Thursday, February 28, 2013

February's Books

I have been inspired by Charity over at Indietutes to do a blog post listing the books we have read and listening to this past month. I realize I need to read a few more adult books, but why when the kids ones are so much fun!

These are not in order, and as Da would tell you I am HORRIBLE at summarizing a book (there are just so many good parts that you need to know about!) so bare with me here, I'll do my best to keep them short.

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby- About the second daughter of a Viking king and her siblings. They are trapped in a hidden fortress by the frozen sea, hidden away while there father wages war. They are guarded by her fathers best warriors, but there is a traitor among them. The main character is strong, and kind. I loved this book, as did Emma.

The Land of Elyon Series by Patrick Carmen. There are 5 books in this series, though I think the 4th and 5th were after thoughts. It's hard to know what order to read the last two in. Anyway, this series is about a girl named Alexa who is destine to do great things. With talking animals, mystical lands, and giants, the series is fun and fantastical. We are currently enjoying the 4th book.

Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke. We love this author. A year or two ago we listened to the Inkheart Trilogy and LOVED it. More recently we listened, multiple times, to Igraine the Brave, which we also loved. Ghost Knight was another good one by Ms. Funke. The two main characters in this story are on an adventure that involves killer ghosts, a ghost knight, a wrongly buried heart, and loyalty. We really enjoyed this one as well.

The City of Ember by Jeanne Du Prau. This is another series that we discovered. We have only listened to the first one so far and we have enjoyed it. Set in an isolated city where electricity provides the only source of light, time is running out for the citizens of Ember. The electricity keeps flickering. Blackouts are getting longer, light bulbs are scarce, as are other supplies necessary for life. The fate of the city lies in an odd discovery made by two twelve year-old children. This is an interesting story, and I think someday when we are learning about atomic bombs, it will be a good book to reread as I have a feeling this might be where the series is leading us. We'll see!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman. This was a fun and creepy book that we didn't finish. Not because we didn't want to, but because we were listening to it on the computer and we didn't finish it before the book expired. We really enjoyed it and I need to remember to re borrow it so we can finish it.

Matilda by Roald Dahl. Loved this book. SO so much better than the movie (not that Emma has seen it yet). About a little girl raised by neglectful, mean, dishonest parents. She goes to a school run by a horrible woman that hates children and swings little girls by their pigtails. Yet she finds hope through her teacher, Ms. Honey, who sees the awesome potential in Matilda. A wonderful story.

The Witches by Roald Dahl. What can I say, we have fallen in love with his books. I believe he even narrates this story himself. A fun story about a boy who discovers a group of witches while he and his grandmother are on holiday. Unable to escape them, he is turned into a mouse, but that actually helps him out in the end. And he doesn't mind being a mouse, really.

The Borrowers by Mary Norton. We actually read this one as a bedtime story. It may have been last month, I can never keep track. Emma and I really enjoyed this and I hope to find more in the series to read at bedtime.

The White Stallion of Lipizza by Marguerite Henry. I want this book. I would love to add this book to our collection. We inter-library loaned this book and it was so worth it. A great story about determination, passion, and the Lipizzaner horses. We follow the journey of a boy named Hans Hupt who wishes to become a Riding Master at the Spanish Riding School. At the time, only well-to-do boys made it into the school, not a bakers son. Hans did not give up. He spent endless hours researching the breed, how they do their beautiful maneuvers, and managed to teach his old cart horse a few of the moves. Anyway, a great story that I hope we read again soon.

The 39 Clues by various authors. We are currently on book 8. These are books that we only listen to when Da can listen as well, so we are going through them a little more slowly. We love listening to these stories, and it's really interesting how the writing style differs from one author to the next. So far, I think there has only been one where we were not so impressed, but the rest we have really enjoyed. The series is about a sister and brother who are given the choice- Take a million dollars each, or participate in the hunt for the 39 clues which, once collected, will make them the most powerful people on earth. It's a really fun series and I just realized (when looking up the link) that there is an entire world outside of the books dedicated to the series.

The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston. Emma seemed to like this book. It's part of a series and so far we have only listened to the first book. I had a hard time paying attention to this one (I think I was just tired of audiobooks that day), so I didn't follow it as well as she did. You'll need to click on the link to figure out what it's about.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri. This audio was a theatrical thing with different people for different characters and sound effects. Once I got past that, I really enjoyed this classic tale of an orphaned girl sent to live with her grandfather in the mountains of Switzerland. It's a good story. Emma and I really enjoyed it.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Wow. Having never read the book and only seeing the Disney version (well, and Hook with Robin Williams) this book was a big surprise. And awesome. I love Disney movies, but man did they miss a lot. The book is so much better, with a lot more awesome details and fun. It's also a little darker in spots, but Emma and I both really enjoyed it.

Well, that is a crazy ton of books, but when you listen to 3 or 4 a week, the list gets long. I probably forgot a few, but you get the idea.

What have you read recently?

Hiking in Decorah, Nov 2012 (3)
Hiking in Decorah, November 2012


julie said...

I LOVE Indietutes! I also love this idea, although I'm a little frightened of it--you know how much Willow reads. I do always try to think about how much we read, though, especially when we're having a challenging time in our homeschool. It's easy to forget if you don't write everything down!

Charity Indietutes said...

I have my hands on some Cornelia Funke now and we plan on reading her as soon as we're done the 43 Old Cemetery Road series.

You must finish Coraline - the ending is what pulls it all together, turning it from not just being a scary story but inspirational. Overcoming fears and all that.

I love this list, please keep sharing!

Tina said...

Julie- It does seem like a daunting task to "keep track" of all the books we've read and listened too, but it was fun trying to remember them all. I'm not sure the best way to keep track of them either. Maybe start a post at the beginning of the month and add as I go, have Emma write the name of the book on the calender (she loves writing on the calender), or actually writing them in my journal all seem like good ideas. If I do them.

Charity- I just placed Coraline on hold again. I kept forgetting about it, but I am excited to finish it. I have my eye on a few more Cornelia Funke. I really enjoy her writing.