week in books: 9/4/11

September 4, 2011

I’m trying out a new thing: weekly reading updates, to be posted on Sundays and to include all of the books I’ve been reading, regardless of whether they’re old, out of copyright, etc.

For most of the past week, I’ve been making my way through Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files books, a series about a wizard/private detective living in a Chicago overrun with fairies and demons and things. The books are, to be honest, not that great, and there are a lot more of them than I initially thought, but I’m determined to make my way through them. I’m on book five now.

Saturday I went to a book sale at my local library and bought kind of a lot.

In pile A:

  • River at Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston. I’ve never read any of this series, but I am pretty fond of children’s timeslip novels.
  • Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. I recently reread this whole series and found it fascinating, but I never owned a copy of any of the books. And I’m hoping to make my brother read them.
  • My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George. Like Hatchet, a survival book, although it’s one with a very different feel. And I’d been wanting to reread this for years.
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare. This is a childhood favorite that I haven’t read since I was in elementary school. Speare, incidentally, is the athor of my favorite children’s survival story, The Sign of the Beaver.
  • The Virginian, by Owen Wister. One of those early 20th century bestsellers that’s been vaguely on my reading list for a while.
  • Pastoral, by Nevil Shute. I know nothing about the book itself, but Nevil Shute is the author of Trustee from the Toolroom, so I have a slight suspicion that he can do no wrong.

In pile B:

  • Greenwillow, by B.J. Chute. I hear this was made into a musical. The description on the back sounds a bit weird. Mostly, I got this because the tiny paperback was adorable.
  • Pam Decides, by Bettina von Hutton. This is a frivolous-looking novel from 1906, and therefore very appealing to me. I learned when I got home that it’s a sequel to another book, Pam. So I guess I’ll have to read that first.
  • The Lttle Minister, by J.M. Barrie. I probably bought this mostly because I was recently reading about Maude Adams, who starred in the original theatrical adaptation.
  • Above Suspicion, by Helen MacInnes. I feel like I read about MacInnes on a bog recently, but I can’t remember which one. This appears to be her first novel.
  • A Girl of the Limberlost, by Gene Stratton Porter. I didn’t have a copy, and this one is pretty.

Right now I’m reading My Side of the Mountain. Probably when I’m done I’ll go back to the Dresden Files.



  1. There’s nothing like a good library sale!

    I absolutely love The Witch of Blackbird Pond. It’s very high on the list for number of times I’ve reread a book. I also enjoyed Speare’s Calico Captive, about a young woman whose family is captured by Indians, but not quite as much.

    Helen MacInnes might have been on my blog. I read one about a month ago. I haven’t read Above Suspicion yet, but I do like her earliest ones best because of the WWII setting.

    • It was your blog! I thought I’d starred it in Google Reader, but apparently I hadn’t.

      I think I must have read Calico Captive, but I don’t remember it. Sign of the Beaver is my go-to Speare book, but I remember adoring Witch of Backbird Pond, so I have high hopes for my first reread.

  2. I love the Green Knowe series, especially the first one (Children of Green Knowe) and last one (The Stones of Green Knowe).

    I remember reading Greenwillow a long, long time ago and not being really impressed with it, although it has rave reviews on Amazon.

    And anything by Gene Stratton Porter is good.

    • I read a review of one of the Green Knowe books at Charlotte’s Library not too long ago, and it sounded sort of like Allison Uttley’s A Traveller in Time, which I love. Hopefully I’ll end up reading the whole series.

      Mostly, I’m prepared for Greenwillow to be kind of weird. But I’m definitely looking forward to rereading A Girl of the Limberlost.

  3. The Green Knowe books are lovely. They’re not exactly time-slips, and they’re not exactly ghost stories; they’re sort of a bit like both but not entirely like either.

    Good luck with the Dresden Files, btw – I gave up after the first one!

    • Probably the best timeslip books are the hard-to-define ones.

      The Dresden Files books get better after the first couple, but they haven’t yet got to be really good. Eventually I will run out of willpower and stop reading them.

  4. I think I got through the first three Dresden Files books before I lost interest, so you’re doing pretty good! There are a bazillion in the series; it never ends.

    • Yeah, that’s the feeling I’m beginning to get. At some pont I’m going to give up; I’m just trying to read as many of them as I can before I do.

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