Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reading Status, Mini Reviews and What's On My Nightstand

Join us at 5 Minutes for Books.com to see what books others have on their nightstands. 
Books just finished:
Entwined by Heather Dixon. (Young Adult)
An adaptation of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale.
What I liked: well-written; the relationship between the sisters; the idea of how the enchantment came to be; the many dances referenced; the idea that they danced to honor and remember their mother, who had taught them to dance; the broken relationship with their father that needs to be healed.
What I didn't like: I think it needed some tightening; I think it got bogged down a few times in "same-ness" (meaning that some of the scenes seemed to repeat themselves too much with only a small change here and there).
All in all, I enjoyed this version and would willingly read more books by this author.
Wow. Just wow. Peggy Orenstein, you read my mind. And you are my hero. People, read this book! As a mother, I have to confess I have a major beef with the whole Disney Princess marketing mumbo-jumbo, and I've worried for a long time about what kind of mixed messages the "princess" movies and fairy tales (speaking of fairy tales!) are sending our girls. Not only that, but this relentless over-sexualization of young girls is scary to me. In this book, Ms. Orenstein articulates so well all the issues that I have a problem with as I try to bring up daughters in this day and time. I deeply appreciate Ms. Orenstein's courage in tackling this subject and being a voice of warning and reason.
Currently reading:
Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith. (Fiction; perfectly suitable for teenagers, as well)
Initial impressions: A smart, swash-buckling adventure story, a la Prisoner of Zenda, with just a touch of supernatural thrown in. The protagonist, Kim Murray, goes to Europe to try to trace her family's mysterious history and gets mistaken for someone else. I can't say much beyond that without ruining the story. I'm really enjoying it, and eagerly anticipating where it's going. I think it's the start of a series, 'though I don't know how many books are planned.
(I have to get this off my chest: I DO NOT like this cover. And the sunglasses make it even worse. Except for the Wren books, I don't think the publishers have done a good job with any of her book covers. Okay. There. I feel better.)
On My Nightstand:
Here are the books I have lined up to read next. I'm still working on reading the unread books from my own bookshelves. I did just get one hold in from the library which I must read first: Junonia by Kevin Henkes (not pictured.)
Any suggestions as to which ones I should read next?
Igraine, the Brave by Cornelia Funke (Middle Grade)
The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton (Adult Fiction)
Young Joan by Barbara Dana (Middle Grade)
The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama (Adult Fiction)
The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine (Adult Fiction)
The Bread Winner by Arvella Whitmore (Middle Grade)
Confessions of a Closet Catholic by Sarah Darer Littman (Middle Grade)
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley (Young Adult)
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (Young Adult)
Picturebooks On the Kids' Nightstand (from the library):
A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston; illustrated by Sylvia Long
The Chimpanzee Family Book by Jane Goodall; photographs by Michael Neugebauer
The Scarecrow's Dance by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
About Birds: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill; illustrated by John Sill
If the Shoe Fits: Voices from Cinderella by Laura Whipple; illustrated by Laura Beingessner
Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham; illustrated by Juan Wijngaard
Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters; illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Spectacular Science: A Book of Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins; illustrated by Virginia Halstead


  1. I've heard good about Entwined...and mixed messages about Orenstein's book, though I haven't read either.

    I have chosen to not let princesses be an obsession, though they do come in through pretend play and books we read...not so much the Disney versions, though we do those a bit too. The movies...not yet, though daughter is nearly 5. I tend to limit products of any "character" in our home...though some do make it...so I'm not 100% firm. I actually bought a Cars game this summer.

    I don't care for that book cover either!

    My favorite Maud Hart Lovelace book of all is Emily of Deep Valley...but love them all.

  2. I will be looking for the Princess book-I want to barf at all the princessy stuff anyway. Glad my daughter missed most of that.

  3. I'd recommend North of Beautiful. I loved that one!

    Glad you linked up.

  4. I don't have daughters but I've heard great things about Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Thanks for sharing!


  5. Annette - Thanks for your comment! I love a good fairy tale. And when you have girls, princess stuff creeps in, at least that's how it works for us. I guess the key is balance.

    Hopewell - Do read it. I'd be interested to know what you think about it. Thanks for your comment.

    Jennifer - Thanks for allowing me to join! Fun meme!

    Nancy - You don't need daughters to appreciate the book. ;) I'm sure, even without daughters, you'll have noticed the advertising, fashion, and literary trends she discusses. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Your assessment of CAMD is right on par with what I stated in my review of the book on 5 Minutes for Mom!!

    Thanks for linking up!
    -Dawn, 5M4B

  7. Ooh, I have to read Cinderella Ate My Daughter. My 8 year old niece is obsessed with Disney princesses and it's scary how fast she's starting to like boys, stare at herself in the mirror, worry about her weight, etc. At her age I was just going to school and having fun!

  8. I loved The Three Weissmanns of Westport!

  9. Aw, I love the Crown and Court Duel covers, but other than those I agree, Sherwood Smith has sadly gotten the shortest straw when it comes to covers.