Tennis Balls, Sentient Books, and Bean Pots // Bookish Adventures of Winter 2021

Happy Easter, my friends! He is risen!

Also it’s spring and books got read this winter and I am going to talk about them. I’m actually going to steal The Temperamental Writer’s mini-reviewing format, because it’s cool and I feel like it. Prosecute me if you wish, blogosphere police: I defy you.


Henry V

William Shakespeare

My very informative summary: Henry is the King of England, but technically should also be the King of France. Only the French Dauphin isn’t taking him seriously, which makes Henry very angry indeed, how dare someone not give him the throne of a whole entire country when he asks for it, just because he was a little indiscreet and headstrong in his younger days –

So he invades France, runs around in disguise (for fun, I guess?), wins the day at Agincourt, and marries a very odd French lady.

I AM HERE FOR:

  • The St. Crispin’s Day speech, naturally
  • The Dauphin sending Henry…tennis balls??? It was funny. I like the Dauphin. (This is the problem with getting invested in medieval history, though, as I discovered in fourth grade and shall not soon forget. Your favorites always lose or die or somehow or other get the short end of the stick.)
  • The reverse Haman trope (or whatever it’s called; that’s just my unofficial name for it) – where you ask the traitors what we should do to traitors, and then do that to them.

NOT SO HERE FOR:

  • There were a lot of boring parts.
  • Like, a lot.
  • When I was a kid it always made total sense to me when kings would go undercover to find stuff out and stir up trouble and hand down somewhat arbitrary attempts at justice, but now I’m just like….why, though. Why are you doing this? Is there a point? It wasn’t as egregious as Agamemnon telling all the Greeks that Zeus had told him they were destined to fail and causing a huge panic when Zeus had actually told him they were destined to succeed gloriously….but still. Kings lying to their soldiers for no reason makes no sense to me.
  • All the aggression makes no sense to me, either. Chill, Henry. Who cares if your mother something something descended from someone someone something something makes you the rightful King of France? You have England, ya know. Why so greedy, pray? I love the St. Crispin’s Day speech, but I’d love it more if, like, y’all weren’t the aggressors here. rip my modern sensibilities I guess

The Saga of the Volsungs

Anonymous; translated by Jesse L. Byock

My very informative summary: Soap opera meets Viking myth in this Norse…prose…story…thing…where no one ever marries the right person. Or if they do, their happiness is short-lived. Sometimes there are actual reasons for this, sometimes it is “oops, I drank a magic potion that made me forget my true love” or “but that’s what the birds told me.” Revenge is more important than anything else. Everybody dies, usually painfully.

I AM HERE FOR:

  • COOL DRAGON
  • COOL DRAGON’S HEART CAN BE COOKED AND EATEN AND THEN YOU WILL BE WISE AND FELL AND GRIM AND ALSO UNDERSTAND BIRD LANGUAGE
  • Gudrun. She is a really cool character. She is smart and courageous and practical, and she’s imperfect and causes some of her own problems, but at the same time she’s kind of dealt a rotten hand in life and does her best with it (except for killing her children; that was Too Far, of course), and she’s one of the only characters I actually feel bad for, because everyone else so got what was coming to them (except Sigurd, kind of), and she’s very tragic and I like her.

NOT SO HERE FOR:

  • Moms killing their kids. So many moms killing their kids…
  • Kind-of-incest??? Ew???
  • Seriously, what is with Nordic mythology and sewing people?
  • There’s not much of a morality structure. Basically, breaking an oath is pretty bad, but you know what’s really bad? NOT BEING ABLE TO HANDLE PAIN.

Pay Attention, Carter Jones

Gary D. Schmidt

My very informative summary: A British butler enters the life of Carter and his mom and his little sisters, while his dad’s deployed in Germany. He teaches Carter to play cricket and drive a car named the Eggplant. It’s a Gary D. Schmidt book, so we are sad.

