Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How Am I Doing So Far?

I've made it through most of August without buying any books.  I've had a few close calls, though.  It is hard to explain to kids who want books that I can't physically buy them  because I'm trying to get through my backlog of books at home.  Luckily, Laura and Cole immediately went to the Silly Bandz and toy Halo products we have at the store.  I was off the hook this time and it's the one time I've been glad they didn't want a book.

Then Jamie comes into the store and stacks a pile of books that she must have.  She doesn't have enough money; will I please buy her a book today since she has nothing to read?  I actually made it to the register before I realized what I was about to do.  Luckily, a co-worker was nearby who bought the book for her and saved me.

My list of books to buy has grown to about ten titles.  I know one I will immediately buy:

I'm reading Julia Stuart's latest:  The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise and I'm enjoying it a lot!  Her previous book, The Matchmaker of Perigord looks to be as whimsical and fun to read as her latest.  Plus, the cover art makes it irresistible.  I'll review The Tower in a few days when I'm done.

I have read 61 books so far this year; I think I'm on track to get to 100 by December 31st.  It's the first time in a long time I've kept track of what I've read and I am amazed at the variety I've picked up.  I just finished The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff.

Once again, the cover caught my eye.  It's about Pell Ridley, a young woman who runs away the morning of her wedding.  She lives in 1850's England, in a small town with a drunken father and a mother who has been worn down from birthing children and being beaten for years.  Pell can't stand the thought of ending up like her mother, even though Birdie, her fiance, is a blacksmith who has grown up with her and loves her very much.

The book is about Pell's journey after she leaves home.  Her little brother, Bean, a mute, runs away with her.  Pell's journey takes her to Salisbury for the fair, where she hopes to find work.  Instead, she meets some kind people, and Dogman--a mysterious man who is a poacher by trade.  Pell and Bean are separated, and Pell's efforts to find Bean take her throughout the countryside and other adventures.

Pell is an extremely strong young woman.  With literally nothing but the clothes on her back, she is determined to find Bean and make a new home.  If you're looking for a feel good romancy novel, this isn't for you.  But, if you want to read about a young woman's struggle to be free of the restrictions women had in rural England during the 1850's, this is for you.  You may be disappointed in the end, but I thought it was an interesting ending to Pell's tale.  Not every story has a fairy tale ending, but a real ending.  This is one of them.

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