Friday, July 29, 2016

These Beautiful Bones

by Emily Stimpson

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • It's a discussion of the profound Theology of the Body, but focusing on the neglected parts (i.e. the non sex parts).
  • She gets the beauty of simplicity, the earth, daily life, and all those Hobbit-ish things.
  • It's inspiring. It makes me want to pray well, eat well, exercise well, dress well, live well.

And Why You Might Not:
  • I think it could turn off non-Christians and people who were less "Conservative" (see important note below*). It sometimes has that "the modern age is the most horrible age" point of view, which bothers me somewhat, though it's too complicated to get into why I think it's inaccurate.
  • I also didn't like it all that much when she did talk about sex and gender. I thought it lacked complexity of thought, and didn't go beyond stereotypes enough. Though again, it probably won't bother most Conservative Christians who are relatively normal (unlike me, apparently).

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Keeper of the Mist

by Rachel Neumeier

Story summary: Summary from Goodreads:
"Keri has been struggling to run her family bakery since her mother passed away. Now the father she barely knew—the Lord of Nimmira—has died, and ancient magic has decreed that she will take his place as the new Lady. The position has never been so dangerous: the mists that hide Nimmira from its vicious, land-hungry neighbors have failed, and Keri's people are visible to strangers for the first time since the mists were put in place generations ago.
At the same time, three half-brothers with their own eyes on the crown make life within the House just as dangerous as the world outside. But Keri has three people to guide her: her mysterious Timekeeper, clever Bookkeeper, and steadfast Doorkeeper. Together they must find a way to repair the boundary before her neighbors realize just how vulnerable Nimmira is."

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Cool magic system, of the "instinctive, inborn, just feel it" kind.
  • Relationships, of the family and friends sort, are important.

And Why You Might Not:
  • It was a little light. Definitely a Young Adult book.
  • In general, there just wasn't enough of the good stuff. I wanted it to go deeper.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

And All the Stars

by Andrea K. Höst

Story summary: At first: survival under weird, mysterious circumstances! Then: friendship and The Three Musketeers! After that: plot twists and aliens!

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • See all the exclamation points in the story summary?
  • It's very Australian!
  • At least one of the twists made me want to go back to the beginning and reread from there. (That's by far the best kind of twist.)

And Why You Might Not:
  • There are definitely reasons why you might not like this book, but as I discuss in my thoughts below, Höst's books confuse me somewhat. You'll have to read my thoughts to get a better idea, but my recommendation is to read one of her books yourself and figure it out.
  • For those concerned about sexual content in YA books, there is some here. Not a lot, mostly just one particular scene.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Who Could That Be at This Hour?

by Lemony Snicket

Story summary: What happened to his parents? Where is that screaming coming from? Is it too late? This book contains these and other wrong questions.*
First in the "All the Wrong Questions" series: the story of a young Lemony Snicket and his apprenticeship in a secret society.

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Puzzling
  • Clever
  • Meta

And Why You Might Not:
  • Full of bleak, unpleasant people in a bleak, unpleasant town.
  • It's strange. A little too strange for me.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Acedia & me

by Kathleen Norris

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • It's about what I believe is one of the primary sins of our age: sloth (in all its forms).
  • There are so many fascinating points to ponder, scattered throughout the book. And so many differing points of view on this one, ever pervasive issue.

And Why You Might Not:
  • I found it a little meandering sometimes. It was just the style, and this is not a criticism per se, but sometimes I prefer books which state their point a little clearer, without circling.
  • For Catholics, there are a couple of weird points theologically speaking, but these are few and far between, so I wouldn't worry overmuch

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


by V. E. Schwab

Story summary: A tale of dark superheroes and broken friendship, of great intelligence and great arrogance and great temptations.

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Intense relationships
  • Grittiness
  • Brilliantly intelligent people
  • Atmosphere
  • A lovely cover.

And Why You Might Not:
  • It can get pretty dark and bloody.
  • The protagonist is a definitive antihero (my cup of tea, but not everyone's)
  • Some of the several point-of-view characters aren't used to their full potential.