I AM HERE FOR:

  • The Blue Mountains of Australia (even though I wish I wasn’t here for them because gosh you didn’t warn me what HAPPENED in the Blue Mountains of Australia)
  • Sibling content. Maybe not as perfect as in Okay for Now, but hey, what is? Look at Carter being a good big brother! I’m so proud of him!
  • Teaching kids to drive way before they’re old enough to get a permit. This is how I was brought up and I stand by the method. (The mom having a death grip on her seat the whole time is so real, too. She will still have the same death grip when Carter is twenty and driving her places.)
  • Adults looking out for kids when other adults, who should’ve been looking out for them, did a lousy job of it
  • That hint I think I interpreted correctly, about the fate of a certain character from Okay for Now. I am happy.

NOT SO HERE FOR:

  • Mr. Mary Poppins. If I’d known I was getting into a book with Mr. Mary Poppins in it, it would’ve been different, I think. But as it was, I expected something more along the lines of Okay for Now and The Wednesday Wars with plausibility, and Mr. Mary Poppins threw me off.
  • It was a mildly interesting element, but in the end I just don’t care about cricket. I’m sorry. I may like British history and British classics, but I fear I’m pure uncultured American at bottom.
  • I like Carter’s narrative voice, but it sometimes didn’t feel modern enough, almost? I’d often slip into thinking the book was set earlier than it was.

Knights of the Air

Ezra Bowen

My very informative summary: A year-by-year history of the air war, focusing on the aces, in WWI. Lots of awesome photographs.

I AM HERE FOR:

  • All the photographs. Spend a good while looking over all these guys’ faces if you want to be horribly depressed for three days because almost all of them died. And most of them were really, really young when they did.
  • All the biplanes
  • The description of the Red Baron’s funeral. That was cool.
  • Lanoe Hawker. I loved that boy, and…and… *cries*
  • Guynemer is my SON (turns out it feels weirder to say this about actual historical people than fictional characters…)
  • Nungesser (I think it was Nungesser…maybe Navarre) getting out of his plane, driving at high speeds all the way to Paris to party till it was time to drive back and take off on another run. It amused me. Even though, at the same time, kids. Try not to kill yourselves. You literally have to be helped into your cockpit, you have so many injuries.

NOT SO HERE FOR:

  • More my fault than the book’s, but my WWI chronology is so rusty (I say as if it was ever that good to start with), and sometimes it would mention this or that event as if it was supposed to convey something to me, and I’m like…I got nothing.
  • Why wasn’t it an in-depth biography of every single one of them, with all their letters and diaries reprinted, and detailed schematics of all the planes and guns they flew and shot, though?
  • I have few complaints to make. It taught me stuff. It broke my heart. What more can you ask of a book?

Sorcery of Thorns

Margaret Rogerson

My very informative summary: Sixteen-year-old orphan Elizabeth is always getting into trouble, but her accident with a Malefict (damaged magical book turned raging monster) is more than just trouble. She must leave her beloved library and travel to the great capitol city, guarded by an altogether-too-perceptive sorcerer and his unnerving servant. But this Malefict is just one pawn in a great plan that Elizabeth soon finds herself caught up in…a plan that, if it succeeds, will doom the whole human world.

So, naturally, Elizabeth has to stop it. Good thing she has a sword and no conception of what “give up” means.

I AM HERE FOR:

  • Elizabeth being a holy terror and also a naive child and just, like…an interesting person in general who’s quiet and unconventional and tall (tall girl rep for the win) and what is this??? People know how to write interesting female characters???? I am all the heart eyes.
  • Nathaniel being all mysterious and broody and witty and sarcastic but not rude, just…witty and sarcastic. And mysterious. And sad. And lonely. And in need of hugs.
  • Nathaniel being simultaneously alarmed, impressed, and highly amused by Elizabeth
  • Silas. So kind, so fastidious…yet so chilling at times.
  • The grimy Victorian world – carriages! Balls! Dresses! Strict librarians in dusty robes! Slums! Lunatic asylums! Gossipy rich people at gossipy rich people parties in gossipy rich people houses! True delight to a Dickens fan, really.
  • Stuff actually happens. It’s a welcome change from all the really slow-paced books I’ve read or tried to read recently. Once I looked and I was only halfway done and so much had already happened. It was awesome.
  • Like many another fantasy heroine, Elizabeth is Special. But in kind of an unexpected and fun and lowkey way…and I liked that a lot.
  • There are sentient books
  • I repeat, THERE ARE SENTIENT BOOKS

