Suey's Personal Rating: B+
For: Book Club
From: the library's book club set
Now here's a cute book with a feisty 11 year old heroine! She is one smart cookie and when she discovers a dead body in the garden of the old English manor where she lives, she sets off to figure it all out. And she doesn't do too bad a job at it either. In the process, she learns a bit of background on her dad that she didn't know before, and which I'm guessing she wonders if she really wanted to know. You know how these things go sometimes.
So we read this for book club this past month, and as book club picks go, I think it was a pretty perfect one. Everyone seemed to enjoy it quite a lot. It was easy to read and to finish. Here's some random thoughts I picked up during our discussion:
- Pretty much everyone agreed that the protagonist was the best and most fun part of this book.
- Most of us enjoyed the "British-ness" of the book, and found it interesting to learn that the author is not British at all.
- We discussed whether or not the things and thoughts this 11 year old girl has are realistic for her age. We basically decided that some things were, and some things weren't.
- Many of us aren't big on mysteries, so we thought that part we could take or leave. A few of us enjoy mysteries, so that part was just as much fun as the rest of the story.
- We all loved the many literary references that are thrown in, which one wouldn't "get" unless one was familiar with quite a good many books.
- We found it fun that during the course of this book we learned a lot about chemistry, magic, stamp collecting, and British history... just to name a few.
- We didn't like the neglectful parenting that was going on here!
- Someone pointed out the interesting names and wondered what, if anything, was behind the thought process in choosing those particular names.
Bottom line: It was enjoyed by all!
Other books we randomly discussed during the evening:
- Sam read A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin as recommended by Jenny and though he thought it was weird, he quite enjoyed it!
- Tessa randomly picked up Memory by Philippe Grimbert at the library and really enjoyed it. We had quite a debate whether it was fiction or a memoir. But it's described on Goodreads as "a novel" which means fiction! :) Do you still like it Tessa?
- Julie listened to Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson while on their trip. Very fun. Also finally read The Dark Divine by Bree Despain.
- Jessica A. read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and even though it was "stunt" non fiction, as she called it, she enjoyed it. She also read the recent Pulitzer Prize winner, A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, and thought it was great.
- Jenny read and loved both Red Glove by Holly Black (sequel to White Cat) and The Neon Court by Kate Griffin (third in its trilogy).
- Kim read Wither by Lauren DeStefano and thought it was interesting despite some logistical problems. Also enjoyed Across the Universe by Beth Revis. But says she wants to read more classics and non-fiction and give the YA stuff a break!
- Melissa read Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry... a scary gory zombie story! Also the The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima.
- Susan, first time book club attendee, reported that the only book she read besides the book club book was Bunny with the Golden Slippers (I have no idea if my link is to the right book! Susan, let me know!) That led us to a fairly lengthy discussion on Goodnight Moon! Are you pro or con?
- Jessica N has recently enjoyed Freakonomics and is now immersed in Super Freakonominics.
- Mr. Stuey wanted to report on his recent books read, but couldn't remember them. His wife was no help at all.
- Suey reported on City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. Both started out slow, but ended with a bang!
Up next month: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. le Guin.