75 in 2015: June, Part III

castleWe Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (1962)

Ohhhh, so good. I can’t say I was surprised by the major plot points, but it didn’t really matter in the end. I was immediately drawn in by the mysterious story and little bits of madness that peeked through. As the madness grew throughout the book, I wanted to reach into Blackwood mansion and save the characters. Now that is the sign of an engaging plot!

From Publishers Weekly via Amazon.com: “Since the mysterious death of four family members, the superstitious Mary Katherine “Merricat” Blackwood, her ailing uncle Julian, and agoraphobic sister Constance have lived in a bizarre but contented state of isolation. But when cousin Charles arrives in search of the Blackwood fortune, a terrible family secret is revealed. Bernadette Dunne’s reading is flawlessly paced and suspenseful. The voices she provides the cast of characters are spot on: precocious Merricat is haunted and increasingly desperate; Constance is doting but detached; Uncle Julian is both pleasantly dotty and utterly unnerving; and Charles is the conniving villain listeners will love to hate. A treat for fans of mystery and suspense.”

fruitcakeA Little Fruitcake: A Childhood in Holidays by David Valdes Greenwood (2007)

It is blistering hot outside so I decided to be defiant by reading a little Christmas treat. Not much to say here; it was a pleasant read.

From Amazon.com: “For young David Valdes Greenwood, the indomitable “little fruitcake” at the center of these tales, nothing is sweeter than the promise of the holidays. A modern-day Tiny Tim, he holds fast to his ideal of what Christmas should be, despite the huge odds against him: Sub-zero Maine winters. A host of eccentric relatives. And his constant foil: a frugal, God-fearing Grammy who seems determined to bring an end to all his fun. A book that’s “fa-la-la-licious” (Louisville Courier Journal) and filled with funny, charming Yuletide memories (from building a Lego manger to hunting for the perfect Christmas tree), A Little Fruitcake will inspire even the biggest Grinches around.”

luckSome Luck by Jane Smiley (2014)

This came to me highly recommended and. . . I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I was interested in the family. On the other hand, I wasn’t very interested in the page to page narrative. So, take that for what it’s worth. I’m not sure if I will read the next book in this series, but I might wikipedia the plot to see what happens to the family.

From Amazon.com: “On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different children: from Frank, the handsome, willful first born, and Joe, whose love of animals and the land sustains him, to Claire, who earns a special place in her father’s heart. Each chapter in Some Luck covers a single year, beginning in 1920, as American soldiers like Walter return home from World War I, and going up through the early 1950s, with the country on the cusp of enormous social and economic change. As the Langdons branch out from Iowa to both coasts of America, the personal and the historical merge seamlessly: one moment electricity is just beginning to power the farm, and the next a son is volunteering to fight the Nazis; later still, a girl you’d seen growing up now has a little girl of her own, and you discover that your laughter and your admiration for all these lives are mixing with tears. ”

2015 total books: 53
2015 total pages read: 10,681
2015 total pages listened to: 6,207


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