NOT SO HERE FOR:

  • The magic in general is ihhherhhchh (ihhherhhchh being an adjective expressing a very particular sort of feeling; look it up in the dictionary if you want the full definition) and kinda made me uncomfortable? Not enough to really bother me, but…ihhherhhchh.
  • It starts off amazing, but toward the end it loses a little of its freshness and becomes more Generic Heroine and Generic Hero team up to generically save the world from Generic Villain. Nathaniel got more boring, and Elizabeth, who started out so interesting, got more boring too. It was kind of sad. But not enough to ruin the book.
  • That one scene…children, please, not so much kissing. Restrain yourselves.

Exit Strategy

Martha Wells

My very informative summary: Murderbot was planning to rejoin its old friends with the evidence it has gathered, but now it appears Dr. Mensah has been kidnapped. So Murderbot joins up with only some of its old friends to rescue her. Things do not go as planned. There is fighting. There is Murderbot being snarky. There is Murderbot being very worried about its humans and disguising it by being snarky. There is Unhealth.

So much Unhealth.

I AM HERE FOR:

  • Murderbot’s whole attitude toward humans
  • Murderbot not liking to look at people’s faces if they’re looking at it
  • Murderbot just wanting to win
  • Pin Lee being a grouch – I forgot I actually kind of like her
  • Ratthi being a ridiculously excited puppy (he’s a human, he’s just a human with the personality of a ridiculously excited puppy) – Ratthi was the only one besides Murderbot I cared about in Book 1. He’s fun.
  • Gurathin being a pretty great person even if Murderbot is stupid and doesn’t agree
  • Action scenes that I can…actually…follow???
  • Kind of a happy ending for my precious Murderbot

NOT SO HERE FOR:

  • The occasional not-read-aloudable language
  • I hate how almost…not science fiction a lot of the most depressing aspects of the world-building feel, heh.

Macbeth

William Shakespeare

My very informative summary: Some witches tell this guy he’ll get promoted, and then they also say he’ll be king. He gets promoted, so his wife decides he has to be king too. So he murders the actual king. Then he and his wife both get really paranoid and insane and kill people, and Macduff is awesome. (Is it just me or are these summaries going downhill as we go?)

I AM HERE FOR:

  • Macduff. I like this guy. He has great lines when he’s talking about his family, and when he’s confronting Macbeth, and when Malcolm is being weird…he’s awesome.
  • The true smallness of evil, as exemplified by Macbeth
  • All the DRAMA
  • Holling Hoodhood was onto something; would this play be nearly as fun to read without insults like “thou cream-faced loon” peppered throughout?
  • Banquo’s ghost! Really, what a scene (because, as I said before, the DRAMA)
  • “Haha! You think I can’t hurt you, but I CAN! Because my mom had a C-SECTION!!!” (It was just funny to me, is all…)

NOT SO HERE FOR:

  • The witches were kind of boring and cheap and I feel like actually undermined the theme a bit? There was really no reason to have fantasy elements in the play, and it would’ve been better if they’d definitively not actually had the power of prediction, and Macbeth and Lady Macbeth just wholly and completely deceived themselves.

What’s Wrong With the World

G. K. Chesterton

My very informative summary: Brief answer to the question the title poses: socialists, conservatives, feminists, the Industrial Revolution, definitely eugenicists, and human greed in general.

