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Short Book Reports: YASF

Your Humble Blogger has not been doing Book Reports lately, as y’all may possibly have noticed. I have still been reading books, mind you, and even keeping a log of them, although I have missed several, I’m sure. As usual. But I haven’t been blogging each book.

That’s because I was finding the mandatory (well, with a self-imposed mandate) blogging dispiriting, and I was resenting it. I did expect to report on books when I felt that I had something to say. Perhaps I just haven’t had anything to say. Well, and I hope there aren’t too many of y’all gently reading this Tohu Bohu out of hopes to read something about books, because the pickings have been sparse.

So I do want to go back and mention a few books I have read in the first half of the year.

  • Zorgamazoo, by Robert Paul Weston is a fun and silly Young Adult fantasy, really aimed more at the pre-teen readers, that is (a) lavishly illustrated and cleverly laid out, and (2) told entirely in rhyme. It’s nearly 300 pages, and while I did tire a bit of the anapest couplets, still.
  • The Midnight Folk is one of those hugely important and influential works of children’s fantasy that have largely disappeared from the actual shelves. I had never heard of it—I’m not sure I had really heard of John Masefield, but if I had, it was in the context of poetry, probably of the Great War. There were some utterly charming bits, but I got tired of the dreamscape stuff pretty quickly.
  • I don’t know, now, whether I really am a huge fan of Cornelia Funke; I may dislike as many books as I like (that I’ve read). Alas, Reckless falls in to the former category.
  • I finally read Lord Sunday, the last book in the Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. Glad that’s over. There were some very good things in the series—there were even some good things in this book—but on the whole, no, it didn’t work. Found myself not remembering bits of the earlier books that I probably needed to follow this one, and not caring.
  • I suppose I Shall Wear Midnight is being marketed as a Young Adult novel, which pretty much means it is a YA novel, as there isn’t a better definition. Still, I don’t see what distinguishes this from the not-YA Discworld series. Well, it’s better than many of them, but many of them are better than many of them, because there are a lot of them, so only the very worst ones aren’t. But this is one of the better ones.
  • The Beasts of Clawstone Castle is an excellent example of Eva Ibbotson’s younger-oriented stuff. The only other one I seem to have blogged is Which Witch. I know I read Not Just a Witch at some point as well, and I must have read others, but none of the names are looking familiar just now.
  • The Clockwork Three, by Matthew J. Kirby, failed to charm me. Not sure why. It ought to have. And once I got a fair way into it, I enjoyed it without being charmed—but it’s the sort of book that ought to have been charming, and charmed I was not.
  • The only thing that I did not like about The Ruins of Gorlan, the first in a Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, was a scene where the school bullies are vanquished by being beaten to a pulp. Violence, it seems, was the answer. Which made YHB quite uncomfortable, and I didn’t really trust the book from that point on. On the other hand—oops, I forgot the prologue or whatever it was, the first few pages which were nearly unreadable. If I hadn’t had a recommendation, those pages would have stopped me cold. But I persevered, as was rewarded for it.

OK, that’s the lot of YASF that weren’t rereads, and that I remembered to jot down, so far this year.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


I have similar thoughts about I Shall Wear Midnight, and, alas, Cornelia Funke, so I will not be attempting Reckless. Pity, also, about the Nix. I so enjoyed the Lirael etc. trilogy, but have been underwhelmed by the others of his that I've tried.

The only non-Abhorsen Nix book that I have liked is _One Beastly Beast_, a collection of short stories, and I find even that a bit spotty.

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