Monday, September 19, 2016
Sock Monkey -- Into the Deep Woods, by Matt Danner, illustrated by Tony Millionaire, Fantagraphics Books, 2014.
I bought this book because I was able to get a copy signed by the illustrator. So it was definitely worth the purchase price for that.
The illustrations for this very short novel were quite wonderful, but the writing felt a little flat -- almost as if it were being viewed through a screen from a distance.
The Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan, Disney Hyperion, 2014.
I really enjoyed this series. And I liked this book. But this book didn't quite seem to be the ending we were promised. Don't get me wrong: I'm glad that so many of the other demigods emerged as heroes, but Percy and Jason didn't have to turn milquetoast for that to happen, did they?
The Crown of Ptolemy, by Rick Riordan, Disney-Hyperion, 2015.
This book came with another book. I doubt if I would have bought this one for its own merit.
It is great to revisit the Percy Jackson character, but this isn't one of his stronger stories or adventures. And, for a Rick Riordan book, it wrapped up in a surprisingly tidy little bow.
The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan, Disney-Hyperion, 2013
Sometimes I can't count on the library having a book that I really want to read, especially when a series is involved. In those cases, I just have to buy the book.
This was a pretty exciting, pretty great read. There was SO much going on -- so many characters, so many story lines, so many heartbreaks. I was, however, vastly amused by the character and repeated mention of Hyperion.
I really hope that Bob can say hello to the stars in the next book.
Little Bear's Friend, written by Else Holmelund Minarik, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, Harper Collins, 1960.
I love Little Bear. And Emily. And Lucy. So it is probably no wonder that I named two characters in my first book 'Emily' and 'Lucie' -- even though I hadn't read a Little Bear book for about thirty years back then.
The illustrations are delightfully and perfectly vintage Sendak.
Bellman & Black, by Diane Setterfield, Atria Book, 2013.
This is a beautifully written book. And that may be the problem. The lovely, poetic prose just doesn't quite match up with a stark tale of madness and death. Maybe if the writing had been rawer, more emotional, less contained, we could have seen more of Bellman and understood better his descent. But instead, this book just seemed to drift like an iridescent feather from a rook until it is caught up in a sudden wind and disappears entirely.