I AM HERE FOR:

  • Learning why Chesterton didn’t support female suffrage! I was so curious to see what he’d say, because I kind of just…didn’t know what kind of argument you could possibly advance against it that wasn’t, at the very least, rather patronizing and, well, dated in the bad sense. But Chesterton, true to form, had actually thought it through, wasn’t clinging blindly to tradition or prejudice, and though I don’t agree with his position, I can not only respect it, I can somewhat understand it too. It’s…a cool feeling, actually.
  • Hudge and Gudge. I love the names Chesterton came up with for the over-the-top Socialist and Tory. Ever since I read this, I keep seeing people being either irrationally reactionary or irrationally stick-in-the-mud, and I always think, “ah, you must be friends with Hudge,” or “dear me, how Gudgian of you.” It’s provided me with a great deal of private amusement.
  • Chesterton’s view of women. Not exactly my own, but he has such good insight. He’s impossibly conservative, yet he has more actual respect for women (as women) than the most obnoxious “AREN’T WOMEN SO AWESOME, LOOK AT ME, I’M SO COOL BECAUSE I AM A WOMAN AND WOMEN ARE GODDESSES SO WHY AREN’T YOU WORSHIPPING US YET” feminist I’ve come across. Because, like…he gets what we’re actually like? He’s not praising us on false grounds? It’s refreshing. “He must manage to endure somehow the idea of a woman being womanly, which does not mean soft and yielding, but handy, thrifty, rather hard, and very humorous.”
  • Chesterton’s view on the family and the purpose thereof
  • “If a house is so built as to knock a man’s head off when he enters it, it is built wrong.”
  • His good humor combined with his deep sincerity
  • The way he just, like, respects people. Because they’re people. And they’re made in God’s image. And you can’t put a price on them or put them in a box or in any way diminish their immeasurable value.

NOT SO HERE FOR:

  • I genuinely don’t know what to put here. I disagree with Chesterton on a number of points, some of them even rather important points, but I feel like that’s the fun of reading sometimes – engaging with a well-constructed challenge to your own beliefs, getting to see what other people think and why they think it while at the same getting it more solidly settled what you think.

The Sherwood Ring

Elizabeth Marie Pope

My very informative summary: Uh….Revolutionary War-era New York countryside! Sabotage and codes and gentlemen and ladies and elegant banter and ploys to outwit the enemy (with whom you might actually have fallen in love, oops). Highly plot-relevant bean pots and punch bowls. Robin Hood is inexplicably absent, but I don’t even care because I loved this so much.

I AM HERE FOR:

  • The proposal scene. I was told in advance that the gentleman in question’s proposal included him falling flat on his face, and indeed it did, but it didn’t go how I expected it to, somehow? And it was so infinitely good. So good. That whole scene. I loved Dick and Eleanor’s scenes, but then we got to Peacable and Barbara’s scenes and it was somehow even better and AGGHHH. I love all these characters so much.
  • Really enjoyed Dick’s character. His…boyish dignity and manly sense of responsibility and cockiness and grit and pluck…I love him a lot. (I love all four of them a lot, frankly. But I guess Dick was my favorite? Not that I want to pick a favorite.) My favorite Dick quote: “‘Well, I don’t suppose Peacable is just going to walk up and say, “Here I am, boys, and which is the best room in the Goshen county jail?”‘ Dick retorted, cheerfully. ‘Dear me, how unheroic I sound. I ought to be saying, “We will conquer or die on the field!” as I give you a stern but tender look and bend down from my saddle to kiss you farewell.”
  • Also, my favorite Peacable quote: “How marvellous a thing is the exact truth, properly manipulated!”
  • Also, Barbara. What a lovely, lovely character. She’s what makes the proposal scene (and that whole chapter) what it is. I love her, her cool, intelligent courage and her ladylikeness. (I know it’s not a real word. But she’s so ladylike.)
  • I am a devoted fan of Elizabeth Marie Pope’s writing style. You’ve heard, I imagine, that brevity is the soul of wit? Well, it’s also the soul of pathos, of excitement, of atmospheric description, of character delineation…or at least, because we mustn’t act as if Dickens and Dostoyevsky don’t exist, it can be. And it is, the way Miss Pope writes. I love her characters and get invested in her stories and never once do I feel any of it is too much. Which is a rare gift, actually, for an author to never cross the line of too much.
  • The Revolutionary War vibes. I was thinking I like Miss Pope’s other book, The Perilous Gard, better, and there are reasons for that, but also, like…the whole atmosphere of this is my thing. I love colonial and Revolutionary War-era America, I’m just in love (much more so than with Tudor England), and reading this was kind of like the first time I read Johnny Tremain and just absolutely lost myself in Revolutionary-War New England. (I guess this isn’t as big a deal to someone who’s less in love with the time period than me, though? Or even who’s read a decent amount of books set in it – if you have recs for this area, please let me know, I’m dying for some.)
  • The perfect, New England, summer peace of the ending paragraphs ❤

