Augie & The Green Night by Zach Weinersmith

Augie & The Green Knight by Zach Weinersmith, Illustrations by Boulet; 2015; $35.00; 219 pages; Breadpig, Inc; 978-0-9785016-9-3; backed on Kickstarter, July 2014; 11/27/16-11/29-/16

Why did I read this?  This was a book I backed on Kickstarter back in 2014.  I backed it because the main character was a young girl and I thought it was something my Granddaughter Nola and I could read together.

Augie is exploring in a forest behind her home when she encounters the Green Knight and begins a year long adventure with him, complete with the Knights of the Round Table and all kind of imaginary nonsense characters.  The main story is not bad, but there is so much extraneous nonsense that it detracts from the story.

Grade–C-

The Teacher Wars by Dana Goldstein

The Teacher Wars, A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession by Dana Goldstein; 2014;$26.95;349 pages; Doubleday, New York, NY; 978-0-385-53695-0; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 10/7/16-10/21/16

Why did I read this?  It was on a list that I have been reading through, I forget which list this was on.

This is a very thorough and comprehensive history of the teaching profession which was enlightening in many ways.  Seems in many ways not much has changed since the early days of one room school houses.  Teachers are continually having to battle some bureaucracy.  Teaching started early on simply teaching the rudimentary skills that many rural families needed.  As the need for more and more teachers arose and the number of subjects increased, there was often a conflict between families, schools and teachers over what the role of the teacher and school should be.  In the 20th century education became a political football and I believe became too focused on teaching to the test.

Grade-C, although this was enlightening and comprehensive it was very dry.

 

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg; 2016; $14.95; 296 pages; 47North, Seattle, WA; 978-1503935600; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 7/27/16-7/29/16

Why did I read this?  I have read three previous books by the author and really enjoyed, so I thought I would try this.

A creator who is less than a god with the power to create grass, flowers, trees and other pieces of nature decides to try her hand at creating a human being.  She is not able to effectively craft a soul and it has all kinds of consequences for her, her creation and her husband.  She had been an ethereal being but in her creating the being she becomes human with a loss of memory and becomes a slave to a person with many personality disorders.  She is haunted by a ethereal being who she feels she has a connection to, but can’t figure it out.

Grade-C, I couldn’t figure out the point of the story and it just seemed to wander all over the place with no real conclusion.

Life in isolation and pain

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman; 2012; $16.00; 343 pages; Scribner, New York, NY; 978-1-4516-8175-8; purchased from Amazon.com; 12/20/15-1/2/16

Tom Sherbourne is a World War I veteran and lighthouse keeper where two oceans come together off the coast of Australia.  On one of his visits ashore he meets and falls in love with Isabel.  She moves to the lighthouse with him and they have an idyllic life, spending time alone together.  Isabel has three difficult pregnancies and miscarries each time.  One day a boat washes ashore with a mans body and a small baby aboard.  Isabel talks Tom into keeping the baby against his better judgment for a little while.  Isabel grows close with the baby and enlists Tom in her deception that the baby is theirs.   As the baby grows Isabel grows more and more desperate to keep her, even when they find out that she may be the child of another woman from Isabel’s hometown.  Tom is conflicted and attempts to let the mother know that her child is alive anonymously.  Things go from bad to worse and one time when they are ashore Tom and Isabel are confronted by the consequences of their actions.

Grade C

Did I like it?  I was struck by the insensitivity of the Isabel and her selfishness and her inability to see anyone else’s perspective.  I liked some of the authors depiction of the setting but could not get past Isabel’s personality.

What is with the title of the review? Isolated on a rock with just one other person for many years and suffering through the pain of three miscarriages gives Isabel a skewed perspective on life.

 

a disappointment

The Eternal World by Christopher Farnsworth; 2015; $25.99; 334 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 9787-0-06-228292-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Capitol Hill; 9/10/15-9/13/15

Five hundred years ago a group of conquistadors wiped out a group of Native Americans to obtain some water.  This water gave them advanced skills and enable them to continue to live if they continue to partake of the water.  Now they are running out of water and have hired some of the pre eminent scientist to try and replicate the water so they can continue to live.  There is petty bickering within the men who continue to live, one wants to change the world into his image, one wants to kill as many people as possible and several who just want to keep on living.  There is also a foe who has stalked them through the centuries for wiping out her people.  As Simon has tried to remake the world he continually backs the wrong horse, the Spaniards instead of the English, Hitler instead of the Allies.  The conquistadors can’t seem to get their act together enough to really do anything beside get rich and bicker among themselves.  It all comes to a violent conclusion which leaves some dead and some aging.

Grade C

Did I enjoy it?  It was just okay, I kept thinking haven’t they learned anything over all those years.

What is with the title of the review?  I have read three other books by Christopher Farnsworth and really enjoyed them, I was disappointed with this offering.