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July 9, 2018

Summer Reading #1

'summer reading'
Here are the books I had managed to finish reading in May & June (click on the link for more info):

A Drowned Maiden's Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz
01/ A Drowned Maiden's Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz  > link
A Drowned Maiden's Hair is simply a story about an orphan girl named Maud who wants to be loved. I do like that Maud isn't all good and obedient all the time and she can be smart when she wants to be. But my favorite character is the servant Muffet aka Anna who is deaf and mute and is thought of as dumb but she isn't. I guess I like that Muffet is just as imperfect in her appearance as in her silent gestures though we only get a glimpse of Muffet's past. The Hawthorne sisters seems okay, there isn't one that I like or dislike. They are just people trying to make money though not through conventional ways. I thought the ending was a bit too neatly tied up. The people that doesn't matter to the story anymore just goes away and Maud gets her happy ending which I like but I guess I just wondered why there aren't any scattered pieces, why there aren't more problems that came with the lying and scheming. Perhaps the ending is too perfect but I did expect it somehow so I can't say I'm surprised. A Drowned Maiden's Hair is a good book with good pacing and I liked it more than I expected to.

 Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery
02/ Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery > link
Not to say Magic for Marigold is boring but there really isn't anything new, not when you have read almost all of Montgomery's books like I have. I just think Magic for Marigold is a book you can enjoy on a summer's day and than that's it. I did find when things aren't mentioned, when certain words aren't being used, as a bit odd. During a certain scene, something was found in Marigold's hair and they do not say what that is or even give details of exactly what it is, I guess it is just assumed we know what that is which I think it's lice but I'm still uncertain. Other than that, it's a good read.

Favorite Quote:
"Keep your dreams, little Marigold, as long as you can. A dream is an immortal thing. Time cannot kill it or age wither it. You may tire of reality but never of dreams."

The disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy
03/ The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy > link
The mystery is what brought me to read The Disappearances and every time it seems something is revealed or going to be revealed, they keep straying to the puppy love romance bits and I want to shout at Aila to stop gushing over Will and get back to the mystery. And then, there's another viewpoint, like another story that is parallel to Aila's that connects at the end but somehow that bit seems unfinished, like there should have been more but there isn't. I'm sorry to say I don't care much for Shakespeare and there is a lot of Shakespeare and about his writing and he is pretty much at the center of the mystery which I don't think I'm giving much away by saying it. I thought the answer to the mystery and the solution is just meh, not all that interesting considering we have to go through layers of Alia's teenage hormones and past history revelation that is supposed to tie everything together. I guess The Disappearances is a good read if you like teenage romances and don't mind reading some Shakespeare but for me, I guess my expectation was too high but I did enjoy most of the book.

The Tiffany Aching Adventure books (part of Discworld) by Terry Pratchett
04/ The Tiffany Aching Adventure books (part of Discworld) by Terry Pratchett  > link
The books in order are:
-- The Wee Free Men
-- A Hat Full of Sky
-- Wintersmith
-- I Shall Wear Midnight
-- The Shepherd's Crown

I'm not going to review each book but here are some thoughts on them:

(1) You know how some books just keeps you interested and you have to finish it and the Tiffany Aching Adventure books are like that — I was never bored when I'm reading them.

(2) I had expected there to be a lot of humor but there aren't that much, at least, I don't find some of them all that funny. And if there are humor, it mostly involves the Nac Mac Feegle aka The Wee Free Men who are famous for their drinking, fighting and stealing as noted in a short summary in the second book (A hat full of sky).

(3) It seems a bit of a stereotype when the Nac Mac Feegle (makeup of mostly male because females are rare) said how when a female gets angry, she would purse her lips, cross her arms, tap her feet and expects an explanation. But I think it's more in fun than stereotype. There are a lot of girl power in these books so if there are stereotypes, it doesn't matter all that much and the females have all the power and strength and sensibilities.

(4) I like that Tiffany is like a real-life girl learning and growing and making mistakes and fixing her mistakes and doing her witchy duty. And the scene where she reads a romance book - that is so amusing.

(5) I don't know where I read it but the The Tiffany Aching Adventure books are supposed to be written for children as oppose to the rest of the Discworld books. It may not be true but I wouldn't recommend these books for children as there are mention of sex, 13 year olds having babies, naked men, well, naked elves with very large you-know-what, deaths and violence but you can't judge by me as I'm too much of a prude when it comes to these things.

(6) I'm not sure I like the idea that witches are more like volunteers/helpers who just helps people and hardly use magic. But I like that there is magic and broom flying. And there are no school for witches, instead, a girl who wants to be a witch would go live with a witch and learn from them which is like learning through real-life experiences rather than in a classroom. I wouldn't might learning things that way.

(7) There are no schools in the Chalk, but there are people who travels here and there to give lessons in return for goods such as food or clothing. Tiffany learns mostly from these traveling teachers. I think it's kind of fun like a traveling circus and instead of clowns and elephants, you get to learn stuff.

(8) If you'll note, the word susurrus/susurration - Tiffany's favorite word - is used at least once in each of the books, at least, it seems that way to me. I didn't recheck it but it seems to be true. I'm actually starting to like that word a lot.

(9) I'm not sure I like the footnotes as some of them are really like extras and not really information that you need to know. Some of them are fun but mostly, it seems like a distraction from the story and only because some of them are pretty long. But they are sometimes helpful if you haven't read the previous Tiffany books.

(10) My favorite characters are: Tiffany Aching; Granny Aching, Tiffany's grandmother - she sounds like someone who could rule the world if she wants to; Granny Weatherwax - the non-head witch because there are no leaders among the witches; fellow witch Petulia Gristle who can talk/bore pigs to their gentle hereafter; and the Nac Mac Feegle whom I sometimes dislike but mostly like.

(11) I haven't read a single Discworld book when I read the first Tiffany book and I had no knowledge of anything about Discword either but find The Tiffany Aching books quite enjoyable. I kind of wish I had read these books a lot sooner.

Favorite Quotes:
'Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.'
— from A Hat Full of Sky

"I don't know about the world, not much; but in my part of the world I could make little miracles for ordinary people," Granny (Weatherwax) replied sharply. "And I never wanted the world — just a part of it, a small part that I could keep safe, that I could keep away from storms. Not that ones from the sky, you understand: there are other kinds."
— from The Shepherd's Crown

Have you read any good books lately? Leave a note in the comments.
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