Literate Lives Reading Log: November 2016

I knew last month I had read more than one book! I had just misplaced said book when it came time to blog my monthly reading. So, here are the books I read this November along with the one neglected title from October.

6505894Word Pictures, by Brian Godowa, was an interesting read (I promise!) from October. As a fiction writer, I really enjoyed the premise of this book: that art/stories/images readers perceive through imagination and sensory description have enormous power to both move readers and assist them in gaining deeper understanding. Godawa’s text was approachable and thought-provoking. I particularly enjoyed the history he provided on the conflicts related to texts and images over the last 2,ooo years.

Forging the Sword: The Farsala Trilogy Book 3, by Hilari Bell, was every bit as good as the previous two novels248375 in the series and provided an intense and satisfying resolution to the conflict between the kingdom of Farsala and the empire of the Hrum. I highly recommend this series. Start with Fall of a Kingdom, book 1, by Hilari Bell. If you enjoy fantasy that contains faint echoes of real history, you will love this series.

1943742Silent in the Sanctuary is the second entry in Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey mystery series. I loved the richly realized later 19th century setting of this novel and the complex trio of mysteries that weave their way through the story. The only critique I really had is that the eccentricities of Lady Julia’s family are so over the top, it is a little difficult to suspend my disbelief as a reader ought. However, I was sick when I read it. It may be that I was just feeling like a curmodgeon.

Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey was loaned to me by a curly-haired friend. This book has 8510227revolutionized my hair care. It is a light, breezy read with loads of practical advice for not just managing naturally curly or wavy hair, but actually enjoying it. It even includes recipes for hair care products. I highly recommend it.

37361Innocence & Experience: Essays and Conversations on Children’s Literature edited by Barbara Harrison, is the book I started reading in September during our school’s Reboot time (the first fifteen minutes of class reserved for free reading or journaling). This book, published in 1987, provides a fascinating (and now historical) survey of the field of children’s literature, from picture books through young adult novels. It includes essays and speeches from authors I love, including Eleanor Cameron, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, Ursula LeGuin, and many more and discusses books that are still beloved today. As a children’s author and school librarian, I highly recommend it as an overview of 20th century children’s book world.

What did you read in the last month? I would love it if you could recommend some of your favorites in the comments!