Thursday, November 3, 2016

September and October 2016 Book Reports

My Badass Book of Saints: Courageous Women Who Showed Me How to Live by Maria Morera Johnson does not have my favorite title. It's a casual-style book written by a familiar Catholic mom blogger (though not one I have read online) that show show specific women saints have inspired her. This book would be a nice one for someone unfamiliar with the idea of saints in Catholic theology as she gives basic background information on all the saints. While I appreciated some of the connections she makes between her life and those of the saints, there are many saint books I like more. One of the unusual aspects of this book is how she often incorporates stories of women who are not (yet) saints, many of whom were new to me like Mother Mary Lange. There were also a few inspiring women who are not Catholic at all. (library copy)

The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley - link to my post (review copy from Blogging for Books)

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is the first in a series of books that imaginatively retell the stories of Peter Pan. Those who know the original stories will find many pleasing tips to the originals, but there's plenty to entertain those who are unfamiliar as well. Other than a few unnecessary romantic insinuations between two rather young teenagers (or tweens?), we all found this highly entertaining. I've heard online the later books are a bit darker and maybe not appropriate for younger children so I'm pre-reading them before listening just in case. (audiobook from the library)

American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne includes tales of Davy Crocket, Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, Johnny Appleseed, Stormalong, Mose, Febold Feboldson, Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Paul Bunyan. We listened to these tales on audiobook and, though the children enjoyed them well enough, Kansas Dad and I were not impressed. I wish we'd gotten the RC History recommended Jim Weiss CD instead. I think it would have been more enjoyable. Alternatively, we could have read from some of the Steven Kellogg tall tale books, many of which we've collected over the years and always enjoyed. (audiobook from the library)

Riding the Pony Express by Clyde Robert Bulla was one I had on the shelf and decided to read it aloud to the kids when our library didn't have either They're Off or We Were There with the Pony Express, both recommended by RC History. We have and love many of Bulla's books but I thought this one was disappointing. The young Native American in the story is portrayed rather poorly, even given the time the book was written. The library has lots of books on the Pony Express and I would have picked one of them instead if I had read this one myself before reading it aloud. (purchased copy)

The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia P. Hale is the story of the Peterkin family, one which manages to get themselves into scrape after scrape through a lack of commonsense. My children loved listening to these stories, but the inanity lasted longer than my personal preference. (library copy)

Emma by Jane Austen shows a snobish willful girl grow into a slightly wiser more conciliatory young woman. The inanities of life among the landed gentry were never so obvious. The writing, of course, is magnificent. (library book sale purchase)

The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Sanna Annukka - link to my post. (review copy from Blogging for Books)

Ivanhoe: A Romance by Sir Walter Scott - link to my post. (requested from another member at

Books in Progress (and date started)
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These reports are my honest opinions.


  1. "...but the inanity lasted longer than my personal preference..."

    Oh my goodness. YES! :)

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one that felt that way. I was so glad when that book was done!


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