“What Are You Reading?” Wednesday (September 3, 2014)

What are you reading?

The Magician's BookI haven’t updated in two weeks, but I’m still working my way through The Cambridge Companion to Children’s Literature, and thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve also picked up (and nearly finished) The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia, which is wonderful, even though I never cared all that much for Narnia itself. (I wonder, would I be interested in reading such a book about, say, Harry Potter? Would I be interested in writing one?)

I’m also reading my library’s copy of Understanding Comics, which I will need to replace because I got caught with it in the rain. Whoops.

It’s unlike me to read so much nonfiction. I’m also reading A Little Princess for the first time, and I have Changeless (the second Parasol Protectorate) book loaded up in my Nook app. (I skipped rereading Soulless because my girlcrush Madame Lefoux isn’t introduced until the second book.)

What did you recently finish reading?

On a whim, I picked up How to Be a Gentleman, perhaps channeling Mme. Lefoux, but I was a little put out by it. Some of it was useful stuff, about how the mark of a gentleman is that he goes out of his way to make others’ lives more pleasant and comfortable, but some of it was just silly. Is a gentleman really going to inconvenience others if he orders a cocktail served with a paper umbrella and drinks it through a straw, or gets a manicure with polish? (Manicures without polish are occasionally permitted, according to the author.)

After reading about it on Autostraddle.com, I was super excited to read The Desire Map because I love a good self-help book. If I ever feel guilty about my reading pleasures, it’s not kidlit, it’s self-help that’s my weakness.

I was very disappointed. The first half, the “theory” half, wasn’t theory so much as someone’s blog posts, awkwardly reformatted and then printed and bound. It read like someone took The Secret, The Happiness Project and maybe The Artist’s Way, loaded it up with sugar and the worst kind of New Age woo, and put it in a blender.

I thought the worksheets might be better. I love a good worksheet, too. I was disappointed.

MossflowerWhat are you going to read next?

I’m in the middle of several books that I ought to finish, but I want to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane and, after recommending it to a student, I was overcome with a nostalgic desire to return to Redwall (or Mossflower, because that was always my favorite).

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