NOT SO HERE FOR:

  • I guess I don’t care about the present-day storyline much? Not much happens, etc, etc, and the characters aren’t as fascinating. I do understand the use of the framing device for letting each of the historical characters tell their own stories, and it doesn’t detract from the book because Miss Pope doesn’t ever spend too long on the present-day characters (who are nice enough in their way) without getting us back to the exciting stuff, but I still think the story would’ve been stronger without it.
  • The ghost element didn’t bother me like I was afraid it would (that’s why it took me so long to read this, actually, even after loving The Perilous Gard so much, because for whatever reason I just really don’t like ghosts in stories), but it still wasn’t my favorite.
  • These are both nitpicks, one of them highly personal. This book is pretty much perfect and I love it and I’m here for all of it, okay? If you take one thing away from this post, let it be: go read The Sherwood Ring. (And then come back and tell me whatcha think.)

Well, that was a lot. Did you make it through?? Have you read any of these? Opinions??? Do you love Revolutionary-War era America or Elizabeth Marie Pope’s books??? Do you purposefully make yourself sad about doomed WWI flyboys??? Does mythology ever surprise you with just how messed-up it is?

Published by sarahseele

A Christian, cat owner, college kid, and writer. Fond of stories. Fond of rain.

18 thoughts on “Tennis Balls, Sentient Books, and Bean Pots // Bookish Adventures of Winter 2021

  1. I love this reviewing format and may have to steal it myself someday.

    Also, The Sherwood Ring is really quite good, and I love the way you described the author’s writing, because that’s exactly right. I also prefer The Perilous Gard, but only by a slight margin.

    Also I did not realize that the SHERWOOD in the title is referring not to Robin Hood’s forest but to THE LAST NAME OF TWO OF THE MAJOR CHARACTERS until my third time reading it.

    Like

    1. Yeah, it’s really fun both to read and to write! And has a semblance of organization to it, lol.

      The Sherwood Ringis so…minimalist? So it’s like how can it possibly be this good? But it is.

      Haha! Three times. Wow. XD I relate, though. I didn’t realize Long John Silver was the pirate with one leg Billy Bones was so terrified of till at LEAST my third time reading Treasure Island

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “No one marries the right person. Or if they do, their happiness is short lived.” Old Nordic stories in a nutshell. Is nobody allowed a happy ending? I haven’t read that Saga yet, and despite the unpleasantness, I still intend to at some point. But yes, mythology in general is surprisingly unsavoury… and yet I am fascinated by all the old stories.
    Elizabeth Marie Pope is still on my TBR, and I think I also ought to add What’s Wrong with the World. I mean to give Chesterton another try.
    I think the only books on this list that I’ve read are the Shakespearian ones. Yes, Macduff is great, and so is the St. Crispin’s Day speech.

    Like

    1. For real, though. (And no. They are not allowed happy endings. That’s absolutely against the rules.) (Actually, happy endings are conventional in the Christian tradition because we believe in an Ultimate Happy Ending. And it’s about 50/50 for Greek mythology, and the Greeks seemed to think Fate and all pretty arbitrary. So I wonder if that’s why Norse stories are always tragedies? The underlying consciousness of Ragnarok?)
      Yeah, I’m fascinated by them too, even when it’s a sort of horrified, disturbed fascination. I mean, it’s really just interesting to know the stories that these long-ago cultures told. But if my mom had known some of the stuff I read as a little kid, she probably wouldn’t have been so sanguine about me diving unsupervised into classics as I did. xD

      I hope you’ll like Elizabeth Marie Pope’s books! They’re just very well done. And I was fascinated by the brief bit of theology that came into The Perilous Gard, which I just reread…
      (I’m glad you want to give Chesterton another try! I understand why you were disappointed in Orthodoxy, though. I hope What’s Wrong With the World meets your expectations better!)

