An Un-Calibrated Centrifuge

My dad once said to me, "You give a lot of books three stars." I do.

So Much I Want to Tell You

So Much I Want to Tell You: Letters to My Little Sister - Anna Akana

I first heard of Anna Akana when her video How to put on your face went viral. Since then I occasionally check out her channel.

 

Having watched a few of her videos, it was very easy to read the book in her voice. She is very frank, and it was interesting to learn how she got into youtube and about her family history. I've never read another youtuber's book, but this felt very similar to reading a celebrity memoir.

Talking to Dragons

Talking to Dragons  - Patricia C. Wrede

This is a series that I really enjoyed as a kid. But like The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series I think it has served its purpose in my life. Yes, I'll probably revisit the series again, but it just doesn't have the same magic I remember from before. Dealing with Dragons comes the closest. Probably because Cimorene is my favorite.

Calling on Dragons

Calling on Dragons  - Patricia C. Wrede

I completely forgot about this book. Seriously, when I started reading it I couldn't remember a single thing other than I had an immediate need to read book 4 after finishing this one.

 

Definitely feels like the weakest in the series and reading Wrede's introduction (after I reread the book) I wasn't surprised to see that she was reluctant when writing this one.

 

If I were to do another reread of the series, I would start with book 4, read 1 and 2 and skip 3.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

I don't really remember liking this book when I first read it (I didn't dislike it either though). I do remember distinctly thinking Dawsey was a 70-year-old man. Spoilers (but not really), he's not and this time around I caught all the references to how he's not 70 years old. But his character really feels like a 70 year old man.

 

I mostly reread this one because it was available on Overdrive and I needed something easy to pick up and put down when it's slow at work. If you liked this, give 84, Charing Cross Road a try. It's like Guernsey, but better. And real.

Stoned

Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World - Aja Raden

I picked this book up after hearing about it on a podcast, and I'm glad I did. Each chapter is broken up into smaller sections so it's very easy to pick up and put down. Raden also does a good job reminding readers how each of the sections are connected, rather than assuming that you'll remember every detail from the book as you read.

 

The tone is very conversational and easy to read. Little to no background knowledge is necessary to understand each chapter. I found it useful to have my phone/a computer on hand while reading because there aren't images for all the pieces described, especially the Faberge eggs. The descriptions are good, but the pictures are better.

Searching for Dragons

Searching for Dragons  - Patricia C. Wrede

One of the copies of this series I'm reading has an introduction. Don't read the introductions if you haven't read the series before. They're full of spoilers.

 

I clearly don't remember this series very well because I couldn't even remember the narrator of this book. But it holds up to rereading with the exception of G***y Jack... just his name, not his character. Why couldn't he be Rambling Jack or something... I'm sure there's a more fantasy appropriate moniker for him than that.

SPOILER ALERT!

Thief!

Thief! (The Queen's Thief, #0.5) -  Chad Cameron, Megan Whalen Turner

I 100% read this short story before I read The Thief (I'm pretty sure it's the reason I went out and bought the book in the first place), and it spoils the ending of that book. But really that reveal is only one small part of the story, and I 100% didn't mind when I read it as a kid.

 

Spoilers under the read more.

 

read more

Dealing with Dragons

Dealing with Dragons  - Patricia C. Wrede

I distinctly remember buying this book at the same time I bought The Bad Beginning. I never finished A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I read all of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I really want the nine-year-old to read them. I think she'd enjoy the series.

 

I think of this series as fantasy for non-fantasy readers. It's fantasy, but there's lots of accessible references to other fairy tales/myths. I meant to read them in publication order this time around (Book 4 was published first and then the others came after), but I forgot when it actually came time to read them. I thought about skipping ahead and then backtracking, but I think I'm just going to press on to Book 2.

Thick as Thieves

Thick As Thieves - Megan Whalen Turner

Ah! I'm so mad! But in a good way...

 

I waited seven years for this book and then read it in about a day and now I just have to wait some more for the sixth book.

 

Also the book was really good. Like, yes, it's a standalone story (-ish), but I still got really invested in it and it was almost as good a read as the others and it brought up a lot of things I've had questions about this whole time. I have to switch to the read more now because I want to be more specific than this. Spoilers are free game following the cut.

 

read more

The Thank You Book

The Thank You Book (An Elephant and Piggie Book) - Mo Willems, Mo Willems

When I heard Mo Willems was ending the Elephant and Piggie books I figured the time had finally come to read them all.

 

The Thank You Book is a nice send off to the series. Overall, the whole series is enjoyable and mostly easy to read aloud. Some of the books are more predictable than others, but most are a joy to read. And so funny and charming.

 

I'm sad there will be no more Elephant and Piggie books but I can't wait to see what Willems does next.

Watch Me Throw the Ball!

Watch Me Throw the Ball! - Mo Willems

I'm pretty sure this was my first Elephant and Piggie book, and it's still my favorite. I read this one with R (not the nine-year-old) a lot. It's very funny and so fun to read out loud.

Penguin in Love

Penguin in Love - Salina Yoon, Salina Yoon

I read this whole series (all the ones we had at the library anyway) over lunch. They're cute stories, but I thought they might have a little more substance to them. I still enjoyed the books. The illustrations are very cute. This one gets dramatic in the middle and I probably enjoyed it the most.

 

I also didn't look up their publish order beforehand so I kept starting one and then setting it aside because it referenced characters or past events I hadn't met or read about yet. There are some slight spoilers if you read certain books out of order.

My Brother's Husband

My Brother's Husband, Volume 1 (Pantheon Graphic Novels) - Gengoroh Tagame, Anne Ishii

An interesting manga dealing with attitudes in Japan towards gay people and relationships. I really loved the story and how frank and honest it feels. Can't wait for volume 2.

Young Miss Holmes, Casebook 5-7

Young Miss Holmes Casebook 5-7 - Kaoru Shintani

This volume strays the furthest from Holmes canon. Several of the stories are inspired by original Sherlock Holmes stories (their version of Moriarty shows up), or cases mentioned in the stories (like The Giant Rat of Sumatra). I didn't mind this deviation because I liked the characters and the stories were interesting. I thought the ending was quite anticlimactic though.

Young Miss Holmes, Casebook 3-4

Young Miss Holmes, Casebook 3-4 - Kaoru Shintani, Shintani

This volume branches out more from the Holmes canon. It develops these particular characters. Nora even gets a whole chapter to herself. I wasn't a huge fan of her backstory. The story itself is quite progressive in many ways even though it's set in Victorian England, so it was odd to me that g***y was used to describe Nora and the people who raised her.

 

There's also a crossover with another manga I've never heard of (and now can't remember). Without any knowledge of those characters and their stories I was still able to understand that part of the casebook just fine. So it seemed kind of strange, but didn't ruin my reading experience.

Young Miss Holmes, Casebook 1-2

Young Miss Holmes, Casebook 1-2 - Kaoru Shintani

I picked up this series on a whim from a discount book site. I thought since I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories earlier this year the time had come to read this manga. I think that was a good choice. This first volume is the most faithful adaptation of tales, and if you haven't read those particular stories the manga spoils them for you.

 

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started reading this series, but the first casebook is very straightforward and a good introduction to the characters.