Books read in 2010 11-13

I wanted to write fuller reviews of these, but it hasn’t happened and I am tired and my computer broke today so I am on my brother’s laptop, which doesn’t actually affect my review-writing abilities, but does affect my mood. Do you see that run-on sentence? Do you really want me to write reviews tonight?

Books Read in 2010

1. Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde
2. Locked Inside by Nancy Werline
3. Chew Volume 1: Taster’s Choice by John Layman and Rob Guillory
4. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
5. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
7. Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci
8. Footprints in the Snow by Sheng Yen
9. The Confessions of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street
10. Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman
11. Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich – This was good, pretty much exactly what I expected. Each chapter takes on a different aspect of homesteading, with the first half being Woginrich’s ruminations on her own attempts to homestead and the second half being some practical details. There is less focus on the “urban” side, because Woginrich bought a farm to start homesteading and her ultimate goal is to live out in the country. That isn’t my goal, but I still found Made From Scratch a good primer for basic details and a personal touch. I also loved her Resources section in the back. This one is definitely worth checking out, whether you want to start homesteading yourself or just want to read about it. Woginrich is an entertaining and easy-to-read writer. I ate this one up.
12*. How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier – JL is one of my favorite young adult authors and bloggers. I don’t want to say much about this, except that I enjoyed it immensely and it helps to fill the void of YA about sporty kids. It has a bit of fantasy (I love fantasies like this where you don’t know whether magic really exists) and a bit of romance and some good female friendships. Yay!
13. Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutsen – This is a straight-up guide to urban homesteading. I really enjoyed the focus on homesteading in the city right after reading Made From Scratch. Coyne & Knutsen fill their book with information and, though they aren’t as easy writers as Woginrich, it’s obvious they’re articulate people. Ideologically we differ a bit – C&K are environmentalists through and through and seem to want to homestead out of activist ideals. I just want to grow some of my own food and watch chickens. Also, there were many, many typos and, like I said before, no page numbers. I would think this was a ARC if it weren’t so obvious it isn’t. This book is so full of useful information, instructions, and projects that I’d love to own it. I’ll have to see another copy in person, though, before I do. What the heck use is a guidebook without page numbers?

The third book I got from the library, Keeping the Hive or something like that, I don’t think I’ll finish. I got about thirty pages into the book and there were already too many references to modern cultures being schmooshed with their ancient counterparts. I know that the author is not an anthropologist, so here’s a quick and important-as-hell lesson for him: all cultures change. The culture that doesn’t is the culture that dies. It may be that this one honey-hunting ritual hasn’t changed much in the last two thousand years, but for you to conflate the culture that performed it two millenniums ago with the one that exists today is very problematic and, in fact, turned me off so much that I put down your book.

*Back in the day (3/20, to be exact) I updated my 2010 list and said, “I have no idea whether or not this list is accurate anymore. I may have read a book during finals that I’ve completely forgotten about! Seriously, the last three weeks are a blur.” And I was right! My current #12 was actually number eight or nine, I think. Silly me!


3 thoughts on “Books read in 2010 11-13

  1. I really appreciate your reviews of the books on urban homesteading. I am not good at gardening, but I really like the urban farm movement and I am hoping to start volunteering at one this summer. Have you heard of the book Farm City? That might be one you enjoy, too!

  2. I need to read How to Ditch Your Fairy soon! I love the idea of mixing sports and fantasy. Did you like Book of a Thousand Days?

    Short and sweet reviews totally work, you got me interested in urban homesteading (which I’d never heard of!)

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