      Hooray, another Macduff fan! 😀 He is indeed great.

      Like

  3. Even though I’ve literally read none of these, you always make these reviews so entertaining. 😂 But I’m definitely intrigued by the Chesterton one and would love to give it a go, and also the Sherwood Ring one, because I’ve already had so many people insisting I read it and now you so…it’s probably worth a try. 😉

    (and yesss this format is quite wonderful.)

    Like

    1. Thank you! That is high praise! (It’s how I feel about the Temperamental Writer’s mini-reviews, actually. So often, if I haven’t read the book, I’m not really interested in the review. But no matter what, her reviews just…entertain me.)
      I recommend both of those highly! Give in to the peer pressure and read The Sherwood Ring already, Elisha, there’s a dear. 😛 (And Chesterton, of course. Mustn’t forget Chesterton.)

      Like

  4. He is risen indeed, alleluia!

    THE ST. CRISPIN’S DAY SPEECH IS AMAZING, and I actually have not read or even heard about any other parts of the play. Whoops.

    Ahhhh I love Pay Attention, Carter Jones very, very much. I caught the hint about the character from Okay For Now, too, and I was very, very pleased. But I honestly loved the butler, even though he was a little strange, and I liked all the cricket references, too. But I definitely agree with you about Carter’s voice–it did seem like the book was set ten or twenty or even thirty years older than it actually was, at times.

    Okay, Sorcery of Thorns is on my TBR, but I am even more excited to read it now! Because, wow, it sounds amazing. Especially the sentient books.

    The entire Macbeth review had me cackling. Especially the part about the c-section. XD XD

    The Sherwood Ring! GAH I love everything about that book. Just…yes. And the brevity! And THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR IS ALSO MY THING but I don’t really have any recs because…I haven’t found anything else truly excellent set in that period? (Besides Hamilton. Which is my jam.) I honestly didn’t mind the present-day storyline, though. I thought it was well done. And it’s probably a good thing I didn’t know about the ghosts going in, because I also really don’t do ghost books (although there are a few excellent exceptions to that rule), but I honestly didn’t feel like they were exactly…ghosts? Idk, they just didn’t seem ghost-y to me, more figment-y.

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    1. Ha! Well, the rest of the play is pretty…so-so and boring, honestly. Worth it for the St Crispin’s Day speech, but you’re not missing out.

      The butler was a Decent Upstanding Human Being (not to mention a darling) who was There For Carter, and yes we love him Very Very Much despite some of his more annoying stupid British biases. XD It was honestly SUCH a sweet book.

      lol sorry Sorcery of Thorns didn’t work out as well as hoped! I get it, though. I toyed with the idea of DNFing a couple times but it never got to quite That Point if you know what I mean…but honestly it’s a really fun book but not a Great Book that one will Forever Regret Missing Out On (what is up with the caps today, my goodness).

      For real! I love Johnny Tremain, and there was a webcomic I read (“The Dreamer”, I think it was called) that I read the first issue of – but even that had a present-day storyline I wasn’t a fan of, but who cares because NATHAN HALE; I WILL NEVER BE OKAY – *cough* but other than that I can’t think of anything. So the excellence of this one pleases me massively, and I did think the present day storyline was well done even though I personally wasn’t a fan! I think the fact that ghosts were figment-y rather than ghost-y (if I correctly divine what you mean by these terms :P) is basically why I didn’t hate it despite it having ghosts. It’s mildly annoying but not insuperable. At all.

