[identity profile] bellawilfer.livejournal.com
I nearly forgot to post my July booklist here! A couple days late, but here it is. :-)

Davita’s Harp – Chaim Potek
A coming-of-age story about a young Jewish girl growing up in a Communist household before and during WWII. While I found it extremely interesting – particularly how she is drawn to the Orthodox lifestyle – I was irritated by a couple of things. Call me a prude, but the sexual elements (both her mother and step-brother) just didn’t seem to go with the rest of the story. It’s like WHY? I did really like how Ilena constantly questions why women can’t do so many things in their religion: recite the Kaddish, have to sit away from men, can’t have bar mitzvahs (changes in the world today – bat mitzvahs!), etc… It has brought up many other questions in mind, including, why do women have a separate siddur (prayer book) from the men? Why? I keep coming back to that one thing, women don’t have to participate in shul or recite the kaddish, etc… But WHY? So. I give this one three stars for making me think.

Shakespeare’s Scribe – Gary Blackwood
Sequel to The Shakespeare Stealer. Novel set in Shakespearian times, continuing the story about Widge, the former thief of an orphan turned official member of Shakespeare’s acting troupe. Threatened by the black plague, Shakespeare and his troupe set out to give performances from town to town. While in his home-town, Widge is reunited with his long-lost-never-known father, who joins them on their travels. In spite of this, life isn’t perfect for Widge. He’s stuck transcribing a new play for Shakespeare and keeps losing roles to the new kid in the troupe. And life with his new-found father isn’t as blissful as he imagined. I’d give this one three stars; not as good as its predecessor.

My Name is Asher Lev – by Chaim Potek
I found this one tedious and hard to follow. While I sympathized with the main character and his parents in turn, I found myself wanting to shake each and every one of them. I spent more time put out by characters than interested in their lives. A two star.

Dancing Shoes – Noel Streatfeild
This book is veddy cute and now one of my favorite Shoe books, along with Theatre Shoes and Ballet Shoes. Although I still haven’t read Traveling Shoes, so… Anyhoo, this story is about Rachel and Hilary, sisters by adoption (Hilary was adopted), who are orphaned and sent to live with Rachel’s aunt who runs a dancing school that specializes in troupes of dancing girls for theatre and television performances. Rachel’s cousin, Dulcie, is the spoiled darling star of the school, and it is no surprise when Rachel and Hilary find themselves at odds with her.

A Ring of Endless Light - Madeleine L'Engle
This book made me ache inside and yet...filled with joy. It had such a picture of beauty and joy in the face of death... I don't agree with everything Madeleine L'Engle writes, but oh, it was beautiful.

The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy
A re-read. I spent the entire summer after my sixteen birthday reading just about the entire Scarlet Pimpernel series. I had such a huge crush on Sir Percy. And Sir Andrew. :-P It was such a delicious re-read. SO MUCH FUN!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick
Eh, it was okay. It was an unusual book, merely because half of it was told in pictures, the other half in words. The story itself was merely eh, okay, nothing spectacular, but the drawings are really well done.

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupéry
A tiny book, but sweet. Fairy-tale-ish. Sweet.

Castaway Kid - R.B. Mitchell
True story about a boy abandoned at an orphanage and his struggle to find God, forgiveness and love. I don't like to say I enjoyed it because he really did have a rough childhood, but it was wonderful to come to a happy ending.

Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City - Anna Quindlen
A fascinating look at the author's experience of literary London. She traveled to London several times and went looking for all the haunts of books, from Dickens to Shakespeare. Fun, fun, fun, really whetted my appetite for my upcoming trip in the fall.

Small Wonder: The Story of a Child Born Too Soon - Susan LaScala
The true story about a mother and her preemie baby, born in the eighties when the likelihood of such a premature baby surviving was slim. Beautifully written. I picked it up at the library when I realized it was published by the same publisher that did a book by a family friend. While it doesn't have the same faith-based outlook as that book, it was still well-written and heart-wrenching.

Betsy and Joe - Maud Heart Lovelace
Sweet story, about Betsy and, well, Joe. I will admit that I wanted to shake Betsy for not seeing what she was doing to Tony. Very cute.

My Enemy's Cradle - Sara Young
I enjoyed it, yet didn't. It's about a Jewish girl who is forced to poise as her pregnant Aryan cousin and go to live in Lebensborn, the facility for girls bearing babies for the fatherland. What did I not like? A few scenes I skipped over, along with the fact that the main character was not pregnant when she started planning to take her cousin's place.

Adam Canfield of the Slash - Michael Winerip
Kids who run the middle school paper unearth crimes. Cute story, fun! It could have been slightly better developed, but a really fun romp. A lot better than 99% of the books in the YA section at our library!

London 2008
I've gone through this book so many times, I think I've probably read it in entirety several times. A guide book on where to go, what to see, what to eat, what to wear and so on and so forth while you're in London. I think I just might have to pick this one up - was quite good! I was surprised that our library had the latest version of it, pretty spiffy of them.

The Patron Saint of Butterflies - Cecilia Gallante
Last book of the month, I finished it just hours before midnight. It's the story about two young girls, in their early teens, who live in a cult. I'm not certain if I liked it or not, and whether or not the author has something against all forms of Christianity. She certainly doesn't appear to have a favorable view of Catholics, since a lot of the practices of the cult appear to originate from Catholicism. Yet, she did make the services at a Baptist church sound good, almost positive, so... *shrugs*

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