feet–a feature that she hides as much as possible lest people accuse her of being a goblin or Peculiar. When her long-estranged father sends her a letter, map, and money for her eighteenth birthday, Lena takes the train towards Scree, a wilderness full of miners that is said to harbor Peculiars as well. In a border town close to Scree, she falls in with librarian Jimson Quiggley and inventor Tobias Beasley, who has many secrets, some of which may involve Peculiars. While this book was an interesting read, I never truly felt a connection to Lena, and I felt that the Peculiars were a bit too mysterious–I needed to know much more about them and people’s perceptions, persecution, etc. of them in order to be sensitive to their plight. In addition, I felt the ending was rushed–so much happened when Lena finally reached her father’s land, and Lena’s future seems abruptly set, especially for a young woman who had been so pensive throughout the novel.

Currently Reading/Listening To:

It is probably because I listened to Rotters that I am on edge and waiting for the other shoe to drop, even though I am just a little ways into this book.
This book has been getting so much positive and deliberately spoiler-free buzz that I just had to pick it up when I saw it at the public library.

3 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/3/14

  1. I enjoyed reading We Were Liars, last summer, and hope you do also. Hansel and Gretel sounds delightfully creepy. I admit that it is the one fairy tale that still, as a full fledged adult, terrifies me. I imagine that Gaiman kicks it up a notch or two.

    1. Hansel & Gretel was well-told and actually not as amped-up as I had expected. It had the feeling of a storyteller relaying the tale.

      Finished We Were Liars last night. Mind blown.

  2. I am so envious that you already have a copy of Hansel & Gretel – if I find out you also have The Sleeper and the Spindle – I’d probably turn even more green with envy! 🙂 Looking forward to reading his retellings of beautiful fairy tales. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about The Peculiars – I’d probably give that one a pass. Have you read Miss Peregrine yet? Now that one is PECULIAR indeed. 🙂 May be right up your creepy alley. Scowler was such a roller-coaster ride for me – monstrous, really, but so endlessly fascinating at the same time.

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