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  5. I am far too pleased by the fact that you used Unhealth. I am so proud. 🙂
    Murderbot though. What a character. I love Murderbot so much. But we all know this.
    THE SHERWOOD RING. AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! (Pardon my screaming, but I am just so excited about this book). Yes, yes, yes, I love what you said about it. THESE CHARACTERS. SO GOOD. And I agree with you completely about the ghost thing. I was put off by the idea of it and wouldn’t have read the book if I hadn’t been required to for school. It wasn’t as bothersome as I thought it would be, but also still not my favorite thing about it. The rest of the book makes it completely worth it though. I AM JUST SO GLAD THAT YOU LOVE IT.
    My dear sweet child Carter! The siblings. THE SIBLINGS. And I know what you mean about Mr. Mary Poppins? It’s not my favorite either, but still such a sweet story. (Not Okay For Now, but what is?) I just agree with so much of what you are saying.
    I am interested in that G.K. Chesterton book now.
    Lovely post! I greatly enjoyed reading it!

    Like

    1. I have searched all the dictionaries and found no word more accurate, nor expressive. 🙂
      But seriously, though, Murderbot. I mean.

      I am really glad you said what you did way back when about not liking ghosts but the ones in The Sherwood Ring aren’t that bothersome, because that’s why I actually went and read it. (Well, that and your sister’s couples post. The final shove, as it were.) And I’m just so glad because the rest of the book IS so completely worth it. THESE CHARACTERS. (Still…Pat and Peggy are nice and all, but WE DIDN’T NEED THEM. We could’ve just hung out with the Revolutionary War folks and it would’ve been great. Oh well. It doesn’t really matter. I am still devoted to Dick and Barbara, and Peacable and Eleanor but especially Dick and Barbara. The sibling goodness in this book also!!)

      I’m sort of glad I read Okay for Now first because WHAT AN EXPERIENCE but at the same time I’m a little sad because probably nothing will ever live up to it. But yes, Carter and his siblings and the sweetness of the story. I love them and am eternally grateful for how much you talk about Gary D Schmidt because I don’t think I’d have read him otherwise lol

      I would be super interested in what you thought of the Chesterton book. What you thought of any Chesterton book, actually. Manalive, for instance. I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just really want you to read Manalive now, haha

      Thank you, my dear sponge! I enjoyed writing it, so that is good! And I enjoyed reading your comment, so that is even better!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kindly bullying people into reading Elizabeth Marie Pope and Gary D Schmidt is my foremost purpose in the blogging world.

        I NEED to read a Chesterton book. Keep pestering me about it if no Chesterton is showing up in my reviewish posts.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A purpose which I must say you seem to fulfill admirably. I can only aspire to be so successful in my mission to kindly bully people into reading Helen MacInnes and Megan Whalen Turner, lol.

        Ok I shall!! “Manalive” and “The Club of Queer Trades” are the most fun that I’ve read, I think, if you wanted to know 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  6. KNIGHTS OF THE AIR. How dare it not be an in-depth biography of every single one of them. With reprinted diaries and detailed schematics of their planes and weapons and SARAH WHY MUST YOU REMIND ME HOW BADLY I WANT THIS. *hugs the book and wails over it and wishes it was bigger* (You’ve got that biography of Georges Guynemer with the very-not-WWI plane on the front, right? It’s a start at expansion/depth but honestly I’m annoyed at it for the same reason, it’s just not enough.) (And ha I’m so glad I’m not the only one who gets Nungesser and Navarre mixed up.)

    OK though. I am overdue for a reread of Knights of the Air.

    Also What’s Wrong with the World. So good. As always with GKC. That quote about women being “rather hard and very humorous” is just the best.

    Y’know I don’t think I’ve ever actually read Henry V. Seen a couple movie versions. Squee-ed over the St. Crispin’s Day speech. Never made it through the play.

    And apparently I need to revisit MacBeth.

    I think…I think I need to read some Gary D. Schmidt. Which would you recommend?

    And The Sherwood Ring looks….really really really intriguing and fun. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been invested in a good Revolutionary War-era book. (In fact I think the only ones I may have ever read were the American Girl Felicity books. Peril at King’s Creek was my favorite American Girl mystery, hehe.)

    “Basically, breaking an oath is pretty bad, but you know what’s /really/ bad? NOT BEING ABLE TO HANDLE THE PAIN” << sounds pretty Nordic.

    Like

    1. I KNOW. *wails till my sisters tell me to SHUT UP ALREADY about your DUMB FLYBOYS* (I do! And alack, I’m sure it won’t be enough but at the same time I’m so very excited to actually read it…) (Haha. Yeah. I couldn’t keep them straight AT ALL.)

      It IS the best! Because it’s such a good description of an actual general characteristic of women.

      I feel like seeing movie versions counts though? Since it’s a play and meant to be watched. And indeed, the St Crispin’s Day speech is eminently squee-able. 😉

      I think you’d very much appreciate Macbeth!

      So I recommended Okay for Now but if you want more after that you gotta read The Wednesday Wars next, just saying. 😀

      Oh, it is. And SAME. Which is so sad cuz it’s one of my very favorite time periods! (You know, I never read any American Girl books, I don’t think! Some of my friends did, and for whatever reason I wasn’t interested. But now I hear I missed out on Revolutionary War-era mysteries??? This is sadness indeed. D:)

      Isn’t it though??!? It reminds me of if you tried to make a really over-the-top parody of a Nordic story, and then you compared it to the original and found the original even more over-the-top than your parody. (I really don’t know why Norse mythology is my favorite, I really don’t. XD)

      Like

  7. You have used the format well. You have my blessing. *pats your head solemnly*
    Ok, so when I was reading Return of the Thief there was this scene where I was like, “Ha, that reminds me of Henry V.” And then it went on and I was like “…IS this Henry V??” It was super random. But if it wasn’t an intentional reference…it was quite a coincidence.
    Ahhh, Carter is such a great older brother. “Adults looking out for kids when other adults, who should’ve been looking out for them, did a lousy job of it” is one of my favorite bookish tropes *cries* (And I love how the Okay for Now reference is just slipped in there all casually, but anyone who has read Okay for now is like “HOLD THE PHONE.”)
    Ack, I love Murderbot dearly. All the Unhealth.
    When we were studying Macbeth in my Shakespeare class, my professor kept bringing up Macduff and randomly quoting “I WAS FROM MY MOTHER’S WOMB UNTIMELY RIPPED!” XD
    The BEAN POTS though. I saw “bean pots” in the title of the post and I was like, “I KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING.” I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Dick is fantastic. I love the scene where he’s teasing Barbara about Peaceable. Actually, all the characters are fantastic. Elizabeth Marie Pope writes such excellent characters and such excellent books, and my one complaint is that she only ever wrote two books.

    Like

    1. I cannot deny I was anxiously hoping for your blessing (or at least…your lack of displeasure), so…*bows gratefully*

      That’s really cool if it was a coincidence and also I kind of bet it wasn’t and that’s even cooler. And GOSH I want to read Return of the Thief. (My library doesn’t have it yet. I assume it’ll get it eventually though since it has the others? Or at least the first three? I dunno. I’m still holding out hope for the flowerpot.)

      He really is. AND I KNOW. Honestly no other trope compares as far as making-me-want-to-cry. Because…yeah. I am having Feelings again just thinking about it. (Right?!)

      SO MUCH UNHEALTH. So, so much. We love it.

      XD That is awesome. I love professors like that too?? I had a chem professor who would demonstrate electron behavior on the really wide steps in the classroom, and also stand on this rail thing to write at the top of the board and…sometimes I was worried he was gonna injure himself? But it was awesome, though not quite as awesome as quoting that line at the top of your lungs all the time. XD

      Yup, the bean pot was a dead giveaway. 😂 I know!! The sibling relationship with Dick and Barbara is also fabulous. Like just. Fabulous. It’s all fabulous. (I am eternally grateful to you and your sister for convincing me to read it!) I read something somewhere that she was writing another book (or…researching for it, maybe?) but she didn’t finish it before she died. Not sure if that’s true but I really REALLY wish she’d written more because the two she did write are SO GOOD.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 😊 thank you, Eden! I am happy to hear it, since I do believe all day is about how long it takes to read them… (also, hi!!! Long time no see!!!! *showers you with pizza and hugs* *gently nudges welcoming hedgehogs in your direction since a shower in their case might be more unpleasant than otherwise*)

      Liked by 1 person

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